When you hear someone refer to New York hip-hop, you probably immediately think of the Big Apple. Upstate New York would probably never cross your mind. However, in the city of Rochester, there are many young artists bringing their unique talents to the table. Tyler Mitchell a.k.a. svveet t is one of these individuals. With hazy production and some hypnotizing, oddball lyrics, T developed his own sound and style to bring to the table. Luckily, I got a chance to interview T back in April before he left for Australia at a going away party he held at his apartment in the city. We chopped it up about his hip-hop origins and his group, NEW MTN. His tape unmixed unmastered was recently released this month (link below), along with music videos for the songs “not dim” and “what’s the dealy”.
Jake: How did you get your connection in Australia?
Tyler Mitchell: I had a real good friend named Joe, who’s a guitarist from Rochester…his roommate met a guy named Matt from Australia at the mall and told he should come over for drinks. My friend told me I should meet this guy Matt from Australia…turns out he was dorming down the street from me in Brockport so I told him “Oh we should chill sometime” and all that. I’m from Brockport, it’s a small town but I go to MCC (Monroe Community College)…Matt was an international student at Brockport so we started hanging out more and after that….it kinda went from there.
Jake: When did you first decide to start writing?
T: I started writing when I was about 17 in English. My teacher was trying to get us to read Romeo and Juliet and I wasn’t really down with it….I was just listening to rap music in my headphones through my sleeve so she wouldn’t know. I started writing bars kind of on the same line…like jokingly. I took a break from (listening to) rap music from like 10 years old to 16 years old, I really listened to metal and hardcore for about 6 years…..cause I feel like rap kinda broke off for a period of time in the 2000s.
Jake: Who are your influences when it comes to writing?
T: I feel like Kendrick (Lamar) was a great start-off to my influence of listening to rap music. My Australian friend was mad into Kendrick when he came to America, and I didn’t really even know about him…and we would just listen to his songs when were like pre-gaming and getting ready to go out. Other than that I listen to a lot of indie music and experimental music, world music…I’m a drummer so I kinda come with that drummer ear….I really listen to the bass/beat of a lot of songs.
Jake: Tell me about NEW MTN.
T: I was in a hardcore band for about 5 years and we had to change our name from Ethos to something else because another band named Ethos was trying to sue us back in 2013. I kinda thought of the name NEW MTN because we had about fifteen ideas written for songs but we didn’t know what to do with them…we had so many ideas and I just felt like we had so much potential that it was almost like we were creating something new that wasn’t there. I knew that me and my friends had a potential to create something that wasn’t there for us at the moment…so I kinda thought of NEW MTN as it’s almost impossible for a mountain to spread out other than volcanic eruption…it can happen by surprise at anytime at any given moment….I felt like it was a name that pushed us.
Jake: What kind of sound do you guys go for?
T: When NEW MTN started as a hardcore band…Under Oath was breaking up as we were just sprouting out…Under Oath was one of my main influences and we felt like Under Oath was dying out and we wanted to bring that (back). And then after that it just didn’t work out for us as a band. A few of the members in the band starting helping make hip-hop beats because we couldn’t get together often to practice as a band, so they kinda started helping me make hip hop beats cause I was starting to get on that…we made a few demo songs…that’s why we carried over to the hip-hop scene…the memories of NEW MTN kinda helped push me to keep making beats.
Jake: What is your writing process like?
T: My writing process kinda goes based off what I’m influenced by at the moment. It kinda goes by flows more than the words I think of, the words I think of come from my daily life…thinking about people who struggle from drugs around me, people who I’ve kinda seen fall off…it kinda comes from more of a dark place. But the flows come from the rest of the music I listen to that’s not rap…like I said it comes from a drummer state of mind. Writing is definitely a picking process, you’ll write something down but then you’ll think of different words…more elaborate words that make the meaning of the song more powerful.
Jake: What are your goals moving down to Australia with NEW MTN?
T: My goal currently is to make money, I’m studying culinary arts so I plan on getting into a restaurant to acquire money. On top of that my main goal is to become more influenced by music…I feel like I’ll get the music experience in Australia so I plan on working on a lot more music with my friends there…I feel like I’ll be more inspired there than in America.
Jake: Do you have any projects/future material that you wanna talk about?
T: The first (song) I released was with my friend Matt, the Australian, his rap name is Summit. We put out this song called “New York Trash”. It came to mind when we went to NYC together and just seeing all the trash on the street…we were kinda just hanging out drunk just looking at the people picking up the trash at 3 or 4 AM. He kinda saw how much we produce and don’t take care of.
On projects, we have about six songs in the works right now, we had access to a nice studio and we recorded about five or six songs and they’re all being worked on right now. Other than that I’m working on my own project…I have some beats, I have about an 8 song tape coming out next month or so…I have a couple beats that I made when I was 17…so I’ve been sitting on them for awhile, but I finally feel good about em. I also made some clips of me and my friends skating around NYC (for music videos).
You can listen to svveet t’s new tape below