From Houston, Texas, the 'acrobatic rappin' addict' and Hip-Hop Artist Travis M. releases a powerful and empowering music video for his latest collaboration with MC Lyro, "Pray (feat. MC Lyro)." The enthusiastic performer has been writing songs and doing backflips since before he can remember, wowing his audience with his engaging shows and endeavors. Before graduating from Grambling State University, Travis M. received the opportunity to open for Tory Lanez and Young Thug at the school in 2016.
His latest successes have led Travis M. to the release of his empowering music video for his single, "Pray (feat. MC Lyro)." The two passionate artists go deep within their bars on this track, as the supporting production by Koala Khool offers a sweet Lofi escape through melodic instrumentals and gripping drum breaks.
The music video for "Pray (feat. MC Lyro)" opens with surreal scenes of the Houston coast while Travis M. and MC Lyro emerge from the shore onto the sand, accompanied by various dancers executing a contemporary performance. As Travis M. and MC Lyro begin to sing the emotional hook where they're praying for victims affected by police brutality and the unjust system, the video starts to deliver scenes of protests and many people coming together to fight for deserved equality and respect. Travis M. provides highly rhythmic bars as he continues to describe the ache in his heart for the brutal treatment of black lives in our country. MC Lyro. offers a similar rhythmic delivery while pushing the song's lyrical theme with his unique vocal abilities and dreadfully real lyrical content.
The overall music video for "Pray (feat. MC Lyro)" offers nothing but power and resilience, as the song itself features Travis M. and MC Lyro's emotional lyricism, while the video gathers countless lives to speak their truth on the journey to well-deserved justice.
Could you take us through the moment you felt pushed to create such an emotional yet powerful single with "Pray (feat. MC Lyro)"? How long was the single in the making?
Wow, this is a loaded question. I'll start by saying that there aren't many independent MC's whose skill set I admire the way I do Lyro's. We've known each other for a few years, and both have a background in Spoken Word. Being that we both work closely with Koala Khool it was only a matter of time before we collaborated. One day in February we sat in the studio listening to Koala's beats and agreed instantly that this was the one we'd use when we heard it. Being that it was Black History Month we knew we had the opportunity to make something great for our people. As the creativity started to flow Lyro was freestyling and Koala heard something he liked "Pray for my people." Now we had our chant (hook) and from there we built the chorus together and recorded it that night. Knowing how important this song could be we agreed not to rush the creation of our verses. About a month later the country began to go through the turmoil of Corona's outbreak, the murder of Breonna Taylor, shortly after that, the murder of George Floyd who was a Houston native, and Ahmaud Aubrey in GA. While cases of police brutality were happening all over the country, Houston was no different. I was asked to speak at the Justice for Josh Rally on May 16th. With all of my people and the state of our country in mind, I drafted my verse as a spoken word piece. I saw MC Lyro at the Justice for Josh Rally, and we got back in the studio with Koala shortly after that and released Pray on Soundcloud on Juneteenth, everywhere June 22nd.
What was your collaborative process like for "Pray (feat. MC Lyro)" when creating the single with MC Lyro and Koala Khool? Was Koala Khool's beat pre-made or designed specifically for you?
It was definitely an honor working with Lyro in the studio. Our styles have the perfect juxtaposition of two different generations of hip hop, and yet the same love runs through our veins. On both sides, there was nothing but praise, and respect for the different perspectives that came together. While there was some tweaking done to the beat to make sure our verses flowed together, Koala's beat was definitely premade, with the intentional rise and fall actions that guide the listener through the experience. The only thing he added on the recording date was the cymbal crash.
Speaking on the brilliant and empowering music video for "Pray (feat. MC Lyro)," how did you come up with such powerful scenes from compelling contemporary dancers on the beach to an emotional protest?
We came up with the concepts for the visual in the same session right after recording our verses. Being that the song was so powerful already all we had to do was build from there. Bringing our faiths together, the lyrics of the chorus are very specific in who we are praying for which gave us our storyboard. Of course, we knew we wanted a protest scene, but we all know we've seen that before, so how do we bring another element to set us apart? We chose to incorporate the historical significance of Juneteenth and Galveston Beach. For those that are unaware, Juneteenth represents the roundabout date, after the civil war, in which the Union Army finally came through the port to let the slaves in Texas know that they were free. We incorporated the dancers of "PRO Status Houston" to perform a contemporary piece with an African influence, choreographed by Stacy Lockett. The young dancers enact the summoning of the spirit of our ancestors who refused to live as slaves, from their watery graves, to join us in our continued fight against today's injustices against indigenous people of color around the world.
Within your music video for your single "Pray (feat. MC Lyro)," did you have any help with the direction, production, and other aspects of the video's creative process?
Lyro and I came up with the storyboard together and forwarded it to Lauren Holmes AKA RarePM, who carried out the actual direction and editing of the Visual. While I coordinated with the cast members to get them to the shoot it was RarePM who got us through the shoot on Day 1, and 2.
What can listeners anticipate next from you?
2021 is going to be a big year for all the Misfits out there. In addition to collaborating with more artists and producers, the plan is to expand my reach, to start touring in various cities as well as a shift in sound for my next album. We also have "Pray" merchandise coming sooner than later.