INTERVIEW: Trey Songz Is READY To Take Over!

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 12:35 PM

To say that Trey Songz has been on the grind for the past year would be a supreme understatement. Between mixtapes, leaks and pushbacks, Trey is finally READY to give the world his new project Ready. He talked with me about the project and what his life has been like making the best album of his career...

Download Audio (MP3): Sound-Savvy Talks 'Ready' and Being 'Successful' With Trey Songz

You know who it is and what I do, it’s ya boy Mack from and Suavv Magazine talking today with the Prince of VA and one of the hardest working guys in R&B, Mr. Trey Songz!

Trey Songz: Preciate that!

SS: You’ve been putting out so much music lately, between your mixtapes and a new song via Twitter every Monday. Does it ever stop for you?

Songz: Man, ya know, not only is quantity important for me – because quantity can definitely be lame if it’s not quality as well so I try to flood the market in a good way. Whether it be another artist’s tracks or original tracks of my own. I think it’s important that people see that I can spread my creativity

SS: Most definitely, now you’re three albums deep into your career… did you feel the need to change up your formula at all to make Ready more successful than your first two albums?

Songz: I think the mixtapes were definitely more in abundance than ever before. You mentioned I did so many songs, I think that definitely played a part. Within the last year, I’ve put out more songs than I ever have. Between me putting songs out on my own and songs actually leaking that didn’t make the album, it’s probably over 80 songs that have come out. So I think that flooding the market was definitely essential to people hearing me and my buzz growing. Me cutting my hair, working out a little bit. Anticipation was something that I did new this time which is basically like a pre-album, which I actually dropped on one of the original dates for Ready; I dropped that on July 30, which was actually supposed to be one of the dates that the album came out. So I dropped Anticipation which was a full compilation of all original music and I think that changed people’s vision of me.

SS: Definitely I would agree. Anticipation was one of the most searched keywords on Sound-Savvy. I got a lot of feedback about that mixtape. A lot of listeners say it’s the best work you’ve ever done, even better than your first two albums. Would you agree and why do you think that’s the case?

Songz: I would agree it’s one of the best bodies of work that I’ve put together and if I was to pinpoint a reason, I would say that it would be unfiltered. It would be because there was no one else involved in the music-making process. It was me, my producer Troy Taylor and that’s all, it’s us making music at our leisure. That’s actually songs I went back in to create after I turned in, it’s songs I was making just for fun cause I said I was gonna put a mixtape out and it started to change the tone of the album. I’ve actually been making music like that my whole career, but when you have a label then you have a situation where you share creativity and you wanna make sure that everyone – and it’s not really that you share creativity because I could put an album together of everything that I want, even with my situation with Atlantic. But you want your label to be as excited about your music as you are. You want them to feel apart. So ya know, I take some risks and give some compromise to make sure that they’re happy and that’s been done on both albums. That’s even been done on this album. And I think that the difference with Anticipation is that it’s ALL me.

SS: Would you say you had the same amount of creative control with this album? I’m sure you have more on this one than your others…

Songz: Yeah, most definitely I had a lot more creative control with this one than I did on the others but it’s definitely still a compromise when you have a label involved because they want a part, they wanna feel apart and they have their vision for you just as well as you have your vision for yourself but I think what the mixtapes allowed me to do is show the label that I know what the people want from me, ya know?

SS: Right definitely, I agree. So far what we’ve heard from the Ready album is a range of music. There are the club songs like LOL Smiley Face and then you have the more sentimental ballads like One Love. When it comes to this album, did you find that it was more important to keep a balance between making timeless classics and keeping with the current trends like LOL Smiley Face?

Songz: LOL Smiley Face is kinda like the only record of its kind on the album and it’s not to say that it sticks out because the album flows cohesively. Sequence is very important. This album is full of classic music I’ll say. It’s full of easy going music, and I like to use this as a talking point lately: you can make love to it, I speak about love made, I speak about love had, love lost, things of that nature and it flows very cohesively from the beginning to the end. There’s another club record on there with Fabolous (Say Aah) , it’s Invented Sex on there with Drake which can be played in the club and you can also ride in your whip to it. So it’s a variety of records on there. If you love music, you’re gonna love this album because it touches so many areas.

SS: Aside from Drake and Fabolous who are the other collaborators on the album?

Songz: Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy Tellem of course on LOL Smiley Face. Outside of that Drake is on Successful on the album with a new verse from myself. I’m actually looking at the footage from the video we shot. And those are all the features as far as artists. When it comes to my albums, I try to make sure that it’s a lot of myself. I don’t wanna make a compilation of various artists, I want it to be definitive of me.

SS: Gotcha. Now I looked at your tracklisting and I noticed a track called Black Roses. Interesting title, what’s the concept behind that track?

Songz: Black Roses, actually shoutout to Bei Maejor, who has been a producer on every one of my albums. And Edrick Miles who’s the songwriter on that with myself. The concept is really love lost and the gift you’re giving is black roses. The symbolization of giving up on love. And the chorus sings:

*sings hook* “Black Roses, for this dying love, now we’re breakin up, since we’ve given up, black roses…”


Songz: You know what I mean? So it’s basically like the love is dying… it’s very metaphoric.

SS: So it sounds like we get a little deeper into Trey Songz as a man on this album. Would that be a fair statement?

Songz: Most definitely. I think I’ve grown a lot within the past year and it shows a lot in the music on this album.

SS: So you talked about Successful, you guys have shot the video for it, when will that be out?

Songz: Editing should be done very soon; we actually just shot it last week. I think it was last week to the day, or yesterday… Uhhh you know my days all run together now.

SS: I’m sure… you’re a busy guy.

Songz: Yeah, it should be out very soon.

SS: Successful was originally on Drake’s mixtape (So Far Gone). What was so special about that song that you wanted re-record it for your album?

Songz: I think the reason behind the song. Drake actually came to me with the idea of putting it on my album because he wasn’t putting it on an album. He didn’t really want it on Thank Me Later. So we said that we’d use it for something. It was just suggested that I have more presence on the song. If it’s gonna be on my album I had to have more presence on the song. A lot of my fans actually asked for that from me too. When the idea was initially brought to me I was like “Nah, that’s your song, that’s something that we share together, that’s something special and I love it the way it is." But we went ahead and did it and we shot the video for that version. Its an added treat to Ready at this point.

SS: Are there any other additions to Ready, like anything from the mixtapes? Just to be honest, one of my favorite joints is Your Side of the Bed from Anticipation. Any chance that it may show up on the album?

Songz: That’s actually on the album. It’s a bit different than it was before, I changed a few ad libs and I sang a couple lines over and we mixed it differently. But it’s for the better. I’m in belief that it will be a single, I don’t know when it will be, but I love that song to death.

SS: It’s a huge fan hit, between Twitter and Sound-Savvy it’s probably a lot of listener’s favorites. Earlier you mentioned pushbacks on the album. Was it a matter of bad timing, last minute changes, what was the reason for that?

Songz: The first date was changed because I started making new music and a lot of that music ended up on Anticipation, which put me in a new space. And I wanted to make music more like that. I wanted to make sure the album was perfect and there was no rush. Outside of that I Need A Girl, which is my single – I’m very business-savvy on this album. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about the game and the game is changing dramatically with the digital sales and the whole digital world. I Need a Girl, I wanted it to be at a certain number of people in audience because audience is the only thing that we know for a fact that equates to album sales. Actual audience of people that have heard your song. In the time that I’ve pushed back my album from the date of July 30 to September 1st, I have now 4 songs on the radio in various cities. LOL Smiley Face wouldn’t have been out. The Successful version with my verse wouldn’t have been out. Invented Sex wouldn’t be where it’s at. So it’s a lot of looks that I‘m getting now, that before the album, I wouldn’t have had.

SS: With your album coming out on September 1st, same day as Whitney Houston, do you feel like that might stifle your success in terms of sales?

Songz: I feel like we have two different demographics. I have some fans that will definitely... ya know, I have older fans and—my demographic is so crazy because I have fans from 2-3 years old all the way up to grandmothers. Whitney is a legend and I feel like she’s definitely gonna do her numbers, ya know? But I’m not worried about her interfering with anything I got going on.

SS: Cool, now when it comes to collaborations, one thing we haven’t seen from Trey Songz is a lot of collaborations with female artists. Is there a reason for that?

Songz: No, there isn’t any specific reason for that right now. I would love to do duets and things of that nature. I’m waiting on those opportunities myself.

SS: Anybody in particular you’d like to work with?

Songz: Ahh man, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Keyshia Cole, Miss Keri Baby! I’d love all four of those.

SS: I could hear you with Keri…

Songz: I’m willing to work with anybody that goes hard. Mary J. Blige, I would love to work with any of those females I just picked.

SS: Would you ever do a duet album, with a rapper or another R&B singer and if so, who comes to mind?

Songz: Well my fans and Drake fans, they actually – I read about it and hear about it every day. “Are you and Drake gonna do an album?” We actually were supposed to do a mixtape this summer but both of us got so busy that we weren’t able to make it happen. But I think somewhere down the line that’ll be in the making.

SS: Another thing you’ve talked about a lot on Twitter is touring. You’ve mentioned the possibility of touring with Fabolous, or Mario or Day 26. Are there plans in the works for a tour with this album and who are you looking to tour?

Songz: We actually have the tour sealed, and as of now it’s myself, Day 26 and Mario.

SS: Okay, when does it start?

Songz: We’re waiting on actual dates right now, my dates in my head right now are so crazy because I’m dealing with promo right now but it will sometime in September.

SS: With a schedule as busy as yours, you do a great job at keeping in shape. What is your workout regimen like and how do you manage the time to do everything and still work out?

Songz: I’m still trying to figure out how myself. I don’t get to work out as often as I’d like to but I do the regular regimen of pushups and sit-ups. And I don’t get to eat regularly either so I’ve actually been losing weight since I’ve been out. I definitely try to hit the gym in the hotel when I have free time. My schedule is literally packed to capacity.

SS: So just to wind down, Successful is your next single, the video is on the way but what do you feel has been your key to being successful?

Songz: Being consistent, being persistent, and never letting up. Believing in myself even when no one else did.

SS: Okay now on the flipside, what would you say is the biggest downfall of being so successful?

Songz: The biggest downfall is you have to deal with people being let inside your world. The rumor mill goes around. When people say things about you that you know aren’t true or people have perceptions of you that you know aren’t true it hurts. You have to build a shell. I think that’s one of the toughest things, learning how to deal with people talking about you that don’t know you. And people that wanna see your downfall. But I think I’ve learned a way to deal with that. I got a tough shell, but even the toughest man can admit that people saying things about you that aren’t true hurts.

SS: In the position you’re in you have a lot of people looking at you so I can’t blame you, you gotta have a tough shell and I applaud you for that. I see the things that people say but you’re a good dude and you’re doing your thing.

Songz: I appreciate that man!

SS: So in closing, what would make Ready a successful album for you?

Songz: I think it’s already a success. The anticipation built up towards it, the way people perceive it and play it from beginning to end. If it’s in the hood, if it’s in hotel rooms late at night, if your grandma playin it and your daughter playin it at the same time. If I touch somebody out there with a word I said or they feel a way about something because of something I said. If I change someone’s life out there, if the struggle that I had to get to this point with ready, - like I’m already claiming that Ready is gonna be a successful album, really – if someone sees my struggle that I had to get here and that motivates them to do something with their lives then it’s successful.

SS: And one final question We just recently lost Michael Jackson a huge icon in music. What kind of influence did he have on your career and if you could cover a song by him, what would it be?

Songz: I may do She’s Out of My Life or Rock With You and as far as an influence on me, I feel like he’s influenced music as a whole. Myself personally, I’ve listened to him for voice inflections. Our vibratos are actually similar and his tone changes right in the middle of the song. The texture of his voice, I listen very closely to that

SS: Well I’m putting in the request for one of these music Monday releases on Twitter that you give us a Michael Jackson cover, I think your fans would appreciate that.

Songz: As soon as I get the time to, I’ve been wanting to for like a month now. I actually did the Mariah Carey joint Obsessed a few weeks ago..

SS: That’s actually on Sound-Savvy now, a lot of people have been feeling that!

Songz: That’s wassup man!

SS: Well on behalf of and Suavv Magazine, we definitely appreciate you taking the time out to do the interview with us today.

Songz: Oh nah, I appreciate the love man, good interview too!

Trey Songz' third studio album, Ready is hittin' stores September 1st and features the hit singles I Need A Girl, LOL :-), and a re-recorded version of Successful. Make sure you cop that and check out Songz on the blog spot at SeeFurtherThanIAm! Support real music, excellent R&B!

5 comments and counting...

  1. LeAnn H. Said,

    This was an AWESOME interview! I would absolutely love to hear a duet with him and either Beyonce, Alicia Keys or Keri Hilson! Trey Songz is a great artist with incredible talent and enjoy his music!

    Great job Rob and Sound-Savvy! Looking forward to more interviews!!!

    Posted on August 25, 2009 at 1:09 PM

  2. ODARA Said,

    GREAT Interview Mack!!!!

    He song to (well at) you??? LOL!!! (so jealous)

    Posted on August 25, 2009 at 3:33 PM

  3. Bahama Said,

    MACK!!! This was awesome, good lookin dude.. Really good interview. I would love to hear him cover a MJ song...Dirty Diana or P.Y.T maybe

    Posted on August 25, 2009 at 3:39 PM

  4. A_NuDay Said,

    The interview was crazy. I must say that the more I listen to Trey the more I appreciate him as a man & an artist. I think Sound-Savvy touched on ALL the relevant topics & gave the fans something to look forward to!!!

    SN: I have to hate a little Mack, I mean u did get to speak directly to him & for 20 mins! LOL. Keep up the GREAT work!

    Posted on August 25, 2009 at 9:20 PM

  5. MrsGrapevine Said,

    Is it me or has the marketing around this album been really sexual. It's the first time I think that a guy has used so much sex to sell albums, and the thing is, he has so much talent. I enjoyed both his freshman, and sophomore album...

    Posted on August 26, 2009 at 11:39 PM


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