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Ty Causey: Soulful "Expressions"
By Sean Smith
Fort Wayne Reader
It's no secret that Ty Causey is an extremely talented singer-songwriter. His blend of smooth R&B and jazz has already netted him three critically praised albums. All of them the result of a fairly busy recording schedule these past few years. After releasing his debut album, N-Tysing, in 2004, he has released an album every year since — Love Notes, in 2005 and N'-Tysing: Rekindled, in 2006. This year is his most prolific yet, as he recently released two albums and hopes to release a third, Spiritual Dialogue, by the end of this year.
Causey's most recent international release, Expressions, will be celebrated with a release party on August 12th at Lost beginning at 6:30 p.m. On the 20th, Causey will be in New York where he will be the guest of honor at a listening party to commemorate the album's release.
The album was recorded over the course of a year and a half and in the process of creating it he found himself with enough songs to concoct an entirely separate album, “Body Language,” which he released a few months ago. "People were asking me for new music," offers Causey, "So, I just put that one together and made it available to people. The two albums are totally different. I worked on ‘Body Language’ over a period of a year."
It was during that year of constructing songs that Causey and his business partner Bert Caldwell, who resides in New York and does all of Causey's marketing and promotion, discussed the overall tone and scope of the songs that were being created for the album. "When I was working on the Expressions CD, I had to stop the music I was doing
for the Body Language CD because my partner and I kind of had the boxing gloves on. He said, 'I think these songs are good, but I think you can come up with a better CD than this,'" reveals Causey, "So, we kind of went around and around about it and it lasted maybe a year and a half before I came up with one CD."
Expressions will be his fifth album and the third overall to be released through Ty-Von and I Spy Soul Music, a joint label created by Causey and Caldwell.
Fans will be glad to know that he has not tinkered with his trademark sound; if anything, he has fine tuned it for Expressions. "Everyone has their signature CD. Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life. Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. We call those signature CDs. If you put out a million CDs, people will still remember that CD. That's kind of the goal that I was going for with this one," points out Causey, "The music that I did on this one is still my jazz/R&B format. It's jazzy, but it's a soul album. I would say, to me, it's some of my best work. Definitely."
Causey admits that although he may not have had 'formal' training to create music, his years in the studio and performing have given him enough experience to know what he wants to get across while recording his music. "Basically, what I do is, I create my own music. I produce my own music. I'm in the studio for a good year or so. I'm constantly writing songs throughout the year," shares Causey, "I may go back and listen to something I did a year ago and say 'That was a good idea' and really put it together. My experience has really gotten better, as far as producing. I'm not a trained musician at all. I just play by ear and what I can hear. When I come up with the music, I play what I feel and the same goes for writing the music, I sing what I feel. I start the music out as a feeler. If I'm feeling the music, then I'll come up the lyrics and the arrangement to the vocals to let those two communicate."
There's has no shortage of inspiration when it comes to Causey's craft and he is quick to point out that it is a spiritual source. "I come from gospel roots and gospel has been my inspiration. God has been my inspiration because he's the Creator. I inherited that from Him. There's something about music that never gets old for me, especially when I create my own," admits Causey, "I can say what I want to say and feel I need to say and sometimes for people that are not in a position to say, through music. It never gets old. I love it so much and the creative process of it is just so overwhelming, because you
wake up in the morning and you feel you need to express something. Some people keep it built up inside and it can turn on them and turn into bitterness. When you are creating music … I really can't explain it. I'm speechless when it comes to creating music. I've always loved music ever since I can remember. I draw inspiration from people like Berry Gordy, who started a sound in Detroit. The Motown sound. I've watched how they went from point A to point B and how they made history right down the street from us. All over the world, the impact they've had on people. That's an inspiration for me. To strive for that. Whether I reach that goal or not, I hope I will get pretty close."
So far, so good. Causey has had his fair share of success along the way, even if it hasn't made headlines here in his hometown. He has been featured in magazines overseas, particularly in Japan and the United Kingdom, and has also had his albums and songs listed as some of the year's best by radio stations and websites. Causey says he has spent the past few years establishing himself as a recording artist and now it is time for him to, literally, take his show on the road and begin performing across the nation. "It's been a good five years of drawing up a plan and doing my homework. If you're not careful, you can get lost in the shuffle. If I just stopped with the second CD, no one would know who I am and we wouldn't be having this conversation," concedes Causey, "I have to keep recording, so I'm writing all the time. I'm up and writing while everyone's asleep. It's around the clock for me."
Causey can also be seen performing at the Blu Tomato every Friday and at Lost every Sunday. His albums are available at Borders, Wooden Nickel, iTunes, CDBaby.com and at his live shows.