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Known for bringing hip-hop energy into electro-funk and R&B, lophiile (real name: Tyler Acord) made a name for himself as a go-to producer for breaking artists. Now, he's showing fans a fuller portrait of his diverse musical vision with a debut EP on Blue Note Records. Titled To Forgive, it's a forward-thinking, open-minded portrait of contemporary jazz.
Born into a deeply musical family--his mother was a gospel singer and his father was a trumpet player and sound engineer--Acord had early introductions to Motown and soul, from classics like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye to contemporary artists like Jill Scott and India Arie. He fell in love with hip-hop as a teenager, studied jazz in college, and spent three years touring with his twin brother's hardcore band, Issues, as their drummer/keyboardist and traveling DJ. But his dream was always to make his own music. In 2015, he returned to Los Angeles and wrote and produced for some of indie and electronic music's most promising artists: GoldLink, H.E.R., Gallant, Ray Blk, Moss Kena, Nick Grant, Freddie Gibbs, Skrillex and Zedd. It was through these sessions that he met Marco Bernardis and Fabienne Holloway, two London musicians who shared his vision for jazz as the ultimate musical hybrid. Together, they formed Radiant Children, a contemporary R&B band that uses slick electronics, imaginative samples, and live instrumentation to breath new life into funk and soul.
In 2018, Acord relocated to London full-time. It was there that he put the finishing touches on To Forgive (out February 21), a thorough, thoughtful commentary on the duality of forgiveness: rage and release, bitterness and love, darkness and light. On February 5, he'll release "You've Changed," a mesmerizing journey of jazz motifs, hip-hop rhythms, chopped-up vocal samples and soulful piano. It's a perfect introduction to his musical vision in which instrumentation and flow are front and center. "lophiile represents the search for my sound, my independence," he says. "It's who I am as an artist."