Tory Lanez may be young, but he knows a thing or two about the music business. At 20 years old, the undefinable artist has worked with the biggest names in the industry and is determined to reach the same stardom. We caught up with Tory to discuss his style, favorite Jordans, and the term ‘swavey’.
Nice Kicks: In regard to fashion, how would you define your style?
Tory Lanez: My style doesn?t really have a definition. A lot of people have definitions for their style, which shows you that they aren?t that stylish, because they?re just doing what everybody else is doing. For me it?s swavey because it?s unpredictable.
Nice Kicks: You?ll have to get us up to speed, what is ?swavey??
Tory Lanez: Swavey is a two-adjective word. A lot of people use it as an attribute, but the real definition of swavey is actually a genre of music. The genre of music is the genre of fusing more than one genre together. I know it sounds strange, but if you ask an artist what they do they?re going to say that they rap, they sing, they do rock– a lot of people are multi-talented. They get looked at as confused, but I don?t think that they?re confused. I feel that they?re just very talented, swavey artists. Labels want to box you into one lane, but I feel like there are so many people that are more talented than that and that they?re swavey artists. Swavey is a very unpredictable thing. You just know that it?s going to be quality and it?s going to be good.
Tory Lanez kicked back in “Concord” Air Jordan 11s
Nice Kicks: We?ve seen you in a lot of Jordans. Do you have a favorite pair or model?
Tory Lanez: There are lots of great Jordans. The ?Raging Bull? 5s? Crazy. My favorite Jordans though are the ?Playoff? 11s? those are my favorite 11s, Jordans, everything! I?ve had a lot of Js that I messed up that I want to get back. I had the ?Hare? 7s, ?Space Jam? 11s, and ?Cool Grey? 11s. I really want to get those back and I?ll be good.
Air Jordan 11 “Playoffs”
Nice Kicks: You spent some time living in Toronto, a hot spot for sports and hip-hop. How did the city influence you fashionably and musically?
Tory Lanez: I didn?t just grow up in Toronto; I grew up all over America. The music is the thing. I?m not like a big sports fan, I watch the championship game when it comes on, but it?s really the culture of music that I grew up around. I got inspiration from the Jay-Z’s, the Nas’s, and the Emimen’s. Over time though, I don?t really listen to hip-hop anymore. It sounds crazy, but I feel like once you listen to artists of other genres more it expands your mind and it makes your music sound different. I listen to James Blake, Janelle Mon?e, Coldplay, Kanye West… I like to listen to different artists that are willing to expand.
Nice Kicks: You were on the road for a while touring with Big Sean. What’d you pick up from him?
Tory Lanez: I watched Big Sean when he was on his tour backstage preparing for his shows. These guys are very, very concentrated, and I feel like concentration before the show is something I?ve learned from them.
Nice Kicks: That?s a good thing to pick up. Sticking with music, how would you describe your sound?
Tory Lanez: Same thing I said, I?d describe it as swavey! You never really know what you?re going to get but it?s going to be quality. I?m one of those guys that are quality over quantity.
Nice Kicks: Considering the range that implies, are there any genres you wouldn?t touch?
Tory Lanez: Every genre can get touched; it?s like a pretty girl [laughs].
Nice Kicks: That opens the door for a lot of collaborations. Of all the different musicians you?ve worked with so far, who has been the most enjoyable to create with?
Tory Lanez: Bieber. When me and Justin worked, we didn?t have a session together, but just knowing him and knowing what kind of sound he wanted when he sent us the record and doing my parts on it was I think my favorite experience.
Nice Kicks: As an artist, would you say you learn more from working behind the scenes with a bigger name or through your own experience as a solo act?
Tory Lanez: In life, I feel like you learn from both being in the spotlight and from being away from it and seeing the mistakes that people make sometimes in the spotlight. Basically, if I don?t make the error I learn off of someone else?s error.
Tory Lanez performing with Sean Kingston
Nice Kicks: In regard to advice as an artist, what?s some of the best advice you carry with you?
Tory Lanez: Sean Kingston?s told me a lot of things that have really stuck with me. One thing he told me is, ?It?s not a hit record unless you can hum it.? That stuck with me. I?ve got to make a melody that you can hum, because if you can?t hum it then it?s not catchy. He?s told me a lot of things like that. Then I?ve got Sascha Stone. He?s the smartest dude I know. He?ll say something and even if it sounds wild to me I?ll say okay because I know he?s got a plan behind it. Sacha?s given me a lot of great advice.
Nice Kicks: What do you want fans to take from Sincerely Tory?
Tory Lanez: I feel like a lot of the times young people that just listen to rap or hip-hop, which is a lot of my fan base, just look for punch lines. The reason I called it Sincerely Tory is because every song is a song about something that happened in my life. I want you to really listen and understand that I?m going through sh*t just like the next person. I just want people to know that I?m a human being too. I f*ck up, I make mistakes, and all that on the project goes to show that. It?s a real piece of me; I just want them to listen.
Nice Kicks: Moving forward, what can fans expect next from you?
Tory Lanez: The unexpectable. I know that sounds so clich?, and we all talk about this, but really unexpected stuff. Songs and genres that people don?t expect me to do. I?m also working with a lot of Texas producers. A lot of dope stuff.
Download Sincerely Tory here and keep up with Tory and the Swave Nation at Facebook.