Ty McKinnie Transmits a Buoyant Energy With "Brownstone In Harlem"



Ty McKinnie’s unique and soulful voice has no bounds. The American singer-songwriter and self-taught guitarist from Atlanta, Georgia, has been singing since the age of 6. Since then, music has been the center of his life.

Inspired to turn his passion into action, in 2016 Ty moved to New York City to pursue his singing career and enrolled in New York University’s Music Business program. As adversities struck, writing and music became more therapeutic and an escape for the artist. Since graduating from NYU, his focus has been placed on the captivating tunes he creates.

Dousing ourselves in the jaunty expressions of Ty McKinnie in his latest single, “Brownstone in Harlem,” we immediately get looped into the infectious rhythm emitted from a soundscape so bubbly. The effervescent hues released in the mix instill a deep sense of comfort and bliss as we sway to the compelling grooves before us.

Ty McKinnie’s vocalization comes off as robust and soothing as we get swept into the alluring performance that he makes seem effortless. Transmitting the vibrancy that he owns within the vessel of his energy, we’re latched onto the lyrical motifs that he confidently sings with an empowering implication. Going after what’s rightfully his, the work ethic behind Ty McKinnie is more apparent than ever with lyrical motifs such as, ‘I’m gonna get what’s mine, I’m gonna get what’s mine.’ Manifestation at its finest.


Painting the larger picture for relevancy with his audience, when you listen to “Brownstone in Harlem,” you can’t help but weave yourself into the musical foundation making waves before you. Within the beautifully sculpted words heard, and a profound conveyance that evokes cheerful emotions, Ty McKinnie rules the sound waves with the pep in his step and timbres.


Hello Ty McKinni, welcome to BuzzMusic, and congratulations on the release of “Brownstone in Harlem.” We love the energy that is radiated from this song! What inspired the lyrics that we hear?


Thanks! I’m glad you dig it. I wrote “Brownstone in Harlem” a few years ago when I first moved to NYC. I always wanted to live in Harlem due to its’ rich history and quickly fell in love with the neighborhood. Coincidently, there was growing gentrification attempting to take over Harlem (adding a Whole Foods is never a good sign). I was infuriated but also inspired, so I wrote this song as a soundtrack for the growing resistance.


Could you please share a glimpse into the creative process for “Brownstone in Harlem?” Did your vision come out exactly how you imagined it to?


Sure! So last summer I laid down the demo in my little home studio setup I have. I tracked the guitar, vocals, and programmed the drums right next to my bed. I live on a busy street in Brooklyn so it’s hard to get a clean take without all the noise but hey that’s New York! I was also working on the song remotely with a long-term collaborator of mine, but we ran into some communication issues that ended up with us choosing to part ways. Not gonna lie, I was pretty depressed about the “breakup.” Luckily, I was fortunate enough to have my buddies’ (and bandmates) Nelson Alexander (Drums) and Ian Bamberger (Guitar) encouragement to finish the song. So I just picked myself up, booked a studio session with the help of some more good buddies, and recorded the version you now hear today. During a pandemic, I may add!


What do you hope that your audience can take away from the messaging in this track?


I hope the audience understands the issues of gentrification and the harm it causes to Communities of Color, specifically Black ones. On the flip side of things, I want this song to inspire those within the Black community to go after their hearts’ desires. Create generational wealth, preserve our history, and have a fun time doing it.


Do you find that your self-growth is reflected in the music that you create? Could you please elaborate?


Absolutely! I feel like my spirit grows with every new song I write. I get more and more comfortable with who I am as a person and then I put it out once I’m ready! Writing a song like “Brownstone” actually challenged me to overcome the fear of being “too Black.” Growing up, I was always conscious of my Blackness and how it and I were perceived as a threat. However, with some self-love combined with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, I felt empowered to say what I needed to say and share it with the world.


What's next for you?


Ya know I’ve been wrestling with this question for a WHILE *insert nervous laugh.* I had plans for another project but COVID came and then there was that. I’ve written lots of songs and I want to start sharing them. But I’m still figuring out what’s the best way to do it. So new music is coming. SLOWLY but surely.


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