Ty Dolla $ign on Working With John Mayer, His Collaboration Project With Jeremih & His Favorite Hook of All Time

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Mtn Dew NBA All-Star Weekend
Ty Dolla $ign at Mtn Dew Kickstart Courtside Studios at NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles on Feb. 18, 2018.  

In October, Ty Dolla $ign cradled listeners with his spellbinding album Beach House 3. After nabbing a multitude of stars, including YG, Future, Lil Wayne and more for BH3, the incomparable singer successfully netted a three-peat with his lionized series. 

With his Don't Judge Me Tour slated to begin Wednesday night (Feb. 21) in Santa Ana, California, Ty got a warm-up session at Mountain Dew's Kickstart Courtside Studios on Sunday during NBA All-Star Weekend. As part of his collaboration with the soda company, the "Love U Better" crooner performed a laundry bag of hits including "Ex," "Or Nah" and more.

Before Ty rocked the stage, he sat with Billboard to discuss his collaboration with Mountain Dew, working with John Mayer, his favorite hook of all time, and why there won't be another Beach House album. Check it out below. 

How did this collaboration with Mountain Dew come about?

You know, my partner put it together. He gave me a call and said, "Yo, do you wanna get down with Mountain Dew?’ And I said, of course, I’ve been drinking Mountain Dew since I was what? Seven?

Since you're in your hometown at the moment, what is it about LA that you love the most?

The weather, the food, everything about it man, literally. This is my city, so much love out here and good energy--if you mess with the right folks.

Let’s just dive into the Beach House 3 album. On “Famous," you had one of your favorite artists, John Mayer, do some of the background vocals. How were you able to secure the vocals?

Yeah, um Instagram. He hit me up when I posted the “Love U Better” single artwork, and said the artwork was dope. So I hit him back, and said, "I wanna come to your concert when you come to LA," and he said, "Sure, hit my tour manager and he’ll get you situated or whatever."

So we did, and that show was so dope that we went to the Anaheim show. So we went to that as well, and then the next day I was in the studio, I was like, ‘If you’re still around, pull up.’ And he was, and he pulled up solo, no cameras, no security guards, nothing extra, just on the music. And I had a feeling that he might not have a guitar on him, so I had rented one and had it ready to go.

You’re one of the best in the business when it comes to hooks. If you could give me your top three favorite hooks of all time, which three would it be and why?

Dang man. There’s so many, I can’t….

Or even one.

Well, “Blase” is really Future. Uh...“Paranoid,” I’ll say “Paranoid.” It’s one of those songs where before I dropped it there was nothing else like it. And then once I dropped it, you started to hear a lot of other songs that were reminiscent of “Paranoid.” So basically, we put together a whole sound, and it always feels good to start something rather than follow what somebody else got going.

You've managed to receive praise from Dru Hill, an epic group from the '90s, and then later, a young talent like a Daniel Caesar who shouted you out on the Rap Radar Podcast. How does it feel to have fans from all different demographics and age brackets appreciate your craft?

It feels amazing because that’s exactly what I like to do with my music. Everything from like  -- we were nominated for best rock at one of those awards, maybe Billboard, and then nominated for best dance at another one, and then best pop with Fifth harmony, and then hip-hop at another one. So I do every type of music, I listen to every type of music. So to be recognized from every type of people and genre feels dope.

With that being said, what do you think is the most underrated aspect of your artistry?

I think the most underrated aspect of my artistry is that I play instruments because I haven’t really been so upfront with it. I caught on with the party records that fans are coming to see, but on this Don’t Judge Me Tour, I’m doing a lot -- playing guitar, playing bass, might even knock on the drums one time. You know, show off a little bit more.

Fans are excited about that collaboration album you have with Jeremih. What's the status of that MihTy project?

It’s basically done. I think it’s mixed and everything. We’re just waiting on different clearances from some of the collaborations we did. It’s lit, I’m excited.

Well, what can we expect? You already said collaborations, so I gotta dig. [Laughs]

I got French Montana, who Yung Berg -- The Hitmaker -- he had played one of the snippets on Joe Budden’s [podcast]. And that one’s featuring French Montana, and that’s all I’m gonna say right now. You guys know I got a list of very dope musician friends that I can call on, so I definitely used my phone.

After releasing Beach House 3, do you plan on adding one more to the series, or are you gonna leave it with the trilogy?

Yeah, the trilogy is the Holy Trinity. The three we gonna leave it right there. I might pick up on another Sign Language or another Airplane Mode. Who knows?

Lastly, if you could choose one word to describe this chapter in your life, what would it be?

This chapter in my life, I’m just grateful. Coming from wondering how I was gonna pay the gas bill, or get my daughter a birthday gift to now -- like basically the opportunities to get whatever I want feels amazing. So grateful is the word of the day.