With two Billboard 200 Top 10 albums to his name, a Juno Award, as well as a Grammy nomination, Canadian superstar Tory Lanez is already well on his way to greatness.
A self-confessed studio rat, Tory is renowned for his studio prowess, so it's no surprise that the multi-platinum selling artist has fans around the world patiently waiting for a myriad of projects, such as the Latin-inspired El Agua LP, the R&B-focused Chixtape 5, a collaborative project with Chris Brown, and even another installment of his The New Toronto mixtape series (just to name a few). Last year alone, Tory released not one but two albums in the form of his sophomore effort Memories Don't Die, as well as the more laid-back and fun approach taken on LoVE mE NOw, working with some of the biggest artists in the game such as Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.
As Tory Lanez continues on his quest to be the "biggest artist in the world", it seems as though even he knows that to be the best, you must learn from the best. So on his stop off in London as part of his run supporting Drake on his Assassination Vacation tour, we sat down with Argentina Fargo backstage to discuss the untimely passing of his friend, Nipsey Hussle, his newly-mended bond with Drizzy, Chixtape 5, and more.
What's your favourite thing about the city of London?
I like the fans out here. Just the energy of the people, I think it's really dope. Even in the clubs, the nightlife energy and just the people, it's crazy!
Have you managed to check out Nando's yet?
Yeah, I've been a few times... It makes my stomach hurt, though [laughs].
How has the experience of performing at a venue like the O2 Arena impacted you as an artist?
What's crazy is that last year, when we came on tour over here performing at the other O2 venue, we were parked outside this O2, and we got kicked off of the bus because we were smoking too much on the bus. And I just remember our stuff was on the side of the road for like a good three or four hours last year. So to come back a year later and see it in full fruition, for us to be where we're at, I think it's just a blessing. It's amazing just to know that we came here from there.
Drake, he's a good guy in my life and I've learned a lot from him.
What's your relationship like with Drake now considering how you guys started off?
The relationship's great, man! Drake, he's is a good guy in my life and I've learned a lot from him. The more we talk—every time we talk, I pick up certain jewels from him, certain gems, and we have a good relationship now.
If you could change anything in your career so far, would you?
I'd keep everything the same. I think it's all a part of the story. All my ups and downs, whether or not they be hard or crazy to anybody else, I'd keep it exactly the same.
What inspired to you to release International Fargo, and why cover those songs in particular?
The Rosewood Hotel, man! The Rosewood Hotel is what inspired that. And, honestly, just being on this trip and being in Europe, and just seeing the way it's gone for me and seeing the fruits of it, I think it's amazing for me to just be a part of it. To see how it's all panned out... I never really expected, at least not yet, to be playing arenas with a full forty-five minute set every night, supporting one of the biggest artists in the world, but that's just the way it is. Some things you can't plan on, you can't time out, it just happens the way that it happens.
I wouldn't be good at my job or a real fan if I didn't ask you if you can tell us anything new about Chixtape 5?
Chixtape 5 is coming out soon. I think a lot of times, and what I want to explain to my fans is that maybe a lot of times I announce things too soon, and I announce things during the working process because I too am a fan of the music, and so I announce things because I'm excited about it. But I still perfect everything and things take time, so in order for me to make it as special as it has to be—because it's got to top each and every one of those tapes—it takes time.
NIPSEY WAS JUST A GENUINE, GREAT HUMAN BEING, WHOSE INTELLECT AND THE WAY HE THOUGHT WAS JUST DIFFERENT.
I think fans appreciate that as well because, after what you did with Chixtape 4, for you to say you need time, I think we’re more than willing as fans for you to do whatever you need to do to give us that quality music
That's the thing about the Chixtapes: they always make you feel a certain way. A certain level of nostalgia is there, and in order for you to give that to people, you can't rush that. You have to feel that.
How did it feel to work with a legend like T-Pain and have his approval on what you did with his song, "I'm Sprung"?
Honestly, it was just great—it was incredible that he liked it. T-Pain was and is a big inspiration to all of us, and a big part of my career, so to flip one of the biggest songs and one of the most nostalgic songs—and to have him on the record and have him hear the whole thing—for me, that approval was everything.
With the recent passing of Nipsey Hussle, how did he impact you personally and what are your thoughts on his legacy?
Man, this whole situation with Nipsey, that's like really my friend. He was someone I had constant conversations with, sent constant music back and forth to, worked on a gang of stuff with, picked up mad gems from him and learned so much from him, and I was also just a fan—just a genuine fan. I've told him multiple times, "Nigga, you're my favourite rapper." I've told him this multiple times, so and I find it crazy that he's gone.
Love is love and I respect it in all forms, but I just feel like there's a lot of people who jump on something because it's the thing to say, or whatever the case is. But for people that really knew him, it hits us a little bit harder. Nipsey was just a genuine, great human being, whose intellect and the way he thought was just different. It was unmatched, and there will never be nothing like it again.