Tyla Yaweh has been on an absolute tear of late. Hailing from Orlando, the self-described ‘new-age punk rockstar’ was discovered by Post Malone and Dre London before unleashing his debut album Heart Full of Rage in 2019.
With his second album Rager Boy slated for the Northern summer, and after his recent arrival on the Billboard Top 100, we linked up with Tyla to talk ‘Jeff Bezos’ Air Force 1s, the Louis Vuitton 408 Trainer, and keeping people’s spirits up.
It’s your first time on the Billboard Hot 100! How do you feel?
I’m living, I’m blessed. It’s another day. It’s a blessing to wake up and be alive, and to get that call from your manager. Everything is happening as it’s supposed to happen.
Tell us about your journey making music.
I was that kid watching all the different music videos, skateboarding, and watching my sister make music. She was out there performing shows when she was 17 or 18. They were in a girl group and they had a buzz in Florida. It was cool to see my sister in the studio and do tours and photo shoots. I just wanted to do it. I dropped skateboarding and went straight to making music. I studied Mac Miller, Nipsey, Rick Ross, and even bands like My Chemical Romance and Hawthorne Heights. I would watch music videos and read autobiographies and everything. I love music. It was in my spirit. This quarantine really made me reflect on how far I’ve come.
How would you describe your sound?
I’m like the new-age punk rockstar out there looking fly as hell at all times, that pulls up in stretch limousines with all the Playboy bunnies. I’m just playing. It’s fun, man. I’m enjoying life. I just want to give this energy to everybody and see them accomplish their goals.
What kind of energy are you looking for with the new album?
I want the next album to have a similar feel to Heart Full of Rage. You know, I probably have like thousands of songs just sitting in the vault. With everything going on in the world right now, I really want to give people a whole new energy of hope and love.
Why did you decide on ‘Tommy Lee’ as the first single from the new album?
We just felt like it would bring the spirits up for a lot of people. Post Malone is my brother. I never asked him to be on this song or that song. Things always happen at the right moment. We wanted to put out a video that’s as positive as possible. We’re always having fun, but we also try to put some positive messaging in the songs.
What sneakers are you wearing at the moment?
I’m wearing the transparent Louis Vuitton 408 Trainer. They’re dope. They almost remind me of Jordans. I have a collection of these already. They’re comfortable and you can pair them with regular pants and a tee. I’m wearing them with shorts, and they still look dope.
I’m also into pretty much any Dunks and Air Jordan 1s that drop. And the classic ‘Jeff Bezos’ Air Force 1s -that’s what I call them - in all-white. I actually tried to get the Ben & Jerry’s Dunks, but I couldn’t! They go hard. I'd skate them too, just to piss people off.
Travis Scott is obviously killing it right now with his sneaker collaborations. His colours are simple, but they're not boring. You can wear them with anything. I think he's just a great designer. The whole Cactus Jack label is just fire.
Tell us about the apparel line you’ve got coming up.,
Rager Boy the line is going to be amazing. We’re coming up with so many ideas. We’re seeing actual merch sell out when we’re on tour, which is dope. I’m seeing the hype on it. People really want it. I definitely want to make my brand super-exclusive. I would love footwear. If I did a colab, it would be with Louis Vuitton, for sure.
Keen to hear more? Check out the sneakers from hip hop’s golden age.