Tieran Cline, an emerging Columbus-based musician and record producer, was only 16 years old when he was jumped in front of his friends at a skate park in his hometown of Lancaster, Ohio.
Cline was still only 16 years old, a high school student, when he began trying to cope with his depression and anger, that was triggered from the attack, by using music as an outlet to manifest his pain into original lyrics and emotional vocals.
“I went through a really angry phase and, you know, they say anger is how men deal with depression. So, I dealt with that all through college and I kept it under wraps because I was just doing it as my diary,” Cline said. “It’s not really acceptable to be an angry dude everywhere in public, but it’s acceptable in a song.”
The rapper was an active member of Ohio State’s freestyle and beatboxing club during his college days before graduating with a civil engineering degree. It was at an involvement fair that Cline met his friend and current DJ, Mike Dow who also graduated from OSU with a marketing degree.
“I walked up to become a member of the freestyle and beatbox club and [Cline] was the kid that was out there rapping and trying to get new members,” Dow said.
“After Tieran started taking stuff more seriously with his music, he reached out to me and we’ve been rocking together ever since,” Dow said.
Tieran defines his sound as genre-crossing and unpredictable, mixing sounds from different genres to create a style that is uniquely his own.
“I just do whatever I’m feeling,” Cline said. “Sometimes I sing sometimes I, you know, [make] chilled out rap. My album spans [from] R&B to very aggressive ‘you-want-to-punch-someone’ rap music. So, it’s hard to dial in what my next thing is going to be. It’s always something different.”
He said that growing up, his parents listened to punk rock and hardcore music and that inspired his more aggressive sound in some of his songs.
“I was raised very rock and very aggressive but I love this really hip-hop chill stuff like Nas and Gang Starr. That was the stuff that really hooked me in when I was younger. I listen to a lot of instrumental jazz music, I listen to ambient music sometimes. It all inspires me,” Cline said.
Tieran recently released his emotional debut album “Deep End,” after 5 years in the making, which is “really just a diary,” of his sense of darkness and distrust that he suffered from over the years following his trauma.
“The title it kind of explains it all. It’s like going off the deep end, like I felt like I was going crazy,” Cline said. “You can kind of hear in every song throughout the project that there’s something going on with me that is kind of tugging at me.”
Cline hopes his new album will break the silence surrounding personal struggle and mental illness as a musician.
“I try to just shed light on it like, hey you know people are struggling and we’re not talking about it. But you can. Don’t be afraid to,” he said. “I just love touching on these issues anyway because especially in hip-hop it’s kind of suppressed.”
Tieran has taken the stage at Scarlet & Grey Café, Park Street Saloon, Skully’s and Wild Goose Creative, but does not have any upcoming shows scheduled.
His advice to young musicians is to learn what you love.
“Figure out what that is and then be willing to die for it and be willing to be miserable for it,” Cline said. “It definitely feels like that for a while, but when you do get those wins, they make it worth it. That one win for every ten losses makes it worth it.”
Video produced and edited by Katie Hamilton.1193