Producer Teddy Walton, the beatsmith behind Kendrick Lamar’s future hit single “LOVE.” and GoldLink’s insanely catchy “Crew,” placed four beats on Bryson’s Tiller’s newly-released sophomore album, True to Self, yet, not once did the 25-year-old actually step foot in the studio with Tiller or communicate with him in person.
“During True to Self, I was barely there,” Walton told Complex deputy editor Ross Scarano. “That whole process, I literally didn’t see Bryson in person. Which is the craziest thing to me, to have four on there. But me and Bryson had a long conversation on Twitter, in DMs.”
Thanks to the advent of modern technology, artists and producers have been collaborating with one another over e-mail (and now Twitter DM) for years, sending one another session files through Dropbox links and banging out tracks using DAWs like Pro Tools. Still, the idea that a producer could contribute on four records on a 19-track album without ever speaking with the artist in person or over the phone is slightly mindblowing.
In the case of Walton and Tiller, their current Twitter-only communication channel makes sense given its also how they first connected. While Tiller was working on his debut, Trapsoul, he followed Walton on Twitter, who responded by sending the RCA recording artist a direct message requesting an email for beat submissions.
“I went back to Memphis to visit my mom and my family and I had noticed that he followed me on Twitter and I DM’d and said, ‘Yo where do I send heat?’” said Walton. “And out of nowhere, he sent the email. For about a whole month, I was sending him regular beats from here and there and I know I sent him the ‘Rain on Me’ beat and the ‘Set It Off’ beat.”
Similar to superstar-in-the-making Khalid’s connection with producer Zedd on Twitter, Walton and Tiller were able to turn a social media introduction into four records in less than two years.
Times, they are a-changin.