Trifecta Gala National Award in the Arts: Bryson Tiller
This award honors an artist with outstanding achievement in Louisville and on a national scale—Bryson Tiller. The 26-year-old singer/songwriter/hip-hop artist emerged from the streets of Louisville with his own brand of street soul that musically blends the urgency of trap music with the smoother sound of alternative R&B. Reared on the slow jams of 112, Dru Hill, Chris Brown and Omarion, Tiller realized his talent as a teen, serenading his female classmates and eventually creating his first recordings at a friend’s makeshift studio. In October 2014, Tiller released his biggest track to date, a self-reflective slow burner entitled, “Don’t,” which garnered an impressive 63-million-plus listens on SoundCloud and a direct message on Twitter from Drake, one of Tiller’s biggest musical influences. Self-recorded and mixed in his modest Louisville living room studio, the online success of “Don’t” came as a surprise to the young artist and indirectly confirmed his life goal: make music that resonates. Tiller’s debut T R A P S O U L, LP was released in October 2015, and his single “Exchange” earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B song. Tiller has also won BET Awards for Best New Artist and Best Male R&B/Pop Artist.