Wipe Off The Dust: Take A Little Time To Hear Tyka Nelson's Tune

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Since I'm an only child (yeah, lucky me) I don't know what it's like having a sibling, thus I live vicariously through others...and feel blessed. Though, in the case of music, I've always been sort of fascinated by the "family affairs" that paint the music scene. You know, the folks under "The Michael/Janet Jackson Factor". Artists who have someone in their bloodline that is right there on the album shelves with them. Sometimes both siblings have success, while others may just have one brother or sister who fails to rise or to match what their more popular sibling is bringing. This is why I find Tyka Nelson interesting, because success didn't really pan out for her considering who she was related too, and it's a shame we didn't give her a chance.


As mentioned beforehand, Tyka is indeed Prince's sister, and Adventurer Tasasha got the answer right (see I do read the comments, ha!) when I posed the question a few weeks ago. She started her career with her 1988 album, Royal Blue and the single of whimsical ballad, "Marc Anthony's Tune", which was a romantic ode to Cleopatra's lover. Yeah, a little left field, but it makes for a intricate and really pretty tune. The song managed to make it to #83 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts followed by "L.O.V.E." which barely cracked the top 100 in R&B. Tyka had a lack of videos and promotion for this project, plus since people were wanting her to sound like a female Prince (or sound more feminine than Prince can sound...it's however you wanna look at it because you know he can holler better than some divas), her second album, 1989's Yellow Moon Red Sky, went nowhere.



Personally, Royal Blue is a really divine listen. Not as earth-shattering or sexually punchy as something her brother would put out, but Tyka brings a Madonna and Janet Jackson quality to her music, with a vibe that is lusher, polished and with flair of innocence. Many may have been put off by Tyka's voice, because it's not as robust, but frankly, I've heard much much worse, and really her breathy, sweet tone fits with the late-80's quiet storm she has going on here. With the right pitch, I think "L.O.V.E." should have been the first single, as it is a great pop single. All it needed was a music video and some sort of push and it would've matched well with what Pebbles and Paula Abdul were doing then. Other songs like "No Promises" , "Try My Passion", and "Paris" are lush mid-tempo grooves, that bring a sophisticated-pop touch to the record.



Sadly, Tyka's albums are out of print, but fortunately, praise the Internet because the fabulous The Isle Of Failed Pop Stars has all of your downloading needs for Tyka Nelson (as well as a more detailed bio). So if you're a fan of the Purple One, I highly recommend scoping out Royal Blue and anything else that Tyka has put her vocals on (apparently she has a Gospel singing career now!), so you can feel like a completest to the Paisley Park dynasty as there is more to the Prince puzzle than his proteges. 

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