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Friday, 18 September 2015 23:23

Ty Dolla $ign

Written by Kristie Bertucci Photos: Michael Vincent
R&B is making a comeback after years of being shadowed by hip-hop and Ty Dolla $ign is leading the pack. As the go-to guy for R&B hooks and features, Ty (born Tyrone Griffin Jr.) is gearing up for a huge summer before he drops his highly anticipated debut album Free TC. His latest single “Drop That Kitty (feat. Charli XCX and Tinashe) is already slated to be one of summer’s top jams, and he’s going to be touring the world, performing at various summer concerts and festivals. Earlier this year, he was honored by MTV and included in their “Artist To Watch,” lineup for 2015, joining the likes of other up-and-coming acts like Rae Sremmurd, with a yearlong campaign and promotion across the network’s various platforms.

“I can’t believe it sometimes; it’s amazing at how great everything is turning out right now,” the 30-year-old L.A. artist says. “It’s incredible the places music has taken me and the opportunities I’ve been given. I’m going to keep on giving it my all and doing the best I can at my craft.” Ty’s been perfecting his craft for a while now, since helming YG’s 2010 hit “Toot It and Boot It (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)” and has since been an in-demand writer, producer and featured artist. He’s worked with many chart-topping artists since then, including B.o.B, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and more. But it was his 2013 Beach House EP that really placed him on the musical rap scene as a credible solo artist.

With a musician for a father, Ty fell in love with music at an early age and began by playing the bass. Over the years, he expanded his knowledge of music and learned several instruments, including guitars, drums and keyboards. “I’m a real musician and different from others since I play everything,” he says. “It doesn’t matter what instrument it is, I can do it all. I make beats, sing, write – everything.” And it’s his ability to do it all that makes him such a noteworthy artist whose music is unique and filled with truth.

His album will feature a variety of tracks – from club bangers, to smooth hits, lounge tracks and more. “My heart went into making this album and I went all in, with every song that made it. I’m here to give everybody incredible music.” With a ton of collaborations from the likes of his “homies,” including YG, DJ Mustard, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and more, Free TC also has a very personal message for Ty. “My brother is locked up for something he didn’t do, so I need to stack up all the bread I can to get him to hire a good lawyer and get him out of that situation, while still providing fans with good tunes.”

Between a busy tour schedule and trying to help out his brother, Ty isn’t about having a million-dollar garage right now, and is instead trying to build his first old school. “I have a 1964 Chevy Impala that I’m trying to fix up,” he says. “I’ve always loved old school rides and am excited to start building my first one. I want to keep the classic styling of the Impala and just want to update a few things. But I’ll definitely chrome the bottom and add chrome accents.”

Since it’s his first build, Ty didn’t know where to start and looked to Mike Agazaryan of Arete MotorSports, who owns the 1967 Ford Mustang Eleanor replica Ty shot with. Like Ty, Agazaryan has a passion for classic cars, with a Mustang his dream ride that he’s always wanted to create. “This build has been my longest and most difficult to date,” the experienced builder notes. “I’ve always wanted that Eleanor Mustang from the movie ‘Gone In 60 Seconds,’ and my dad and I sought out to build one. It took months of hard work and patience since we had to make sure all the parts fit right. There was no reference point we looked to while building it, so we had to do everything from scratch to make sure it was perfect and show quality. I told him that building a custom like this takes patience to make sure it all flows right.”

And Ty made sure to take notes so that he could create a work of art with his own Impala. “Everything about the Mustang catches your eye when you first see it,” he says. “Everything from the paint to the interior, it’s just a really cool car.”

As he gears up for a long customization process and a booked summer, Ty isn’t about to do a half-assed job on either to make sure that his Impala and music career are successful. “I’m going hard everyday to be the biggest artist in the world,” he says. “I want to be one of the best there ever was. I’m here to stay and my ability to do it all only enforces that. It’s all good, though, I know I’ll be here for a while doing my own thing, with both cars and music.”

1967 Ford Mustang
289 Original Engine completely rebuilt
Performance headers
Performance intake system
Custom Magnaflow side exit exhaust
Dodge Viper Red paint job
MustangsToFear Eleanor bodykit
Shelby GT500 LED taillights
Cobra Steering wheel
BMW M3 Vader Seats
2005 Shelby GT roll bar
Custom upholstery and Cobra embroidery
Authentic Carroll Shelby autographed dash
Carroll Shelby Autographed Gauges
MustangstoFear door panels with Kenwood component speakers
Custom-made rear trim panels with Kenwood speakers
Center console  with Kenwood DVD/Audio head unit
Trunk enclosure with 10” Kicker CVR subwoofer and HIfonics Amp

Ty Dolla $ign
IG and Twitter @tydollasign
Arete MotorSports
IG @arete_motorsports