Photos by Crystal at Picture Studios in Greensboro, NC | Follow On Instagram @RentMyStudio

Internet Sensation ‘Ty G’ (@YeahItsTyG) Stopped By Picture Studios In Greensboro To Share His Thoughts About Going Viral. To Date, He Has Over 9 Million Followers On TikTok And Nearly One Million Followers On All Other Social Media Platforms.

Where were you born and what was your childhood like?

I was born in Moore County but I was raised in Rockingham, North Carolina. My childhood was pretty much crazy because you see me now and I’m crazy…Ha Ha. So everything I do is literally a nugget from my family members. It was very family-oriented. I’m still that way. I love family time. We always cut up. We always have fun. We have home videos now that we still look back and watch. We can see all the information. But yeah, it was just nothing but fun. Just cut up, just family time bonding and just really getting to know one another.

What music do you remember hearing in your household?

The music I listened to all the time in my household was old school, like throwback Anita Baker. I mean, we go way back, like all the oldies but goodies like “Before I Let You Go.” Yeah, we were doing all of that. That’s pretty much how I know all the old stuff now that I listen to. Because it was in my upbringing, especially mama. She had all the old records and Prince and Whitney Houston, you name it.

What was the worst thing you got in trouble for as a child?

I would definitely have to say, um, I always tormented the dogs. That was just bad. They didn’t do anything to me. They were just running free, doing what they wanted to do, and I was always just out there doing something. I was always throwing sticks or rocks or just, I was a kid, you know, we know what kids do. But, um, that was the thing that I always got in trouble for – playing with the dogs too much.

How would you describe your time at UNC Greensboro?

I would describe it as a fun time. I soaked up a lot of knowledge and information. If I had to categorize it in one word, I would say it was very vibrant. And when I say vibrant, I mean the diversity that was there. It was always just fun, you know, anywhere that I went, cause I’ve always been a social butterfly myself. So, you know, what I put out, I was always hoping to receive, and it’s like, I received that and then some. So, um, it was always just a breath of fresh air, just being able to walk campus and just see friends and just really soak up what the campus offers.

Photos by Crystal at Picture Studios in Greensboro, NC | Follow On Instagram @InsideMonthly

What was life like for you during the pandemic?

Life during the pandemic was honestly, you know, I got a lot more sleep, I’ll tell you that. But at the same time, that was also a time when I was still in school. I got very comfortable being at home and to myself, to where it’s like, I kind of lost my social media a little bit. But once I really got a grasp of it, I was like, “Okay Ty, I know you’re at home, but get out of this bed and get to that table to do that Zoom call.” Or, you know, like Ty, get up and actually do stuff that you would normally do if you were at home, just in general. And that’s what helped me to get motivated and up and doing stuff alongside my school. And just really keeping myself active and busy. Um, so at first, it was a little draggy, you know, but once I got up and got out of that sluggish mindset, I was good. I was good.

What would you do now if the world shut down again?

If the world shut down right now, I would cry because literally the lifestyle I live requires a lot of moving and just being out and just going and doing stuff, meeting with people, making connections. Of course, I would make it work because we made it work when it first hit the first time, but, um, I think now with the way things are moving and how quickly they’re moving, it would kind of put me in a bigger rut. But you know, I’d get over it and be crying in the process, but it’s okay. I’d get through it.

What do you like doing the most? Do you call them skits?

I do. I call them skits. Skits or series. Either or. I bounce back and forth. But one of my most favorite is the dances with and without music. That’s the joy I have when I do those. If there’s anything that I do, everything I do is authentic. But if y’all really want to see how I really am just as me stripped down, no character, no costume, that’s me 25/8 making noises, acting plum foolish. I ain’t got no sense. Yeah. I’m like that’s literally my personality in a video. I love that video. I have so much fun because it doesn’t take any thought. I just literally set the camera up and just say, “alright Ty, what do you think this sound should be or what what is line should be”? And then I just do it. Because a lot of the footage of it, it’s just like me just standing there like, alright. And then once I get it, I’m like, okay, action.

Tell me how you came up with the “Kick Swivel” dance.

So long story short, this was literally in the afternoon that we were about to go out of town for a family reunion. I was already packed and ready, just sitting there scrolling my phone, waiting for mama to get dressed; she was taking forever. So I’m sitting there scrolling my phone, and literally out of nowhere, I’m just like “kick swivel aye!” I’m on my phone like “kick swivel aye!” and I’m just sitting there just saying it over and over, and I’m like, “why can’t I get this out of my head?” So eventually, I got up, set my phone up, and tried to put some moves. So I’m like, okay, it’s a jingle, so let me try to add some moves. So the “five, six, seven, kick swivel” that you saw me do, literally, I set the camera up, it was one take, filmed it, posted it that same day, and it just took off. Like literally, within the first hour or two, people were just using my sound over and over and over, just using it. Using it, I’m like, “Did I just start I dance craze.” A dance trend? Like, what did I do? ‘Cause I love dancing, and I never would have thought in a million years I would create a dance that got a name to it that people can use. And from that day on, people were literally just doing it, resharing, reposting, reposting, and it blew up. I mean, blew up. And then later in August of 2019, it got turned into a song that blew up as well, featuring I Am Zoie. Y’all probably seen him on Wild N Out, he does the FaceTime videos on Instagram, he does a lot of things. And then it was produced by a guy called Carl aka Casa Di, he actually makes a lot of jingles that you probably heard on TikTok. He’s blowing up a lot, especially one of them is the “that margarita” jingle that you probably have been hearing, he’s behind that. So, he does a lot of different things, and he actually produced that beat. So, yeah, he’s dope, and that’s how it came about. We collaborated, he was like, “we should turn it into a song,” and I said, “okay, cool,” and it went from there. The rest was history.

How is Ty G the dancer different from Ty G the singer?

Oh, so the difference between Ty the dancer, I’m more free. Like, I feel like when it comes to music and just hearing music, I just allow it to make me feel how I think it should make me feel. I just move and go with the flow of it because I’m a self-taught dancer. So whenever I hear a beat or hear a song, I just start dancing, having fun. That’s what it’s about, you’re supposed to just do and not think. But when it comes to the singer, of course, you’re like, “okay, I have to hit this right note,” or, you know, “let me make sure I’m on key.” And not only that, when it comes to the songwriting part of it, I want to make sure that I’m putting out something that is authentic, that is me, that is, you know, if it’s something that I went through or and or if it’s something that I want people to feel or myself, you know, I’ll write that and create something around that topic or central idea and just go from there. So singing, it takes thought. But when it comes to dancing, I’m just free with it, and I just have fun. But I have fun with singing too, but after I get over the hurdle of, like, you know, Ty, get it all right, go ahead, write the lyrics. Then you just have fun singing, blah, blah, blah, and then that’s when the fun part kicks in.

What do fans say when they meet you for the first time?

Oh my! So fans, when they see me in person, my supporters, I’ll tell you, like, they’ll either be like, “oh my gosh, you’re that boy from TikTok,” or “oh my gosh, I’ve seen you before, Ty, that’s Ty G, oh my god,” and they’ll be whispering like, “oh my god, that’s Ty G.” And I’m like, “y’all see me standing right here, and y’all whispering right here beside me?” I’m like, “just say something!” But no, it’s always a shock. And the funny part is, I hear a lot of it, but at the end of the day, they know me, and I don’t know them, so I don’t want it to seem as if I’m a stranger trying to talk to another person that I don’t know. So I initially hope that they take the chance to speak because, of course, I want to talk to them, and I’ve heard, I’m like, “okay, now let’s just say, you know, just say something to me,” and then once that ice is broken, I’ll be like, “so this whole time you scared of me,” and half the time I even initiate, like if I hear it loud enough to where they said it loud, now I’m like, “yeah, it’s me!” “Oh, you know,” now I know you saw me standing, you know, just to kind of warm them up, and then from there, it’s like we just hit it off. But it’s always that initial “oh my gosh, you’re from TikTok” or whatever case may be. Yes, I appreciate it every time.

Who have you had the chance to collaborate with so far?

So far, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with musically-wise. Like I said, I Am Zoie. He’s been one of my favorite influencers for the longest, since I started back in 2013 with social media. I’ve been watching, following him, so doing that musically was like a dream come true. I’ve had the opportunity of collaborating with a lot of other TikTokers. Some of my friends, just naming off their names like Tyshawn, Lawrence, Christian, Dennis. They’re dancers, and they do a lot of different things with fashion and other things. Pretty much, to categorize it, a lot of TikTokers because that’s when I get the chance to meet a lot of them whenever I go to events and things. But other than that, there are other creators that I want to collaborate with, like Pat D Lucky and, you know, like Blame it on Kway. I want to do skits with those types of people and whatnot. But yeah, I’ve done a lot of content just around my friends who are also creators, which is pretty cool, and the list will be very long. So that’s why I’m kind of not going in-depth, but, um, yeah, a lot of people that I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with. Pride.OG, he does a lot of skits on TikTok. Like I said, the names just go because these are people that are now my friends as well.

What should people expect to see from you this year?

Definitely more music. That is definitely coming. I just recently released a single called “La-da-dee-la-da-dum.” It’s out now to kind of hold you over while I get the other songs prepped for you. Definitely that. I’m working on a school tour. I want to start going from school to school. It’s not going to be your traditional “I just pop up and it’s like a talking panel where we just answer questions.” That’s going to be a part of it. I want to give y’all an actual show, perform and have my characters involved. The way I’m envisioning it, it’s going to be big. I just got to make sure I cross my I’s and dot my T’s and all that. Did I say that right? Y’all know what I’m trying to do. Make sure everything’s aligned right. I’m working on the frameworks for that now. That will be coming up soon. Hopefully, a meet and greet. I’ve never done a meet and greet on my own. That is definitely something I’m looking forward to, hopefully doing this year. Hopefully during the summer while the kids are out of school. Of course, anybody else that wants to come because I have every generation supporting, which is a blessing. If not then, definitely a back-to-school type of event. I got some things in mind because I always want to keep myself moving and working, connecting with my supporters this year. I haven’t really done that in the past. Of course, online you do so, but I want to do more in person so I can let my eyes look like I really see ya. I want to make sure that’s known. Definitely more opportunities to meet me and put myself out there as an artist. Just stay tuned. Hopefully, somebody wants to call me for a movie role or a TV role. I’m going to take that too.

How is TikTok different than Instagram and Facebook?

The difference between TikTok and Instagram and Facebook. TikTok is more so… I saw both sides. When I joined, it was musically. Seeing that transition from musically to TikTok, I think the creative drive now for people to actually create has kind of decreased because when I joined, a lot of people were talking about the heart and what people are doing as far as what they produce content-wise. Now it’s more so, “what can I do to get a quick viral moment” or “what can I do to get this quick moment.” Where is the passion behind what you want to do? Just to kind of bring it back in and really all together. To me, I think TikTok is more so fast-paced. It’s more so if a video pops, you’ll see it. After that, there are other users doing stuff, so that’s a lot going on. Instagram, I feel like there’s more of an intimate type of connection because, of course, TikTok is real people there, but you still got your bots and stuff. Even on Instagram, you got your box and stuff, but I feel like for me, Instagram is more so intimate. I really feel like people are actually liking my content, really seeing me, really sharing it, and actually paying attention. I feel like with Instagram, I’m taking my mind and really making sure I’m concrete in what I do, but on TikTok, you’re more free to really just post and just be, and it’s like if it picks up it takes off you cool. You know what I’m saying? But on Instagram, it’s like I’m more strategic on what I put out. Of course, I share the same content across the board, but with Instagram, I feel like you have to be more strategic on how you really brand yourself and really put yourself out there more so from a business point of view, which TikTok you have that same mindset, but you can also just get on there, goof around, and have fun. So you have more freedom versus being strategic like “this is my business, this is my brand.”

Photos by Crystal at Picture Studios in Greensboro, NC | Follow On Instagram @InsideMonthly

What do you like most and least about YouTube?

What I like most about YouTube is the fact that you can do long-form content, and it’s very acceptable. It’s not like you go in there to expect short stuff. People actually appreciate the longevity and the content that you produce, and they’re going to watch it if they really support you. So I love that part about it. The part I like least about YouTube is the fact that once you get opportunities to really take your craft and monetize it, the threshold that you gotta meet to even start accumulating the money that you’re making, that’s the part I don’t like. I feel like you should be able to create and earn what you earn, and that just be that. But it’s like they have you meet a certain marker, so once you meet that mark, they’re like, “Okay, now I can really trust that he can really continue to make these stats and these quotas so he can get paid.” That’s the part that I least like about it, you know. But like I said, I do it because I love it, and, you know, money come to money come, if it don’t, it don’t. I’m still gonna do it, but yeah, they can get that money, you know, you just make the money just like you would with just any video regardless, and you can cash out whenever you want to then I would love it even better, but that’s the YouTube problem, not me, you know, ’cause I’m doing the work, okay, yeah, get it together right and do better.

What’s the best movie you have seen so far this year?

The best movie I’ve seen is probably a given. The Little Mermaid is the best movie I’ve seen. I mean ’cause in it, and the reason I say that is because not only have I seen it, but I’ve done seen countless interviews with her explaining the process, and it just made me value what I saw even more because I was like, “Lord have mercy, all she went through to play that role, to even produce what we’re watching.” I mean, it takes somebody with a strong mind and just the mental capability to be like, “Okay, even though I don’t know how to do half this stuff, I’m gonna do it.” And that’s the type the energy that I always have, like, just leap out there and try, you might like it and it might work, and I’m telling you, the way everything was just formed together, I appreciate it and value that movie so much. So that’s why, and that’s actually the latest movie I’ve seen too, but that’s why The Little Mermaid is chef’s kiss right there.

Which shows have you binged watched all by yourself?

It’s actually a Disney show, but let me tell you, it’s called Saturdays, and it’s produced by Marsai Martin. She’s an executive producer on there, which I didn’t know. We recently just binge-watched that. I mean, within the matter of like two days. It’s like one of them like kids’ shows, so that’s actually really good because a lot of the stuff I see on Disney now, it’s not necessarily that it doesn’t really draw me in as much. But with this show being the type of show it was, and then it’s people of color, that was another top layer for me and really drew me in. The show’s storyline and what it was talking about, what it represented all around skating and roller skating, people that really love skating, I thought it was a pretty dope concept. So if I have to say anything, Saturdays, yeah, that’s a show to watch.

What is one thing that people get wrong about you?

I think one thing people… they judge books by its cover. Like they’ll, you know, based on how you act or how you move or how you talk, they feel like it has to be a certain way. And that’s the stigma that I’m really trying to break because it’s like every man you see is not gonna be that one standard of a man, or every woman you see is not gonna be that one standard of a woman, and elsewhere, whatever case may be. Like, people come in many different ways, shapes, sizes, and forms, and they’re gonna act the way that is natural to them. And I think people have this one-minded mindset sometimes, and it’s like they just forget about, like, “Oh, people can be different.” So it’s like when they see me, they expect, you know, like I have this very outgoing, very vibrant personality, and then, like, you know, there’s, like, this femininity to me, you know what I’m saying? Like, it’s not like always just, you know, just all, like, you know, whatever case may be. And at first, I used to beat myself up about that, but I was like, “You know what, you know, that just proved to me, like, there are different sides to men, and it’s like, you know, I’m saying, it’s like you don’t have to be just one way.” And it’s like, once you really realize that, and, like, “Okay, God made me the way that I am, and the God that I serve, I believe he makes no mistakes,” and it’s just, like, you know, “What? I’m gonna live in that,” and that’s just what I just continue to do ’cause people just think, you know, they’ll place labels on you real quick just based on how you say one thing or act. And it’s just like, “Do you even know me?” You know, I’m saying, like, “Do you even know what goes on behind the scenes with me?” So I just allow just who I am just to bring whoever is supposed to be around me around me, and whoever is supposed to attract to me, attract, and vice-versa, and I just go off the flow of that.

What is one trend that needs to go away ASAP?

Y’all need to stop playing with these plastic bags out here with that, uh, ripping out the plastic. I’ve been acting brand new. Yeah, y’all gonna act brand new when y’all can’t breathe, and there ain’t gonna be nobody fought but yours. So whatever you say. I like it, but no I ain’t gonna do my video. Whenever I do it and after that, I ain’t gonna play with no other trend. But after I do my video, then we can throw it away, but nah, for real, like, it’s just like that. I’m like, really, y’all just playing at y’all mama’s and daddy’s cabinets and just, you know, playing with grocery bags. It’s just, I be confused as to how some stuff comes out, but you know, it is what it is, and you know, if it’s fun to you, it’s fun, but be careful. Trends like that, you know, they can cause hazards and things like that, so be careful. But, you know, I’m gonna put mine on and do what I got to do with it. You know, after I do mine, you know, I think we can go and throw it away. Okay?

“God made me the way that I am, and the God that I serve, I believe he makes no mistakes.” – Ty Gibson