Musicians turning actors, or vice versa, is not a new career trajectory. Oftentimes it’s a solid next step, musicians at least have some experience acting in their own music videos at times (and can carry name recognition to get butts into seats, at the very least). For the reverse, the same can be true that actors will often carry name recognition to draw interest to their musical endeavors. Think of actors-turned-musicians like Jennifer Lopez, Jack Black, Jared Leto, and so many more to mixed bags of success and acclaim. It’s a tough task, one not without it’s own trials and tribulations, and Tyler Posey is the latest artist to throw his hat into the ring in this career arc.
Posey kicked of his career as an actor, funny enough starring alongside J-Lo in Maid in Manhattan as the child of her character in the film, and of course broke out as the lead in MTV’s hit show Teen Wolf in the 2010’s. When the show ran it’s course and concluded in 2017, Posey shifted to focusing on his music career with a few different bands before ultimately settling in as a solo artist. He released some EP’s, singles, did a few tours, and eventually, found his way back to acting when the creators of Teen Wolf called about resurrecting the franchise with a movie, released last month on Paramount+.
Speaking with me the day before the movie was released last month, Posey and I dove into what it was like being back on set on Teen Wolf, his music career, and where he’s going from here.
“It was a phone call I was waiting to hear ever since the beginning of Teen Wolf,” Posey says to me when he first found out the movie was happening. According to him, it was the direction he always envisioned the franchise taking, and he’s proud of how it ended up turning out. “I’ve never really felt many surreal things in my life, but this was one where it felt like a dream kind of. I just took a second to look around and it really felt like no time had passed.”
“Most of the crew and the cast were the same. So to be able to be on set with them again, it was a trip. I think it was pretty unique for anybody to have a project go for so many years, take a five year hiatus and then come back with the same people in the same location is odd,” Posey begins when talking about what it was like to be back on set with everyone again. “It was cool to come back as an adult, I’m 31 now and once you grow into an adult, you become this relaxed version of yourself than you were when you were younger. So getting to experience that with all the same people, and seen how everyone’s grown as an actor and as an artist, it was the coolest.”
The way he describes being back on set and the people involved all being roughly the same from the tv series, it’s clear this was one of Posey’s favorite parts about making Teen Wolf: The Movie. It comes with some perspective, as he’s now 31 years old — compared to being 19 when Teen Wolf first aired and 25 when it wrapped up. One of the biggest changes is that he’s more present and available for everyone, something he cites as a difference due to some prior behaviors.
I was kind of a pothead when the show was going on before. I was always stoned and in my trailer, it never affected my work or anything because I was so immune to it,” Posey says. “Being sober and clear headed, I can see how it sort of made a difference who I was a person — not so much the work I was doing, but I’m just so happy to experience it this way and really just take in every moment.”
As for where Teen Wolf goes from here? Well, if you’re all caught up and hoping to see more of the Teen Wolf crew, if Posey has his way you may be in luck. Because when I ask him if he’s content with the ending of the movie and feels like the story is all wrapped up, his response can certainly be taken as encouraging. “I’m satisfied with the continuation of it, for sure,” he begins. “What’s cool about it is that it leaves it open, again.”
He expresses his desire for there to be more in the Teen Wolf universe, and is aware the fans are still around, still vocal in their support of the series. The movie closed in a way that could serve as a conclusion, but leaves just enough open where there could be more to come. As for where the story itself can go, Posey would like to continue heading down the road of addressing more adult like storylines. “Our fans were kids when this show started, and now they’re all adults, so I think something that’s really cool about our show is we sort of mimicked what our fans were going through and were really relatable,” he explains.
Not only that, but he hopes to keep getting more and more involved in the Teen Wolf series, whatever is next. “Hopefully I get to write the next movie,” Posey says, highlighting how he’s always been given opportunities to direct and produce in the series. “Now I want to write and take over. I want to be the new voice, because I’m so passionate about it. It needs it. It needs a little bit of a refreshing voice. Our creator, Jeff Davis, has done a really good job but he’s spread thin. He’s got like 5 other shows going on and I want to focus just on Teen Wolf.”
Now that Teen Wolf: The Movie is out, it’s fair to wonder where Posey goes from here. Late last month, he announced his debut solo album, Uravel (due out May 26th), and released “Lemon” — the first single from the album, and also the end credits song for Teen Wolf: The Movie. While he never really stepped away from acting once Teen Wolf ended — having appeared in movies like Truth or Dare, Alone, the Scream tv series — he did certainly focus more on his music career.
Now, like the aforementioned artists at the beginning of the article, Posey hopes to strike a balance between his music and acting career. “That’s kind of always been the idea — is that I want to balance both. I look up to Jared Leto, and like if he can do it, I would love to try my hand in that,” Posey says. He has learned over the last few years that it’s pretty difficult to be able to give 100% of himself to both careers at the same time, something that certainly every artist attempting both would agree too. “When Teen Wolf ended, I put all of my focus on music and got to a point where I was really happy with it. Now that Teen Wolf is back, I want to keep that momentum going in the acting world,” he says.
While Teen Wolf: The Movie was filming over the last year, he was still able to work on his album, Unravel. This is at least the beauty in writing and recording music, you can often do it at your own pace, in your home, and so forth. “The album will speak for itself and do it’s own rollout, so I don’t need to put 100% attention on music because I’ve already done that,” Posey explains.
Part of the additional fun with having a music career, is while he’s focusing on acting, filmmaking, writing, and so forth, is music videos certainly blend into that as well. He talks about the music video for “Lemon,” which was not out yet at time of interview but can be seen below. He did all of the special effects, edition, everything with a buddy of his. “I do want to focus on both, but it’s hard to put 100% attention on both. So I’ll focus on acting for a while, hopefully that’ll take off, maybe do a tour down the road and flip flop.”
Touring certainly becomes the most complicated aspect of maintaining a music career, as it often gets booked and planned months and months in advance, while with acting sometimes you can get a job offer a few weeks before you start filming. No one likes canceling tours, after all, and this could get rather messy. “Once touring happens, I want to dedicate a lot of time to it,” Posey begins, before explaining a way he could work it into his schedule. “Just doing like a short east coast run, then a west coast run. I think I want to segregate it like that rather than combining the entire U.S. in one go.”
When we switch from Teen Wolf to talking about music and specifically “Lemon,” it’s easy to notice that his enthusiasm is still the same. He may not be able to put 100% of his focus and attention into both careers, but his passion for both is still there, and it’s still genuine. Whereas most of Posey’s music up to this point leaned on his pop-punk roots, “Lemon” is a bit heavier and leans more into hard-rock/metal territory at times with some if it’s elements.
If “Lemon” feels like an epic song, that’s because it was written with one thing really in mind: to be an end-credits song. This was something completely new to Posey, as he had never written for this or had this on his mind until now. “I wrote it strictly thinking of the movie and an ending credits song. I wanted to keep that momentum of the energy going. Once a movie ends, I feel like you’ve just gone through this gnarly rollercoaster and the song at the very end is supposed to sort of dictate how you feel leaving the theater or leaving your home, since this is going to be streamed,” Posey explains.
Getting a song in the movie was something Posey asked for — as well as having his dad and brother in the film — when he was negotiating to return for Teen Wolf: The Movie. However, as far as getting “Lemon” to be the end credits song, that was something that served as a surprise even to him. “I loved that they decided it would be in the ending credits, I didn’t even think about that. I just wanted a song in the movie in whatever capacity, and they were like ‘Let’s do the ending credits,'” he recalls. “I think that’s easily one of the most significant songs in a movie, so I was really honored and I knew I had to bring it. I wanted it to be a badass song.”
Mission accomplished in that sense. And if you’re wondering what “Lemon” is specifically about? I’ve got no further answers for you. While it was written specifically to serve as the end credits song for Teen Wolf: The Movie, it doesn’t necessarily lift it’s lyrical story from the film. “It’s open to interpretation as to what it’s about. Every now and then I’ll write a song that’s just absolutely positively about something, then sometimes I’ll be a little more creative with it — whatever you want to make it about, it can be about. So this one kind of fits in that, it’s a little bit broad, artistic, and weird.”
As for the rest of Unravel, after talking with Posey about it: expect chaos. Having known Posey for the last few years, this makes sense given the circumstances: debut album, no label, complete freedom. There’s a little bit of everything that will appear stylistically: screamo, some Comeback Kid-inspired punk-rock, acoustic, even some reggae influences find their way on Unravel. “It’s one of those albums that lends itself to listening in order,” Posey says. “It’s not a concept album, by any means, but it’s just a journey. I love a bunch of genres and I think it goes well.”
With Teen Wolf: The Movie out, and Unravel soon to come out, Posey still isn’t planning on slowing down. He mentions he’s writing a bunch — even saying he’s already written the second Teen Wolf movie — as he really focuses on that area of his career. He loves acting, he loves music, and his passion for writing and making movies is where his attention is for the time being, at least.
“I just want to expand on that side of my career, just be respected as a filmmaker. I’ve been acting since I was a little kid, I grew up in this business. In order to get that respect level, you kind of just have to go for it. People aren’t going to just hand me a directing gig or a movie to make, I have to go for it and prove myself. That’s where I’m at right now and putting all of my attention in that world,” Posey finalizes as our time together wraps up.
No matter what’s next, you can bet that this jack of all trades will be doing everything he can to be successful at it. To this point, he has succeeded in acting and making music, so bet against him at your own risk. Us? We’ll take Posey and wager we’ll be right back here doing another piece on his next hit project.