STASHED Chats: Tory Lanez on His Breakout Year, Competition, and Working with Meek Mill

Tory Lanez

Years ago, way before his hit record “Say It” became one of 2015’s most popular singles, Tory Lanez was on a mission to become one of “the biggest and the best artist in the world.” One look at his career will show the work he’s been putting in. There are countless mixtapes—the Chixtape series, Cruel IntentionsConflicts of My Soul, and more— showing his grind as well as sold out shows, support from today’s major artists, and now more than 3 millions plays on Spotify.

And this wouldn’t be surprising if it wasn’t for the growing crowd of artists who uses his same style, seamlessly switching between rapping and singing. But this 23-year-old is well aware of his competition, and has his sight set on remaining a step ahead of them all. “People are using sounds and doing things now that I’ve already done. I know that it’s from me. The world doesn’t know,” he says. “It’s okay because the switch up is about to happen.”

It was only days ago when he announced the upcoming arrival of not one, but two new mixtapes: The New Toronto hosted by DJ Drama and Chixtape 3. Both projects will arrive on Christmas day. In addition to this rollout, he’s also prepping the release of a an LP due in 2016. “This is my craft. This is what I’m good at. This is what I want to be the best at,” he tells STASHED. “For that reason, I will not let anyone outwork me.”

With the holiday just one day away, Tory Lanez’s new music will be here in no time. STASHED got a chance to speak with the talented singer about his breakout single, upcoming LP, and his feelings towards today’s R&B.

STASHED: You’ve been at this for years. What is about your previous projects that kept you going on to the next?

A lot of people would have quit in my position—putting timeless music out back-to-back-to-back. But you know what it is? What I always realized with me is: I’m not the artist that gets lucky and gets the number one hit. I’m the artist that has to make 90 number one records until I get noticed. For me, I don’t mind putting in 90 records of work.

I felt like God has always wanted me to learn the tactics of falling and getting back up before it was my time. Now, it’s really my time. But if I didn’t learn the things that I did from those times—me going back and forth for these mixtapes— if I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t know what to do right now. It’s all because of those experiences that I’ve learned about having success and failing.

STASHED: What do you think it is about “Say It” that has everyone excited about Tory Lanez?

TL: I feel like it’s been a core audience of people who have been riding with me for a long time. But now, it’s like globally I’m on a scale where people are finally talking about the music. The music is being heard.

I’ve always felt that as long as my music can get the push, it can’t be denied.

I feel like if my music gets into the ears, that’s it. And once Interscope came along, and I was here, I was like “Look, put me in the studio and watch what I do.” The first session they ever put me in, the first producer they ever put me with was Pop Wansel, and that was “Say It.”

STASHED: Were you expecting it to come out the way it did on the first shot?

TL: You gotta understand, I feel like regardless of the facts, every record that I make I try to make it to the best that I can. I still feel like no matter what I’ve done and what I do, that’s just one record. I love “Say It.” I think it’s one of the most incredible records but it was no difference in me recording that to me recording songs like “T.L.C.,” songs like “Dimelo,” songs that I’ve done before that were also hits. This one just so happened to get recognized because at this time, I had the push from a label so that the world could hear it. And now that the world is able to hear the music, it’s over.

STASHED: With a few other artists using the same style of R&B as you, what do you think it is about you that keeps generating fans?

TL: I mean, and I’m not talking about nobody in particular, but a lot of the sounds you hear from new artists—like they may not want to say this—but that came from me. That whole talking real crazy with the R&B, I really feel like as a young kid, as a young dude growing up and making my music the way that I’ve been making my music for the past five years, it’s what people are trying to do today.

It’s okay because the switch up is about to happen. And when the switch up happens and everybody’s left with my old sound, like I don’t know what to do at that point. But I’m gonna be gone. I’m going to be out here. And I’m going to be on a new wave. They’re still going to be stuck on the old wave and by the time they get to the new wave, I’ll be on two new waves.

STASHED: You actually freestyle a lot of your work. What are the disadvantages of that?

TL: If I’m not in the right mind state and I can’t keep doing it cohesively, it’s like I have to wait until I’m inspired again to record. And for me, when you have something written down, it’s prepared already. I like the surprise of what’s going to happen this time, of what’s going to be different than last time. There are a lot of advantages because you know what sounds good on a beat ahead of time. You know what’s going to change. You know that the music itself is going to be different because you’re not following anything. It’s whatever comes out, comes out, and I think the surprise of that is just amazing.

STASHED: What’s it like to hear your voice jumpstart Meek Mill’s Dreams Worth More Than Money and then for “Lord Knows” to end up on Creed‘s soundtrack?

Honestly, it was incredible. I’ve been working with Meek for a long time, and just to have my voice at the intro of the album is was big for me. It was dope that he gave me that look. That’s a very incredible album. I’m just glad that I can be on the intro of it, it’s a blessing from God. I’m just thankful for any kind of blessings that are going to come along and anything that could happen right now.

STASHED: A still-unnamed album is planned for 2016 released. What’s happening with that?

TL: My album is coming out in 2016, and it’s also going to be one of the most timeless albums of all time. One of the most incredible albums of our time. I’m very excited about it. I’m so excited about it that I’m scared on the low. I’m ’bout to switch up music. That’s what people don’t understand.

I’m about to change music forever. I know that sounds crazy but I’m literally going to change music.

You know how there’s never going to be another Michael Jackson or R. Kelly? There’s never going to be another Tory Lanez.  There’s not going to be another person that’s going to be a wave of transformation and change to the music, not just to hip-hop and R&B but to music worldwide. I’m going to f*ck up the whole game.

I’m about to bring back the feelings that you used to feel when you used to hear records because they were complete record, because they were hit records, because they were smashes, because they were things that caught your soul and took part in your life. I’m about to bring that back in a new way.

Photo Credit: Nation Of Billions

  • SHARE:
Danitha Jones

Danitha Jones is a former online editor at The Source. Over the years, she's penned stories covering everything from news and music to lifestyle and beauty. You’re likely to spot this Brooklyn native enjoying one of her favorite things—a good book, ratchet music, Netflix—or clapping for the latest tastemakers who are taking the industry by storm.