By Zoe Ekeh
Tytist Dean, a Cedarville grad student earning an MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, grew up in a family that produces music. His father owns a record label, 1 Way Entertainment, with 6 artists signed to it. Dean is one of those artists and part of a group known as “Sis N LiL Bro.” This musical duo consists of Dean and his sister, Celena Lena.
Dean is a studio engineer. “I kinda be behind the scenes, I never wanted to be an artist,” said Dean.
Mentioning his stage fright, being a rapper was not something Deannecessarily wanted.
20 years ago Dean’s father became a Christian rapper. This talent has been passed down to other family members, such as Dean’s older brother who started rapping at nine years old.
Celena Lena, Dean’s older sister, started rapping when she was 16 years old and Dean was her sound engineer, recording and producing her music in a studio. He wrote her lyrics for her as well.
Noticing the impact his sister had on their classmates at their high school, Dean thought about making his own music considering the fact that he had all the skills to write, record, and produce music. This was the beginning of his rap career.
Dean wants to make rap music that brings out a positive message without bad language and content with the lyrics. He wants his music to uplift people.
“I think this world is just so full of chaos and so much going on. Music nowadays is trending in a downward spiral, just as far as the negativity and the things that are being said. So, for me, not only to do Christian hip-hop but just to do hip-hop in general with a positive message, I feel like that can have a really big impact on my generation of listeners.”
Ethan Sellars, a freshman majoring in Special Education, is a teammate on Dean’s basketball team. Sellars has observed Dean using his musical talent in the locker room.
“When you’re around Tytist it’s hard to not observe his musical talents, whether that’s him making beats or doing a freestyle in the locker room, he’s always putting his musical talents on display,” said Sellars.
Meeting and interacting with Christian artists such as Lecrae and Andy Mineo has inspired Dean on his music journey.
“I’ve met with some of those people and interacted with them, and just seen kinda their growth over the years. So just seeing them grow and evolve their music has inspired me to do the same,” said Dean.
Instrumentals, melodies and Christ-influenced lyrics are what create Dean’s music. The message of his songs is authentic and heartfelt. He wants his music to impact people’s lives.
“With one of my newest releases, which is called ‘Wait A Minute,’ it’s just a whole message of telling people to really slow down. Wait a minute, think about what you’re gonna do, is it the right thing?” said Dean.
Dean’s music is versatile with music genres, including afrobeats and gospel music, but his music will always have a positive message.
Sellars believes that Dean is humble about his musical talent – he always credits God for success. Whether it is promoting his music or performing it, all the credit goes to God.
“After his time is done at Cedarville, I know without a doubt that his music career will take off. He has an original flow and style to his music, and when you pair that with his inspiring and faith-based lyrics, it is hard not to enjoy his music. I think the way he uses music to further God’s kingdom will set him apart and with the help of his new record label, Tribl, he will have a very successful music career,” said Sellars.
The future for Dean’s rap career consists of growth, recording music in his house studio, performing concerts and events and continuing to create music and influential messaging content on social media.
“If God leads me to be a huge artist that travels the world and does music and has big fans, so be it, I’ll take it. But really like I mentioned, I just wanna impact people. Whether it’s one person that loves a song and they’re really impacted, or if it’s a million,” Dean said.
Music available on Spotify & Apple Music
Social media is @sisn’lilbro on Instagram & Twitter
Zoe Ekeh is a junior Journalism major and writer for Cedars’ Arts and Entertainment section. An Ohio native born and raised in Dayton, Zoe has always loved music.
Image courtesy of Julia Mumford