Tory Lanez has been putting in work for years now. You might have just recently heard his name off the back of his Brownstone-sampling R&B smash, ‘Say It’, or perhaps you heard his adventures into the electronic music scene when he collaborated with Los Angeles collective WEDIDIT for last Summer’s Cruel Intentions EP. Maybe you heard his voice crying out “All I wanted was a new Mercedes” on the initially uncredited intro to Meek Mill’s Dreams Worth More Than Money album and didn’t even realise it was him. But the 23-year-old has been active since 2009, and is already 15 mixtapes deep. He’s been pioneering his Swavey sound, building audiences amongst the R&B crowd and the turnt-up rap fans, and his live show is legendary.
Right now feels like a vital moment in the Toronto artist’s career. He’s got that hit single, he’s signed a record deal to Benny Blanco’s Interscope imprint Mad Love, and anticipation is high for his forthcoming debut album. The hard work is paying off, but it certainly isn’t over. In the midst of his chaotic tour schedule, he takes every spare second to record new music. And he’s not stingy with releases either, on Christmas day he dropped a pair of mixtapes: Chixtape III for the R&B heads, and the DJ Drama, Gangsta Grillz, hosted The New Toronto for the rap fans – pleasing fans from both sides of the spectrum, and offering a double dose for those in between to take in.
Now, with his Miguel co-written single ‘L.A. Confidental’ beginning to bubble, and having just completed a Canadian tour run, we caught up with Tory to discuss his eclectic taste in music, his wild rockstar energy and his need to be different from the rest…
How are you feeling about your position right now?
I just got off of a Canadian tour. Everything’s been great honestly. I’m in a great position musically, and an incredible position with my life right now and where I’m at with the album. So everything’s really good right now.
Are you finding a way to balance recording with tour life?
Yeah of course, I’ll find a way to do it through everything. I record while I tour. There’s always a studio around me, I have a mobile studio everywhere that I go. I always get it in, every day, every time I get the opportunity. If there’s an opportunity to record I’m in there. I don’t say no. Hotel rooms, the back of the bus, outside, wherever we can set up and wherever there’s extension chords and power outlets.
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