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Ty McKinnie - Revisited
Bonus Episode4th January 2022 • In the Key of Q • Dan Hall
00:00:00 00:14:09

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Featuring new material made public for the first time, singer Ty McKinnie discusses his five favourite songs plus the one track that he'd chosen as a gateway song into his catalogue.

Series 2 of In the Key of Q will begin on 1 March 2022.

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Dan

Hello, it's Dan here. In the Key of Q is on hiatus until the first of March, but until those new episodes drop, here are clips from the patron exclusive feed, plus other treats from the main episode to keep you occupied.

This week we revisit Time McKinney. This is an exclusive episode for our patrons subscribers where I chat with all queer musicians about their five songs to save from Armageddon. Enjoy. Ty McKinney, it's good to have you back.

Ty

Hi, good to be back.

Dan

Now I'm afraid to report the bad news at the end of the world is coming. I know I'm afraid and you can only rescue five songs. So. Exclusively for our patron listeners. What would be your five songs to save from Armageddon number one?

Ty

Full Moon by Brandy? It was when I first heard it as like a pre-teen whatever child. I figure out what age I was when it came out, but when I heard it, it felt like I was being transported into another world into the groove of the song the her melodic stacking of like harmonies and ad libs is like as he opens up, like, Uh, this is where we go. It felt very like, Who is this? And I grew up listening to Brandy, so that was like the moment. Or, I guess, the project where her voice started to really change and matured from like the, you know, the childhood raspy ness that she had.

It was very like, Oh, wow, like this. This is wow, like your voice is different and is really good. Her tone, of course, is unmatched, and everybody who those Brady knows that. But it is. It's is a good time.

It just makes you want to just driving your car at night. And hopefully the moon is falling. You like her. So with the whole Armageddon, it's like the last time looking at the full moon and you're just like, Oh, it's going to drive into the inevitable.

Dan

There's nothing you can do about it. You might as well try to do.

Dan

And what would your next song be?

Ty

My next song would be Paper Hearts by Tori Kelly. And that song is literally the one song that even if, like, I'm not in a sad mood, like I'm very happy as fuck and I'm like, Oh, the day is amazing.

That song, if it comes on shuffle on my phone, I have to take a moment just to listen to it because it's so beautiful, like the finger picking that she does in the beginning and then the swell of strings arrangements that come in.

It's just like you feel like you like this lovely garden and the sun is setting and you're just like, Oh, I just have to be in here. Even though this is a very sad song, it's like, still, it's beautiful.

It's a it's a beautiful like piece of art. And I just love that song and I love her. She's one of the reasons why I play guitar to this day. So it's and it's also the stylistic so it like brings me to like, Oh, I remember that guy I did love.

It's like, I'll get. They're like, I'll get there. I just I'll be all right because he says in the bridge, just give it some time. I'll be all right. So with the army getting, you know, Hey, we're going to die, but I'll be all right.

Dan

I've really got this image of you listening to that on the subway thinking, Oh, I remember those happy days before my my cold heart froze.

Ty

You got the perfect picture of me on the subway with that like. And just like, you know, just acting like an actor looking out the window, looking in the city like, I remember we were walking down west us.

Dan

I was about to say, You'd be you were living your own music video, but you do actually live your own music video. So yes, you're one of the few people in the world who does.

Ty

I’m one of the few people in the world who does live in a music video and actually still makes music videos. But yeah, my life is a music video, basically.

Dan

And that's the way it's the way it should be. So what would your third song be?

Ty

My third song? Um, it would have to be Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Are there, but the. It's like if we're going to go out, we got to go out with a bang, we gotta go out with that, so we like that.

So is this a quintessential like? Pop anthem, like, is this.

Dan

And the production?

Ty

Yes, is it's beautiful, like it's still even though you can hear, like, you know, certain dated elements or whatever people like to say like, oh, sense and and all that. But like, it's still timeless. Like, you can still play it today and you're just like, Let's go. So that is definitely number three, and it just makes you happy.

Dan

There's an outstanding cover version of I Want to Dance With Somebody by Aidan James, who is a fantastic Philadelphia based queer singer. And it just. It rips your heart out, and partly because he doesn't change the gender, so hearing a man singing, you know, I need a man who'll take a chance.

And it's just, Oh, it's so lovely to hear.

Ty

Yes, it's like, Yes, thank you. I don't have to translate.

Dan

And then, of course, the other part of your head just goes, Just put Whitney on, just win the on. wWhen I listen to it now, knowing a little bit more than I do about mixing and things like that, I've realised quite how technically excellent it is because it just is such a busy song and how vogue I can't imagine as a as a mixer and as a record producer, how you weave into all of that a voice that's strong without it dominating everything else or with the other thing is not damaging the perception of the voice.

Ty

And that's why I'm mixing engineers and producers. They matter too.

Like, I mean, producers are definitely getting more love now than than in the past, but still mixing engineers, matching engineers, songwriters. They, though, the belly of the track, like the people who really make the record the record because you still need the song, the artist and the producer.

You know there are primary because they deliver, you know, they're the ones making the track and singing. But the people who write the song for you to sing and the people who make it really sound good, like making sure, like, you know, no sound competes with the other, making sure it's a nice, you know, made bed. That's why it's called the bed of the song. They know they need their props, too. So that's to that team who made that classic a classic.

Dan

Absolutely. Now, what would your next song.

Ty

My next song would be, it's another classic. It would be the Christmas song by Nat King Cole. Oh, it is my favourite Christmas song ever in this world, and I didn't even know that he was one of the first artists I ever listen to ever in my life, like the first song I remember hearing as a kid was love by Nat King Cole L-O-V-E. That was, and even though I was like, Oh, at first I thought it was a white guy when I was a teenager because I was like, I've known this on my entire life.

And then when I found out he was Black and who Nat King Cole and I was like, Oh, I love him. Like, I already loved him. Regardless of, I thought it was what an album like. I love him even more now because he's Black.

But that Christmas song, the Christmas song it's this brings you to a place where, you know, winter is here and it's like, yeah, the swelling again of the strings. I'm a sucker for strings. So when I hear a beautiful string arrangement, I'm just like, Oh yeah, I love it already.

It brings a lot of old childhood memories of Christmas and me and my dad. That was like one of the Christmas songs we loved, and he would sing it comically when he would play it on, on the stereos and on TVs and stuff like that. Like just like he would just be very comical with it. But he had always it's the chords are very warm and you know, they just make you feel like, Oh yeah, even though, like, you know, we're going to die. This might be the last Christmas we have. At least we have Nat to sing us off.

Dan

And what a voice he's got. I mean, his voice and his enunciation.

Ty

Why I bought some Nat King Cole records not too long ago. Some old school records, and I'm like, I can't wait to play them.

Dan

So the this the dark skies are approaching and your final hours are coming, and I believe you have one more.

Ty

This is actually pretty hard. But I knew I had to do this artist because they are a part of my. I would say. Upbringing, life, musical identity and in the shape of form. So it's the song is Love On Top by Beyonce.

And it was very hard to choose what Beyonce song, but that song is like me. If I could sing it the way she could, I would like do a proper cover of it and put it out because that song is just so like you want to sing, you want to hit all the notes and you sing it with your friends. Like when they first came out, like, I remember me, my my, my aunt, we would play in the car and we would just say, and she's a thing or two, so we would try to hit all the notes, and my aunt could really do it because she’s mezzo soprano. I'm over here with, you know, baritone tenor over here.

Dan

I want to be in that car. I want to be sitting in the back!

Ty

It was a riot, for sure. I would definitely say that it was a riot and that.

Dan

Normally, but normally when you get to see people singing in a car, it sounds like shit. But in the your car, you got two actual singers!

Ty

Amazing it was. It was fun like, but I definitely knew like, OK, this is what my range is peaking. I'm a tap out right here. You take it home, you take it home until you take it home.

So I was like, if I ever develop the range to able to, you know, do all the key changes because I've been working on it ever since it came out, I'm definitely going to nail it one day.

But if she asked me to do a tribute or someone asked me to do a tribute, I'm doing that song and I'm a fight like hell to make it work because that's just I love that song with my whole heart.

It's my favourite to be outside. So it was like, Yeah, that that would be the last one. Like, You know what, we're going to have, but we're going to go with a bang, and hopefully I have somebody that I love that I could sing it to.

Dan

That sounds like a brilliant exit, a great exit song. You know your final moments. You can just be thinking, Well, at least I'm listening to my favourite Beyonce track.

Could you suggest a good gateway song into your catalogue? A good song? It will be a seductive way of reeling people in.

Ty

Sure, sure. So I would have to say the song of choice to get you into the OK anywhere else would be Mutual. Mutual is my favourite song that I've put out to this day. I feel like that's changed me sonically. It was the first song that I ever put he pronouns into it, so I was really asserting my gayness and queerness into my music. And it's my most beloved song actually my fans really like. That's that song keeps kicking in. I love playing it. If this feels good, it's just it's such a good song. And, you know, I think you like it. So yeah, we chose that song.

Thank you so much for coming on In the Key of Q. It's been wonderful to have you.

Ty

Thank you for having me, Dan. This is so cool.

Dan

You've been listening to In the Key of Q. The opening theme is by Paul Leonidou at unstoppablemonsters.com. Check out the show notes for links, including a Spotify playlist to complement this episode. The podcasts home is that inthekeyofq.com and over on our Patron page, you can find exclusive content.

Many thanks to Kajann Kantha and Moray Laing. Please rate and subscribe the podcast and follow us on social media. This episode is produced by me Dan Hall for Pup Media Consultancy. See you next Quesday!