Throughout his career thus far, Tyler Posey has made himself known on his ability to shapeshifter into the stories of others — whether it be acting, or previous band PVMNTS and current band Five North. Today, though, Posey is ready to tell his own story with the release of his first solo single, “Shut Up.”

The single features indie darling phem and blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, as well as being co-written and produced by John Feldmann.

From start to finish, this song really did feel like something special,” shares Posey. “I wrote the verses on a trip in an RV with my dogs and my friend and felt like it was progressing so naturally in a perfect way. I took those bones to John Feldmann and phem and when she went into the vocal booth to record her vocals, I was so stoked. I had been wanting her on a track but was too nervous to ask. It was an emotional session and then finally to get Travis to play drums on it is just literally a dream come true. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

Standing alone in the spotlight for the first time has been freeing in more ways than one, least of all when it comes to his courage to open up about the hell that was 2020. The early days of the COVID pandemic were particularly pronounced for him, exacerbating deep-rooted anxiety, depression and childhood trauma that manifested in a self-destructive pattern of drug and alcohol abuse. Left to his own devices while quarantine orders ruled Los Angeles, life inside Posey’s home became a dangerous cycle of isolation and intoxication.

I’ve experimented with different things since I was a kid, then took a break,” Posey says of his past drug use, noting he became “a lonely addict” during the pandemic and retreated from friends and family. “As soon as quarantine really hit, I was in a weird place. I didn’t have anything else to do.”

This new chapter of Posey’s career sets off a powder keg of personal reflection and growth, grounded by his elastic voice, juxtaposing a devil-may-care growl and smooth-throated pop-punk sheen. Posey found a confidant in Feldmann, himself sober, and the two musicians used their songwriting sessions as a form of therapy together. With Feldmann’s keen ear and decades of wisdom to imbue on his charge, Posey’s maturation and resolve stack up far beyond his years.

“I just feel proud,” he says, reflecting on the path that led him here. “I’m proud of the music we wrote, but also how far I’ve come. I went to a pretty dark place, but I got out of it. I can honestly say right now is the happiest, most present I’ve ever been.”