Virginia artist Tyler Donavan wears many hats in the industry. From emcee, producer and songwriter to singer, he shows us his many sides as an artist as he dips into different roles and avenues going on to display his range and versatility. With sounds all across the board, “from the high energy of trap and to the chill slowed down vibes of lo-fi,” Donavan doesn’t let genre hinder or stop him. He weaves in as many sounds and styles as he pleases, making music very much on his own terms. But the journey to where he is today has not been an entirely easy one. In 2018, he went through major spinal surgery. That didn’t stop him. The artist continues to show his resilience by consistently overcoming any obstacles that comes his way. By defying any kind of diversity, he shows us he is on his way to becoming a long-standing artist, unchallenged by contenders in his way.
Donavan’s history is one filled with music. His father sang and his mother was the lead vocalist for the USAF Airmen of Note. This led to Donavan’s mother singing with legends like Kirk Whalum, Chaka Khan and others. It was only natural then that Donavan would adopt his parent’s love for music, turning his passions into a career filled with artistry and talent.
Donavan’s debut breathe is an ode to his physical therapist’s words about the importance of proper breathing throughout the course of his recovery. The homage to breath plays across all the themes of his albums including his latest EP Inhale as well as surfacing on his highly anticipated full-length release of grasping4air to be released via his label 9th Nimbus.
On that note, Inhale gets going with “Assembly.” Donavan pares down with the stripped sounds of guitar riffs sounding off along with Donavan’s smooth vocals. Next, a riveting rap style course through. Donavan generously laps in the layers with evocative beats and rhythms. Throughout the track, he spits out verses freely with little provocation. The rhymes come readily seething through the headphones. Numerating on the guitar allows for a minimalistic sound on “Forecast” as gradually Donavan’s thoroughly executed vocals comes through. With fast-paced rhythms, Donavan throws himself into the verse. He rapidly raps, showcasing his sure-fire vibes.
Toward “Options,” mellow synths pave this song. Donavan half-sings, half-raps on this happening track. You can really feel the smooth R&B feels coming from the soulful vocals and music. The sounds really transported me to another place and time. With glitch-y electro beats and warbling synths, the vibe coming from the closer “Take The Lead” has a very sultry Latin appeal to it. Percussive beats go on to undulate on this song. The track has a simmering feel to that makes it very dance-worthy. I loved how laid-back the song sounded to my ears.
The newly released EP sees the artist wearing his heart on his sleeve as he raps with feeling and flair. His talents are utilized throughout the EP as he writes, performs, raps and sings all the songs on the album. With profound clarity, his rhymes flow freely from the mic though the speakers and to listener’s hearts, easily capturing our attentions with his smooth and suave style. Donavan shows he is the most at ease in front of the mic and that at his core, he is a performer. His stance, his candor and his undeniable style displays all the trimmings that make him an artist who is surely on the rise. He shows us through his journey that this is only the beginning for Donavan. Be sure you have a listen today!