Trey Richards is known for making people laugh. As one half of 4YE—the media company and apparel brand he launched with his brother Jae—he's built a rep for creating hilarious, leave-you-dead YouTube skits that have caught attention from the likes of Kevin Hart and Drake. (If you haven't seen their "Toronto Goon Scrap 2" skit feauring Drizzy himself, do yourself a favour.) But the Brampton native isn't afraid to get serious, too. This month, he’s lending his voice to Movember, through his partnership with SToK Cold Brew Coffee, to raise awareness around men’s mental health and share the struggles he’s had to overcome as well.
Complex Canada's Alex Narvaez sat down (from afar) with Richards to talk about the initiative, 4YE's relationship with Drake, their foray into fashion, Brampton's rise, and what's next. Watch it above.
On lending his voice to Movember and the conversation about mental health:
“I just felt with like with what was going on, it just kinda made sense. I never really, I guess you could say participated in Movember or spoke up on the internet about mental health but I feel like everyone was forced to deal with what they’re dealing with, you know what I mean? And anything they’re dealing with was really amplified by the fact that they couldn’t go anywhere, nowhere was open.... I felt like it was just necessary to kinda get out there and speak about it.”
On social media:
“We would drop a video and we would work mad hard on it, mad long just thinking about what is the video going to be, what’s the concept, how’s it going to relate to people. Just put so much time and effort into it and Jermaine would go crazy on the edit, working on it for maybe like a week or however long it takes. Drop the video. Ready to read the comments—I enjoy reading the comments. The first thing we see "When is the next video?" Woah, woah, woah! (Laughs.)
“We weren’t going to compete with that, you feel me? We weren’t really going to give in and say, "OK, we’ll have a video for you tomorrow. Like, please take this." We weren’t really with that. We just knew to move on our own time and make the videos that we wanted to see and make sure that when we’re dropping the videos, it was up to our standards of quality and everything."
Drake’s support and relationship with 4YE:
“Shout out Drake man, he’s a really good guy. He’s really thoughtful. He does a lot of things that he doesn’t have to and I feel like he knows that he’s at that—he’s been at that level, way past that level where he doesn’t even have to do the things that he’s doing, but he still reaches out to the community. And even beyond Toronto, featuring people like Druski in his video. It’s like, "Bro, we’re all just like very young people just trying to do something, you know what I mean? And when people of his stature reach down to us and say yeah like, “I see you,” it’s just a whole other level of motivation. It’s a whole new level of love, you know what I mean?"
On 4YE apparel:
“On some Nipsey Hussle shit, let’s expand, lets continue to motivate, lets show people that, "Yo, you can do more than just videos, you know what I mean? You have a voice, you have power, and you can just push whatever message you’re going out with, you know what I mean? Our message was like, yo, be your own boss. If you have an idea create it, make it.”
On something being in the water in Brampton:
"I don't know if it's the water or it's just boring, bro. There's literally you could do. It's just the suburbs—especially when we were there, there was nothing there. Everybody was just building cribs, building malls, so it was just really spread out with nothing really to do. So it was just really [about] being creative on what you did to get by on your weekends."