A brand-new project, Side by Side, launched at the weekend with the aim of providing a platform and exposure for typically underrepresented communities within music.
The special compilation album has been curated by record label Come Play With Me (CPWM) and is entirely compiled of songs by women and LGBTQIA+ artists in the area. And amongst the artists involved is Manchester-based Tyron Webster.
A graduate from the Leeds College of Music, Tyron has already become an exciting name within the Manchester scene, with performances at Manchester Pride and a headline show at The Castle.
He’s set about using his music and experiences of the industry so far to show why it’s important for projects like Side By Side to exist.
“I wanted to get involved as a black queer artist as I really do understand that importance of representation,” he told Audio.
“CPWM have always been pioneers of a fair music game and they really do want to rep people so genuinely and not in a tokenistic way which is why I was so keen to get involved as they’ve always shown me love.
“Representation is so, so, so important. It’s good for the young musicians that are woman, people of marginalised gender or part of the LGBTQIA+ community that think the industry isn’t for them.”
Looking back at his own experiences, Tyron says underrepresented communities such as these are often overlooked and usually have to work that bit harder to be seen and heard. So much so, he’s found himself questioning his own place in the industry in the past because of who he is.
Not wanting others to go through the same, Tyron hopes the project will restore a sense of self-assurance for artists and prove to everyone that they have the right to be there just as much as the next.
Naturally, it’ll unlock opportunities and build a new level of confidence for them to express themselves and have their music heard by the masses.
With a multi-ethnic background, Tyron grew up with all kinds of musical influences. From a young age he was surrounded by all the wonderful Caribbean sounds with the reggae, calypso and ska that were played at family gatherings. Meanwhile, pop, rock and R&B were always at the forefront of his own music tastes.
But without being able to really pin down a moment that he knew music was the career for him, he recalls it just being a part of him for as long as he can remember.
“I used to watch Prince – Purple Rain movie on repeat all day, every day when I was little. Music has always been an escape for me, so I’d sing for family and in school shows,” said Tyron.
“Then I took it seriously from college where I studied it and then when I went to university to do music is where it really became a career. So, I can’t really recall a time where I thought this is it, I’ve always just done music.”
Regardless of his influences, Tyron’s own music is packed with soul and personal experience, making it pretty easy to connect with.
His track on the Side by Side compilation – ‘Love Ya, Pt. 2’ – is a sequel to ‘Love Ya Pt. 1’ that he wrote with his producer Chris Durkin earlier this year.
Themes of heartbreak, break ups and pain set the tone for both instalments. But overall, Tyron wants the message that ‘love is love’ to come across loud and clear. Because no matter what our sexual orientation, love is the same for us all. This is something absolutely everyone will have in common. So for inspiration, Tyron draws on that common ground to show we’re all human.
“The song is a self-love, self-discovery song,” he said.
“I felt at the time there was so much pressure to be in love and find your ‘soul mate’. I met a guy who on paper was great, amazing and perfect for me, but I knew I had work to do on myself for me to be able to let him in and to be able to genuinely love him.
“I know too many people that will just settle – especially in the gay community due to the pressure from society so I took inspiration from that. All of my songs are written on personal experiences. Part. I is more of an R&B production, while Part. II is a ‘sad boi’ violin stripped back moment to really bring the message and emotion of the song across.”
Elsewhere on the album there’s a healthy mix of genres, with all kinds of pop, R&B and hip-hop productions making up the 12-track collection. But also on there is Manchester-based The Elephant Trees, whose track ‘Day 42’ is an ode to the repetitiveness of lockdown and the mental health implications that come with it.
To add to the occasion, CPWM have made 500 vinyl copies of the compilation using repurposed wax from the pressing factory that would otherwise be binned. Not only does this make them more eco-friendly, but means each one is completely unique using different colours.
Side by Side is out now where you’ll find Tyron’s track ‘Love Ya, Pt. 2’ at track one. Check it out below and drop Tyron a follow here.
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away free music lessons
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away a host of free music lessons next month in a bid to inspire people to learn a new instrument, or pick up an old one.
The store is giving new and returning musicians a chance to receive a 10–15-minute free music taster session as part of its Music for All Learn to Play ’22 event.
Taking place across 8 and 9 October between 10am-5pm (8 October) and 1130am-30pm (9 October),short taster music lessons will allow all ages and abilities to have a musical experience that could turn into a lifetime of enjoyment, or even a new career.
Speaking on the free music lesson initiative, Emma from Forsyths said: “The past two years have shown how important music is to all our lives and how it can bring people together even in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We aim to help as many people as possible understand the unique joys and benefits of learning an instrument (or taking part in a choir).
“Anyone interested in learning to play an instrument or looking to pick it up again, should come and join us for this two-day celebration of music making.
“We’re delighted to be part of Music for All’s Learn to Play ’22 event, and we can’t wait to get started.”
OBE Jools Holland, Patron of Music for All, said: “Making music is very important to me. It’s my work, my pleasure, my friend, companion and therapist.
The charity Music for All believes passionately in the unique power of music to change lives and that is why it runs Learn to Play.
Music for All believes everyone should have equal access to music making.
The charity supports disadvantaged music makers by providing cash grants for tuition and instruments and by donating instruments directly.
INNSiDE North UK launch new intimate gig and event series — from inside a bedroom
INNSiDE North UK is launching an new series of intimate gigs hosted from a rather unorthodox location: inside a bedroom.
‘INNSiDE The Bedroom’ is the hotel chain’s first exclusive event series and will take place from within the confines of their hotel rooms located in Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle.
Hosted on select nights throughout the coming months, the series kicks off with a performance by Newcastle-based songwriter, Andrew Cushin, who has just come off a number of shows supporting the likes of Noel Gallagher and The Libertines.
Andrew will be taking over Gorilla on Whitworth Street for the second night of his upcoming UK tour and will be playing the first of these unique experiences at just before taking to the stage on 6 October.
Better still, 10 people will have the chance to get tickets to watch this intimate gig first-hand, complete with full lighting and sound systems, at the four-star INNSiDE Manchester on First Street. Oh yeah, and The Manc will be filming the whole thing.
Not only will the Geordie be entertaining fans in the afternoon with an acoustic set, but the show will be followed by a meet and greet, with welcome drinks will also be offered to guests on arrival. What more could you ask for from a concert inside a bedroom?
Scott Brown, Director of Sales for the UK North arm, said: “We’re so excited to welcome Andrew Cushin to INNSiDE Manchester to kick off this fantastic new series.
He said INNSiDE, operated by Spanish hotel group Meliá, is all about “creating special experiences for our guests, from hosting wellness days to filling our bedrooms with flourishing houseplants, and now touring musicians!”
He added that the team “can’t wait to see Andrew in action and look forward to announcing further acts across [their] hotels” and neither can we, to be honest.
First Street has seen more events than ever following HOME cinema, theatre and gallery’s inaugural Festival this year, with live music playing a key part of the outdoor vibes throughout this summer.
While INNSiDE regularly has live music and DJs in the Open Living Lounge and downstairs lobby areas, this will be the first time the hotel has hosted an event like this in one of its bedrooms. It’s like a throwback to those lockdown livestream loads of musicians did during quarantine only with people in the room!
The ‘INNSiDE The Bedroom’ series is designed to stay in keeping with INNSiDE by Meliá’s philosophy, ‘Stay Curious’, which promises to accommodate guests’ every need with considered comforts and inspiring experiences enriched with music, art and wellness.
As mentioned, the 10 lucky music fans will be able to win the chance to attend the exclusive gig at INNSiDE Manchester via a competition on Instagram, which will also include tickets to the Gorilla gig with Andrew Cushin later that evening, so keep an eye out!