Music may continue to break barriers every day with new technologies, new styles, and new sounds. But unfortunately, innovation in this style doesn’t always connect with people, and increasingly, listeners want musicians who can acknowledge the past, and blend it into the future. Older generations of hip-hop and soul lovers, specifically, tend to diverge from the more modern music because of its inability to mix substance, moral standards, and more with positive world outlooks.
And that’s where 25-year old Tey Yaniis enters the game. With a soul older than his age would admit, Yaniis channels hip-hop, neo soul, and poetry in his work to bridge the gap between modern and classic.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Yaniis started his musical journey at a young age, and his eclectic style is a throwback to his early days; he grew up playing everything he could get his hands on, from the violin and trumpet, to the bass cello.
But it wasn’t classical music that brough Yaniis into the game; rather, it was Nas’ high single “If I Ruled The World” that channeled within Yaniis an epiphany that he, too, could have the power to create something important.
Yaniis went to work in the studio, and in songwriting, while channeling some of his major influences, that work their from Nas and A Tribe Called Quest, to The Fugees and Digable Planets, all the way back to Cab Calloway, Otis Redding, and even John Coltrane for good measure. Nothing is too obscure for Yaniis, as he works to make sure his music nods to the past as well as opening up opportunities for the future of this form of artistic expression.
His success caught on, too. With spot-on lyrics and interesting melodies, Yaniis started to get the attention of some of the most prominent neo-soul stations around the country, as he worked to expand his almost soulful, almost hipster persona into something uniquely Tey.
From “Coffee Brown” to “1-Tyme,” Yaniis has proven himself to be fearless in blending genres and mixing melodies to create something that is truly unique within a world populated by so many repetitive and copy-cat musical acts.
Currently, Tey Yaniis is back in the studio, the only home he’s ever known, to produce two EP projects with producers Damani Rhodes and Kahiel Valenti. He’s using the projects as the product of the story of him and his musical journey, from soul to hip hop to funk, as he tries to single-handedly reshape the music industry from the ground up.