Layton Greene Releases Emotional EP ‘Tell Ya Story’


Layton Greene’s EP cover ‘Tell Ya Story’ featured lyrics from the opening single ‘Blame On Me,’ a deeply personal ballad of her early turbulent home life. Photo courtesy of Layton Greene.

By Catharine Li , Arts & Entertainment Editor

Talented R&B and hip-hop artist Layton Greene became an overnight sensation in 2017 for her mix of Kodak Black’s “Roll in Peace.” Originally from St. Louis, Greene always grew up with a passion for music, despite a tumultuous home life, her story is told in her first extended play record, Tell Ya Story. 

As with the opening track Blame on Me, Greene takes the listener through an unbelievably touching ballad of her early turbulent home life, grappling with an alcoholic and abusive father, and mother who struggled with the unpredictability of bipolar depression and addiction, who would ultimately leave young Greene homeless before the end of her high school years. An open book into the highs and lows of her life, the song is a gripping and deeply immersive experience through the artist’s personal self reflection of hard work and struggle, eventually finding her break in the music industry. 

Her next track Never Knew, is Greene’s testament to love. As a hopeless romantic, the artist describes her all but new experiences with heartbreak and trauma. Through many unsuccessful relationships, she is finally able to find a partner that is right for her, and through thick and thin, the themes of mutual understanding and support are showcased. The tune touches on the artists’ gratitude for her relationship, transparency, communication, and trust that guided her through.

The lead single I Love You chronicles sentiments of regret, a deeply personal story Greene tells through captivating lyrics of overcoming heartbreak, and emotional loss. Investing so much of herself into a partner she believed would do the same, the lessons she’s learned of commitment are all too familiar to her, yet always so painful. Working through this agony, her heartfelt ballad touches on a journey of healing she must embark on. 

A powerful tune of confidence, pride, and self-affirming imagery, I Choose alludes to Greene’s reflection of a painful break-up. Discussing the deep anger she’d felt after pondering the emotional investments and true sacrifices she made throughout the course of their relationship, the song is a genuine apology to herself. Leading the way in an inspiring conversation about self worth and confidence, Greene pushes her listeners to understand that ‘I choose me’, finally feeling strong enough to accept what is best for her. 

The final track Open Wounds truly resonated with me. As a letter to healing, it encapsulates the heartache, soul-searching, and aching after a painful break-up. Unable to deal with the emotional pain she feels, she struggles with her health, continually diverting her attention to the person who broke her heart. With passionate lyrics, listeners are reminded of the sheer importance of self care, clear through Greene’s story-telling ability. 

Tell Ya Story encloses the emotional highs and lows of her personal struggles and triumphs. Through seven incredibly heart-felt songs devoid of collaborations, Layton Greene’s EP is a successful collection of self-reflection, growth, success, and is truly inspirational to listen to.

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