EVENT Recap: Singersroom Presents - Tyrese (Acoustic Session)
On a warm Wednesday night in New York City, R&B singer Tyrese took to the stage to delight fans with his latest and greatest songs. Starting off discussing the longevity of his career—Tyrese first appeared in a 1990s Coca-Cola commercial — he described his new album, Open Invitation, as a “life change” for him. To be released in November, Open Invitation marks a step away from the hip-hop influence on Tyrese’s last album and back to his soul roots.
Complete with backup singers and a live band, Tyrese crooned the first single from his new disc, entitled “Stay.” The emotional ballad, whose video features Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, found Tyrese passionately clutching the microphone as he poured his heart out in song. Earlier, he described the meaning behind the song, noting that it was dedicated to his ex-girlfriend. Later, he adlibbed over the guitar-laced instrumental with quips like, “We were supposed to have triplets, baby!”
After performing “Stay,” Tyrese turned to his back catalogue for one of his biggest hits, “How You Gonna Act Like That.” The song was a smash hit in 2003, when it charted at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2003. Tyrese’s fans lip-synced every word as the singer and his band performed the heartfelt track. Next, he belted out another old hit, “Sweet Lady,” and serenaded one lucky female fan. Tyrese concluded his musical set by bringing out his protégé, Leon Timbo. With Timbo on the guitar, the two performed Timbo’s track, “The Other Side.”
Tyrese finished up the intimate evening by answering fans’ questions. After talking about what a “sweet lady” was and how hip-hop influenced his career, the singer discussed what Open Invitation meant to him. He described the process of making the album, which was his first on his own independent label. When crafting the disc, Tyrese flew in relatively unknown singers and songwriters to his home to make music. “We laughed, we prayed together,” he recalled. “I’ve never had more fun working on this album.” Since he was on an independent label, Tyrese didn’t have the resources for big names. However, he also wanted to find his own voice and direction. Quite a few of the album’s tracks, including “Stay,” were produced by newcomer Brandon Alexander. Still, Tyrese did call in some favors from the likes of David Banner and Lil’ Ronnie. “This time, I paid for my own album,” Tyrese said proudly. “It’s all about real music. It’s all about grass roots. It’s all about paying your dues.” As a result, Tyrese has crafted a masterpiece. “This is the best R&B album of my career and I can’t want to share it with you,” he told the cheering crowd.
By: Carly Silver