At Just 11 Years Old, Ty Waters Is Already Building His Pop Legacy On his debut album Only Human, the young pop artist channels the energy of legends like Michael Jackson in more ways than one.
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At Just 11 Years Old, Ty Waters Is Already Building His Pop Legacy

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At Just 11 Years Old, Ty Waters Is Already Building His Pop Legacy

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Music Reviews

At Just 11 Years Old, Ty Waters Is Already Building His Pop Legacy

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NERVOUS")

TY WATERS: (Singing) My heart's been set on you. No, I can't forget.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is Ty Waters, a singer from Vancouver, Canada. He's 11 years old, and he's already performed at the Apollo Theater in New York and the Music in Media awards show in Hollywood. Ty Waters recently released his first album called "Only Human." Reviewer Banning Eyre says it's a new take on old-school soul.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NERVOUS")

TY WATERS: (Singing) I feel so nervous, oh, so nervous when you're around.

BANNING EYRE, BYLINE: If this track brings to mind a Michael Jackson classic, that's no accident. The song was written for Jackson but never recorded. Ty Waters started singing at 4, rendering spot-on renditions of Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra before moving on to his current heroes, Jackson and Stevie Wonder.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT")

TY WATERS: (Singing) Strictly confidential, momma's little fling. Don't repeat the story. You never heard a thing (ph).

EYRE: Singing helped Waters overcome an early speech impediment. But what started as therapy soon blossomed into a career. In 2015, Waters came under the wing of composer and producer Dawn Elder. She recognized an unusual talent and pulled together a crack team of seasoned composers and session players to record this album. The energy those veterans drew from Waters, just 10 when this recording was made, is evident in the funky pop numbers as well as a couple of torch songs like this one, "It Doesn't Have To Rain Today."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT DOESN'T HAVE TO RAIN TODAY")

TY WATERS: (Singing) There's no shelter trying to hide your heart. You can find the way. There's no night so dark. It doesn't have to rain today.

EYRE: Virtuosity and optimism from one so young is a beautiful thing. And Waters has uncanny charisma on stage as well. But much credit goes to the arrangers and musicians here. This album is clearly a labor of love. And it may well prove to be the start of an impressive pop career.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONLY HUMAN")

TY WATERS: (Singing) You've got to make time for your friends, running places, getting nowhere, trying to keep up with the trends. It doesn't have to be so hard.

SIEGEL: Banning Eyre is a senior producer for Afropop Worldwide. He reviewed "Only Human" by Ty Waters.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONLY HUMAN")

TY WATERS: (Singing) We are human. We're only human. We all bleed and we all cry. We all call and we all...

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