A Conversation With Ty Fontaine

Ty Fontaine is someone who got put on my radar a few months ago and I have been a big fan ever since then, he has a unique style and makes extraordinary music, so when I saw he was about to drop his brand new project 1800, I had to lock in an interview with him. TyFontaine not only has the music talent, the ‘look’, and the charisma to be one of the next generations leading artists, but he also has some tremendous backing from the Internet Money collective that will help him along the way. Listen to his new ‘1800’ project and get to know TyFontaine in our latest interview below:



EM: Where are you from originally?

TyFontaine: Born in DC, lived there until I was about six years old then moved to Maryland. That’s where I call home, PG County.

EM: What was it like growing up in the DMV?

TyFontaine: It was cool pretty regular. It’s kinda like people from outside of the DMV that are from lowered income areas see the DMV & it’s kind of like Texas, where you can get a bang for your buck because it’s majority black so you can get a pretty big home for a cheap price. Hood dudes would be living and trapping out of these pretty suburban homes, you could have a lawyer on one side of the street and the next house is a trap house. It’s cool but that was the only kinda weird thing about it, other than that everything was pretty regular.

EM: When did you first start creating music?

Ty Fontaine: In the spring of 2018, probably May of that year.

EM: What/who inspired you to become an artist?

Ty Fontaine: Back then I was listening to a lot of Lil Uzi Vert, Juice WRLD, Young Thug, and KEY!

EM: Considering that you’ve been rapping since 2018 to where you’re at now is a quick rise, how has it felt?

TyFontaine: From the get-go, I saw myself progressing very quickly. I was around rappers and I would see them go to the studio once a week + they were bubbling up, putting out a video or song every month. I saw that and I knew if I wanted to do this and progress fast that I had to work at it every day. It hasn’t seemed fast to me for real for real because I’ve been in it, but everyone else thinks it’s been fast.

EM: How would you describe your music to someone who has never listened before?

Ty Fontaine: There was this one tweet that I saw that said: “TyFontaine’s music is like going to the carnival”. That’s probably the best way to describe it, it’s a lot of fun & easy going.

EM: Can you explain the creative process behind the song ‘fetish’?

Ty Fontaine: I was listening to Young Thug’s project Slime Season 3 with Tanner who produced on it, and then he made a beat right after that with the other producers Rio & Cxdy and ‘fetish’ was the final product of that beat. It was inspired by that Slime Season 3 for sure.

EM: How do you think teaming up with internet money has helped you progress with your music?

Ty Fontaine: Just musically I took a step forward just by being around all of them in the house, you’re going to go up just by being there because everyone is on a different level. Also, I’ve learned how to gain more fans + how to engage with my fans, Taz is really good at that.

EM: What was it like living in that house?

TyFontaine: It was like a frat house bro, I was living in their garage which was kinda sweet because it’s a nice ass house, I had the air mattress + a little stand-up closet, I was living! Cxdy has a room in the house but he was in Florida for a couple of months so I took his room, set my air mattress up there + set up shop, then a month ago I moved into my own apartment. It’s cool though man, it’s just like a bunch of work as soon as you wake up in the morning, there are producers there, engineers pull up, it’s great.

EM: What’s your favorite song you have created to date?

Ty Fontaine: Creating itself there are two songs, ‘Moments’ that is on the tape and ‘Message’ that isn’t out yet. I created both of those songs off of mushrooms and it was a crazy experience.

EM: You just released your new project, how does it feel? How has the reception been so far?

Ty Fontaine: It feels good man, there’s been a ton of good reception, a lot of Instagram engagement, Twitter engagement, all that. Fans have been telling me that they like the project, and so has my family. My family is supportive of me creating music, especially once I was starting to provide for myself but they actually enjoy the music, like my mom listens to ‘fetish’ haha. Everything’s been going pretty good, I couldn’t ask for anything else. People have been calling it an album but it’s really just a mixtape. I made all of these songs except for ‘Moments’ when I first came out to California in 2019. So these are pretty old to me, I’m glad to get them out.

EM: Why did you title the project 1800?

Ty Fontaine: That’s just what me and my crew call ourselves that we came up with in high school, the group is called HighTide but we put 1800 at the end because 1800 means forever to us. If you flip the 18 to the side it’s the infinity sign underlined so it just means forever. It’s just a number that I kind of claim, I got it tatted on me, all that.

EM: What would you consider the main difference between 1800 and the music you have released prior to this?

Ty Fontaine: It’s just better. All of my projects, even before the ones with Internet Money, you can just see the progression. I always try to make sure my music is better than what it was before, and this tape all around it a big upgrade.

EM: You just released a visual for “Nat Nat”, can we expect any more videos for other songs on this project?

Ty Fontaine: Yeah I have five videos done right now and I think I am going to shoot one more. There’s going to be a new video every week type of thing and then by the end of that, I should be moving on to dropping stuff for the next project.

EM: Your sound is super unique and unlike anyone else in the industry. Is that something you take pride in?

Ty Fontaine: Yeah for sure. There are people who have done the same thing as other people and still pop off, but that’s mostly because there personality is more than music so they are getting on more for other shit than there music. For me, making good music that is different has always been the main way to get more attention. If you keep doing something different people are going to fuck with it or not fuck with it, but they are going to tune in regardless. Being different is something I take pride in, I never try to make the same sounding song twice for my own music, I always try to one-up myself with creativity. 

EM: Who are some artists you’d really like to work with someday?

Ty Fontaine: Brent Faiyaz, he just reached out to me two days ago so that’s crazy. Robin Thicke, Young Thug, YNW Melly, Playboi Carti, and Shordie Shordie.

EM: Are there any artists out of Chicago that you want to collab with?

Ty Fontaine: Lil Durk and Lucki are two ones I really want to work with.

EM: Are there any artists that are up & coming that you have your eye on right now?

Ty Fontaine: Sport VVS, GT Freeco, Lil Spirit, Yung Manny

EM: What is some advice you would give to your younger self?

TyFontaine: You can’t care what other people think because the more you let people get into your head the more your music is going to sound normal. Even now, you can go on my page and see a bunch of love or see a bunch of hate. There are people who say “he’s an Uzi clone, or a Thug clone, or a Keed clone”.  If you give into that shit you’re done with. On the other hand, my teachers were telling me to stop rapping and to focus on sports because I was playing Lacrosse at the time. Just don’t listen to what people think, if you want to do it just keep doing it, you’re going to get better if you work at it.

EM: You played Lacrosse?

TyFontaine: Yeah, at the end of my junior year I committed to Virginia Military Institute to play Lacrosse in college. Then I decommitted because I was considering going to Navy and Jacksonville University but then I decided to not play in college. Because with Lacrosse, it’s not like basketball or football where you can go to the NBA or NFL. College is the last resort for Lacrosse.

EM: I’ve noticed you work with a few really dope video directors, do you prefer any of them for different types of songs?

TyFontaine: I fuck with all of them, it’s just different vibes. LouieKnows gives you a raw vibe, JakeTheShooter gives you a clean run n gun type of vibe with some storytelling. Then Dotcomnirvan is crazy with edits + cartoons, Clockwork-Productions give you trap vibes.

EM: What else can we expect from you in 2020, any new music aside from 1800?

Ty Fontaine: I plan on releasing four or five projects this year, so a lot more new music. Also some festivals (if they don’t get canceled), I am performing at Rolling Loud, The Summer Smash, and a few more. Then hopefully a tour in 2021.

EM: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Ty Fontaine: My own label, really what Taz is doing. The reason why I signed to Taz isn’t because he threw the most money at me or said he could playlist me or whatever, it’s because I looked up to him. I want to be doing what he does, signing + developing artists at a good rate. I want to do what Taz does and what Young Thug does, obviously do this music shit for a while but executives get real money so I see myself getting into that.