The Break Presents: Bryson Tiller
Bryson Tiller is a rapper/singer/songwriter from Kentucky that has been a SoundCloud star for the last couple of months. The relatively unknown upstart has be sporadically dropping new music, building a legion of millennials congregating to find out who this guy is. He's been cosigned by Timbaland and was rumored to be Drake's new OVO Sound signee after being praised by the "6 God" because of Tiller's most popular song "Don't." Now after signing a creative partnership with RCA Records, Bryson is gearing up to release his debut project Trap Soul on Oct. 2. Pre-Order Bryson Tiller’s TRAPSOUL on Apple Music, Amazon and Google Play.
"I’m mentally trying to prepare myself for what's to come," he said to XXL while he was in New York. "I’m a lowkey guy. So I like going to places and not being known. So it's weird when people are saying 'oh it's you.' I just talk to God. I remember asking him for this like, 'God please I need a life change so I can change my daughter's life and my life.'" Get to know Bryson Tiller on this week's The Break.—Emmanuel C.M.
Name: Bryson Tiller
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
I grew up listening to: A lot of R. Kelly. My uncle used to play like 112, Dru Hill and all those super '90s R&B groups. Then I got into Omarion. That’s when I was like, aight cool, I want to sing now. So I started teaching myself how to sing. I started mimicking what I heard on the songs and stuff and I would try to do it. I never really sang before that. When I heard all the stuff my uncle was playing and Omarian’s debut album, it made me want to get serious. I would record into a recording device and play it back, just trying to get better and better. I was the only person at first and then eventually I would sing for my little brother [for critique].
I started listening to The-Dream a lot. That’s when I really got into writing songs. I like the way he put lyrics and makes his songs. So I was like, all right, and I just started writing. That’s when I started wanting to be a songwriter. I never really wanted to be an artist. I just really wanted to write songs. But of course I can’t get placement unless I demo the songs.
2010 I started record with this guy. We recorded a few songs, then I eventfully learned how to record myself and I just started pumping out music. I made a mixtape called Killer Instinct and I put it online. A lot of people locally were talking about it; this was 2011. Then I made a SoundCloud. I took a break from music just to focus on getting a real job. Then I realized how unique SoundCloud was and I uploaded “Don’t.”
My style’s been compared to: I’ve been compared to a lot of people, Jeremih, Drake, PartyNextDoor, Tory Lanez, I heard a lot of stuff. If I had to compare myself to another artist I wouldn’t. I feel like my lyrics are really strong. I’m good at painting pictures and telling picture stories.
Most people don’t know I: I would say I’m a father but I bet everybody knows that. I guess that I’m a comedian. My best friend and I are always joking around. You’ll probably catch us on SnapChat.
My standout records/moments to date have been: It would definitely be “Don’t” but there are a lot of moments. Like when I was in Venice Beach and two people came up to me and asked me for my autograph. If it’s my city, it’s common. If someone that comes up and knows me in my city, it's cool. But all the way out in L.A. is crazy.
Drake reached out to me via Twitter DM. I DM’d first. He followed me and I wasn’t following him cause I have an app that unfollows people that aren’t following me back. So I followed him back immediately of course and typed forty messages. He said “I’ve been listening to ‘Don’t’ for months.”
My goal in hip-hop is: I just want to make $100 million and retire.
I’m gonna be the next: A lot of people from my city say I’m going to be the next Static Major and that’s cool. He wrote a lot of No. 1 hits.
[Next Is] my project dropping Oct. 2 and a tour. I’ve never done any of this. I only performed four times in my entire life. So I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I just want people to leave satisfied after I perform. And enjoy my project and want more.
"Just Another Interlude"
"Sorry Not Sorry"
"Let Em' Know"