MC: Do you write and record every day?
TD$: I write every day unless I’m doing family shit or promo shit. If I’m not doing that, I’m in the studio working. I was in the studio last night, I did three songs, I keep it lit. Right now I’m going to a meeting, then I’ve got a red carpet event, then I’m going right back to the studio. I talk to my other homies who say they take a couple days off. I’m like, “all right, I’m going to go back to the studio to do my shit.” I don’t got time to take off until I can’t do this shit no more.
MC: Looking at the Urban Charts right now, you are everywhere, not only with your new tracks, but also guesting with other artists. What determines your availability for recording for other artists’ projects?
TD$: I guess it’s the beat and having artists and producers texting me to record with them. Collaborations are cool. People like to throw little hints like “You’ve got so many collaborations, it’s a bad thing.” It’s music. If I were building a fucking house I would have to collaborate with people. I make music and I collaborate––it doesn’t matter––a good song is a good song.
MC: You’ve been playing some huge shows. How was the Wireless Festival in London?
TD$: It was lit––one of the funnest shows ever, there were so many people in the crowd. When Future brought me out at Coachella it was crazy. The Governors Ball in New York was crazy. I love those festivals, they really pay off, like “Blessings (Reprise)” with Chance the Rapper? That was a fluke. We were in some studio out here in Hollywood. I went in on a lucky day. I came in with that whole song and then to perform that song for a hundred thousand people in the crowd singing that shit?
Same thing with Wireless, when I did all my classics. I love live shows, it’s a payoff from being in the studio all of the time and working hard.
MC: Talk about the stage dives.
TD$: Oh man––I’m the stage dive king! Shout out to my fans who let me land on them and carry me and all of that shit. They keep me safe, thanks to God. Hopefully, I will be stage diving as long as I can. My mom is always scared. “Aww don’t get hurt.” And I’ve seen a couple of different artists get in bad situations. But I’m not going to do it the wrong way. I definitely get them ready for it, and then I do it.
MC: We enjoyed seeing you open the recent VH-1 Hip-Hop Honors doing “This is How We Do It” in the old-school music medley.
TD$: Man that was super fun. I won’t lie––I was a little nervous because I didn’t want to fuck up a classic. I had to remember all those words. I grew up on the song, but I never really dove into every single word. So I focused all day. Then there was this funky little choreography at the beginning, but when I did it I didn’t do none of the choreography––I was trying to remember all of the words. We got through it. Everybody said I did a great job. I’m happy. Working with Warren G––he’s one of my idols, being from L.A., so that was an honor doing his part––I didn’t fuck it up, either. Thanks be to God.
MC: You’ve referenced that you are a fan of ‘80s and ‘90s production, especially the work of the great Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
TD$: I was in at Mr. Chow’s in Malibu, and Terry Lewis walked up to me and said “Hi” and got my number. We haven’t linked up yet, but I for sure want to get that in. Crazier than that: And I’m doing this film to go along with Beach House 3. One of the people on my team was like, “Yo, you should watch Purple Rain by Prince.” I’d never watched it. I fucking discovered that Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were in that group The Time with Morris Day. And I was like, “Oh shit.” He’s simply amazing.
MC: Do you listen to contemporary radio?
TD$: Most times I’ll turn on my music, especially now, because I’ve been in album mode, but I do listen to the radio when I get in the car. If something that I like is on, then I let it keep on playing. Sometimes they’ll hit something back to back to back, but I listen to a lot of KCRW because they play a lot of stuff you don’t hear––I like hearing shit that I’ve never heard.
MC: You are referencing the public radio station 89.9 that broadcasts from Santa Monica College (kcrw.com). It’s such a Los Angeles Institution. Which DJ’s do you follow?
TD$: I used to listen to Garth Trinidad, who is one of my favorites. I don’t know how I found Anthony Valadez, but I first started listening like four years ago, and ever since then I’ve been his biggest fan.
MC: Beach House 3 has an impressive number of tracks. Lots.
TD$: There’s 20 tracks on Beach House 3. Some of them are interludes that I made like songs, but they’re like a minute. These songs––produced by Skrillex and our engineers—are amazing, as well.
MC: Are you involved in the mixing process?
TD$: I mix on every single one of my songs, with James Royo, Andy Barnes, Jaycen Joshua… I’m hands-on with every mix. I have to be so psycho. It’s just how I am. And it pays off.
MC: Is it a perfectionist drive?
TD$: Yeah, it’s like coming up in the house with my pops, that’s how he is. Dad’s on the new album; he came in and did all of the horn parts. He got busy!
MC: These are turbulent times we’re in––do you think your music has the power to heal?
TD$: It’s definitely got a power. You come to my shows and you will see everyone there: white people, black people, Asian people, Latin people, Indian people, straight people, gay people. It’s everybody getting lit. It’s all about love.
Contact Aishah White, AKW PR, firstname.lastname@example.org