YSB Tril discusses his new mixtape, ‘STARSTRUCK 2,’ genre-bending and more
by Ashlyn Robinette
Photos by Joshua Burch
Up-and-coming rapper YSB Tril recently released his latest mixtape “STARSTRUCK 2,” which is a synthesis of sounds and lyrics never heard from the artist before — an experimental showcase of his versatility.
He said this is just a taste of what is yet to come.
“This year you can definitely expect more experimentation,” Tril said. “I want to give the people some different stuff but I also want to give the core fans the stuff that they already love and know. I’ve been experimenting with pop-ish stuff, I’ve been doing some more R&B. I’ve been just kind of everywhere, trying to see where everything goes. I’ve got a lot of different types of music I want to share.”
The North Carolina-born artist grew up singing around the house (which he still does, much to the annoyance of his roommates) and listening to a mix of music from the Jonas Brothers to Eminem.
Eventually, Tril’s cousin introduced him to Lil Wayne’s music, which sparked his interest in rapping. Tril has been making waves in the rap game ever since.
The 21-year-old made his first song in junior high after seeing the attention his friend received for making one.
“I was like ‘nah, I can do this too,’” Tril said.
While his songs weren’t great, Tril said they fueled his passion for making music.
Now, Tril continues to demonstrate his versatility in all aspects of his music.
The rising star has garnered success and continues amassing streams with his 2021 album “HOTSHOT,” 2019 EP “STARSTRUCK,” and several previously released singles.
Tril delivers yet again with his eight-track EP “STARSTRUCK 2.”
“I made this second project ‘STARSTRUCK 2’ because I just feel like the first ‘STARSTRUCK’ was kind of like a big moment for me,” he said. “It was my first project and it helped take me to the next level. I feel like this music from ‘STARSTRUCK 2’ is the same type of deal. I feel really strongly about it.”
The new, energetic mixtape, which features Kill Jasper, YungLiV and midwxst, is full of elevated bars and catchy, fast-paced verses that will have your head bobbing in seconds. Tracks like “TURN ME DOWN” will surely get listeners to turn up.
“I want people to understand my versatility,” Tril said. “I feel like I’ve definitely been able to showcase that way more on this project ... it shows how much more mature my sound has gotten.”
It’s safe to say that listeners can expect more genre-bending in Tril’s future projects.
BECOMING A YSB
You wouldn’t know it just by looking at him, but Tril prefers to be alone, which actually explains his dedication to making it on his own.
“I’m one of those people that doesn’t really like to depend on other people,” he said.
Tril prefers to do most things by himself because he said he gets his energy from being alone. He also doesn’t like being on top of other people when depending on them. If something were to go wrong, then he would rather have only himself to blame.
The “YSB” in YSB Tril is a lifestyle he follows. It stands for “young, self-made boss.”
Created by one of his friends in high school, the mantra reminds Tril of what he can accomplish.
“I feel like a lot of people preach this message but I still really believe you can do anything,” he said. “I never would have thought two years ago that I would be signed right now or even halfway in the position that I’m in. I feel like if you really put your mind to something then you can actually do anything.”
Tril’s unyielding work ethic is clear through his vocal strength and impressive catalog of songs and accompanying music videos.
His 2021 song “Count Me In” was even featured on the Madden 22 Soundtrack along with Jack Harlow, Swae Lee, Moneybagg Yo and more.
Tril’s vocal control and creativity are two factors he feels has contributed most to his success, which are especially evident in his music videos.
The day after the release of “STARSTRUCK 2,” Tril released the music video to “LOOSE SCREWS,” which is the fifth track of the mixtape. In the video, Tril is restrained by a straitjacket in a mental health facility.
Other music videos for songs from “STARSTRUCK 2” Tril has released include “PARALYZED,” “OMG,” and “BRAND NEW.” From running around with a ticking time bomb attached to his chest to being trapped in an empty movie theater, Tril has come up with several intriguing visual concepts.
Though Tril’s favorite music video he’s ever made was for last year’s “WORKIN,” we can expect to see even more creative videos from him later this year.
When it comes to making music, Tril’s sound is most influenced by Juice WRLD and Roddy Ricch. Though, the inspiration behind his songs is less precise.
“I get my creative inspiration from situations that happen randomly, like stories my homies will tell me,” Tril said. “You know, you get inspiration from anywhere honestly.”
Tril said that it’s best to not force anything and instead let ideas come naturally.
“My best songs have come out when I wasn’t even expecting them to be what they were,” he added.
However, his beat selection is more calculated.
“If the beat doesn’t catch my ear in the first three or four seconds, I just skip,” Tril said. “That matters a lot, especially for listeners who don’t listen to your music. If they hear a fire beat come on then they’ll stick around for at least the beginning.”
Tril focuses on keeping the attention span of his listeners by hooking them with that first beat drop.
Tril’s fans are what motivate him and Tril said he aspires to continue making music that changes their lives.