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Don’t Sleep: Ty’Ahna Maray Speaks On Balancing Music & Education, DTLR HBCU Tour + More

Don’t Sleep: Ty’Ahna Maray Speaks On Balancing Music & Education, DTLR HBCU Tour + More

Ty’Ahna Maray is specifically her. The Chicago native has her own clothing line, and typically follows her own rules as a black female within the music industry. Originally from Chicago, the 21– year old R&B artist started out rapping but quickly realized singing is her niche.  At 16 years old and just entering her junior year, Maray’s music career propelled forward after she secured a spot-on tour with Diggy Simmons. 

Ty’Ahna joined me on a video call, diving beneath the surface of career,  shedding light on her personal values, challenges, and achievements.

Check out our conversation below.

Balancing Music & Education

Like many great accomplishments, Ty’Ahna’s music career came with a cost—her education. “He (Diggy Simmons) wasn’t in school, so the tour was based around his schedule,” she told us. Most Fridays Ty’Ahna missed school due to traveling. Ultimately creating tensions between her singing career and educational journey—one of which she still faces today.  

Currently she attends Howard University, in Washington D.C., maintaining a 3.8 GPA.  Studying political science, Ty’Ahna remains persistent through her collegiate journey while remaining very aware of the life altering possibilities that comes with being an artist. 

“I do want my degree, but I have the mindset that school will always be there, but chase your dreams”. When it’s your now, take advantage of your now.”

Ty’Ahna Maray

Taking Advantage Of Opportunities, Ty’Ahna Speaks On DTLR HBCU Tour 

Most recently, the aforementioned “now” presented itself. In October, Ty’Ahna performed in part of DTLR’s HBCU Tour. The only singer amongst a plethora of rappers, she embraced her disassociation, receiving a great response to her performance. “Every audience and every show received me very well”, she says. I was the only singer, and it just switched the vibe during the show.” 

The tour visited multiple (HBCU) Historically Black College & University campuses. Such as Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T, and Maray’s homeschool Tennessee State University.  Despite attending for only one year, her presence held a lasting impact, having been elected freshman queen and becoming the spearhead for many campus activities.

“It was so heartwarming.” Maray smiled. “I can’t believe I made this much of an impact and the President, and the Dean are watching me perform.”

Ty’Ahna Maray

Aside from the perks and spotlight that come with touring, Ty’Ahna likes to step back and observe other artists, learning from their sets and finding ways to improve. Challenges she currently face include crowd engagement and adjusting when audiences may not know her music. “Sometimes I have to walk them through what a song is saying, ” she noted. “I have to continue to keep them engaged throughout the entire set.”

Unaplogetically Dope Clothing

Much of Maray’s 2021 has been dedicated to strategizing. Now that she is receiving major label attention—soon to be announced —she is aiming to finish each quarter just as strong as she starts. 

Before December ends, she plans to release a handful of songs including her new single “White Toes”, initially premiering the track while on DTLR’s HBCU tour.

Just as much as she is laying down tracks, Ty’Ahna is laying down stitches for her clothing brand Unapologetically Dope Clothing. 

Stemming inspiration from parting ways with a friend, she first introduced the brand in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Like many people she found herself trying to stay creative during the seemingly never ending quarantine.  

UDope Clothing’s latest release includes multi-color tracksuits. She is currently experimenting on expanding her clothing to male customers.

Maray prides herself as a female artist, refusing to confine to many stereotypical pressures that loom in the industry. She wants to stay away from using her body to sell her sound and seeks longevity within her discography. 

“I don’t want just a quick banger, I want grammys”, she asserted. “I want to actually put the work in to get to where I need to be.”

Ty’Ahna Maray

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