Artist Profile: Bryson Tiller


(Image via Rap-Up)

Jelani Dupon, Writer

Bryson Djuan Tiller is an American singer, songwriter, and rapper. Tiller was born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 2, 1993, making him 27 years old. Tiller grew up from a humble beginning in Louisville. He didn’t start making music until he was 18 years old. At first, he seemed like a normal teenager who had set unrealistic dreams for himself, and for a couple of years that was his reality. Tiller made music through a website called SoundCloud for three years without receiving any recognition, but all of that changed in 2014.

According to the Forbes article “Inside The Rapid, Humble And Lucrative Rise Of Bryson Tiller,” in October of 2014, Bryson Tiller released his single “Don’t” on SoundCloud. At this point in his career, he was used to posting singles with little to no success. The single “Don’t” was the starting point of his career in the music industry.  Bryson wrote the song to express his love for a girl and how he can treat her better than anyone else can. Instantly, the song went viral, and soon after Tiller started working on the album “T R A P S O U L,” including a variety of hit singles. Besides “Don’t,” the album included other popular songs like “Exchange,”Right My Wrongs,” and “Let Em’ Know.” These mega-hit songs helped propel Bryson Tiller’s album, which was released on October 2, 2015. By April of 2016, the album became certified platinum. In just a year-and-a-half Tiller broke out of his small community in Kentucky to one of the most popular male R&B artists in the world. Tiller talked about his breakout song “Don’t” with Fuse (“Bryson Tiller’s Music Saved Him; Now He Wants to Save Your Relationship”), saying “If you listen to the lyrics, they’re honest–they’re not afraid to be, and [it’s] the way they put the words together, it’s the way they say certain things, the way they talk to a woman on a song that’s what I try to do with my music.” 

Soon after the release of his first album, he started working on his next studio album, 2017s “True to Self.” The album peaked at number one on US Billboard 200, and it was his first number one album. The success didn’t last very long, just after a week of being number one the album dropped to 13th on Billboard. The album became certified gold with over 500,000 sales in total, about one-third of this freshman album sales. After watching and reading reviews on the album, most of the listeners said the album had a more depressing tone than his previous album. Tiller later went on to say that it was because of things he was dealing with in his personal life. The most popular song on the album was the first single released to promote it, called “Somethin Tells Me.” Fitting perfectly with the mood of the album, the song is about Tiller being in love with a girl but not feeling the same affection back. She teases him to keep him with her but really her heart is gone. This is seen in the chorus, “Somethin’ tells me, we ain’t gon’ the last baby.” Although at the end of the song he switches it up, repeating the line “Let’s make it work” and ends on “We can make it work, come on.”

Bryson Tiller wasn’t disappointed by the underwhelming success of his sophomore album and quickly began working on his third studio album, 2020’s “A N N I V E R S A R Y.” The album was released on October 2nd, exactly six years after he released his breakout hit “Don’t.” The album’s biggest song right now is “Outta Time (feat. Drake).”  There still isn’t much to say about the album because it was released so recently. It is projected to be bigger than his previous album. In just six years Bryson Tiller has made a name for himself and is considered one of the most popular R&B artists of our generation. He combines smooth vocals that remind everyone of what R&B used to be, while also providing a modern sound to all the songs. Saying he has talent would be an understatement, and it is clear that Tiller is far from being an artist that’s forgotten about.