Since coming on the scene in 2015 with his breakout song "White Iverson," Post Malone has been a force to be reckoned with. The track quickly found him a fanbase thanks to its melodic sound and experimentation with hip-hop. With the release of his fifth studio album, Austin, Post Malone slows down and replaces the trap beats with an acoustic guitar.
Before he was Post Malone, he was Austin Post, a young child surrounded by music. In a 2015 interview with the Fader, he noted how his interest in instruments sparked from a video game. "Six years ago, I started playing guitar because of Guitar Hero. I am five-star everything on expert mode Guitar Hero 3. My parents don't make music. I was around music, but my parents were never musical. I just wanted to rock out. I taught myself how to play real guitar off YouTube videos. Watching people play stuff, like a lot of AC/DC and Metallica."
At 15, he started creating his music and realized he needed a new moniker. During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2018, he told host Jimmy Fallon that he discovered a rap generator to create his stage name. The generator decided Austin Post was now Post Malone.
Before his 2016 debut mixtape, August 26th, he released experimental tracks ranging from rock to techno. His introduction to producing music was messing around with the software FL Studio. "I started off making crazy, weird techno. I had no clue what I was doing. Then my dad liked some stuff, so I kept doing it," he told the Fader in the same interview.
His music career quickly took off at 18 after moving to Los Angeles. Initially looking for a studio to record, he met rapper and producer FKi 1st, who would later become his roommate and an important music collaborator.
Posty co-wrote "White Iverson" alongside FKi 1st. "I wrote it two days before I recorded it. Me and 1st [of FKi] made the beat, and then I was writing the words to the beat at my house. I didn't even know if I was going to record," he told the Fader. He explained that FKi's Raye Rich encouraged him to record the song, describing it as the "perfect culmination of everything."
Once his song was released, it was career high from there. Over the last eight years, he released multiple albums, including Stoney, Beerbongs & Bentleys, Hollywood's Bleeding, and Twelve Carat Toothache. However, during this time, he was also dealing with his struggles with alcohol. "It was vodka, and it was bodying fifths and trying to hang in there and talking to people who weren't f—ing there," he told Howard Stern last year. He described this period as a dark place, attributing his struggles with alcohol to his self-esteem issues.
People tried to help Malone, one of them being singer Justin Bieber. "There was a time to where I had so much guidance and Justin [Bieber] was guiding me … [but] at the end of the day, I have to do what I want to do, and that's what I'm going to do," he said on the Howard Stern Show.
However, amid his darkness, he never got help, but his fiancé was able to help him through his journey. "I just have super beautiful people around me, and I met a really beautiful person that made me feel like a human being again," he told Stern. "Oftentimes, whenever you're looking for help or subconsciously even seeking help, an ultimatum is always heartbreaking. It's just, 'Oh fuck, what do I do?' It's the guidance out of the dark into the light...she saved my fucking life. It's pretty epic."
Since then, he has slowed down and is trying to create music to reflect that. On the new album, Austin, Apple Music 1's Zane Lowe pointed out that there is much more acoustic guitar in this album, especially in comparison to his latest work. Malone says he used a completely different method to make his music for the record. Previously he had never written the music and the melody simultaneously until working on Austin. "It was a really eye-opening experience for me and how I could write music and how I could make music, and it's not just one way. It's just like you said, there's so many different ways [to make music]," he told Lowe.
When discussing Austin, Malone explained this slower sound is something that he wanted to be made by him, explaining the pace of the album had a lot to do with how he lived his life and credited his daughter for changing his lifestyle. "Having a baby really put a lot into perspective, and it's really slowed me down a lot, party-wise, going out and being crazy, but it's like the most beautiful thing." He's now at a point where he now wants to stop and enjoy his life and success.
Post Malone. With Beach Fossils. 8 p.m. Monday, July 31, at iThink Financial Amphitheatre, 301-7 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach; 561-795-8883. Tickets cost $45 to $249.50 via livenation.com.