#ConcertSZN is very much in full effect. Although several artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna and Future have big tours kicking off soon, my season started with industry newcomer, Bryson Tiller. I saw Tiller at his stop in Charlotte, N.C. at The Filmore.

I’ve seen a description of Tiller as “if Drake’s singing voice were a solo artist.” I’d agree, but would say his voice is better. His music perfectly strides the fence between rapper/singer and between R&B/hip-hop — the textbook definition of the ‘rapping singer.’ His debut album, aptly titled, T R A P S O U L, brings all of this to fruition. It was one of the standout albums of 2015 and is one of the few albums that I can listen to almost completely through with no skips.

It wasn’t long after the opening act’s exit when Tiller made his way to the stage. The concert’s vibe was very similar to the feeling you get when listening to the album — tons of smoke with red, blue and gray ambient lights.

After beginning the night with album openers “Intro (Difference)” and “Let Em’ Know,” the Filmore was already rocking with him. If this spot was anything to go by, Tiller definitely uses the show as a chance to make this an experience of feeling like you are getting to know him, as conventional as his “Charlotte, what’s up?” greeting was. Next, he performed the songs “Set You Free,” and “For However Long,” before stopping for a moment to talk about his journey thus far.

He discussed how his life has changed in the past year, particularly after dropping the track “Don’t.” Tiller said that he would check his SoundCloud views on his phone while on break working at Papa John’s and would be astounded by the number of plays the song was getting. He was used to getting 100 or 200 plays, but this one was acquiring thousands. Shortly after, he was contacted by Timbaland, who wanted him to come to Miami. At the time, Tiller was concerned about his job at Papa John’s and working, but Timbaland convinced him to quit his job. He also described his feelings when someone messaged him on Twitter and let him know that Drake had followed him. “I was like ‘oh my God,’ my heart started beating all fast…I typed 40 different messages to him,” said Tiller. Drake told him that he was a fan of “Don’t” and couldn’t wait to hear his new music.

He then performed the song “Ten Nine Fourteen,” which talks about his ascent to fame, followed by the fan-favorite, “Exchange,” tailoring one of his lines to the location, singing, “Charlotte, I had to say what’s up with you? You got my soul.”

Next came “Sorry Not Sorry,” another fan favorite, “Rambo,” which featured a crazy drum solo and “502 Come Up.” Things slowed down with “Open Interlude,” “The Sequence,” “Overtime,” “Just Another Interlude,” and “Been That Way.”


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Finally, the moment of the night came when he performed his hit single, “Don’t.” He barely had to sing the lyrics himself, or if he did, I couldn’t hear as the crowd took over the song for him, singing along to every part. He then concluded the night with “Right My Wrongs.”

There were no glaring vocal mishaps at all. A live Tiller sounds spot on to his studio recordings, if not crisper. The crowd interactions and storytelling definitely gave me as feeling that I was getting an “experience” and wasn’t just being sung to by a singer. The whole show further reaffirmed the story of Tiller’s rise to stardom, making you want to see his success continue to push him to the top.

If you would like to catch Tiller for one of the next T R A P S O U L tour stops, there are dates left in numerous cities across the country and it will go on an international trek soon. You won’t be disappointed.

Bryson Tiller
Photo: Tumblr

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