As we tighten the strings on our hoodies and pull out our beanies this chilly season, we warm up with songs that burn with energy, freedom and connection. Especially songs like “Tie Dye” by singer-songwriter evrYwhr, which, according to him is a love letter to our City of Angels. Its accompanying video was released this past October, showcasing South Central LA’s iconic streets, those majestic rows upon rows of palm trees paired with an urban savor familiar only to the real ones who’ve known and found love there.
It’s safe to say evrYwhr has found love in LA; from Inglewood to North Hollywood, Brentwood to Koreatown, he’s called many communities in this expansive city home. Having been welcomed with open arms, he responds with pure love in his “Tie Dye” video that pays homage to LA – love of God, love of self, love of family and community. One can’t help but smile and sway to the loose, richly textured melodies of a song so abundant with positivity, its eclectic blend of R&B and pop encouraging listeners to just BE – free-flowing like the colors of tie dye pattern.
In the interview below, we get to know evrYwhr a little more and how he arrived at the conscious decision to always emanate positivity, important beverages he needs in the studio, and how Instagram led him to a UK-based illustrator whose sunny, psychedelic work adds the finishing touch to the masterpiece hit that is “Tie Dye.”
Hey evrYwhr! Please tell us how the reaction so far has been to “Tie Dye.”
So “Tie Dye” has been extremely special. It’s in similar ways to my previous releases, like with “Positive Vibes,” it’s been resonating with a lot of people who use it in their morning yoga routines, and they use it in their cooking, and they do dance classes and different things, but “Tie Dye” is hitting even harder than that.
I’m getting a lot more people letting me know they were down in depressed and saddened places, having things going on in their life where they’re having a separation of being able to see themselves as they are, sometimes you get in those low moments, but the song has been able to lift them up. I had somebody reach out to me that this song may have just saved their life. I don’t take that lightly. I don’t take that lightly at all.
What do you think it is about “Tie Dye” that’s making it have this kind of connection with people?
It’s the energy, it’s the energy of it. It’s the colorful palette of production that my brother [and producer] Blair Taylor used, it’s the vibrant visuals that teaming up with [filmmaker] Brilliant Garcia has done. It’s the flow, it’s the presence. It’s that falsetto chorus where it just opens up and you feel a refreshed nature. It’s a feeling!
Our music carries energy. Our music has the ability to make us wanna fight, our music has the ability to make us wanna praise, our music has the ability to make us wanna make love, our music has the ability to give us freedom. And when that chorus opens up and you just hear, “Tiee Dyyeee,” you just feel liberated. It’s a feeling of liberation, something beyond what words can even express.
You were recently featured in Rolling Stone, congrats! How does it feel?
I feel honored. I feel honored to be able to give, first and foremost. I definitely look at Rolling Stone as a pinnacle achievement, so many greats have been acknowledged in this space. I just take a look at my ability to touch lives and to be able to connect, that means it’s connecting with somebody. This whole music thing is about connection for me, you know, I get an opportunity to connect with my peers, my tribe gang, with people who are feeling down, people who are feeling up. I’m just in a space of being able to connect at a higher level now, and I’m just really grateful for every opportunity that I have.
Take us back to the recording studio, what are three things you absolutely need to have a good session?
Freedom. I have to have freedom. Part of being an artist is checking your insecurities, checking your voice, being able to tap into your own freedom. Some call it the throat chakra, and I needed to be able to be free. Because there are times where I’m not right within or I need to check the presence of different people who are in the room.
Anybody who’s in the room has to have either neutral energy or positive energy, or some type of energy that’s feeding the space, because it’s a sacred space. It’s a sacred space of creation, and if there’s any blockages of insecurity or limitation and judgement, you know, beyond something that’s meant to build, then that can’t exist.
And I take accountability for my own freedom in creative space, so if I do recognize something is off I need to shift it. When I was recording “Tie Dye,” and I’m allowing it to come to me and I allow it to flow through me, you know, as God channels through, I just knew that it was something special because I was tapping into my freedom.
Another thing I need for there to be a good session … I think I had tea that day. You know tea always adds to the energy. I might have had an oolong, I think milk oolong was my drink of choice.
I’ve got a cup of tea right here with me right now [laughing]
That’s what I’m talkin’ about! What are you sipping?
Thai tea. Beautiful, beautiful. Yes, I have a cabinet as I’m looking into the kitchen, filled with teas, different teas that I’ve sourced from different places whenever I travel. But milk oolong was definitely the tea of choice. So we got freedom, we have tea, and you know what, I feel like God has to be in the room.
That’s a real situation for me, my relationship with God has grown and evolved, and I think it’s still growing and evolving. But there is so much intention on my music that I feel like God has a hand in in so many things, and so in that space, God was in the room. Because for people to get in contact with me and say that this song is helping them through hard times, there’s just love in this song, and I see God as love. Love was in the room. God was in the room.
Your music is really refreshing to listen to. Like, super high vibrations. Have you always been a positive person? Or was there a life moment where you had to make a conscious decision to be positive?
I’m so glad you asked this question. As an artist, I dive into the makings of me. As we dive into ourselves and how we arrived at whoever we’ve become today, there’s so much that goes into our community, there’s that nature and nurture. I was raised in love, from parents who loved deeply, and I was given so many opportunities to have love. And I was raised with God.
And I learned at an early age a lot of things about joy, what joy is, and as I started to grow up I recognized that certain things that I was being, I had to address a people-pleasing mentality from childhood that I developed. I wanted to check, am I being the most genuine I can be in my joy, am I really being joyful or am I faking happy at certain times?
Sometimes things would happen to me in my life, I’ve had things occur in my life where I’ve had to bounce back – and I kinda wanna converse through this a little bit too so if you could work with me so I can give you a little perspective and maybe we find that answer – things have happened to me where I’ve needed to decide: am I going to move forward, or am I going to allow this to bring me down.
Sure. When you say there were moments where you had to bounce back, were one of those moments a turning point for you? And if you feel comfortable, would you mind sharing that with us?
I’m gonna be authentic here. One of the things that I was having a hard time with was when I had to leave the relationship with my son’s mother. And I had promised myself, my parents being married for 48 years, and I see love, and I see how they raised me, and I see how I wanted to be there for my son, and now, it’s not one family.
Now, you’re having to learn co-parenting, and in the process of learning co-parenting I was having a financial struggle that left me in a space that was low. It was low. And I had to bounce back from that all while spending time with my son, teaching my son, loving my son, while I’m still trying to love myself, because I feel like I failed and let my son down, and I feel like I let myself down. I had set a high standard, but sometimes things aren’t meant to work. Do you understand that?
I’m falling in love with the journey, because the journey is everything
I’m also a co-parent, and I can very much relate to what you’re saying, especially the failure part. I was married, and when we split up, the number one feeling I remember having was that I had failed. It’s taken me some time to understand that I’m not a failure and what you were saying, to feel comfortable with yourself and love yourself through this process, is real.
It’s been hard to express this situation, but it is a fact that it hit me, and that was indeed one of, if not the lowest spaces that I’ve felt. And I really had to bounce back, because in the process of me figuring it out, working multiple jobs before this music started going.
At one point in time, I was sleeping in my car among other things, and you know, I would make sure that I would go and spend time with my son and try and make sure I’m pulling myself together and trying to go to psychologists and having horrible experiences with psychologists. I even had a situation where I went to a psychologist and the way that I was treated, I didn’t know that you almost had to, like, you had to date therapists to find somebody [laughing].
Man, I was really going in for help and clarity because I’m looking to rehabilitate who I am, discover myself. You know, one of the things about “Tie Dye” is being able to embrace your entire self and you know, in me taking accountability for my own growth, there were areas I needed to embrace within myself, there were areas I needed to let go of, there were things that I needed to grow into in order to be the best man for myself and for my son, for my family and my family to come, you know. Because it’s not over, but you also still gotta get over the hump of holding on to what was, you know what I mean? And yeah. Yeah. You know, the letting go!
I really appreciate you going deep with me, it’s very vulnerable of you to share what you did and that vulnerability really shows through in your music. It’s probably why people are connecting to it so much when there’s so much authenticity behind it.
Tatum, I really appreciate the space. If I’m not able to contribute areas I’m healing, even though it’s tougher in certain areas, if I can’t contribute areas where I’m healing, and if I do, maybe it’ll help somebody else to find healing in their space. One thing I’m focused on now as I’m climbing with my music and more and more people are finding out, I mentioned earlier, I like to keep God in the middle of this. And God is so many different things, and if you follow me with Freedom Lovetribe Gang, my community, it’s a community rooted in love, we are creations of the Creator, creatives to create, that is my belief, and we are a community rooted in acceptance of difference.
You seem to be involved in a lot of different passion projects. Is there something you haven’t tried yet that you’ve been meaning to?
Something that I’m trying right now is dedicating my life to ritual. I’m dedicating my life to shifting habits. And the one thing that I recognize is that it’s easy for me to jump from one thing to the next because I’m a curious being, but I’ll tell you, finding the things that are important to me and being able to dive deep within them, it’s almost like, as we dive into relationships, right, we can go from one relationship to the next, to the next, or, we can find different layers of beauty within one relationship.
So I’m looking at the layers of the relationships that I have with my rituals, with creation of art, with reading. I’m learning to fall in love with the journey between the pages, between the beginning and end, because that’s what life is, falling in love with the journey. We try to get to the end of things, I try to get to the end of the book: oh man I’ve read this book! Alright now let me read the next book! Because I’m accomplishment-oriented, I’m goal-oriented, and I wanna get to the end of something to say that I finished it. I graduated! I did this! You asked me what am I doing now that I haven’t done before: I’m falling in love with the journey, because the journey is everything.
That’s beautiful. I also wanted to talk about the album artwork. Can you shout out the artist and tell us about that collaboration?
Yes! Murugiah is a London-based artist. He is incredible. Upon seeing his work I said, “You.” “You, you, you are the one.” Each of his pieces is a journey. He’s an extraordinary listener, and we had a great conversation, and he turned it into something absolutely beautiful that you see. You find contemplation within the journey, you find bloom within the journey, you find all of these different hues that are the representation of art, so many aspects of uniqueness.
Our music has the ability to make us wanna make love, our music has the ability to give us freedom
So you didn’t know him at all? You just saw his work in a magazine or on someone’s wall?
Instagram! I knew that the psychedelic genre would carry the colors of what was necessary, and there was a space, and I started looking through different artists. And if you look at this man’s page, my God, the colors, his style, his personal style, I loved it, I love it! I just get excited about him as a human, and so when I wanna work with somebody I wanna be a fan of this human. I just loved how he chooses to express himself. I’m a true fan, and that’s why it just all made sense.
And keeping an eye on your musical journey makes a lot of sense to us, thanks so much for your time evrYwhr – Hype