Tiny Tones makes a big sound

Tuesday 19 July 2022

There are many facets to Jyran’s life. One of the earliest and most enduring has been music.

“As a kid I listened to the radio with my mum and always felt that music was the essence of life because it just lifted you up and was able to put you in a trance,” Jyran explains.

Moving around frequently as a child, before settling in Sydney in his youth, the sounds and lyricism of hip hop left a lasting impression.

Drawn to international artists, notably Eminem initially, Jyran vividly recalls hearing Australia’s own Hilltop Hoods for the first time and going from a listener to trying his own hand on the mic as an aspiring MC.

“The sample - I’d never heard anything like it in my life – I was always really attracted to hip hop, but once I heard ‘The Nosebleed Section’, I thought hip hop is where it’s at!"

Learning and writing raps during his high school years, while gaining confidence freestyling, Jyran performs under the stage name Tiny Tones, “I’m a small dude, so ‘Tiny’, ‘Tones’ came from singing and rapping.”

Releasing early tracks “focussed on a street vibe” that attracted views in the thousands on social media, the music, however, masked his own struggles with addiction that left him homeless and in need of refuge at the Matthew Talbot Hostel.

Working his way back with the support of staff at Vinnies’ renowned homelessness service located in Woolloomooloo, Jyran simultaneously spent time at the neighbouring Ozanam Learning Centre where he came into contact with the centre’s musical coordinator, Omar, resulting in a transformative musical mentorship.

“When I first came to the OLC, I didn’t even know there was a studio, I had never produced, but thanks to Omar, he inspired me to take it seriously.”

Gaining an appreciation for the behind-the-scenes elements that give shape to music – producing, mixing and mastering – the collaboration resulted in 'Nice To Meet You'.

Combining 90s funk grooves with touches of modern production, 'Nice To Meet You' is among the songs included on “SongBirds”, an album written and recorded by members of the Ozanam Learning Centre community.

Currently living in an apartment of his own a short distance from the OLC, Jyran hopes to continue recording and honing his craft as an artist with the support of Omar.

“All the staff are so loving, so kind, so supportive, very understanding, great people. Omar is great at what he does.”

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, in partnership with the Community Restorative Centre, has released SongBirds, an album of original music written and recorded by members of the Ozanam Learning Centre community.

SongBirds is available to stream/purchase on bandcamp.