“I’ve been working on this EP for over a year and a half, since I went viral in 2017,” St. Louis-born singer Layton Greene tells Apple Music. She became an overnight R&B sensation after her rendition of Kodak Black’s “Roll in Peace” on SoundCloud racked up close to 16 million plays in 2017. Two years later, Greene has signed to the Atlanta-based record label Quality Control Music as their first R&B artist and is continuing her meteoric rise with her debut EP, Tell Ya Story. “I feel like after people listen to the EP, they’re going to feel like they know me more,” she says. In this track-by-track guide, get to know Layton through her chronicles on growing up and the ups and downs of love.
Blame on Me “This song is my testimony. It was important to talk about what molded me as a person and everything that led up to where I am today. It was also important for me to inspire others that may be going through similar things that you can make it out of anything. With family, you think that they’re there to love and protect you from any harm, when in reality they’re the ones doing the damage—they’re the ones hurting you. I went through a lot of that throughout my childhood, so it was important for me to put that in there.”
Never Knew “I’m such a hopeless romantic. I kind of hate it, but I’ve always been this way. Even though I’m only 20 years old, I’ve gone through so much in my life: being homeless, barely making it to school, and working nonstop. I felt like when I met this man, he was sent to save me. He was always there when I needed him, and I've never had that before. The guitar at the end was [producer] G-Styles’ idea. He always says, ‘We need to add real instruments to your production.’ So my friend Guitarboy just goes crazy and G-Styles chopped it up and placed it.”
I Love You “This is the fastest song I’ve ever wrote. I feel like in relationships, we all get comfortable and used to one person and it feels like, ‘I can’t see myself with anybody else.’ At least that’s what it was for me. Come to find out, he was still stuck on someone else.”
Choices “I thought this was an important topic to speak on: being torn between two guys that are completely different. My first relationship wasn’t the best relationship, and the guy I was with was disrespectful and cheated constantly. While he was slacking, I met another guy. Even though this guy was sweet and respectful, it was hard for me to give him my attention because I was so wrapped up in the bad guy.”
I Choose “The beat for this song was presented to me by [producer] Sean Pen. I feel like this song kind of goes over a lot of people’s heads when they hear it. I realized that a guy that I’m with isn’t for me, and at this point, I’m not sad, I’m angry. Not only because of the stuff they put me through, but because I should have known better. I’m apologizing to myself and letting myself know that I choose me.”
Knives “Why get into a relationship if you’re always going to lie? How much time are we going to waste? I’ve never understood why someone would get into a relationship just to act single. You do what you want to do, but while you’re doing that, you’re hurting me.”
Open Wounds “I love this song—it’s probably my favorite on the project, period. It’s more upbeat than the rest, and this song is a light-bulb moment. I realized that in order to heal properly, I have to focus on me. In times before, I thought that moving on to someone else would help the hurt, but it just created more.”
Blame on Me
I Love You
7 Songs, 24 Minutes
September 27, 2019
Quality Control Music/Motown Records; ℗ 2019 Quality Control Music, LLC, under exclusive license to UMG Recordings, Inc.