Words by: Ebbony Pinillos
Sean “Diddy” Combs unveiled the latest CÎROC addition – Passion – which is described as a frequency, not a flavor. The company celebrated the release of the booze at Harlem Parish with Bryson Tiller, who is a brand partner, on Thursday (July 21). Tiller partnered with the Hip Hop mogul to bring the element of sound to life at the brand’s experiential platform, Château CÎROC. Regarding the expectations of the partnership, Tiller exclusively told The Source Magazine, “Fans can see a different side of me. Having a good time. I’ve never really done … too many partnerships anyway with alcohol liquor brands.”
He continued, “It’s always great to collaborate with Diddy, you know we just released our song “Gotta Move On”, so it was only right to keep the frequency of the Love Era going by helping to introduce Passion. I am having a good time tonight here at Harlem Parish experiencing Château CÎROC, with a deeper look into a sensorial experience that celebrates and empowers the passion that fuels us with fans and raising a glass of CIROC Simply Passion.”
Pen Griffey made his debut in 2015 with the critically-acclaimed album, TRAPSOUL. He was embraced early in his career by the likes of Timbaland and Drake, now he’s joining forces with Diddy for arguably one of the hottest records of 2022. The “Don’t” singer learned to “speak up” for himself while working with Diddy. One of Tiller’s biggest takeaways when working with the Bad Boy CEO: “If you don’t like something, say it. I like Diddy because he’s one of those people. He’ll tell you exactly how he feels. I’ve taken that and added it to my daily lifestyle and my career, whenever I’m making music with people.”
The bursting aroma of fresh-tasting pineapple, passion fruit, and citrus filled the venue as patrons submerged in different activations. Like, the Touch Experience by New York fashion designer, LaQuan Smith.Before joining the patrons, we spoke to Bryson Tiller about his recent collaborations, upcoming music, and his passions. Read the full interview below:
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
The new CIROC flavor is Passion and it makes me curious about what are some of your passions outside of family, music, and gaming?
I love water sports. I love jet skiing and being on the water, period. That’s my thing. Shout out to my daughter, Kelly, she’s two and a half years old. She loves water. She’s obsessed with water. I think she gets that from her dad and her mom.
“Need You Right Here” marks your second collaboration with Chris Brown – the first being “Keep You in Mind.” Which record did you have the most fun creating?
Well, I’m gonna have to say this is the first record that we did. “Keep You In Mind” is not even really supposed to be a song. It was more so supposed to be something that I gave to him and I didn’t know I was gonna be featured on it. Shout out to Chris Brown. I’ve been wanted to feature with him for a long, long time. And I got some ideas for him to get on my project as well.
You sound like you’re in a great creative space on Killer Instinct 2. On the “Second Call In” you said your “whole next album is just me singing.” What type of themes and guest features can your fans expect in your new era?
Man, you can expect the unexpected. I’m just trying new things. Definitely singing a lot more. As far as features? I’m not sure yet a hundred percent. I wanna find the right people, you know? Um, definitely my boy Jack, I would say him, of course.
It’s crazy to think that TRAPSOUL came out seven years ago and caused a major cultural shift in R&B. What is the biggest lesson you learned since your debut in 2015?
Biggest lesson? I’ve learned since my debut project is to not listen to a thing that anybody has to say about you. Sometimes when you’re doing something, right, there’ll be some people out there that really try their hardest to make you believe that you’re doing something wrong. It’s a weird thing, especially when you’re a people pleaser, you just want to make sure everybody’s happy. Like, ‘Oh, I’m doing something wrong. Okay, let me adjust. Let me change it.’ But no, do what makes you happy? Do what feels right to you. What feels true to you. You know?
When we interviewed you in 2015, you admitted that you never wanted to be in the spotlight. You wanted to walk in The-Dream’s footsteps and be more behind-the-scenes. Do you still feel that way?
Yeah, I do. I’m trying more and more every day to be open to the idea of being in the spotlight and being the quote unquote superstar. It takes a lot to get there. You know what I’m saying? And I don’t know. Sometimes I just look at myself in the mirror and I’m like ‘Bryson Tiller’ –.trying to convince myself – I be like ‘Bryson Tiller you are a superstar’ or ‘You will be a superstar,’ and every time I do it, it’s not convincing at all.
Does your youngest daughter know you’re a star?
She don’t know a thing.
I’m sure Harley is well aware.
Oh yeah. Harley, she’s well aware. She knows what’s going on.
What song do you have on repeat?
I got Steve Lacy on repeat. Shoutout to Steve Lacy. Amazing album. Keep going.
Who’s your pick for King of R&B?
My King of R&B will always be Chris Brown, for sure.