Bryson Tiller Reflects on Songwriting, Fatherhood and More in ‘Handcrafted’ and ‘21 Questions,’ at the Jack Daniel Distillery
In 2015, Bryson Tiller broke into the spotlight with brutally honest R&B confessionals that were buoyed by elegant trap atmospherics. A constant presence in the SoundCloud streaming-sphere, Tiller first stepped into the scene with his debut EP Killer Instinct, Vol. 1, and created further hype with uploads like “Don’t” and “Right My Wrongs”—with the former hit peaking at No. 13 on the Hot 100. The songs appeared on his genre-shifting debut Trapsoul, and since, Tiller has become a chart mainstay, landing on the Artist 100 Chart for 91 weeks and recording 14 Hot 100 entries to date.
In Handcrafted, Tiller and company learn how Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey is fashioned while our hip-hop editor gets the artist to reflect on his own creative process. To kick off the day, tour guide Brandi Smith takes the guys to the rick yard, where she explains how igniting sugar maple wood pallets and using the resulting charcoal as a filter is key to achieving the signature flavor that Jack Daniel’s is known for.
“With Jack Daniel’s, I noticed they have a very slow and steady approach. From the music or career standpoint, can you identify with that in any sense?” questions Lamarre. “Yeah, there are a lot of similarities with my music,” replies the Grammy-nominated artist. “Like what she [Brandi] said, ‘the slow burn.’ I take my time with my music. I like to let time pass to really see if I’m feeling it or not. A lot of times in between albums, I like to really feel things out and let the music speak for itself. It’s quality over quantity.”
Next on tour is a stop at the Motlow Cave, where viewers learn that corn, barley, rye, and iron-free limestone spring water are pivotal cornerstones in the Jack Daniel’s distillation process. “It’s really the groundwork, the foundation to where we start our whiskey. Distilleries are prevalent throughout Kentucky and Tennessee because there are natural limestones. When the water goes through the limestone, it picks up minerals that contribute to the taste of whiskey but leaves out the iron. It’s the very first stage of making Jack,” Brandi reveals.