The “Runaway Tour” opener discussed Billie Joe Armstrong, travelling the world, and his upcoming album.
Tyla Yaweh is a name you may have heard recently, especially if you were one of the thousands that filled the Bell Centre in mid-February to see Post Malone’s arena debut in Montreal. The Florida sensation has been following Post Malone around the world for over a year, opening the show to packed stadiums on the “Runaway Tour” all across North America and Europe, and just about anywhere else you’d expect a Post Malone fan to reside these days.
The opportunity has allowed Tyla to gain new fans while continuing to build his discography. His first project, Heart Full of Rage, was released in February 2019, and the 24-year-old artist continues to release singles to ride on his momentum and prepare fans for his upcoming sophomore album. The tour has also allowed him to make new friends, including two of his childhood idols who appeared in the video for his most recent single, “High Right Now Remix”—Wiz Khalifa and Billie Joe Armstrong.
“I got really cool with Billie from this Oakland show we did,” said Tyla of the Green Day frontman. “He pulled up there and like, it’s crazy—that’s Green Day. My sister used to give me all the Green Day albums. And then I met Billie Joe, we finally talked, and then just became real good friends. [We] started texting and hanging out and going to parties and getting drunk together.”
Tyla describes the Wiz Khalifa collaboration coming to fruition over their mutual love of weed and Tyla’s desire to put one of his inspirations on one of his tracks. Tyla featured Billie Joe in the video after he asked for sample clearance for Khalifa, who sang his verse in the melody of Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”
While the pairing may seem odd at first, Tyla Yaweh credits rock for his love of music just as much as he does rap, citing early influences such as Worldview, The Used, The Strokes, and Kings of Leon.
“That’s the stuff that I love hearing,” he said. “Like discovering the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, the CBGB era from like David Bowie, Madonna, all those people who came up out of that era. It made me really search it up and be like ‘Oh man, this stuff is interesting.’ It just reminded me of what the music industry still is. There are rock stars in this game that are still crazy as fuck, outspoken, artistic as hell, and just starting trends, you know.”
His touring buddy, beer pong rival (to whom he lost $50,000 USD), and recently matching-tattoo partner is no different.
“[Post Malone] broke the barriers for a lot of people, just by coming out with ‘White Iverson’ and ‘I Fall Apart,’” Tyla said. “His range is so wide and it gives a lot of other people opportunities who just want to discover new sounds and not be inside a box.”
Tyla categorizes himself within that group of people, fusing hip hop and rock influences to create sounds that he one day hopes to be synonymous with his stage name. The artist says that one of his main goals is to continue to deliver music that offers listeners newer and more relatable stories, rather than rehashing the same old tales onto new beats. Tyla also prides himself on his music being timeless, hinting at all his songs that he stows away that can be released at any opportune time.
“I think all my music is important to me,” he said. “I’m making it, and I’m not going to just make a song that isn’t important. There’s a lot of songs we do that just won’t come out, but I still cherish all my music because one day, in three years, I can drop that song and it’ll still mean something to the world. People won’t even realize that I did that three, four years ago.”
Tyla is currently in the process of recording his Heart Full of Rage follow-up. A release date has not yet been announced.
“Right now we’re still working on my album,” he said. “It’s called Rager Boy. We got a lot of dope artists on there. I’m excited for it. We almost done. We’re just structuring it, still mixing things down, still putting certain songs that we want to hear on it. It’s gonna be a surprise for everybody.”
Later that evening on stage, Tyla is humble and does not strut with a god complex found in most artists. While performing his set, Tyla hops off stage on more than one occasion to mingle with the crowd below him. During “Wraith Skating,” the rapper is found wilding out with fans all the way in the stands to the left of the stage before going back on stage to play the Wiz Khalifa-assisted remix “High Right Now” as the music video played on screens behind him. As Tyla Yaweh exits the stage, he enters the crowd one final time to give out high fives to those closest to the stage, demonstrating that he is both genuine and personable, on-stage and off.
Feature photo by Louis Pavlakos