Tyler Dazey is anything but a typical student. Dazey, a communications technology major at York College, is a multitalented hustler from sports and business to acting and music. During the pandemic, Dazey found herself feeling empty. So, now the world is back to normal, Dazey, 20, said she plans to grab onto all opportunities available to her.
Growing up, Dazey has always had an eye for music. She started making music in high school after her school’s composer gave her a track and told her to write something to match. In two weeks, Dazey finished ‘Born on the EU’ and later in the semester; it was performed at their Christmas show. For Dazey, School has been the place to explore and discover new things.
At St Joseph’s Parish Day School, Dazey found her passion for acting. Her first lead role was Mary in her seventh-grade performance of the Bethlehem Project. Dazey said that plays are a great way to meet new people and allows her to be more creatively free.
This interview was condensed and edited for clarity.
Can you describe yourself in three words?
Resilient, tenacious and daring. Daring because, as of recently, I like to try new things, even if they are scary. I used to be just scared of things when I was a kid. Now, it’s a good scary. That kind that keeps you on the edge of your seat and gives you the adrenaline.
Motherf**ker with a Hat was your first play in six years; what was it like returning to the stage?
Last semester, I was supposed to be in a play. But back then, I was scared. So then I thought to myself, if I don’t do it now, I will always regret it. So I did because you never know what could happen.
Being on stage was like I had an out-of-body experience, and the world around me faded away. I knew the audience was there, but when I was performing, it was just my cast members on stage and me. It felt like there was nobody else. My character embodied me in a way rather than the other way around.
What do you like about acting the most?
I like to expand my mind to become not just different people but see things from different perspectives. I like being able to step outside my comfort zone and be somebody completely new on stage.
Do you have a favorite play?
It would have to be Wicked. I love musicals and untold stories about characters that don’t get talked about enough, especially the villain. You never know why the villain became who they are. And Wicked explains that in a different light.
Who are your musical influences?
Definitely Her, Ariana Grande and Bruno Mars. Her is a virtuoso. She plays a lot of instruments like the guitar, piano and bass. She also sings. Many people, like my dad, said I looked and sounded just like Her all the time because I also play the guitar. But I like her musical style and how she carries herself as an artist. You know, she’s very humble about what she does, and I respect that.
How would you describe your musical style?
As of recently, more empowering and more direct in a way. Because back when I first started out, I was very lazy with making my music. I just wanted to release music and be done. So I treated music like homework- rushed into it and released it without thinking too much.
I didn’t care back then because I was doing a lot. I was dancing, being at school and in the choir. But now that I’m at college, I’m more focused, more discipline and just listening, more being more patient. I realized I put in more time and effort because I really care about how it sounds.
You recently released an album called Redemption. Which song was the most difficult to make?
The revamped version of my song, Never Be the Same. I wrote the original version when I was in a very dark place. And this new version is a lot less toxic. There is less negativity, and it’s more straight to the point, truthful, raw, and authentic. I put my full genuine emotions into that. My message is that no matter how far gone you think you are, you will always have redemption at the end of the day. You can always have a comeback, no matter when.
What was it like making an album?
My first step was just opening my journal, where I wrote my songs and looked at my old music. Then, I started to read between the lines, find the stories in between, and see where I was and where I’m going. Some of these stories are of how I used to be more vulnerable.
In middle school, I struggled a lot with finding good friends, people who would respect me as an individual and people who didn’t want to use me. I made myself too available to people who were not there for me. So, I dug that hole myself and I had to get myself out of it by giving myself permission and taking the time to heal.
Looking back on the stories helped me to realize I was a more in-depth writer than I used to be from the words that I use and how I talk compared to how I rap. It is way different when you’re doing an album with a message and a meaning; you just put more thought into it. I realized I’m more intricate with my creativity.
It takes a lot of patience and a lot of time. This is not something that you can rush. It took me almost a year to write it and it was only five songs. I made storyboards in a way for the music because that’s how much I care about it and because I love symbolism. Storyboards help me connect with myself. It enabled me to remember when I was a kid, so I tried to become that kid at heart again. I always had an active imagination, so I let that roam free whenever I listened to the music, just like the track itself. And then the lyrics just came to me as I imagined the stories.
What would be the first step for a student who wants to make a song or an album?
Sit by yourself in a room and just listen to your inner thoughts. No matter how scary or negative or positive they are, listen to them because they will guide you to what’s important in your life that you want to express to the rest of the world your perspective on things. But the most significant step is to take your time. Don’t rush it because it’s your baby. At the end of the day, you have to nurture it and take care of it so it can grow into something you will be proud of.
What does the future look like for Tyler Dazey?
The next five or ten years? I want to expand my musical palette in different genres and work with some of my friends who are producers and create more raw and honest music that will empower people and make them feel something real. I’m thinking about country music because country music is not my thing, but it can be helpful to me in a way. I just have to wrap my mind around it.