After three years of “California Dreaming” in Los Angeles, TyFontaine touched back down in his native Washington, DC feeling more focused than ever.
Deactivating all social media this past month, the Ascension hitmaker has blocked out any and all distractions ahead of his upcoming album A2 — which even includes his cell phone.
“I don’t want to be influenced subconsciously by the internet. It’s easy for that to happen, especially nowadays. I don’t want to be bombarded,” he said. “I’m off of socials right now, but as far as even having my phone on me, I’ll leave it at home the whole day when I go to the studio.”
Emulating his new single “Studio Junkie” (March 24) to the fullest on our latest call, Fontaine’s next effort is not only set to drop on Friday (March 24), but is poised to usher in Ascension 2 this year. Revealing that he wants to share the album on the second anniversary of Ascension, Ty is striving to recapture the emotions his triumphant debut brought him and his fans.
“I’ve been trying to channel the feelings I had when I made my debut. I’m really going off that. Expect updated sounds and really just an update on my life, trying to bring back ‘that’ vibe for sure… The goal is to drop [A2] on the second anniversary of ‘Ascension.’ Next year could be No. 3… that would be cool.”TyFontaine on ‘A2’
Fontaine’s been hard at work perfecting its sequel since summer 2022, stemming from his sophomore album Beautiful Michi Girls and eclectic mixtape WTF is P¡NK. Sharing holdover EPs in Love At All Cost and The Revive — a “prelude” to A2 featuring akin underground stars SoFaygo and Joony — Ty’s atmosperhic allure and versatility is his greatest strength, evident on “Studio Junkie.”
“3 days! No sleep, I’m a studio junkie,” he croons on the hook, as Ty floats over reversed vocal chops, airy synths and bouncy trap drums. Perfect for late-night drives, Fontaine’s new effort encapsulates A2’s atmospheric essence. After all, “this about my legacy, not about no paper, sh**.”
Finishing the album back at home, Ascension 2 looks to be a full update on Fontaine’s life, powered by sonic motivators in Future’s HNDRXX and LUCKI’s Flawless Like Me. Looking to dig back into his spacious, R&B-inspired bag, tracks like “Doin Damage,” “Hand Her The Gun” and “Parlay” set the tone for Ascension 2’s arrival. “[The A2 Prelude] definitely showcases the direction of the project,” Fontaine explained. “They aren’t singles, they aren’t throwaways, they were just tracks that fit the same vibe of the project when I was making it. It’s something extra.”
Ty has tons more music on the way too. His next tape, Black Truck Life — another “appetizer” for A2 — is already set to drop sometime in April. Along with his long-teased joint project with Joony, MICHI is eyeing to put out “four full bodies of work” in 2023. “[Joony and I] always come up with a date for that to drop, and we’ve been talking about it since last year — it was really supposed to come out last year.” he said. “We say it’s done, but then we just keep making songs and keep adding. I would say this year, though, it’ll definitely come out.”
With Ascension 2 shaping up to be a more inward-looking record for Fontaine, he’s “starting to really digest these last three years” — figuring out his next steps in life back in his hometown. Since leaving Internet Money in 2021, independence has taught Ty troves of life lessons that continue to channel his creative drive, building out his label HighTide among other endeavors.
“It’s probably one of the most rewarding things because you’re like a sole businessman, you’re not at the mercy of a label. I can drop whenever and however I want to. To each their own, but I can from a background where my parents had their own practices, my grandma was a realtor, so that entrepreneurial spirit is within me,” Ty said. “It’s the best thing because I can’t cut corners — you really have to keep your relationships and understand that that’s more valuable than money. It’s important, sure, but at the end of the day, it’s about how you provide value to people, if they like you and what you stand for.”
As “Studio Junkie” jumpstarts his A2 era, expect fireworks from Fontaine from here on out.
Listen to “Studio Junkie” below!