Tyla Yaweh is a true rockstar in every aspect of the word, arriving with undeniably lit energy and one of the smoothest, sultriest voices in R&B and hip-hop. Hailing from Orlando, the singer, songwriter, and rapper comes from true humble beginnings, from working at Dunkin’ Donuts and getting kicked out of his house for his reckless behavior to being homeless in Los Angeles to now being a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.
While being discovered by superstar Post Malone and has its perks, no one can deny the endless hits in Tyla’s catalog. Exploding onto the scene with his breakout single “Gemini” in 2017, fans instantly were drawn to Tyla’s unique sound, catchy hooks, rockstar-inspired outfits, and overall persona.
Now, the 25-year-old is excited as ever to be releasing his highly-anticipated debut studio album aptly titled RAGER BØY, which couldn’t be more fitting. If you’ve had the pleasure of attending one of his live performances, you already know what type of time he’s on. When it comes to raging, Tyla describes it as a lifestyle: always standing out no matter what the circumstances.
Now unleashing the official music video to his new single “All The Smoke” featuring Gunna and Wiz Khalifa, the latter of whom he’s greatly influenced by, Tyla continues to release banger after banger. This follows the success of “Tommy Lee” featuring Post Malone, which went Gold within a few months and serves as his first Billboard Hot 100 entry.
And still, it’s his signature blend of rock and hip-hop that does not go unnoticed, as he continues to feed his growing fanbase and climb his way to the very top. Flaunt caught up with the Epic Records signee who was posted in the studio in Orlando, revealing he’d just cracked his phone raging. Read below as we discuss the creation of “All The Smoke,” his love for cars, what it meant to work with Wiz, and more.
What’re you doing in Orlando?
Visiting family, my mom‘s birthday and New Year’s—so family stuff. Not gonna lie, it’s super fun. Can’t complain. It’s Florida, everyone knows Florida’s wild. You can’t take the wild out of Florida.
What positives have come out of quarantine for you?
Being with the family, working on my album, connecting with other artists that I didn’t know fucked with my music. Growing as a human too at that, reflecting on everything I accomplished.
“All The Smoke” with Gunna and Wiz Khalifa is out now, how are you feeling?
I love it, it’s cool to see. I walked in the Uber yesterday and it was playing, that’s crazy. It’s dope to have a song with Gunna and Wiz, especially Wiz because that’s my inspiration. I love Wiz to death. It was a fun record to make. Gunna’s a good genuine person, that’s my dawg right there. I connected with him very well. It came together very well with Hitmaka and my engineer Prince Crishan. It’s dope to keep making records, I can’t wait to put out this album to be honest.
The song’s such a vibe, was it done in the studio?
Honestly I sent it to Wiz, I sent it to Gunna. They sent it back right away. They love this song so it’s super dope to have that collab happen. We shot the video, we had so much fun on set.
Where was the video shot?
We shot it in LA, in the valley. It’s real deal Fast & Furious! We brought Fast & Furious back to life.
Do you have a love for cars as well?
Yeah, I love cars. I’ve been having these secret car meetups with all the homies. We all drift, so we find a cool area to drift at. It gets crazy because you never know when the cops might pull up, you gotta keep going. It’s an adrenaline rush.
What’s your favorite car? In the song you talk about a Porsche right?
Well I love Porsches, but my go-to is probably a McLaren 720S. That’s my favorite car, I love that car. I drove it a few times. I don’t own one yet, but I’m definitely looking at getting one.
You say Wiz is one of your biggest inspirations, how so?
Wiz is a legend. He showed us a blueprint from Youtube on how to become an artist and be yourself, how to interact with fans. I use that same blueprint of being cool and genuine to people who really love your music. That’s what I get from Wiz, and the mentorship. He’s a good mentor too, showing people how to do things the right way.
What’s the best piece of advice that he’s given you?
Honestly him being there for my career, letting me know how my music’s doing and being proud. Being there and supportive, he put me on his album. He’s a good person. He always keeps in touch with me too. That’s what it is, him being genuine.
What’re you most excited for with your debut album, RAGER BØY?
Top of the year, I’m ready for everybody to hear it because I work so damn hard on it. There’s so many fire songs, so many fire features. It’s gonna be a movie.
How fitting is the title? Being the RAGER BØY you are.
It’s crazy because people think that RAGER BØY means go fuck shit up, break shit, be a delinquent. Nah, it’s spiritual and being that person that releases all good energy. I’m showing that in my music by giving you every sound you want to hear. Sometimes you want to hear sad music, you want to hear some rock music, then you want to feel like you want to go fast in the car. I want to give you all the stories I’ve been through too, that’s the #1 thing I’ve been working on.
How was it working with Travis Barker?
It was during quarantine time, I reached out to someone I knew who knew him and he ended up liking my music. It’s so dope he fucked with my music. I reached out through Adam DeGross, he linked us. I already had this song with the guitar riffs on it, I’m like “yo we need Travis Barker on the drums.” We got it done, he killed it. That’s a legend too, Famous Stars & Straps right there.
A huge part of your artistry are your live performances. What do you miss most about being on stage?
Being on stage performing, jumping around. That was a good exercise for me everyday, my exercise fasho. Seeing people interact, people want to build that feeling of being there for the artist and having that inspiration for people. When the world opens back up, it’s gonna be a fun time for everybody because everybody’s going to be able to feel that emotion again.
Favorite song to perform in a set?
I like “High Right Now,” it’s definitely fun. People screaming at the top of their lungs. We have new records, but we weren’t really able to perform those yet. Virtually, maybe. I can’t wait to perform this new music and the new album, it’s going to be the grand opening for people.
Highlight on tour with Post Malone and Swae Lee? I know Covid cut that short.
Madison Square Garden was fire! Doing that two nights in a row was epic. It’s Madison Square Garden, that’s people’s dream to perform there. I can say I did that. I can’t wait till it’s my own show though, it got me pumped for everything to come.
Were you nervous?
Nah, not at all. I’m never nervous when I perform. I’ll probably get nervous when I do TV stuff, but when it comes to performing, nah.
What do you do to pre-game?
I’ll play some beer pong in the beginning. Take half of a shot, smoke something, get on stage. Rock it out and get right back to it.
How does it feel to have “Tommy Lee” go Gold in a few months?
It was good, waiting on it to go Platinum now. It was dope to see how quick it did. To get two Gold records in less than a month and a half from each other was really dope for me. It was an experience too, I can’t wait to get more.
Reflecting on your journey from being homeless to now, how are you feeling?
I always try to keep myself in that feeling of hunger and not scared to fail. If you fail, get right back up and do it all over again no matter what. I always keep the hunger of wanting more.
Best memory from the “Tommy Lee” video shoot with Post?
We’re doing regular shit that we do on a regular basis when we get to chill. 4-wheelers, shooting, hanging out with friends and family, those are the moments we cherish the most. We might as well shoot a music video right now while we’re at it, so we did that. It was super fun.
How was getting Wiz on the “High Right Now” remix? You have Billie from Green Day in the video, that’s legendary.
The thing is, why we had to get Green Day a part of the song was because Wiz sang their whole lyrics. His whole cadence was Green Day. It was random, it was the first leg of the tour with me, Swae Lee, and Post. We’re at Oakland, almost the last couple days of the show, the end of that first leg. Billie Joe walks in the room, it was the perfect moment to show him that song with Wiz on there. I said “yo, you’re an inspiration to me. You’re the reason I make music,” which is very true. I showed him the song, he felt so happy to be part of that. I said “I can’t wait to work with you one day Billie.” He said “well, it seems like we’re working right now!” We linked up, got his number, and made it happen. Made it part of the record, and he was in the video!
Being the rockstar that you are, how would you describe your fashion style?
You know, rockstars dress how they want. Whatever their mood is, that how they’re gonna dress. I love fashion. I love clothes. I love different fabrics, I love different colors. It’s dope to express yourself through clothes and fashion. Seeing other rockstars who have dope ass fashion rocking brands like Vivienne Westwood, all different brands, it’s dope to finally have that same inspiration on other people.
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What did it mean to team up with Swisher Sweets, giving away $10K with the Hometown Grant?
That felt good because we’re at the studio where I first started out, it was cool. It’s my hometown, I’m always going to support this place. It’s coming up too, a lot of artists are coming out of Orlando. It’s dope to be a part of that, one of the people to give back to another artist who can get that inspiration. Me doing that for that kid will probably motivate him to go harder and harder to the point he’ll be at the same level as me one day, you never know. I want to give that hope back to my town. Working with Swisher is dope because Swisher’s the first thing you ever started smoking a blunt out of, my first blunt I ever rolled. It’s dope to finally be a part of a cool brand that’s part of the culture.
Besides your new album, what’re you most excited for in the new year?
My album. [laughs] My new merch, clothing. Definitely trying to start my own cult with my fans. Can’t wait to get back on tour this year, hopefully we’ll be back on tour this year. Keep going and motivating. Hopefully I’ll go #1 this year on one of my songs, that’s my whole goal. Going #1 is everything.
I’m surprised you haven’t yet.
You know, there’s still time. A lot of patience.