About 24 hours ago, I didn’t have a role model. Now don’t take this the wrong way, this is not some clickbaity adornment to attract readers, this is not a thoughtless embellishment to impress industry professionals, but a sincere representation of my feelings. Troyboi became my role model last night, and legitimately caused me to tear up as he opened his set. If you’re a fan of trap music, you’ve probably heard his groovy, Middle-Eastern style beats and massive percussion tracks. His collaboration with Flosstradamus, ‘Soundclash’, built an insane amount of hype for almost a year, and gave him the recognition he deserved as it showcased his versatile talents. Even though you may have heard his massive production, the man behind the filth is more humble than you could ever imagine.
Troyboi is one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met, and that’s why he became my role model. For the first time during an interview, I felt like I was talking to one of my friends. His good-hearted generosity, immense candor, and contagious personality made me feel like I was just talking to another dude. All of my previous fangirling nervousness had disappeared, as his modest nature overpowered my anxious tendencies. When he stepped on stage to drop his upcoming collaboration with Stooki Sound, I began to cry as I realized that one of my idols had just changed my life, solely due to his beautiful personality.
I spoke to him backstage at the 1015 Folsom nightclub in San Francisco, and he revealed some very interesting details about the music industry and himself. With his divulging of an upcoming SoundSnobz EP, which is his collaboration project with icekream, and a discredit to the recent SoundCloud crackdown, he made this fascinating interview the perfect read.
The amount of tracks you release is simply absurd. How much time do you spend in the studio? What’s your creative process?
It really really depends. It could be 20 minutes, to literally 5 days. My creative process starts off from an idea that stems from my head. For example, I could be watching the TV and hear an ethnic instrument, or something like that, go to my computer, record what I think might be the idea, and build from that. It just all kind of comes together. I never try and get in the way of the music. I like to let the music write itself. That’s a real, genuine lesson I’ve learned from one of the greatest entertainers and producers of all time: Michael Jackson.
Glamour and fame aside, what do you get out of your own music? Why do you do it?
I do it because it’s a form of my own personal expressionism. I do it to express myself, or how I’m feeling. Generally, I do it because I love making music.
Which of your tracks are your personal favorites? Why?
I like ‘O.G;’. a lot, and I like ‘Do You’ and ‘Drive’ a lot. Honestly, I consider a lot of my new material, which is unreleased, as my favorites. They all have styles which I’ve wanted to do, and always done before I got called out as a ‘trap producer.’ I actually wouldn’t consider myself a trap producer at all. I’m a producer of all genres because I love making house, and I love making R&B and Soul, which I’m going to show in many years to come.
Your style is so diverse with some of the grooviest drops, and some of the weirdest samples I’ve ever heard. How do you come across such interesting material?
(laughs) It’s crazy. I’m just naturally attracted to weird things, or things that are just different. I love to manipulate sounds in ways that people don’t normally do it. I like to be different, and I love to show that in my music. Whether it proves to be vocal samples that are pitched up, pitched down, or whatever. I like to find wacky sounds that don’t make sense, and make them make sense.
What’s your opinion on SoundCloud cracking down and removing so much content? How do you think it will affect yourself and the music community?
By SoundCloud taking down a ton of the music, it doesn’t really allow artists to express themselves in ways that they usually would.. To be honest with you, I wish they would stop doing what they’re doing, because I, for one, love to sample famous people’s music. If I made a track that everyone really liked, and suddenly got taken down, I would be really affected by that. And I hate that, so I think it’s really something they really need to fix in the future.
About a year and a half ago, you got signed for the first time. Now you’ve worked with Flosstradamus and Diplo, and can easily be described as the fastest rising producer in all of trap music. What was that moment like when you realized you’ve made it?
I still don’t think I’ve made it as of yet to be honest with you, but the moment when I thought I was getting the right attention was after the track with Flosstradamus. The reaction to that song, when it was played during the circuit of Mad Decent Block Parties, and the way the hype was building for almost a year, caused me to realize that there was loads of potential. I’m still in the process of growing, and I still think I haven’t blown up yet, but I’m still waiting for that day to come.
What was working with Diplo like? What did you learn?
I learned that Diplo is a very, very nice man (laughs). A very humble, and down-to-earth man as well. Working with Diplo has been great – he has very good ideas – and the collaboration we had together has worked very well.
SoundSnobz is hands-down my favorite collab project out there. How did you and icekream meet?
Icekream and I met a few years ago through an artist which he signed to his label, as he had a label which he set up. The day we met, we clicked just like that. Ever since that day, we have been best friends. I consider him a brother; he IS my brother. Our music minds, rather when I heard his music and he heard mine, caused us to connect like that. Because of the chemistry we had, we knew it was inevitable that we would have a collaboration project together, which is now SoundSnobz. We have an EP coming out this year, and I am very very excited for the things to come.
What’s the difference between a Troyboi and SoundSnobz studio session?
A Soundsnobz studio session is way more relaxed – that’s for sure. I can take the pedal off for a little bit, and allow icekream to take the reigns. I feel very confident in him doing that. When it’s just me, I don’t know when to stop. I’m always thinking, ‘Is it enough? Should I keep adding stuff, blah blah blah?’ On both occasions, I love the work that I’m putting in. But when I’m working with “Ice”, it definitely involves less stress because I love the work that he’s putting in, and I love his ideas.
Collectives such as Soulection and Courteous Family are bringing up an incredible amount of talented producers. What’s your opinion on the current resurgence of the underground scene?
In terms of Soulection, I have nothing but amazing things to say about them. They are genuinely such a wonderful group of individual producers. Joe Kay specifically, I have to shout him out because he’s done such an amazing job with Soulection. I think that collectives these days are such an amazing way of showing individual talent, and collective talent together. As collectives, the widespread power of their music has allowed it to reach the ceiling of music’s boundaries.
Your name rarely appears on the bills for major festivals in the US. What’s the reasoning behind that?
Timing and patience. I don’t believe in sticking my name on a festival where I don’t necessarily need to. I feel that there’s a time for everything, and maybe that time is not right. I’ve certainly been approached to perform at festivals, but I know that there’s a method to my madness.
What can we expect from you in 2015?
Expect nothing but the same thing you’ve been experiencing for the last two years. Expect that I will always give 110% to deliver to the audience and my fans the freshest music, and live up to the Troyboi name as much as possible.
Image Source: RunTheTrap