Quandel Johnson aka Tyrain
Columbia College Chicago, freshman
When did you start singing.
I was seven when I began singing in the youth childrens choir at my church back in my hometown Boston, MA. I’m 19 years old now and a freshman at Columbia College. I gained my vocal talents from my mom, Gisela Johnson, and my uncle, Estevan Johnson, both of whom were R & B singers for the group “Roscoe’s Club.” Singing has always been part of me because of my mom and uncle. This is my dream as much as it is theirs; they want me to do things they didn’t get a chance to do.
Most of your family lives on the East Coast. Describe how it felt knowing your mom, uncle and other family members were there during Hurricane Sandy.
The hardest part about that was being in Chicago when my family was on the East Coast and thinking what could actually happen. Everybody thinks hurricanes are in New Orleans; now it’s like, “Wow, we can actually get hit.” My uncle lives in Philadelphia. He lost power to his house for a few days because of the hurricane. St. Sebastian high school, where I graduated from, was shut down because of the hurricane.
When did you start rapping.
I started rapping in the 7th grade. I looked up to rappers Jay-Z, Nas and Tupac when I was growing up. I feel as though Jay-Z is the epitome of what a hip hop artist should carry himself as. He carries himself as a brand, that’s what I like about him. He can reach all different types of crowds.
What is your goal as an artist.
I want to change lives through my music. I want to be able to shift someone’s emotion, make them feel a certain way by listening to my music. For someone who feels like giving up, I’m encouraging them to get back on their feet.
Last words for your fans.
Fans can anticipate my first mixtape, “More than music,” to be released in February. Fans can follow me on Twitter at TyrainMusic, on Facebook at Tyrain and on my Youtube channel MrlightsCA. Also, fans can anticipate Tyrain music t-shirts to be available early next year.
Check out Tyrain’s latest visual