Turning down a recording deal offer from Drake may be tantamount to career suicide. But Bryson Tiller politely declined to become part of Drake’s OVO Sound roster, and the rising R&B star is wowing music fans on his own. His debut album “Trapsoul” (so-called for its sultry mix of the trap and soul genres) hit the Billboard Top 10 last October, and on Friday, the 23-year-old plays the second of two shows at Radio City Music Hall. Here are three things you should know about him.
He used to make pizzas for a living
Before finding any kind of recognition, Tiller was working 12-hour shifts at a Papa John’s in his native Louisville, Ky. Luckily, super-producer Timbaland heard his early song “Don’t” in 2013 and encouraged Tiller to quit his job to concentrate on music.
He lifts his samples from unusual places
Another “Trapsoul” highlight is the song “Sorry Not Sorry,” which lifts a sample from the classic video game “Street Fighter II.” But despite being a big gamer, he’s not a fan of fighting games, noting on rapgenius.com that “they’re just too repetitive for me.”
Stallone is a fan
Drake’s early patronage has been key to Tiller’s success, but he’s also had the less-expected endorsement of Sylvester Stallone. After hearing the “Trapsoul” song “Rambo,” Sly tweeted his endorsement, declaring it “pretty amazing if I say so myself.”