Every now and then, we discover an album that makes us wonder how we ever went through the day without listening to it before. Well, this is what happened when we heard ‘T R A P S O U L’. Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” had a similar effect and that’s a big statement coming from Ocean’s biggest fan. On the surface, Bryson Tiller is a mixture of artists like Drake, The Weeknd and August Alsina but he most certainly isn’t a duplicate. He combines elements of such artists and has created a new yet strangely familiar sound that music has been slightly lacking in. For those who haven’t heard of Tiller yet, (and if you haven’t, you will this year), let us give you the low down.
Bryson Tiller is a 23 year old singer/songwriter/rapper born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He began making music in High School and at 17, he made his first mixtape titled “Killer Instinct”. Needing money, Tiller put music to the back of his mind and started working instead but his talent couldn’t be tamed. Determined to make music his main focus, he borrowed money from a friend and bought recording equipment. He then downloaded an instrumental from SoundClick which he wrote some lyrics to and decided to upload the track onto SoundCloud in October 2014. The song was called “Don’t”. Tiller could never have prepared himself for what was next. It blew up. The song has now been streamed more than 25 million times. Tiller’s idol Drake reached out to him and praised him for his talent. Timbaland then caught wind of Tiller and he signed a deal with RCA Records.
One year after dropping “Don’t”, Tiller released his debut album “T R A P S O U L”. The title explains the hybrid nature of the body of work. It is a matrimony of trap and soul music with both genres originating in the southern states of the USA. Bryson’s roots strongly influence his sound as he makes numerous references to Louisville on track “502 Come Up”. Tiller excels in this genre as his self reflective lyrics juxtaposes perfectly against 808 kick drums and layered synthesisers. This combination speaks loud and clear to the Millennial generation… especially to females.
There are many reasons why he has been a hit with women. Aside from his looks, introverted personality and incredible voice which smoothly transitions from singing to rap, Tiller tells girls what they want to hear and has described the album on Twitter as “songs for women”. It is the lyrical content of the album that sets it aside from other artists. Every verse isn’t filtered and every hook is vulnerable in some way. Through this, Tiller manages to embody multiple personas. He is the guy you leave your lousy boyfriend for in “Don’t”. He is the one you can’t forget in “Been That Way”. He’s the apologetic, reflective ex in “The Sequence”. Tiller fan @babyboyru summarises the resonating lyrics on Twitter: “Thats dat break up but u still mine music”. Tiller has coined some phrases on this album which have legitimately been added to the English vocabulary like “low key feeling you”. If your friend says “pull up”, who doesn’t reply with “skkkr”? His acknowledgement of f*ckboys and methods of scrolling through “the gram” has tapped into the consciousness of young people.
DTB Favourite song off the album: “Overtime”
Once Tiller finishes getting deep about breakups and makeups, he tells you to pull yourself together and gives us trap on tracks like “Rambo”. Money, fast cars and murder. If that doesn’t take your mind off your ex, what will? Despite his new found musical connections, this album has NO FEATURES. Yes. You read correctly. This becomes another aspect of the album which exemplifies Tiller’s talent. Its just him, his voice and his lyrics and he doesn’t need to drop any names to increase the album awareness or sales.
He announced a set of European tour dates and DTB was lucky enough to get tickets to his show at KOKO in Camden, London on March 29th. Tickets sold out in under one minute! To those disappointed fans who weren’t quite so lucky, Tiller has added another date on March 28th. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 9am. Don’t miss out!
All imagery courtesy: RCA Records