“Shiwan is someone that’s determined, someone that’s eager to learn, and somebody that is intelligent.”
“[Ty Young is] someone that’s family-oriented. I’m someone that likes to help and I’m also someone that likes to learn new things [and] ideas”
“We actually are real brothers,” said Shiwan. Last month, brothers Shiwan, 27, and Ty Young, 21, released a collaborative album, When Brothers Talk.
“We’ve been around each other pretty much all our lives.”
With the album, the brothers want to show how they put family first. “It’s pretty much showing what brotherhood is about. Us growing up where we came from and where we’re at now.”
One of their greatest hobbies was and still is to play basketball together. In their childhood, they would play until 9 or 10 pm on an average day. Shiwan said his brother is “a phenomenal basketball player,” comparing him to Allen Iverson. They also both love hip-hop but had never made music together. “Working with Shiwan was real cool. We just hang around a lot,” said Young.
A few years ago, the brothers created a three-song project of the same title, but more recently thought about doing something more. “We just thought, ‘Can we do it?’ We can do it. We can do anything we put our minds to,” said Young. The current When Brothers Talk project started out as an EP, but when they got rolling they decided to do a complete album.
Recording together “was dope,” said Shiwan. “We’ve always used to freestyle together.” Getting in the studio to record songs together was very organic for the brothers.
“We were just building each other up in the whole process and the best thing about it was we recorded and mixed everything at home.”
When Brothers Talk begins with “Fairview Brothers.” “We’re always gonna be close and we’re always gonna be tight,” said Young. They wanted to introduce themselves by talking about their bond. Fairview is the name of the street they grew up on.
Shiwan recorded the hook to the second song, “What You Need,” in his home studio and shared it with his brother saying, “Yo, this is our single. The way it sounds and the way it hits, this will gravitate to people even more.”
“Cold War” is about fighting everyday temptations. “Dealing with everything that’s around us and still fighting the temptation that we deal with,” said Shiwan.
Through, “One Day,” Shiwan wanted listeners to understand the hope he and his brother have in Christ. He said,
“There’s gonna be that one day if we keep on pushing on, we keep on having the faith and believing, that we can get out of the situations that we go through.”
“I felt “Blowing Up” was another banger. We just wanted to attract the listeners and I think we executed that well,” said Young. “We’re gonna keep going. We’re not gonna let nobody stop us. Who cares if somebody cares some type of way about us,” said Shiwan.
Before moving to Fairview Street, Shiwan and Ty Young grew up in their early years on a street called Elm Street and decided to make one of their songs about it. “It was very violent. It wasn’t really a safe place, so we just talked about our experiences from there and the stories that we heard,” said Young.
“Spin Up” follows “Elm Street” and tells the story of how the brothers followed Christ. “Coming up from the actual streets and the actual struggle. Spin Up is like that transformation from where were at to where we are at now,” said Shiwan.
At an early age, “We started to know God. Building our faith up… spin up, that’s that turn around.” Their grandmother and mother were devout Christians and made sure that they went to church growing up. Young said he came into the church at age two. Shiwan, the older of the pair, said,
“Me and my grandmother, we stepped foot in the church, that’s when everything changed for us because we never left. I actually came into the church when I was seven years old.”
When middle and high school came, the peer pressure came too. Shiwan “realized that God was really pushing me hard to focus on my faith and my belief. It’s good that we go to church but [to] understand that whatever we apply to our life, we have to apply it to when we get out of church.”
“Front Line” is one of Shiwan’s favorite songs on When Brothers Talk, saying, “it really shows ‘What are you going to do in the situations in life?’” He wants to ask people that when problems and challenges arise,
“Are you just gonna ball up in a circle and cry, or are you gonna stand in the front line for God and actually go for what you believe in?”
The brothers were debating whether or not to put “Firearm” on the album but are glad they decided to include it. They were unsure about it until they had a listening party in which the track was well-received. “The devil tries to attack us, but at the same time, God is our power, God is our source. [It’s about] understanding that nothing is gonna hold us down,” said Shiwan.
“Monument” is about standing tall and strong in the midst of trials and difficulties in life. Shiwan explained, “We went through some serious situations in our lives between our family and our friends.”
“Blood Brothers” concludes the album and was Young’s favorite track on the project.
“It’s going back to the title When Brothers Talk. [Shiwan] says a bar, he says his verse, I say my verse, we’re going back and forth.”
Overall, they want this album “to let people come together. Come together in your family. Maybe it’s that person you’ve been holding a grudge with in your family. Sometimes it’s just that moment when you need to talk… you never know what could happen,” Shiwan said.
You can get When Brothers Talk here.