Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Mixing music and spiritually, Ayrah Taerb has created anthems that are an entertaining deliverance from our societal constraints. His use of transcendental music to transform cultural norms creates a whole new genre in and of itself.
With the release of his most recent project 'MKL' this brilliant artist is able to express his main goal, transcendence for himself, his audience, and for the world at large.
“At this point, it’s more important than the music. Transcendence culture is my mandate, it’s my brand. I don’t want to push anything; I don’t want to be involved in anything; I don’t want to sell anything; I don’t want to advertise anything that I don’t firmly believe is going to provide a strong opportunity for a human being to transcend the limitations of their current experience, whether those be financial limitations, psychological limitations, emotional limitations, physical limitations, or creative limitations. I believe that the human experience in its purest form is a marathon of transcending limitations. The music is just a carrier for that to enter people’s vessel for me.”
He uses lifelong influences from revolutionary leaders of cultural movements to try and preserve truth in all his work. American philosophers Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Umar Johnson, and Dr. Sebi shaped Taerb’s work from an early age, engraining his thoughts in politics, spirituality, and transcendence. Growing up, he felt this depth was lacking in the popular culture that surrounded him.
“As a kid I was losing faith in rap because I saw how derogatory the culture had become. It was monopolized by people, so I had to look in the nooks and crannies. At the same time people were pushing nonsense, Lupe Fiasco was on the radio talking about the war on terror and how that makes no sense and I’m in high school hearing that on the radio.”
He continues, “That’s what I decided my rap music should be about. As much as I can put on a Dr. Cornel West interview, why can’t a whole album be about that? Lupe fiasco was the only one doing that and now that so much has changed and now that trap rules the world until at least something else happens in pop music culture, I feel like it has to be done. It’s not that nobody cares, it’s that nobody cares enough to make it cool.”
The map for Taerb to get to this point was a diverse mix of collaborative projects, writing, meditating, and stepping out of his regular realm to freestyle with the band Bangerz Brass - a group of MCs that are backed by a full brass section to perform upbeat three hour long freestyle sets.
“I used to be one of the rappers who would stick up their nose at freestyle. That they didn’t take the time to really mediate on their words and then I met someone who was as good a writer as I was and could also freestyle. I felt I had to put my pants on.”
Bangerz Brass gave Taerb the opportunity to become a seasoned freestyler as well as an expert lyricist. It also taught him that music could be just for enjoyment. Seeing a crowd rage to a remixed cover of J.Cole’s “No Role Modelz” and watching them forget about their troubles was its own lesson on transcendental music.
How is it for an artist who doesn’t strongly believe in the business of music to try and navigate its venomous territory? When asked about the difficulty of having to create an identity he can sell to audiences and labels he replied:
“Building a brand became synonymous with building an identity. However, I was also wrestling with the idea of transcending an identity ‘cause you never want to be the same thing for the rest of your life, you know? The middle ground there is like, sure, you can transcend your identity over and over again but there are certain mandates that you as a person, or you as a brand, or you as a business always have to have and some of those should be in line with pushing humanity forward, seeing as you’re a human being. That’s where the responsibility comes from.”
Each word is rooted in the same belief for Taerb. Every action, song, and thought are married to the idea of transcendence, even when it doesn’t seem like a natural fit in a modern world. Writing music is his process of contextualizing human behaviour and in that, his ability to understand and transcend that behaviour.
Despite the idea of transcendence being an unattainable, grandiose, eastern ideology, you can feel it in Taerb. In his presence you can feel that energy reverberating off of him, changing the tone of every environment he places himself in. It is that energy that has let him be so confident in 2020 for his come up.
From the drop, Ayrah Taerb has said 2020 is his year and after the release of 'MKL' his first from a collection of projects; we are believers.