Tyler Mensah is a rare talent – a teenager with a gift for penning soulful, instantly catchy tracks which weave their way into your being long after they’ve finished. At 15, he’s the youngest GIT Award nominee to date, yet Getintothis Stephanie Heneghan finds an artist happy to pen songs about bigger issues – as well as girls and having fun.
When describing the youngest ever GIT award nominee, the first word that springs to mind is precocious.
Because at the tender age of 15, Tyler Mensah is certainly that; displaying maturity and talent far beyond his years, the soulful musician is name making waves right across Merseyside music.
But lets start right at the beginning.
He first developed an interest in music as a toddler. A natural side effect of growing up in a household where Michael Jackson and Biggy were on rotation, and a musician father, Peter, who encouraged him to sing and develop his passion.
Starting on drums at aged seven, he soon switched to the guitar – the instrument he was to start writing songs on.
As his song-writing progressed, he teamed up with his father, who helped hone his skills, showing him production elements, and before long Tyler was in the driving seat, shaping his own tracks 100%. And it’s something he takes pride in; writing his own lyrics and music while refusing to be pigeonholed.
‘I think my sound is quite individual,’ Tyler tells us. ‘I’m kind of in an RnB bracket, with a bit of hip hop thrown in – but what I write about is quite advanced for my age.‘
‘I like to talk about what’s going in the world – as well as relationships and girls.‘
In his final year at school and with the added stress of his exams looming, he has a mature outlook on the balance between studying and recording.
‘I see music as a way to escape the stress of exams,‘ Tyler tells us. ‘Music and recording is my reward for studying.‘ And he’s taken the same pragmatic approach when thinking about his next move in, with a plan to take Biology, Chemistry, History and Music Performing
He adds: ‘The way I see it, music is a talent which I can develop in my own time but if I take these subjects at college I’ve got a fall back plan..’
But plan A is going swimmingly thus far. His growing army of fans have watched him perform a number of top draw showcases, while a high profile support slot alongside last year’s GIT Award success story, Esco Williams, at Liverpool’s O2 Academy earned him glowing reviews.
He’s also not slow on getting his music out there. Having released his first single earlier this year via iTunes, Let It Rain charted at number 32 in the RnB charts. And it’s his nous on the likes YouTube and various social media networks which has seen him build up a dedicated, and hugely loyal fan base. Nearly 13,000 Twitter followers isn’t something to sniff at.
But concentrating on the now. He’s delighted to be nominated for the 2013 GIT Award – and insists it was as much as a surprised as anything.
‘I think it’s crazy!‘ he gleefully exclaims. ‘This is my first year getting out there and gigging, I didn’t expect this to happen in my first year and I’m really excited to perform on the night too.’
That makes two of us. From small beginnings, Tyler Mensah is one to watch – and Getintothis is firmly in his corner.
Further Tyler Mensah reading on Getintothis
Getintothis reviews Tyler Mensah with Esco Williams, MiC Lowry and Janiece Myers at O2 Academy, Liverpool
MiC Lowry, Janiece Myers, Tyler Mensah: O2 Academy, Liverpool – picture gallery
Further GIT Award 2013 reading
GIT AWARD 2013 shortlist revealed ahead of April 19 Leaf showcase
The GIT Award 2013 the nominees: the shortlisted artists in detail
GIT Award 2013 at Leaf on Bold Street Friday April 19 with £1000 to winners.
For a full list of the GIT Award 2013 judges and their profiles read here.
The GIT Award 2013 returns championing the best of Merseyside music.