Unapologetic bars, inescapable flair, and a scorching flow all help Tyleen establish herself as a powerful, outspoken, and bold force for hip-hop. The Canadian rapper and multi-talented creative is a show stopper everywhere she goes.
Being of Barbadian descent, Tyleen began her musical education at the young age of three with dance training in ballet, jazz, hip hop, and tap classes as well. When she was in fourth grade, she began composing poetry and gospel music—a distant departure from her current sound. After her mother tragically passed away, she found solace in music as a way to express her deepest feelings. The rising rap star takes cues from artists from the 90s and unabashedly exposes honest tales of an unconventional lifestyle with a beautiful nonchalance flow.
Earlier this year, Tyleen debuted her sophomore EP aptly titled Maje$tic. Comprised of six surefire records, the project is joined by pre-release records “223 Freestyle” and “Don’t Text,” both of which arrived alongside accompanying visualizers. Pulling inspiration from Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani’s “Reclining Nude” series, the cover art depicts her adding a modern touch of romanticism and elegance to it. Meanwhile, songs like the Pahpay-assisted “U & I” serve as standout cuts that place Tyleen’s talent on display.
Though music serves as the musician’s primary vehicle of expression, beauty and self-care are equally as important. For our latest interview, we chat with Tyleen about her perspective on makeup and beauty, how it empowers her as an artist, products she can’t live without, and more. Continue scrolling to read our conversation.
What was your definition of beauty growing up and how has it changed as you’ve gotten older?
Honestly, my mom used to tell me all the time that it hurts to be beautiful. I would always cry when I have to get my hair done or if it was taking so long. I also feel like beauty is unique to everybody, you know what I’m saying? We all have different perspectives on what we define as beauty. So I don’t really think there’s a one-way answer for what beauty means.
I think just over the years of me growing up, I’ve learned to love myself more and my body. I’ve learned to feel comfortable in my body. I was kind of a tomboy in the beginning so now I like doing my thing, whether it’s me wearing baggy pants or a short skirt, you know. As long as I feel comfortable in it, I’m good.
Given how large of a role image plays for musicians, did becoming an artist magnify the importance of beauty for you?
I think one of the most important things for artists is to feel comfortable in what they’re doing. You have to feel comfortable in your skin because it shows on the outside. People who like know you can see it. So if I like it, I’ma rock it. If you don’t like it, I’m still going to rock it.
What’s the first thing that you do in the morning, beauty-wise?
The first thing I do in the morning beauty-wise… Other than hygiene, I do my hair before my makeup. I do it all the time just because I like to do fun little baby hairs. It’s easier for me if I do my hair first sometimes because if I slay it then I don’t really even need to do all that makeup.
How often do you do your own makeup? Do you have a routine?
I’m really loyal to my brands. I’ve been using MAC since I was in high school. Skincare-wise, my favorite thing right now is the Aveeno Daily Scrub. That one is the bomb. I always try to keep using the same products because my skin is sensitive. I don’t like to test things so I’m not gonna go into the mall and buy something totally different from what I get. I don’t think I have too much of a crazy skincare routine, honestly.
In regard to creating new songs or even this latest project, where do the worlds of beauty and music collide, whether it be the cover art or your performances?
I think it goes hand in hand because the first thing people notice is how you look, right? It doesn’t matter what you sound like. You can sound amazing, but they might get distracted by how you look, you know? I feel like that’s why a lot of artists who are really good but not comfortable with how they look stay behind the camera. Either that or they don’t really show face. It really goes hand in hand. Like, I’m comfortable with how I look. I like to look good and sound good. So it has to match.
Talk to me about the EP, Maje$tic, what inspired this body of work and how did you conceptualize it?
The inspiration behind Maje$tic is everything I do and everything that I have experienced up until this point. So I was just super excited to get this project out. I’ve been pushing to drop a project because I had to handle some stuff with switching my label and everything. So I was just super excited to get this project out there and give them that majestic vibe. I feel like this is my most personal project yet and I wanted to show them a different style and experiment with my sound more than I did on Fanta$y my first EP.
How about the look for the cover art—what’s going on in terms of your makeup, hair, and outfit?
I wanted to look like a goddess! That day I did my own hair and makeup and used Nuxe Paris “Huile Prodigieuse Or” to make my skin shine. We were actually shooting the visualizer for “223 Freestyle” and in between scenes, Koku , took some still shots for the cover arts. We wanted the Maje$tic cover to show the evolution from the universe we had created for Fanta$y. We felt like that photo had a majestic vibe to it and was a good representation of the Tyleen brand from this point forward.
When it comes to hair care, how do you take care of your strands, and how often do you lean toward protective styles?
Honestly, my hair journey has been interesting. When I was in high school, I definitely was doing all the colors. It was still my natural hair; I never really explored doing extensions and stuff like that. I was doing the red hair for a while. I had blonde for a long time and then I just decided the last time I went blonde that I was not going to dye my hair anymore. I’m just going to let it be natural.
I do the natural protective styles. So once in a while if I’m doing a video shoot or if I have an event, I’ll do like a weave. I get some inches, you know what I’m saying? If I’m just doing a regular day where I just want to look good, I’ll probably just put my hair up in a ponytail. I like doing my ponytail. Sometimes I’ll do pigtails or low ponytails. It’s super easy for me to do and it costs me nothing to do it because I already have everything.
I also love doing braids. I like doing long braids to the point where my braider will be there for days. I just like to switch it up a little bit. I get bored if I have the same hairstyle for too long. I’m always trying to stay on it and keep myself well-maintained.
Another thing that really catches my eye is your tattoos. Can you tell us about them and what they mean to you?
Yeah, so I have my mom’s name and a Libra sign. I got a lock and key tattoo with my friends. My grandma’s name is on my shoulder. I have an anchor on my ribcage. I have “stay dangerous” on my ankle. When I was 13 or 14, I got my first tattoo at one of those tattoo houses with four or five of my friends. We all got tattoos and I had written my middle name, Starr, on my hip. Oh, I also have “sacrifice” in Japanese and I got it checked!
Do you have any go-to skincare or makeup products that you can’t live without?
I don’t do strip lashes that much anymore because I do lash extensions. Honestly, I think it would be lip gloss and my eyeliner. I don’t remember the name of it, but it’s Revlon or Maybelline. It’s one of those but I use it to do my beauty marks. It has a little special applicator that’s circled and it makes applying the dots easier.
Going back to the conversation of beauty, what are some of the things that you do outside of beauty products to take care of your skin and body?
I drink a lot of water and I try not to stress myself. Honestly, I don’t have really bad breakouts and I never really had acne growing up. When I stress, I’ll get a stress pimple or something. So I just try to stay away from stressing and drink a lot of water. Also, I absolutely do not touch my face unless I wash my hands.
Do you believe in wellness rituals like meditating, journaling, or spa days?
Yes, I definitely do. I mean, I believe in it more than I do it but I definitely believe in it. It’s so important to self-care and take a day off to just get your mind right. I like to overthink everything so I just need to have peace of mind sometimes and focus on myself some days.
As both an artist and individual, what are you looking forward to next with this project in the rearview?
Overall, I’m just trying to stay consistent with everything. Right now, we’re still promoting Maje$tic. We have some merch that we’re working on. The Big Ty t-shirts did really well so we’re just working to put out more merch. I’m excited about the upcoming collaborations I’m working on with artists from my city.
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