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Music Work

Review – Drake at the o2

YMCMB’s Drizzy Drake touched down in London for his second show in a row at the o2 arena in Greenwich last night, where he performed to around 18,000 people…

Supporting the emo-rapper was Labrinth. The Hackney-born artist delivered a smooth, futuristic set to compliment his debut album, ‘Electronic Earth’.

Looking suave and supported by great visuals, the singer was received well as he performed his hits ‘Let The Sunshine’ and ‘Last Time’, the latter certainly being the best song of his set, with the Quincy inspired sounds sounding indulgently rich. However, it was when the super producer performed his smash hit ‘Earthquake’ that the crowd went really nuts for the 22-year-old, thus kicking in our adrenaline for the headliner himself.

As Drake hit the stage dressed simply in black, kicking off the show with ‘Lord Knows’, which may seem as a surprising choice of introduction given that he seldom records heavy hip hop sounds.

Drake has kick-started a transition in rap, introducing a more emotive, humble approach to rhyming that has actually been embraced by hip hop. What was evident from the show is that the Toronto artist is midway through a transition of his own.

Taking a Jekyll and Hyde approach on stage, the 25-year-old frequently switched up the contrast from the emotional, love obsessed, brooding character to the arrogant persona that we have been seeing more frequently since his status rose so phenomenally.

Whilst performing ‘Take Care’, he danced around the stage as if he couldn’t believe he was actually living his dream. However, soon after, he stood emotionless in the middle of the stage, hands open and taking in the applause like an alcoholic does wine.

Being the emotionally open character he is, he makes no apologies for the way fame has affected him, in fact it only went in his favour, giving him an edge of realness that sometimes lacks in popular music today.

This allowed him to effortlessly blend tracks from ‘Best I Ever Had’, ‘Practise’, ‘Shot 4 Me’ to more rugged sounds like ‘Stay Schemin’ and ‘I’m Goin’ In’.

Highlights were ‘The Motto’, ‘Take Care’ and ‘Crew Love’, notably being some of the fans favourites.

Drizzy took (perhaps a bit too much) time shouting out audience members, including the ones “in the glasses who can’t see a mother f***ing thang!” The set in itself seemed rather rushed, pushed by Drake’s own adrenaline perhaps. The Young Money artist has not had years of experience connecting to such as large audience, which showed as he didn’t keep the audience captivated consistently throughout the show.

The show seemed to end quicker than I would have liked, but I assumed that this was because time flies when you’re having fun. But was I in Club Paradise? Very nearly.

After his final London show, Drizzy went down to West London’s club ‘The Low’, where he relaxed and partied with his buddies, including Rihanna.

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Interviews Work

Maz Chats to Tyga

I got the chance to have a quick chat with Tyga a couple of weeks ago on behalf of MTV – The Wrap Up (THE urban destination, in case you didn’t know). Check it out…

This year, we’ve seen the tattoo-loving rhymer Tyga gain worldwide fame. His single ‘Rack City’, went certified platinum and he inspired almost every rapper to jump on YouTube and perform their own version of the party anthem…

Tyga’s new album, ‘Careless World: Rise Of the Last Kings’, is a well-orchestrated blend of party tracks, rugged hip-hop and emotive sounds – the Young Money camp are doing things big this year. I found out what he’s been up to and what he has planned for us next…

Hey Tyga! From being recalled to be being leaked, the release of your album, ‘Careless World: Rise Of The Last King’, has had its fair share of drama…

Hey! Yeah, the album was sent to stores but it couldn’t be sold because of a MLK sample that I used. For certain reasons, I wasn’t allowed to use it last minute. We had to remake a new album to go in stores by the next week, so for the whole first week I wasn’t actually able to have it in stores. Once you’ve made your album and it’s shipped in, it’s out there, you know? You’ve got people that copy them once they get to the stores. I know if I worked in a retail store and I saw a CD from my favourite artist that I’ve been waiting so long for, I’d probably grab a CD too!

What track on the album means the most to you and why?

The ‘Kings and Queens’ record with me, Wale and Nas. I just think the message behind it is a real strong one. It’s a strong record and I don’t think people were expecting that from me on this album.

‘Rack City’ is now certified platinum. Did you think it would make this kind of impact? And for those who don’t know, what is the meaning behind ‘Rack City’?

Tyga: ‘Rack’ is a term we use that means a thousand dollars, so ‘Rack City’ basically means a lot of money (laughs). I didn’t know that it was gonna be this big, like worldwide, but I knew it would be big with my fans and on the West Coast. But nah, I was shocked! I think it’s just a new sound, it’s different. Like, the flow of it and my tone on the record is just different. It just sounds like an anthem, you know?

Have you seen the YouTube video of a granny dancing to it? It has over 12 million views.

Yeah, I’ve seen it. It’s pretty wild and pretty crazy (laughs). I really appreciate it all, I’m just happy that people are enjoying my music.

Since your recent worldwide hit, how do you stay grounded?

For me, it isn’t hard to stay grounded. You just have to keep doing what you’ve been doing that got you to that point of success. I think as long as you stay consistent and you stay in touch with your old friends, you’ll always be good. 

In your last interview with us, you said that you didn’t think you had established your sound 100%. How do you feel now that you’ve had time to progress?

I think the challenge for me is to make sure I have a party sound and a more emotional sound, you know what I’m sayin’? I can make any type of music, so I wouldn’t want to describe myself as having one type of sound. I think music is about keeping it diverse.

How is your clothing line, ‘Last Kings’, going? Any chance of a UK store opening soon?

I’m just selling it on my tours and shows at the moment, and you can also get it online. The brand really represents being independent, making your own movements and controlling your own destiny. As well as the album, I really wanted to have something that my fans could have, so they could feel like a part of this whole movement.

You’ve collaborated with many amazing artists, but who has been your favourite person to work with?

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite, but I’ve worked with Chris Brown a lot. When we make music, it’s not hard at all. We’ve got a good vibe.

What’s coming up next for you?

I just shot the video for ‘Faded’ with Lil Wayne from my album, which is ready to drop soon. Those fun songs are just a thing I like to do for my partygoers. I’ve got a lot of other records, but I still wanna cater to the party people!

Where can we see you live and what can expect?

I’ll be in the UK in May. It’s gonna be crazy! Shows are gonna be sold-out so, once tickets going on sale, make sure you guys get your tickets. What can you expect from me? You can expect a party and a lot of energy.

Tyga’s new album, ‘Careless World: Rise Of The Last Kings’, is out now.

Stay up to date with Tyga on Twitter.

If you want to see this interview in all of its MTV glory or you fancy checking out my other work on the site, just click here.

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Interviews Work

Maz Meets Trey Songz

A ladies man, worldwide singing sensation and part time actor, ‘Trigga’ Trey has the world in his palm. His current fourth album Passion, Pain and Pleasure hasn’t stopped selling since its September release and I can’t wait to hear what his next LP will bring. I got the chance to speak to the US born heart-throb about his love for music and other inspirations…

Hey Trey, how are you? I’m good, girl. How are you?

Good! So, from the beginning, when did you realise singing was your destiny? I enjoyed singing from a very young age and I soon realised it was one of the only things that I was really good at. I started going to talent shows and then I hooked up with American producer, Troy Taylor, who was a friend of my mother’s. From there, music was all I ever wanted to do.

When I met Troy Taylor, I sang for him and he thought I had the talent it took to make it in the industry, he was impressed. From then, we worked consistently on getting my tracks perfect. I was fortunate enough to work with an amazing producer so early on in my career.

You are quite the ladies man. Are you single? I love women and I have been in serious relationships before, but for now I am single. I do put a lot of real emotions into my songs, as I gather emotion from the things that I’ve learnt from in my life and from things that I hear when I talk to my friends. I am really observant of other people’s situations and relationships that they have been in and this helps me put raw emotions into my lyrics.

What can we expect from your 5th LP? You can expect it to be all real and very musical. With every album I plan to grow, I grow as a person as well as musically. I also try to expand my audience. You know, I want to open them up to new sounds from myself. Every album I have released has been bigger than the last, so it’s been great to accomplish that.

You are touring the UK with Ne-Yo this year. Excited? I am very excited; he has such a raw talent.

You and Ne-Yo would sound amazing together. Any possibility of the two of you collaborating? Ne-Yo and I have always spoken about putting a record together; I can’t believe it hasn’t happened yet! It probably will be happening soon, so watch this space.

How do you like the UK? I’ve been to the UK a few times. I love it, it’s a beautiful place, and my fans show so much love. Their appreciation for the music and the live performances is great. I love the vibe!

We saw you in the 2010 film Preachers Kid. Will you be doing any more acting in the future? I love acting and it is something that I would definitely look forward to getting into. I am very excited about the opportunities that have come forth where acting is concerned. The thing is though, is I have a lot of things on my plate, right now touring is my focus and I want to ensure that I cover everywhere musically first. Music is my first love and always will be, so I wanna make sure I’m in the place that I wanna be before I get into any new ventures. Acting takes a lot out of you, you have to be focused so I want to make sure that when I go into that field that I am very focused.

Musically, what is coming up next for you? I have a few collaborations coming up, actually. I have done a duet with J Cole, who has been touring with Drake. So definitely look out for that, it’s hot. I am very excited about him as an artist; I think he is really dope. Outside of that, my single Love Faces is doing well in America. Another song that is starting to pick up is Unusual with Drake. We’ve worked together several times; he is an awesome artist. As far as collaborations are concerned I am willing to work with anybody that is talented and takes this thing seriously. I want to do a big duet, maybe for my next album, like a really big, strong R&B ballad duet, preferably with a powerful female singer.

Have you got anyone in mind? I reckon you and Alicia Keys would sound sick together. (Laughs) That would be GREAT! You never know…

You’ve worked with Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. The whole Young Money camp is really taking over the scene right now. How was that experience? It was great; they are all very talented. Drake and I have been working together for a long time, so that was nothing new. Every time we get together musically, it is magical.

For anyone who dreams of being in your shoes – What is your advice? Believe in yourself. There will be hardships and times when you want to give up, but if this is truly what you love, then you must never give up and work really hard at it.

This interview was conducted in March 2011 and was first published on NXG Magazine online.