Tyler Cole Says Everyone Is Kind of a Fuckboy
If you pay any attention to young LA cool kids, you’ve probably heard of Tyler Cole. But when he’s not being stalked by J-14 reporters who are trying to decide if he’s really dating Willow Smith or not, he’s making a shitload of art.
Tyler Cole has a solo music career, and has been touring LA all summer with his band, Mourning Knights. When he’s not making jams, he’s directing music videos or writing screenplays.
Oh, and he also was busy organizing his crystals while we talked to him about how his Instagram feed plays into his emotions, why he likes to put on Space Odyssey on first dates, and why everybody has their fuckboy moments.
We’re actually super obsessed with the song “Pray For Me.” It starts off really slow and gets really passionate. Can you tell us what the song is about?
I made it when I found out some news about my dad, I actually don’t have a personal relationship with him. I actually found out from someone in my family that he went to prison for a really long time. I guess he’s still there, but I have no way of knowing any of the details. So it was kind of just like, being unsure about things.
If there was a Tyler Cole Pandora station, what other artists would be on it?
Oh wow. Okay, you’d get some Blood Orange, some Prince and Michael Jackson, if they’re even allowed to be on Pandora. You’d get some Pink Floyd and Beatles, and like some Outkast “The Love Below.” I’m really inspired by classic rock and really alternative stuff.
What does the word fuckboy mean to you?
Someone who just like, takes things out of context. Someone who will just take things to a level where it doesn’t need to be and has no chill.
Lots of musicians are dubbed “fuckboys,” have you ever done anything fuckboy-esque before?
I’ve done so many things fuckboy-esque, I think everyone has done some fuckboy shit. Have you ever heard of Run The Jewels? They use the term fuckboy a lot that’s where I started using it from. I’ll credit them.
Your Instagram is almost all black and white, what was the reasoning behind that decision?
I’ve always been really interested in film, and I just loved the look of black and white. And also, it’s kind of a thing where my mom is white and my dad’s black and I’ve always felt overly borderline. Not that they’re categories or anybody should be categorized by race, but it’s a really insufferable feeling, feeling like I have to be categorized. That my music’s not black enough, I don’t talk about ignorant shit. But my music’s not white enough because I rap. People like to categorize, so that’s kind of how I feel about that. I know I took that so far off, but like, black and white is kind of an emotion to me.
Have you ever heard the song “Black & White” by The Neighborhood?
Yeah, I have.
You just reminded me of that.
Really? That’s funny. Or like Michael Jackson’s “Black & White,” it’s a universal thing but it’s hard for people to resonate [with it]. I think colors relate to emotions so much, like for example Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange.” Like orange to him, at least from what I remember him saying, is that orange is like zen or inner peace. That’s what he was trying to achieve, the emotions that the album gave. Regardless, he was trying to relate the color to an emotion and people can relate to that.
So what’s your favorite color then?
A strong purple.
I’ve always loved purple because in elementary school the whole boy color and girl color thing, I thought it was dumb as fuck so I was just like, “I like purple, fuck you guys.” It also represents royalty, which has nothing to do with it, but fun fact. Also Whoopi Goldberg is awesome. I’m holding an amethyst right now, it’s purple as fuck.
I was actually looking for all these crystals… I have a lot of crystals, but I can’t find so many of them all the time. I was getting all the ones I have in this drawer. So I just picked up this big amethyst my grandma gave me and I’ve been holding it this whole time without realizing it.
What’s your favorite social media platform?
Instagram definitely. Twitter is funny, but Instagram, I can post a picture and not say anything and it can speak for itself whereas on Twitter if you just post a picture it’s not as powerful. Twitter goes by so fast, it amazes me how much shit you can miss by just not being on Twitter. It’s really messy, but I think it’s amazing how you can just spit out basic ideas, it’s just an idea platform.
You’re also in a band, Mourning Knights, what’s your role in that?
My band is definitely a huge focus, I’ve been playing shows with them all summer. I’m the first rhythm guitarist and the lead vocalist in the band. And along with my friends Jesse, Gitai, and Oren who play bass, lead guitar, and drums. We’ve been playing shows through LA pretty much all summer. I’ve been focusing more on that then my own personal stuff at the moment. We’re also working on an album as a band and another solo project I have going on.
Which member of a band do you think gets laid the most? Why?
I’d say totally either the singer or lead guitarist depending on the band, you know? Like they’re some bands like uh, the Arctic Monkeys, everyone loves the lead singer, Alex, but the guitarist is probably getting laid more.
Who’s your dream groupie?
Groupie? Oh man, I’m so like, pro-feminism that word makes me feel weird. But like, I don’t know. Just anyone who I could get to come to my show. Like if I could get Erykah Badu to show up to my show, that would be awesome.
You seem to have a hand in a bunch of different creative avenues, are there any creative outlets that you would never want to get involved with?
Not a single one. I would love to try everything. I love painting, I’m a pretty bad painter but I love painting. That’s just an example, but I don’t know. I’m writing my first feature film right now. But I’m just interested in writing which takes you to so many creative avenues. I don’t know, just visual art, everything. I would love to experience creating every art in every form, or at least try in some point in my life.
That question resonates because I always get told to choose one and that I have to focus on one. But I am acting right now, I’m creating films and shooting videos, but also creating music heavily. People, even people I respect a lot, are telling me I need to slow down and focus on one, but it’s just funny you ask that because that’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately.
Yeah I feel like older people in this industry say to focus on one, but I feel like it’s changing with social media, it lets you market yourself differently.
I completely agree, look at Kanye West for example. He became super successful in music and is a well-respected person to the point where he can just make his own fashion brand and go into debt and it doesn’t even matter because he’s going to make his money back. People who have any sort of platform are able to somehow get their foot into another platform so much easier.
So if you had a girl over to Netflix and chill, what movie would you put on?
Netflix is missing so much. I would not Netflix, it would be DVD I own and chill. It would probably be 2001 Space Odyssey because it would tell me so much about the girl.
Either ‘”this is so boring,” and then I probably can’t sustain a conversation with her. Or like, she’s seen it before, and that’s already cool. Or like, never seen it, but fascinated, and that’s good. I like the second two.
Cover image taken by Willow Smith