Musician, composer, songwriter, producer, actor – Tyriq Baker is a bundle of talent and energy eager to grasp opportunities
The arts scene in Brum is a lot richer with Tyriq in it. Born and raised here, the talented multi-instrumentalist recently worked with the composer of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony and even bagged a part in the epic event too. He worked with The REP on Casey Bailey’s play Grimeboy, created music for their production of Twelfth Night and appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in which he played Oberon. Recently, he has composed for three films as well as writing, composing and editing his own two-hour film, Rootworks which can be seen on YouTube.
FOUR MINUTE WORK
Unlimited by genre, Tyriq has worked across classical, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary among others and now, along with nineteen other young composers, he’s been chosen by the CBSO to be part of its Sounds New initiative which will see the resulting works performed by the orchestra at Symphony Hall next year. Each composer will write a four-minute work for the full orchestra which will be conducted by Clark Rundell. The commissions were made possible by support from The John Feeney Charitable Trust, which has supported new music for the CBSO since 1955. It’s not the first time Tyriq has worked with the CBSO. He is a former Youth Ambassador and worked with fellow ambassadors in 2020 putting together a concert called, CBSO: A Vision for the Future.
HOME TOWN BOY
Tyriq graduated from the University of Huddersfield in 2021 with a First Class BMus music degree and it was never in doubt that he’d come back to his home town. Of Birmingham Tyriq says: “It’s a dream. There’s so much musical talent in this city and people that I want to work with.”
Like most children, Tyriq started playing recorder in year 3, but unlike most people he progressed to clarinet, piano and bassoon reaching grade 8. He says he was naturally good at recorder, but it took a bit longer to get to grips with the clarinet. Although his parents didn’t play instruments to a high level, music was always a feature at home. Tyriq’s dad would compile lists of music and they’d sit down together to listen and then discuss them, but not in a pushy way – it was pure enjoyment and appreciation and something that Tyriq relished.
At secondary school Tyriq veered away from music for a while as he embraced acting and filming but eventually found his love for music again. He says: “The teachers guided me back to music!” He credits the teachers at George Satton Academy for encouraging creativity and exposing pupils to many different types of arts through outings and concerts – the CBSO being one – as well as the availability of instruments to try at school. Tyriq says: “It helps wire the brain to be more open and encourages young people to be collaborative.”
He’s perplexed about the squeeze on the arts in schools and the murmurings of cutting arts degrees. “The idea that music and the arts aren’t valuable is just not true. Music contributes so much to the economy. Aside from financial gain, it benefits young people hugely by helping them to express themselves creatively. We’d be a very narrow society without the arts.”
Two-hour film Rootworks was a lesson for Tyriq in how not to get too hung up about perfection. It was literally Tyriq doing everything, even the things he’d never done before, and he’s pleased with the results. “That project opened my eyes. It’s important to enjoy the process and let go of that feeling of perfection. It was daunting, but it taught me a lot.”