By Richard Chachowski
Tyler Fugazzie is unlike any artist you’ve ever heard of.
In many ways, the title “artist” might not do him justice. Preferring to go by his artist name, perfectlmao, his work and creative interests span a wide range of artistic frameworks and styles, from visual design, creative writing, poetry, music and photography, just to name a few.
“I’ve made art naturally for my whole life,” he said, as a 2013 graduate of the College. “2013 is when I started ‘publishing’ artwork in the form of poetry, and recent events have made it clear that I need to begin focusing on my creative work in a more full-time capacity.”
2021 is already proving to be the peak of perfectlmao's creative undertakings. Within the span of just four months, he has released five different albums from Dec. 2020 to March 2021, released on every major music streaming platform.
While perfectlmao remains interested in other artistic works, such as poetry and visual art design, music is his main area of interest, after falling in love with the artform from an incredibly young age (he was seven when he wrote his first song) and coming to understand it on a more personal level ever since.
“I can’t explain or express myself through words, written or verbal, as well as I can through music,” he writes on his blog. “Music is everything for me, and I’ve immersed myself in music simply because I love it so much. I understand musicians at every depth and width, and music helps me navigate and understand life.”
The music perfectlmao is dedicated to working on now is difficult to categorize. In his own words, he states he often has trouble coming up with a definitive genre or label for his music to file under, existing instead as a mixture of experimental, electronic, indie, alternative dance and pop.
To make his music, perfectlmao relies on GarageBand, a music platform that provides users access to edit different tracks of instruments and create their own synthesized music, with Fugazzie describing the music-making platform as his own “one-person pocket orchestra.”
When it comes to editing his music, perfectlmao blends traditional instruments with outside sources, such as audio tracks from television shows or YouTube videos. The effect of this editing has caused him to describe these particular songs as “Garbage Gold,” the idea being that “one listener’s garbage is another listener’s gold (like the trash/treasure cliche).”
perfectlmao's musical influences remain varied, but the artist has also stated how much basis his work has on his own life experiences and world views, emphasizing that, in many ways, despite graduating in 2013, he still has many of the same worries and also the same inspirations that a college student might have.
“What I’ve endured in my lifetime, the messes I’ve navigated and the hardships I’ve outlasted, these things don’t matter much in just the context of ‘my’ life,” he said. “The problems I have and have had and will have are just like the problems faced by today’s college-aged students and younger. I’ve worked in education since 2013 and was lucky that my mom raised me to be a lifelong learner. I’m fueled by the possibility of a college student who feels lost, confused, scared, lonely, stupid, contagious or hopeless.”
Life, above all else, seems to lend the most meaning to his work, serving as his biggest influence not just on his musical creations, but also on his other artistic works as well, including his writing and photography. As an example, perfectlmao explained how simple moments in his life, such as a hike he went on recently can affect his artistic output.
“My process centers around living life; as I live life I get words and phrases, then I plant these creative seeds in different ways and see what grows from them,” he said. “This may become an album, it may become a longer post, it may just live as a fun list I can pair with photo documentation of the hike and vibes I had on the hike. Any of this is a replication of the ‘special feelings’ I get while doing the hike itself.”
“Life is my favorite medium as it’s the only true medium we have,” he continued. “Everything else follows, comes after, and comes because of life itself.”
Outside of his own life experiences, perfectlmao also receives a large amount of inspiration from his love of language and from the specific emotions he feels when he’s making a particular piece of music, giving each album its own unique tone and also helping Fugazzie understand the exact emotions he is feeling at the time of an album’s creation.
“Each album I’ve made, I try to center the music around some certain key sounds that reflect the vibe of the album I’m going for,” he said. “For me, feeling is predominant and the most important ‘instrument’ we have for any creative work.”
“Words themselves serve as key ingredients for all my creative work and they serve as a good portal for understanding whatever feelings I’m looking to share,” he continued. “For ‘Janky Mountain’ (one of Fugazzie’s five released albums), the idea of ‘janky’ is the centering force. Typically people use it with a negative connotation while I transform that notion to show how ‘janky’ could be like a fusion of jazz and funk. Janky could be its own new genre of music.”
perfectlmao's love of language is evident in many respects. Among his current projects, he is even working on developing a new kind of language emphasizing people’s feelings, something that he believes has been misunderstood for far too long a time.
“To me, feeling is what connects everything as our senses allow us to feel the material world and our emotions are reflections of this connection,” he stated. As part of this project, he has been dedicated to a section of his website blogging about these “special feelings,” and encourages everyone to learn more about it and even submit their own feelings to the blog as well.
As far as any advice goes, perfectlmao remains nothing but positive in his outlook that good art can be made from anything, and that anyone has the potential to create something meaningful if they only attempt it.
“A wellspring of creative potential becomes unlocked when valuing the forgotten, overlooked, invisible, ignored, disregarded, misunderstood and basically anything that doesn’t seem ‘valuable’ simply because of a lack of popularity or from simple misunderstanding,” he said.
In the future, his plans include a continued focus on his musical output, with his goal at the moment being the release of a new album, “Thank You!” on April 10, under his musical alter ego, Ty. The album’s release date is set to coincide with a holiday he has planned for April 10 called “Kazoo Day,” a celebration of one of his favorite musical instruments, due to its simplicity and easy-to-use nature. perfectlmao will also remain hard at work not only on his musical ventures, but his other creative outlets as well, something he highly encourages everyone to focus on.
“I will be the shining light of someone cool, the shiny example of imperfect fun, the sterling case of striving for better,” he said. “I want to invent and reinvent everything. I want to discover and rediscover everything. I want everyone to join me in this grand orchestra of life.”