Bryson Tiller Embraces Versatility with Confidence on Latest Album

With “Whatever She Wants” continuing to rise through the charts, the artist speaks on his self-titled project, which involves experimenting with new sounds.

Bryson Tiller is moving with clear intent by being more deliberate in everything he creates. That mindset has allowed him to experiment more outside of the R&B hits he’s been known for over the decade, like “Don’t” and “Exchange.” It started in mid-February with the release of the more rap-friendly “Whatever She Wants,” which not only debuted at No.8 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Song chart but registered 12 million official U.S. streams. 

“I was very sure of what I wanted to do with “Whatever She Wants” before I went into the studio,” said Tiller. “I knew what I was going to make and was very confident in it. I think that’s the reason why I’m getting the result I’m getting from it. People are loving it because it’s real and I really feel strongly about these songs. I think confidence is the number one key to everything that I do from now on.” 

“Whatever She Wants” has Tiller spitting bars about showering a special lady with gifts while displaying his capabilities as a rapper. Longtime fans will know that the  Louisville, Kentucky artist has been spitting rhymes for quite a while now through his Slum Tiller series of mixtapes. Though the series's most recent and third entry was released around January, “Whatever She Wants” debuted on Slum Tiller: Volume 2 last November. 

The change in sonic direction makes sense through Tiller’s latest self-titled album released in early April. Featuring “Whatever She Wants,” his fourth album since and most recent since 2020’s Anniversary, has him stretching his creative wings more than ever. 

“This album is about versatility and showing how I can take it in any direction I choose,” explained Tiller. “I just think it’s dope to show all different sides. I’m not a one dimensional artist. I’m seven dimensional and I like to do everything. I really wanted to show everybody what I was capable of.”

For Tiller, calling his album Bryson Tiller was important because he wanted people to remember his name as someone with limitless creativity. Despite huge hits like DJ Khaled and Rihanna collaborations like “Wild Thoughts,” he still feels as if there aren’t many people who know him. Bryson Tiller sees him tackling various genres, including the Drill-inspired “Ciao!” and Baltimore club sounds of “Random Access Memory [RAM]” featuring Clara La San. According to Tiller, he didn’t think much about his fanbase while recording his album. 

“I just be thinking about the people that never heard my music before,” explained Tiller. “Those are the people that I want to hear. Those are the people that I’m trying to make new fans. I love my day one Trap Soul fans but that’s not the end all be all.” 

Thankfully, Bryson Tiller has more mainline R&B tracks that’ll satisfy early Tiller fans like “Attention” alongside “Persuasion” featuring Victoria Monét. Tiller said he became a fan of Monét after hearing 2020’s Jaguar

“I just fell in love with the album and I was like I gotta do something with her at some point,” said Tiller. “She’s going to be remembered as one of the biggest in the game and I’m so excited for her trajectory.”

While working on Bryson Tiller, he’s also spent the last three years developing a video game. Like tracks on his album like “Aeon Lust,” he loves the art of storytelling.  Though he wouldn’t reveal details on the game, Tiller did mention that he has a team of around 20 people working on it. Though he finds inspiration in music, thoughts about game design often crossed his mind enough to ignite a drive to bring his idea to life.

“I spent a lot of hours playing Apex Legends and I’m over here spending all this time when I need to do something in this world,” explained Tiller. “It’s probably not going to be streaming just because I’m not a professional gamer and I’m not that personable. So I’m like, let me just make a game and tell these stories.”

Tiller acknowledges that music is the key to achieving his goals, recognizing that going on tour and selling out shows is essential to funding his ventures. Considering the album cover art for Bryson Tiller finds inspiration from his two favorite titles, Apex Legends(on PC, of course) and Grand Theft Auto, the intersection between music and video games are more pronounced than ever. That doesn’t even count his love for technology. 

“I’ve always wanted to build a robot version of myself which is why I did it on the cover,” Tiller said. “I’m building a digital version of myself. I have this weird fascination, obsession with the future and being a cyborg and shit. I really hate the idea that I have organs because they can fail at any moment and that freaks me out.”

Tiller knows where he is and what future possibilities lie ahead of him. He calls this chapter of his life relentless.

“I feel unstoppable,” he said. “I just dare anybody to try to get in my way. Try to stop me and I’m steamrolling whoever.”

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