Words By: Sade Powell (@SmokeandRoses_)
Trey Songz made his way north for one of the biggest weekends in Toronto this summer and I got the chance to sit down with the charmer at HMV downtown where he talked about Trigga, his chemistry with Nicki Minaj and the music industry.
After a considerable hiatus Trey slid his way back into the spotlight with Trigga his sixth studio album, which clearly depicts his expertize in the art of baby making music.
From his 2005 debut album 'I Gotta Make It’ Trey says a number of things have changed including his hair, body and bank account, but most importantly his knowledge of the industry. And what was his guiding light? His manager Kevin Liles who has become a friend, father figure and mentor to the 29 year-old artist.
“Relationships are something that he’s taught me the importance of…I was very impulsive initially; early on in the game I was a frustrated young artist. He taught patience, the actual business of radio and marketing. Y’know the business of music inside and out.”
"I Gotta Make it" sold 35,000 copies in its first week and now almost decade later Trey’s fanbase has boomed landing him the number 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart in its first week and selling 105,000 copies.
While songs like Cake and All We Do are fit for a night of ‘cuddling’, Trigga also nabbed a throng of colourful features whose sound and vibe prove to mesh artfully with Trey’s hypnotic vocals. Justin Bieber, Mila J, Juicy J and Ty Dolla $ign all hopped on the project but it was rap queen Nicki Minaj who Trey was most excited to work with.
“She’s so smart, like the way she’s doing the marketing for her new album. If you look at the shock factors that are coming along with everything she’s doing you notice she’s making all the right decisions and appreciates her fans the way that I do mine.” Trey says.
He talks about their first single together ‘Bottoms Up’ describing it as a time in both their careers where they were flourishing in similar ways and now with their second collaboration on ‘Touchin’, Lovin’ they are continuing to grow together as artists. He believes any future collaboration Nicki and him decide to work on together will be special every time. Trey even admitted to sending her flowers at the studio.
Trey Songz expressed a deep understanding of the politics of music as it stands today and how it’s evolved from when he was that skinny young boy with braids in 2005. Fans are fickle and up until a couple years ago Trey says he felt like he was scrambling to make a name for himself.
“I’ve seen some artists who’ve solid millions and millions of records be forgotten about if they put out a whack song or if they make the wrong relationship decision. What I’ve been able to do is stay relevant and it’s just been from consistency and making sure that I really stay true to who I am and what I put out and staying true to the people that love my music.”
Through all the changes in the R&B stars’ career the actual conception of music, seeing it start from nothing to having millions of people know each word by heart and interacting with his fans, are still what drives his passion for his craft.
Image Source: timeslive