Los Angeles native Ty Dolla $ign didn’t come to his deal with Atlantic Records in the storybook way. There was no chance encounter with a label bigwig on a redeye flight, where a demo was passed and suddenly instant fame fell from above. This artist’s deal is more about building relationships, consistent writing and hard work.
“I got discovered in the studio, in Hollywood, because I was always there writing songs for other artists,” explains Ty Dolla $ign. “Atlantic Records felt like my songs were good but it wasn’t like in the old-school days where you play a demo and then you get a deal.”
In Hollywood, he began working with A&R rep Shawn Barron of Atlantic Records. Barron has influenced the careers of Diggy Simmons, Phreshy Duzit and Drake, among others. Offers were now surfacing for Ty Dolla $ign, yet the bond the two formed was resilient.
“I [basically] went to every label and said, ‘Look, I’m not going to accept anything less than final cut...’”
“Shawn and I had the relationship and that’s why we did our record deal together,” he says.
Ty Dolla $ign’s Beach House EP, released in December, features “Or Nah” with Wiz Khalifa. “Paranoid,” features B.o.B, while the remixed version showcases Trey Songz, French Montana and DJ Mustard. The opener is called “Work” and the artist considers it his favorite. The EP will serve to strengthen the ties between him and Atlantic.
“I didn’t feel like enough people were aware of me to do a full-length, so I wanted to drop an EP to keep the sales going,” the artist says. “So far, everybody loves it.”
After playing back samples of some of his latest work, Ty Dolla $ign felt inspired and picked up the bass again. His writing sessions of late have been productive and when the full-length album arrives this summer, Ty Dolla $ign reveals he will be laying down most of the instrument tracks himself. “The other day I wrote nine bass guitar melodies,” he says. “And after that I just wanted to do the whole thing.”
– Carl Anthony