We had the good fortune of connecting with Ty McKinnie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ty, how do you think about risk?
Risk are essential to getting to the next level. As an artist, it’s important that I don’t become stagnant. I have to find ways to keep my creative blood pumping. A recent risk I took was releasing a single in this pandemic. I recorded remotely, hired a small team to produce a music video and completed a whole marketing campaign to push it. It was risky due to the fact that I’m currently unemployed, but I felt compelled to create so that’s what I did.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Black Gay singer-songwriter-filmmaker dude from Atlanta, Georgia but currently based in Brooklyn, New York. I’ve been an artist all my life but i would say professionally since i was around 19. What sets me apart from others is my storytelling in my art. I love stories. Stories stick to you like no other. So when you listen to my music or watch any of my music videos, you’re getting MY story. As a Black Queer Artist, I am most proud of being able to showcase my sexual identity in my art. Using male pronouns, having a male romantic lead in my videos…it’s all about representation. Having someone who shares my identity, seeing their reflection in my art is super important to me and I’m glad I’ve gotten the chance do that. It hasn’t been easy being an independent artist. Struggling to fund my projects and artistic endeavors. Sacrificing lots of wants to fund the music. It’s been tough for sure but no one else is gonna make the art I wanna make so I gotta push through the struggles.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well if we weren’t in a pandemic, I’d take my friend to the gay bars in Midtown where we would just drink copious amounts of alcohol lol. We’d dance the night away and end up getting a slice from Joe’s Pizza.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to shoutout my Mom. She’s my biggest cheerleader and #1 fan. As well as my voice teacher/ occasional videographer Michael Bryant. Without him, I wouldn’t have been confident to share my voice with the world. So big shoutout to him.
Blue Background photos – Francky Ade Other Photos – Shaquille Smith