Byrd prepares for release of new mixtape

Everyone has an outlet for self-expression.
For some, it is sports—baseball, soccer, volleyball—whatever they can do to stay active.
For others, it is art, whether it is painting, sketching, writing or singing.
For junior Kyle Byrd, his means of self-expression is rap.
From writing and recording music, to freestyling rap in class, Byrd has been using rap as an outlet for a little over two years now. This hobby has not been a life-long love but instead is fairly new. Instead of keeping his talents to himself, Byrd decided to start recording his music for others as well—a process he does on his own.
“I started writing my raps late into my eighth grade year and then I started recording my songs Jan. 16 of [2014]. I felt inspired [to write], I felt like I should be putting [my music] out for people to listen to, I do all the recording myself,” Byrd said. “Everyone has their own style and I love seeing that everybody has their own [way of doing] anything for any profession.”
He realized his love for making music after gaining some inspiration from one of his favorite rappers, Earl Sweatshirt, along with a few other well-known artists.
“His songs are so unique and it got me [motivated] to rap with my own unique style… Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Earl Sweatshirt are definitely some of my biggest inspirations and I eventually caught on [to rapping],” Byrd said. “I was practicing for a year and a half. That is when I started to record my music and then eventually I started getting pretty popular around here.”
It being a unique hobby, most of Byrd’s peers are skeptic when they first learn what he does. But after giving his music a chance, Byrd says there is usually a positive response.
“When I tell people I rap, at first they are kind of in shock and do not know what to think. But when I show them my music they are like, ‘oh wow okay, this is pretty good,’ and really like it. That is my favorite part about rapping; giving people the chance to listen to my music and my own style. It is a good feeling knowing that other people know about you and know what you can do,” Byrd said.
Byrd has noticed the impact rapping has had on his life and does what he can to continuously improve his talent.
“Since I started rapping, the majority of what I do now revolves around music. Music inspires me in general, rapping and listening to rap is a big part of that. I try to devote myself to writing music every day,” Byrd said.
While most students with his talent plan on making a career out of their music, Byrd has another plan in mind after he gets out of school—but knows that if he works hard enough doing what he loves, anything is possible.
“After I graduate I want to go to Central Washington University and study engineering. I would like to eventually become a petroleum engineer,” Byrd said. “Right now I consider rapping as a hobby but I think it could probably go somewhere if I worked really hard. I will keep going until I cannot rap anymore.”
Byrd has two songs available on YouTube and three available on Sound Cloud.