R&B singer Bryson Tiller decided to release his second album, True to Self, a month earlier than planned. Tiller scored hits with his first album, TRAPSOUL, including “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Don’t.” Tiller has a daughter with longtime girlfriend, Markea Bivens.
The couple have a young daughter, Harley, who is frequently seen on Tiller’s Instagram page. However, the couple is not engaged.
Here’s what you need to know about Markea Bivens and their daughter.
1. The Two Are Not Engaged
Tiller and Bivens’ current relationship status isn’t clear. Based on his Instagram photos, he is involved in raising their daughter, but Bivens herself hasn’t been in any photos with him in months. She was last seen in Halloween photos.
In June 2016, he posted a photo of Bivens with their daughter and only a heart emoji in the caption, this led Global Grind to think they were engaged, but Media Take Out reported that they are not getting married. EmpireBBK.com reported in June 2016 that the two weren’t even together any longer.
2. Tiller Says He Really Missed His Daughter While on Tour
After Tiller shot to fame with 2015’s TRAPSOUL album and the 2014 hit single “Don’t,” he went on the road to promote the album. In an October 2015 interview with The Boom Box, Tiller said he really missed being with Harley while on the road. He also wasn’t too happy about being in unfamiliar cities.
The 24-year-old Tiller grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and was influenced by the music of Dru Hill, 112, Chris Brown and Omarion, according to his RCA Records biography. His mother died when he was four years old, so he was raised by his grandmother. He recorded his first songs at a friend’s makeshift studio.
“I went over to my homie’s house to record this song that he wanted to feature me on, and next thing you know, everyone at school was talking about it. We received both positive and negative feedback for the song, and that only made me want to get back in the studio and get better,” Tiller told RCA.
Tiller also told The Boom Box that he was also heavily influenced by Kanye West’s music.
“He’s just, he’s a father. He’s out here getting it,” Tiller told the site. “And he recently tweeted something like ‘Do everything you possibly can in one lifetime’ and I was just like, you’re right. I remember he said, I think his mom or his grandma told him he could do anything and I believe that too. I feel like I can do anything. There’s nothing that I can’t do. I couldn’t make music once upon a time, you know what I mean? But I got in the studio every day and I tried to get better. So, yeah.”
3. Bivens’ Mother Accused a Man Exonerated for Murder of Choking Her
Bivens’ mother is Barbara Brown, who dated Kerry Porter, a Kentucky man who spent 14 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit before he was exonerated. In 2012, WLKY reported that Brown accused him of choking her and pointing a gun to her head.
As the Courier-Journal reported in 2014, Porter sued Louisville and eight police officers, alleging that they concealed evidence and that led to his wrongful conviction. In the most recent development in the case, the Courier-Journal reports that the murder victim’s then-wife and current husband are “persons of interest” in the murder of truck driver Tyrone Camp.
4. Tiller Wrote ‘Don’t’ About His Girlfriend
In an interview with Capital XTra, Tiller said that he wrote “Don’t” about his girlfriend.
“I wasn’t being a good boyfriend and I was thinking like ‘what if somebody else was to come into the picture right now’ and be talking to my girl and telling her everything that she needs to hear, so I was like ‘I’m going to be that guy’ and write this song,” Tiller explained.
“Don’t” was Tiller’s debut single, peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Capital XTra notes that he spent $600 on producing the song.
5. Tiller’s New Album Is More Upbeat & Influenced by 1990s R&B
“I don’t want it to be a long slow concert, dull and boring, so I’ve got a lot of upbeat production on this one,” Tiller told Rolling Stone. So, he made sure the new record incorporated “different sounds to bring the energy back up.”
Tiller also said the album is heavily influenced by the 1990s artists that made him interested in music in the first place. The liner notes pay homage to Marky J. Blige, Brandy, Tamia and others. He also sampled their music in his songs.
“There’s some stuff you hear and it holds you over until something else new comes out,” Tiller told Rolling Stone. “Those songs actually make you feel something. That’s why I love 1990s music so much.”