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WPGM Commentary: Tim Lyre Celebrates The Grind Of Being An Artist On ‘Highlife’

Hello, my name is Tim Lyre, I am a singer, songwriter and producer from Lagos, Nigeria. I have just released a new song called “Highlife” featuring Prettyboy D-O and Lady Donli and it serves as the second single off my upcoming debut album titled Worry < (pronounced as “worry less”). I’m here to talk about the process and what it all means to me.

Back in 2019, when I originally started making songs for the album, I used to just make different types of beats and put down different ideas, save them on my drives and then come back later to try to make sense of them. At the time, I also happened to be working with a bunch of other artists on different projects.

One of such artists happened to be Prettyboy D-O. We’d been working together for a long time already and during that period, he was working on the project which would become his Wildfire album and I used to record a lot of his sessions during that period.

In between these Wildfire sessions, we’d sometimes take breaks to try other ideas just for new energy and inspiration and I always felt like he was one of the more versatile artists I worked with and he was always willing to try new things and so during one session, he just wanted to try something different so I opened up this instrumental for “Highlife” which I had been working on earlier in the day.

Granted it wasn’t his regular speed but I was curious to see what we could come up with and within a few minutes he had this hook and the lyrics just kind of stuck for me, so we recorded that bit and saved the song and then we left it and went back to working on his album.

A few weeks later, I was going through my computer looking for ideas for my own project and then I came across the file again and the inspiration just came rushing to me as I really connected with the topic of the hook D-O recorded.

Being an artist is not the easiest job in the world, it’s definitely a grind and especially in Lagos, Nigeria where we’re from, a lot of the time it feels like it’s survival of the fittest so making a song like this about persevering and making it despite the odds came so naturally to us, the song for me represented this feeling of hopefulness and celebration and so I couldn’t get enough of it.

The instrumental itself has this heavy Highlife music influence which is one of the main genres of music I grew up on as a kid and so I just took elements of that and put my own spin on it to achieve the result you hear on the final record.

After recording my parts of the song, I still felt it was missing something and so I sat with it for a while and then I had an epiphany of sorts, I knew we needed a female perspective and it had to be someone I felt could connect to not just the topic of the song, but the style of music as well and Lady Donli was a no-brainer.

I sent her the song and within a few days, she sent her verse back and it was brilliant, she elevated the song even more than I expected. Once it all came together, I knew we had something special on our hands cause every time I played that song in any setting, it was always a mood lifting crowd pleaser and I’m glad the song is now out there for everyone to enjoy.

Listen to “Highlife” below and stream it everywhere else here.

Words by Tim Lyre // Follow him on Twitter + Instagram

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