Tiing talks the perks of quarantine, his upcoming project, and crystals
Greg Bandy II is, as he would say, “just another kid from the Bronx”. However, he is far from ordinary; his journey, humility, and most importantly his music.
Greg (Tiing) is the son of master drummer Greg Bandy (also known as the “Mayor of Harlem”), which basically means music runs in the family. Tiing started his music career with the Harlem School of Music and never looked back. Now he’s one of New York’s top rap prospects, receiving support from artists like T-Shyne, S’natra, and even Grammy-award winning producers Brasstracks.
I got Tiing on a Zoom call to ask him a few questions about his music journey and Luciid, his upcoming 2-part EP.
See entire interview below
Deviate: Before we touch on anything music related, how have you been throughout the pandemic?
Tiing: Surprisingly, throughout this whole quarantine period…it’s been pretty lit. I bartended on the side and wasn’t able to because of covid, which means unemployment checks. So basically I was getting paid by the government to actually have the time to work on music when I want to work on music. I was able to knock out songs just in a different manner and not have to worry about going into work or something ya know? I feel like I tapped into a different wave-length during this time.
Deviate: Alright, start at the beginning…where did you career in music get its start? What inspired you?
Tiing: It definitely stems from my pop…being the son of Greg Bandy kinda means you have to follow in those footsteps. It’s kinda hanging over your head. It really started in elementary school… there was this violin program called Opus 118 ran by a woman named Roberta Guaspari. She would come into East Harlem and teach violin to us kids. She also would put on benefit concerts at Carnegie Hall where we would play alongside great artists like Regina Carter, Bobby Mcferrin, and Yo-Yo Ma…and I think that experience kept the music drive in there.
Deviate: I know you grew up primarily on jazz and started out with the violin. What made you pivot to rapping?
Tiing: I’ve always had homies that were rapping and back then house parties and freestyling was what people did. Inevitably, if your around the shit enough it’s gonna pull you in. I’d go to my boy’s home studio and just start freestyling for hours…and this was back in like 2010. I think a big reaosn I started to get serious was linking up with Ivan [Jackson]..he was really the first one to be making beats at the house parties I’d be at so we would be rapping over his shit. That’s how we linked up and that’s also how I came into contact with T-Shyne and S’natra. Ivan has definitely helped me grow as an artist.
Deviate: The Bronx has a pretty strong hip-hop scene in general…what helps you stand out?
Tiing: I think it’s just all about how you come up. Like, everything I make is related to personal experiences and how I feel about it. I was born and raised in the Bronx, but I always went to schools more south…like my middle school us in the Upper East Side and my middle school was on like 23rd street. Those are really the years you’re really experiencing life and figuring out who you are. So, traveling around the city and meeting new people definitely had a big influence on my music.
“Playing Carnegie Hall at 12 years old…you remember that feeling…and one day you’re like I need that feeling again”Greg Bandy II, Tiing
Deviate: I know you have an EP coming out very soon. Can you speak on that a little bit?
Tiing: There’s a number of things that’s different with this one. First off, I’ve never put this much organization into a project before. I thought A LOT about how I wanted to portray this to my fans and that’s definitely a first for me. Second, its the first time I’ve had the schedule to really lock-in as if I were doing music full time, which I loved. And third, I actually went on a sober kick for a few months. That definitely helped me clear my mind. In all, Luciid is deeper than what I’ve done…I found more meaningful shit to rap about for sure. But, there’s Luciid: Awake, which is more chill, lowkey and then Luciid: Asleep which is party vibes and something you can turn up to.
Deviate: Besides your EP, what can your fans look forward to in the future from Tiing?
Tiing: Man, I’m just going to keep making music. I’m looking into a deluxe version of Awake possibly, but how I’m going to stand out is to keep making music as if I have all day. I go to work just like everyone else, and if you looked at my instagram you probably wouldn’t think I was a bartender. So it’s that down to earth vibe and sense of honesty that I’m going to keep with me. It’s all about making the ordinary seem extraordinary.
Deviate: If you were to be an inanimate object what would you be?
Tiing: I think I would be a crystal…its just mad majestic. Also because its something that can affect your energy and just the idea that these things grow from the ground is awesome.
I had a blast jumping on cam with Tiing and crew and tossing him a few questions. Check out Luciid: Awake (out now) and stay tuned for Luciid: Asleep in the coming weeks!
Tiing is without a doubt a Deviate.