Originally posted on TheRapFest.com.
Ty Dolla $ign is Low Key the Motivational Speaker You Didn't Know the Rap Game Needed.
Words by KC Orcutt
Photos by RuKo Photo
Even after putting in over two decades of hustle to continue advancing his career in the music game, Ty Dolla $ign is the type of person who'd tell you, with a grin on his face and a joint in his hand, he hasn't worked a day in his life.
As exemplified by the 31-year-old musician, when you enjoy what you do for a living, putting your all into your passions comes as natural (and as necessary) as breathing. Growing up the son of a musician, Ty knew from an early age he was meant to do this and has no intention of ever slowing down. Inspired by his surroundings in sunny Los Angeles, the singer is equal parts the type of guy you want to turn up with in the club one night and the next introduce him to your parents at family dinner, making an argument he's one of this generation's most interesting tastemakers.
With the sounds of his new single, "Campaign," filling the Moroccan Room's ornate interior, Ty Dolla $ign's energy upon arrival immediately made up for the fact that he was running on rap time, about two hours late for our interview. Jumping right into the conversation, we asked Ty does he enjoy the creative process when collaborating with other artists, which he replied, "It always fun to just share space, ideas, create and come up with a f**king puzzle out of nothing".
Fresh off winning his first MTV VMA award for Best Collaboration, Ty Dolla $ign is eager to share his sophomore album, Campaign, which is slated for a September 23rd release. From meeting Tupac, his self-declared favorite artist, as a child via tagging along on his father's studio sessions to pulling up to a day of work in a white 911 turbo Porsche days before setting his new album free, one could argue that Ty was destined for this life. However, greeting each new opportunity with gratitude has allowed the musician to become one of hip-hop's most unexpected motivational speakers. With his music representing the same feel-good vibe that he as a person emulates, Ty Dolla $ign is always thinking bigger picture.
"It always fun to just share space, ideas, create and come up with a f**king puzzle out of nothing".
- Ty Dolla $ign
Drawing inspiration from Jay Z, Ty is as interested in lucrative business endeavors as he is interested in making music. Even during our conversation, he casually mentioned he would love to collaborate with PlayStation to create a game encouraging the youth to record music on a new platform. He went on to say, "Playstation should come out with a new program to make beats on like back in the days. That would be cool...". Speaking such goals out into existence, it wouldn't be surprising in the least if in a year's time, not only is his music soundtracking the video game but his name is in the title too.
"Of course I play PS4. Fifa on the tour bus for sure... I suck at all video games but I'm good at music though. Ha."
- Ty Dolla $ign
In addition to finding appeal in the business end of developing a video game with PlayStation, the musician also shares that one of his biggest fears is his 11-year-old daughter, or his younger family members, never having the opportunity to discover what they are passionate about or what they want to do when they grow up, and he's dedicated to making sure that doesn't happen. Such a video game idea would foster creativity, and that speaks volumes regarding the artist's genuine intentions found in every move he makes. He even collaborated with his younger brother, TC, on a single, successfully overcoming the obstacles of him serving a life sentence in prison to make it happen. Other collaborations he'd love to see happen musically are just as diverse and compelling as his video game idea, citing the likes of Beyoncé, John Mayer and Meshell Ndegeocello as people he's looking forward to working with one day. Groomed to have a seasoned ear and a student's curiosity, the musician is always learning and adapting, much like he feels Tupac would if he were still alive today.
"I'm on my campaign everywhere I go,"
he says, before whimsically pressing a few keys on the grand piano.