Last time Bryson Tiller checked in with the HOT Morning Crew, he was in Connecticut for a show at the historic Toads Place. Buck and Nancy caught up with the ‘Somethin Tells Me’ artist to get deets on his new album. At interview time, his sophomore album True to Self was originally scheduled to drop June 23, but he surprised fans with its early release last week (May 26).
Second albums can often be “make or break” for artists and while Tiller is modest, he’s also ambitious when it comes to his music. “I’m really surprised that people liked my last album [2015’s Trapsoul]. I always just feel like I can do better. I don’t pay attention to sophomore curses or slumps. I’m always just gonna try to do my best.”
And the evolution of his best is reflected on True to Self. “You can hear the growth. I’m 24-years-old now, going on 25. [Though] some people might prefer the more naive Bryson,” he says, referring to Trapsoul’s release at age 22.
Tiller’s humility transcends accomplishments as he also prefers a more humble creative process. “I really don’t go to big, fancy studios when I record my music, I kinda do it in my closet or something like that.” He tends to block out whatever’s on the radio at the time. He is focused on making the music HE wants to make.
So how many people are on his creative team? “Nobody, nobody at all, just me! Laptop, just my pen,” he says, drawing comparisons to Kanye West who prefers isolation while working on projects. “I don’t even like anybody on the same floor as me when I’m recording. I don’t want nobody’s input unless I ask for it.”
Buck shared input, admiring the way Tiller designs sounds. “You turn something into something totally different, yet it still stands out. That’s hard to do. I gotta commend you on that.”
Tiller was quick to share credit. “Thank you, I gotta give all the credit to the producers, they do an incredible job. Shout out to them for believing in me. There’s way bigger artists out here, important artists they can give the beats to and turn them into smashes, but they gave them to me. So I was like I’ll try my best.”
And his best has paid off. He recently made ‘Forbes 30 Under 30‘ list, raking in at least $100,000 per city. Not a bad promotion from his first job with a moving company. But he hasn’t forgotten the come-up. “I actually am going back to that. I just wanna go back just to move. I’m really good friends with the people who work there.”
Buck and Nancy joked about what would happen if he showed up to help someone move? More modesty. “I’m not that famous though, so nobody would know.”
His fans would beg to differ.
-Lisa Gold, CBS Radio Hartford