London Cyr may only be 23, but the Vancouver-born producer already has a pretty stacked discography.
Of the artists he’s worked with, Lil Baby, KILLY, Shy Glizzy, and Travis Scott are only a few of the names in his musical orbit. After going multi-platinum and scoring a Grammy nomination for his work on Scott’s Astroworld for “Can’t Say,” Cyr has only picked up speed as he continues churning out new beats. He recently produced “No Surprise” with Young Thug featuring Don Toliver and BSlime for Thug’s star-studded compilation Slime Language 2, and last year, he linked with 6LACK on his smooth and flavourful R&B project 6pc Hot EP.
Given that he’s managed to do all that in only a few years, getting signed to WondaGurl’s label Wonderchild, a joint-venture with Sony Music Publishing and Scott’s Cactus Jack Publishing, was only a matter of time.
WondaGurl couldn’t have been more thrilled to sign Cyr to her label and has nothing but respect for the fellow Canadian. “I have been working with London for a few years now, and his talent speaks for itself. His character is a testament to his core values, and he puts in the hours that it takes to be a great producer,” she tells Complex. “I am proud to have him on Wonderchild and continue our relationship.”
In the years before meeting WondaGurl, Cyr was a teenager who viewed music as a hobby. He was 13 when he began crafting beats for fun and after graduating high school, he pivoted to music as a serious career and headed across the pond for sound engineering. Upon returning, he started getting noticed as a DJ for KILLY—his friend from middle school—and later on he met WondaGurl and they started making music together. Like the story goes, the rest is history.
Cyr is relaxing in sunny Los Angeles when we hop on Zoom to chat about him getting signed and what’s up next for him.
How’s it going?
Good. How are you?
Oh, it’s not too bad. I’m in Toronto. So things are kind of chaotic here, with lockdown. I have basically been trapped in my apartment for a really long time.
Where do you live in Toronto?
I used to live in Fort York when I was over there.
Oh sweet! Are you in L.A. right now?
Okay, right on. I guess first of all, congrats on getting signed to Wonderchild, that’s pretty sick. What was it like to find out that news?
Me and [WondaGurl] had been building a relationship and working for a long time. So when we finally got everything sorted out, it was definitely a blessing and just felt really good.
Yeah, you’ve known her for several years now. I was wondering how you first met her and started building a working relationship?
I met her kind of just through the music scene in Toronto. I was engineering and working with a lot of different artists. I met her one day at this producer’s crib named Daxz, and then after that, I just kept kind of seeing her at the studio with KILLY and stuff, ‘cause I used to work with KILLY a lot. And yeah, we just got to know each other and became friends. And I never really made beats with her for the first six months of knowing her. Then, after she heard that I made beats and stuff, she fucked with them and we just kind of went from there. And not long after that, Astroworld happened.
“I’ve just been trying to push the envelope and do something different than what I usually do. Making sh*t that you haven’t heard before.”
That’s pretty crazy, though. That’s a very short span of time to go from just doing that to all of a sudden you’re working with Travis Scott.
No, definitely. Yeah, I graduated high school in 2015. And like, at that time, I was listening to Travis’s music a lot. And I was always like, ‘Oh, I want to work with him’ because there [were] similar vibes to what I was making. And then yeah, 2018, three years later, I’m working with him. And I’ve met him in the studio and stuff. It’s pretty crazy. It’s great.
Yeah, I mean, especially getting nominated for a Grammy and everything too, that’s pretty insane. So if you wanted to tell me a bit about that and just what working with him has been like.
Yeah, the Grammy nomination thing, I didn’t really know how it worked at first, because it was like the album was nominated. But then, I met producers in the industry and stuff. Specifically Sevn Thomas was like, ‘Yo the album’s nominated, and if they win, or if it’s nominated, you’ll get the certificate and stuff and that counts as a Grammy nomination for you.’ And I was just like, ‘Oh, shit,’ so I ran with it from there, you know what I mean? It was a pretty crazy moment. It was surreal. Still is kind of surreal, honestly.
I feel like something like that doesn’t ever wear off.
I have it, look, it’s here at my place.
Look at that.
It’s pretty crazy just to see that. It’s inspiring. It inspires me, you know?
Yeah, that’s sick. Love it. Obviously you’re still doing some work with him. I know you’re working with a bunch of different people, like you’ve done some work with 6lack and KILLY, and Lil Baby and Young Thug, all of them.
Yeah, I’m still sending a bunch of stuff and working on stuff with Travis and 6lack, Baby Keem. Honestly, a bunch of a bunch of different people. It’s always new people every day out here in L.A. But working with all these people, it’s just a blessing. I’m just thankful that I’m able to really do this because I’m originally from Vancouver Island. And the music stuff isn’t really accessible like that out there. It doesn’t seem real, because you’re kind of segregated from everything else.
I feel like there’s always that big idea of, you basically have to leave to make it big, especially when it comes to Canadian artists, musicians, producers…
Wherever you’re from is what’s gonna hold a lot of your inspiration and inspire a lot of your creativity, because that’s all you know, you know what I mean? So it’s always good to tap back in with there and stuff, but definitely, to make the connections that you need to make to be successful, America is the place to be.
I guess in terms of living there now, do you think the fact that you’re down there where it’s warm, it’s sunny, you’re connecting with all these different people, do you think that’s impacted your sound at all or changed the way that you create?
Yeah, definitely. It did. When I first started coming down to a lot it definitely impacted it. Especially like just being in the sun all the time, you want to make the vibes that are catered to L.A. as opposed to Toronto, you know, where it’s kind of dark sometimes. It’s beautiful in the summer, no long winters. And in B.C. you know, it gets really rainy and wet and cold and stuff like that. So yeah, it definitely impacted the sound for sure.
“I really want to work with Drake one day.”
I know, you can’t really talk about everything you’re working on right now, specifically, but if you wanted to tell me a bit about some of the things that are inspiring you currently, regarding your upcoming projects and stuff that’s coming up later this year.
A lot of obscure different sounds have been inspiring me and left field stuff. It really depends on the artist, all the artists are different. Different things have been inspiring me for each thing I’m working on. But I’ve just been trying to push the envelope and do something different than what I usually do. Making shit that you haven’t heard before.
Has it been challenging with the pandemic with regard to I guess, actually getting in the studio and putting everything down and figuring things out?
100%. When the pandemic first started, I was living in L.A. and when everything started to get serious and they said the army was coming in, I was like, ‘Shit, okay, I’m getting out of here, I’m going back to Canada.’ So I went back thinking I would only be there for like, two three weeks and ended up being there for nine months.
Then I was able to go to the U.S. one time to work and I was able to go to Houston and do some work. So that was dope. But yeah, other than that, I was really just collaborating with a lot of artists’ producers over Zoom and email or sending emails directly to the artists themselves.
So basically cooking everything up at home.
It’s a whole new meaning to do it yourself, I guess?
You’re kind of known for your psychedelic sounds. Obviously, the pandemic has been depressing as hell, and I feel like it’s kind of like the opposite of that kind of vibe. Has that shifted your perspective when it comes to making music like that?
If you listen to the songs that I have produced, it’s kind of like a unique blend of like, happy and sad, moody sounds, so the psychedelic sound isn’t necessarily like, happy, or sad. It can be either. The best way to describe it, I think, would be moody.
Has the pandemic affected me? Definitely. But like, not to a point where I was like, depressed or nothing like that. Obviously, there was a point like that for everyone. But I got myself in a good headspace for most of that time and just locked in.
Even the fact that you were still able to be creative and still do what you’re doing, I feel is definitely a blessing during this time. I feel like so many other people have just been completely tapped out.
Honestly, if I was still in Canada, and with Vancouver being in lockdown, I would definitely be uninspired. At the time when it first happened, the first couple of months, I wasn’t even mad at it. It felt like everyone’s kind of just taking a slight break. Not even a break from stuff, but a break from seeing each other. Everyone and everything shut down. Everyone has some free time. So I was able to enjoy nature a lot and get inspiration from that. Towards the end of the year, I was like, ‘Okay, I gotta get to L.A.’ and then I came to L.A. in January.
I know you can’t really talk about what exactly is coming out, but who are you listening to right now? Who’s on your playlist?
I like this duo that are coming up called Brevin Kim, they’re from somewhere in the States, but they’re dope. They’re kind of future pop. I’m really rocking with [them] and I want to start working with them soon. I like SoFaygo a lot. He’s the new guy who signed to Cactus Jack and I’ve been working with him. He has a super unique sound and is just different.
Then there’s Baby Keem, obviously, Freddie Gibbs, Jay Electronica. I’ve been listening to older shit like MF DOOM, old Kendrick, Black Star… different Madlib-produced stuff just to get different inspirations and vibes.
You said earlier working with Travis Scott was a dream of yours. Is there someone else who is really big that you would kill to work with one day?
Frank Ocean. Obviously the cliche Canadian producer one is Drake. I really want to work with Drake one day. But definitely Frank Ocean is up there, too.
I mean, you never know. If you can work with Travis Scott, maybe just saying this right now is like speaking that shit into existence.
I really hope it happens. It’s possible.
When it happens I’ll be saying he said it to Complex first.
Yeah! You know, anyone who does this music stuff in Canada, it’s doable. If you have a creative energy in your mind and a vision for yourself you can just get it done. And through making the right connections and working hard, it’ll work. You can do whatever you put your mind to.
That’s good advice. That actually got me thinking now—is there anything that, if you could go back in time, would you do differently? Would you change anything to get to where you are right now?
That’s a great question. Don’t rush. Never rush anything you know? Or never feel like you have to keep up with anyone. Just move at your own pace. And just stay in your vibe.