WRITTEN BY BREANA ADJEPONG-DUODU
How do you leave something behind greater than you found it? For Tyrone Edwards, the answer to that is subscribing to what he calls the ‘1love mentality.’ Love that fills you up sustains you and gives you the passion for staying committed to causes greater than yourself, which entertains and invokes change. Self-love that gives you the confidence to be authentic and surrender the outcome, like becoming un-muted and allowing yourself to be vulnerable on national television. Sometimes love is about having tough conversations and doing the uncomfortable work because being ‘palatable’ and keeping silent rarely sow the seeds for growth and evolution. According to Tyrone, love can be seeing a need in your community and stepping in to fill it. When you love, you stay open to possibility, you know the value in yourself, the magic of others around you, and it becomes clear. Together our electric energy as people makes this city of Toronto what it is- full of life! We stand to gain everything from love as long as we continue to spread good vibes for a bright future. That is the legacy Tyrone hopes to leave behind.
How it all Started
Depending on when you’ve tuned into Tyrone Edward’s story as a Canadian entrepreneur and current co-host of CTV’s award-winning show etalk. You may remember him as T-Rex, Mr. 1loveTO, or the guy always bouncing around the city, rocking his signature dreadlocks with a warm smile on his face. But it wasn’t always glamorous nights
“When you love, you stay open to possibility, you know the value in yourself, the magic of others around you, and it becomes clear.”
“I was just a kid that was not always afforded the same respect, love, and credence.”
with celebrities or kicking it with friends like Drake. It’s easy for Tyrone to recall that 17-year-old kid from Jane & Weston Rd who was still trying to figuring it all out, with nothing promised to him in an underserved community. “I was just a kid that was not always afforded the same respect, love, and credence.” This experience taught Tyrone the importance of choosing himself first, investing in growth, and not leaving others behind.
The Moment that Changed Everything in his Career
While making his way through the industry, Tyrone would create a blog about the city he loves, nurturing some of Toronto’s greatest talent and working for various platforms like Much Music and RapCity. It wasn’t until 2019, almost ten years into his career where Tyrone would find himself sitting in a movie theater for a routine press-screening and for the first time sobbing uncontrollably.
The film was Just Mercy, an incredible motion picture based on a true-story featuring world-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson. In his fight to free a wrongfully condemned black death-row inmate Walter McMillian, known as Johnny D, fighting for his life for a crime he did not commit. The film was so moving; it provoked something inside of Tyrone that hasn’t been quieted since. “It was real. It was entertaining. It was informative. But it was impactful.” At that moment, Tyrone knew he had to do more with his platform. “I was only a reporter, but I fought to get myself a special. I flew out to New York interviewed Jamie Fox and Michael B. Jordan. That moment is so significant to where I am right now. Because it allowed me to show my team and my superiors what I was, my capacity beyond having celebrity friends.”
That moment allowed Tyrone to realize that all the work he had done in the community prior to his TV days could be the foundation of his new platform. Covering entertainment news could go beyond ‘song and dance,’ it could be about moving the needle forward. With that Tyrone, felt more confident than ever to speak on matters close to his heart, which led him to do a Ted-Talk entitled my Trauma is not a Trend.
Spreading the Light
Committed to changing the narrative concerning mental illness in his old stomping grounds at Jane Street, Tyrone became the ambassador for the mental health clinic called Yorktown at Jane & Tretheway. This service operates at no cost to the community. Whether it’s cultural, religion-based, or any other nuances, he does not want people to forgo their needs due to inequalities. “There’s so many barriers that would prevent most people in an underserved community from getting help when they need it. When they don’t get this support, is when we start to see reoccurring issues, where young men and women become desensitized and are in and out of jail.”
Tyrone took this 1love mentality one step further and helped co-create a clothing brand during the pandemic where 100% of the proceeds go to essential workers. The clothing brand is named “see you soon,” a message of hope during a time of wild uncertainty.
Embracing who you are with style
For Tyrone, there is something about looking good that leads to feeling good and, more importantly, doing good. When you feel good, you can offer your best, and part of that is not taking things too seriously and experimenting with fashion. His style is all about breaking the rules while putting a spin on tradition. “I like the fact that I could be a big black guy with dreadlocks and maybe a gold chain or some grills in my mouth, simultaneously wearing the most preppy outfit. I like taking conventional structures and making a fun departure from that.”
The Oscars-Hollywood’s Holy Grail
Tyrone plans to do just that as he takes on the red carpet this year and covers his first Oscars coming up on April 25th! For all you CTV fans out there, you can look forward to Tyrone hosting many etalk interviews leading up to the award show. And of course, an extensive recap the following night, Tyrone promises etalk will spill all the tea from the upsets and snubs to the wins and losses, who showed up, what’s trending, and of course what goes viral!