When you have the ability to swoon and croon your way into a woman’s heart, you’re able to break down a multitude of barriers within a lady. That’s a power that even the great Christopher Reeves and Peter Parker lacked in their arsenal. While some R&B heartthrobs delve in, penning records to soothe the psyche of your everyday female, Taylor Gang’s Ty Dolla $ign reaches his female audience in a different way. He injects a dose of fun in every record, in hopes of making the party rock.
With a slew of bangers and a resume rapidly growing — he’s featured on tracks with Lupe Fiasco and Meek Mill so far this year — it’s not surprising why Ty’s bank account is oozing with dollar signs. While the ever so popular hip-hop adage “Mo Money, Mo Problems” is applicable to a majority of artists in the culture, the Los Angeles crooner has been too busy performing on late night shows for Jimmy Fallon, and celebrating the success of his recent EP, entitled Beach House, to even worry about the cons of the music industry.
The multi-faceted artist is another reason why Cali continues to stampede its way onto the game. With DJ Mustard’s infectious beats and TDE’s unstoppable momentum, in the eyes of Ty Dolla Sign, his state is clamoring its way as the hottest region in the music scene. Following releases from Kendrick, ScHoolboy Q, and most recently YG, Ty’s debut album Free TC is highly anticipated… thanks to singles like “Paranoid” and the growing “Or Nah”
He sat down with us to discuss his relationship with super producer DJ Mustard, Drake’s decision to jump on “Or Nah,” his top five Cali artists, and how to remain paranoid free in a relationship.
We know that you’re a talented dude and that you play various instruments growing up, right?
Yes sir. I’ve always played a lot of instruments. I started off with the drums, then bass, then guitar, and then the keys. Then I got into making beats and DJ’ing and all that stuff, you know? I’m pretty fluent with basically every instrument, except like the bass and horns and stuff like that. I could even get down on the piano a little bit, you feel me? (Laughs)
That’s dope. Do you have a particular favorite instrument?
Nah. I just like making full songs. Like, from everything, like to the drums, all the way to the melodies, to the vocals, I like doing the whole thing. I like seeing the whole thing come to life and then going out and performing the [songs] people dance to, you know?
I hear you. You’re a singer, producer, and songwriter. Which of the three do you have more enjoyment in doing?
Ummm. Ahhh, all of it. Like I said, it’s the whole process. You know, all the way from the verse, to the first word of the song, to maybe the first melody of the song and then hearing a whole crowd room full of people sing it. It’s just the whole process now. I’m in love with it all. And now, even past that, like going to each radio station and kicking it with the DJ, and going up to the schools talking to kids about it. It’s all about the different audiences you could get. So, everything is fine to me. I just love doing it — the whole process.
You had the “My Cabana” track with Jeezy in 2012. Right now you have “Paranoid” with DJ Mustard, and “Or Nah” with Wiz. How does it feel to have major co-signs backing you like Wiz and Jeezy, among other notable peers?
Man, it feels good man to know that my peers flex with my music and I can consider Wiz as fam. That’s crazy. Like, people like Jeezy would text me and I used to listen to his stuff for years. To have him even want to hop on one of my tracks is incredible to me. You know, seeing Mustard’s whole growth, that was like he was YG’s DJ and I was making all of YG’s beats. He kept watching me make beats and was like one day, “Tell me how this sounds.” His whole start to where he is now is crazy because it’s only been three years dog. And, he didn’t even make beats back then, like when we first started off and we made “Toot It and Boot It.” Now, he’s like taking over the whole country, you feel me? So, that’s incredible too. This whole experience is like “Wow (laughs).
What’s the best piece of advice Wiz or any industry vet gave you coming up?
Wiz’s best advice was for me doing shows. It was try to do something that’ll make the crowd make noise rather than telling them, “Everybody make some noise!”, you know what I’m saying? I was like, “Ok! That’s some real [stuff].” Like you’ll hear every rapper, R&B singer, or entertainer be like, “Everybody make some f*cking noise!” Like, let your music do that for you. (Laughs) Like you’ll see somebody do some amazing sh*t, and that’ll be such a better feeling as an artist, you know?
If you had to give us your top five Cali artists right now, who would you choose and why?
I’m gonna give you Kendrick. He’s the best lyricist. I’m gonna give you YG. I’m gonna give you Schoolboy Q. His album is incredible. Joe Moses, he’s also one of the most incredible dudes out there. He got the streets on lock. And then, myself, you already know.
Because you have the hit single “Paranoid”, for the lovers out there, how would you recommend the best ways in eliminating paranoia in a relationship?
I think everything sums up to one thing and that’s telling the truth — keeping it real and keeping it 100. There’s like five different ways you can say that. If you go around and tell two to three girls that you love them or you’re in love with them or if you let a girl stay over and start cooking for you, washing your dishes or doing all your [things] for you, of course she’s going to think that you’re something. And, that’s where a lot of dudes mess up. When I wrote that song, I thought it was going down. But, it didn’t because I haven’t been lying. I’ve been keeping it all the way 100. I’ve been like “Yo, listen… I’m not trying to do no relationship type [stuff]. We can kick it. We can have sex. We can eat sometimes. But, I don’t need you to do none of my [things] for me. I got this by myself. I’m a grown ass man.”
In addition to Paranoid, you have your single “Or Nah”, which received the remix treatment and is set to have Drake, Weeknd, and Wiz Khalifa. Talk about how that remix came together.
Drake hit me the other day, and was like, “Yo man, ‘Or Nah’ is incredible.” I was like, “Man!” I had some records I tried to get him to hop on, and he was like, “Yeah. I’m going to take a listen.” I guess he was in France or somewhere. The next day he texted me like, “Yo… this ‘Or Nah’ is haunting me dog.” I was like, “F*ck it, let’s make the official remix.” He was like, “Fo’ sho.” So, the next day he texted me like, “Yo man, I just spazzed on ‘Or Nah’.” I haven’t heard it personally, but I already know he’s going to destroy that [track]. I’m excited.
That’s going to be crazy. I know the fans can’t wait to hear it.
Oh yeah, me, Wiz, Drake, Weeknd, all on one song with Mustard? That’s gonna be like WHOA! (Laughs)
Word is that you already started working on your debut album. What can fans expect?
Yeah man. I probably have like eight songs already for it. I think I’m going to keep it at 10. I’m probably gonna do some more or eliminate songs I already got for some better ones. But, I got eight definite murderers. Kendrick is on there so far. Of course, I’m gonna have DJ Mustard’s production and my production. I’m also trying to get Fergie on there from the Black Eyed Peas… hopefully. That’s the homie right there. I guess that’s it. That’s all I could talk about from the album standpoint, but it’s going to be amazing. It’s going to be called Free TC. It’s dedicated to my little bro and all the other homies locked up for [stuff] that they didn’t do and wrongly accused type [stuff]. So, I’m just trying to bring awareness to that. And it’s going to be crazy.