In the mid-2000s, a song came out of New York lit up the music scene titled “Chicken Noodle Soup” by Webstar and Young B. The song’s thumping beat and accompanying dance earned the marquee artists a $1.7 million deal. In the video, there was a young girl in the background absorbing everything with aspirations to do make a name for herself in the musical realm one day. That young girl is known as Tykeiya and she’s well on her way to meeting and exceeding Webstar and Young B with her own voice and songwriting prowess. She currently has a sultry, sensual track with Brooklyn heavyweight Maino called “Pretty Kitty” buzzing in the streets and she can only see greater things on the horizon. “The numbers for Pretty Kitty is higher than we anticipated at the beginning,” said Guap Star/Boss Baby signee Tykeiya during our exclusive sit-down interview. “It’s very exciting. We’re just living in the moment right now.”
Tykeiya is a city girl hailing from the Mill Brook Houses in the South Bronx. She was raised there with her sister by her single mother. “Life was fun,” Tykeiya said of her upbringing. “My mom kept my sister and I close so we always hung out with each other. We weren’t really too much hanging out outside over there. We would always kind of just go to school and we had a lot of friends, though. Life was fun, though, as a kid. I actually miss it sometimes. No bills and stuff.”
It was around the age of 10 that Tykeiya started to develop her writing skills. She loved to craft short stories and regale those around her with them. At one point, she started turning her short stories into song lyrics, which she would sing to her sister. “I would come to my sister and sometimes I would just make up lyrics and then I would ask ‘Oh, have you heard that song? And she’ll say, ‘No, I didn’t hear it. It sounds really good.’ And I would say, ‘I’m just kidding girl. That’s me.’ And then she would just laugh at me. So I took it as a joke at first,” she remembered.
As Tykeiya developed herself as a songwriter and performer, people started to take notice. Around the age of 12, her uncle was one of those people taking notice and he decided to help Tykeiya hone her skills and learn to record. She comes from a musical family, so her grandmother had computer and microphone set up in her home that they could practice on. “We just experimented, and then I just actually fell in love with actually creating music at that time,” said Tykeiya.
Along her journey, Tykeiya has been inspired by a number of notable acts (that she hopes to also work with someday) such as Mary J. Blige, Ashanti and Toni Braxton. “I grew up on a lot of old school R&B and stuff,” Tykeiya explained. “I’ve just been listening to all those and they still are relevant today, which I love and I appreciate; and those are some of my biggest inspirations; especially Mary. I love Mary, for sure.”
Another big influence on Tykeiya’s musical career has been North Carolina superstar emcee J. Cole. In fact, after graduating high school in 2015, Tykeiya released her first official record which was a remix of one of her favorite J. Cole songs. To her delight, the track was well received by those who listened. “I put out a video and it was just a video, and all of the feedback that I got was so positive,” she said. “Some people that knew that I could sing didn’t know I was actually writing songs. They didn’t know I was actually composing music or whatever, but I got so much positive feedback, and I’m like, well, I love what I’m doing and, oh, people love what I’m doing too!. So I was like, okay. I’m just going to keep going.”
The next year, Tykeiya released her first official project, The Princess Diaries. To date, this tape which she calls her “baby” is the only body of work that she has released to the masses. However, she hopes to add to her musical imprint soon, with “Pretty Kitty” continually rising in streaming numbers. “I have a lot of things planned,” she revealed. “First, I just want to make sure my EP is out really soon, and this next thing we’re looking to push is going to come out and I’m just waiting for the release date of that.”
As it stands, Tykeiya is optimistically embracing her journey and keeping a positive outlook. “I’m just looking forward to doing what I love and getting recognition for it and just working hard and just making a difference and inspiring whoever I can inspire; wherever God takes me.”
Tykeiya can be followed on Instagram at @tykeiya.