Born in New York but finding a new home in Atlanta, Sy Ari Da Kid is no stranger to the rap game. With a unique trap-infused R&B sound, real name Sy Ari Brockington stays in his own lane, incorporating his own experiences with heartbreak, relationships, and life struggles to deliver meaningful records that listeners can relate to. Read more…
If there’s one thing Sy Ari knows, it’s music. Whether it’s producing, writing, rapping, or singing, he dedicates his entire life to perfecting his craft. In 2016, he released his hit record “Priorities” featuring Bryson Tiller which garnered the attention he needed on a mainstream front.
Now signed to Birdman’s Cash Money Records, Sy Ari celebrates a Platinum plaque with Travis Scott and the release of his most recent project, After The Heartbreak. We caught up with him ahead of the project’s release party at A List Music Co in Los Angeles.
For those who don’t know who is Sy Ari?
If I was to put myself in the parentheses, I would say one, I’m a perfectionist. Competitor. Musician, Businessman. BOSS,. A very, very happy person. A full-time father. Family man. And just a motivator for the youth. That’s pretty much what I am in a nutshell. I’m a really good entertainer too, I believe. I can perform my ass off on that stage.
How would you describe your sound?
I leave that to the people. Opinions are at an all-time high right now, so let them have that. If they want to put me in their box, or if they feel like I’m like this until I surprise them — people just seen me on Sway in the Morning freestyling. And a lot of people are like, “Damn, I didn’t know you can rap for like five minutes like that.” So when you think I just do melodies and then you hear me rap, or some people think I rap and I don’t do melodies. It depends on when you hear me or why you hear me. Put me in whatever box — I love music and I’m challenging myself to always get out of the box that I’m in now.
You’re from Atlanta. How I’m important is it for you to come to LA?
I did a lot in Atlanta. A lot of people who know my start in the A — like I grinded. I went through a time back when Waka and them first got hot. And Roscoe Dash and Travis Porter. I was going to clubs maybe three to four times a night, seven days week. People know me for grinding like that. Had a studio. Threw my own party. Threw my own open mic. So I wanted to come to LA because this is where the bulk of everything is at, as far as the industry and Hollywood and stuff like that. And I just wanted to challenge myself to go to a new area. Come, see, and conquer. I just wanted to move forward. I wanted to progress in a different area, because Atlanta is a little smaller. It’s like black Hollywood, and it’s really the city of short goals. Even the price of living is so much cheaper out there. I just wanted to challenge myself and get to another level, and really learn the game. I went to the Grammy’s for the first time last year. I feel asleep in that motherfucker.
That’s hilarious. For real?
Yeah, I did. It was dope, but I wasn’t… like if I go to something in Atlanta, I’m dapping up everybody and giving out a thousand handshakes. At the Grammy’s, it was like, I ain’t Denzel. I ain’t Drake. So I wasn’t getting the treatment I’m used to. It was very humbling, so that’s why I’m coming back. This is my second thing that I’m throwing out here. I fucking performed at a sold out show. I did an event before a long time ago — didn’t do too well. So I said you know what, let me come back at it and not get discouraged by that. And keep going.
Talk about your new project After The Heartbreak? What do you want fans to get from this story?
This is the fifth Heartbreak project I’ve done — really it’s the second one that’s official. This is the sequel to the Before The Heartbreak project. Before the Heartbreak was my biggest project to date. But on this one, I wanted to not just bring back the sound and evolve my sound, but I wanted to involve more of the people. I know on the first one, people heard a lot of the skits were real. I wanted to keep that, but I involved other people. I did a tweet when I first thought of the album. I had fans send in voice memos, voicemails — I used some of that stuff. I used real arguments from my homies when they girl around me when they didn’t know. I kept it authentic. It’s like real life situations.
I’m not really looking for a hit to come out of it. If It does, that’s great. We gon’ push. But I know for a fact that people are going to feel it. It’s too authentic. I waited for real situations and I told the stories verbatim. From my perspective, from her homegirl’s perspective, from my homie’s perspective, or from the people involved. And when you do stuff like that, you can’t lose. If somebody sees if someone has been raped before and you are able to be in front of that situation and you explain it word for word, it’s going to touch them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hit or not, it’s going to hit. And I feel like I touched all those subjects on this album.
Speaking of, how are the ladies?
The ladies are good. I feel like my understanding of women gets better by the day. Like what I did with this project — even with my events — all the events that I did, I only booked women. I got a female planning the event (Laura). I got a female decorating the event (Victoria). I have a female deejaying (Huneycut). I have a female playing the violin (Chrissy). I got females helping out. Nobody works for me — they’re not girls working for me. We’re all working with me. And this is a time where women are more confident about their power. You see more women speaking up. Not just black women — Meryl Streep said something. All the African American women that won all the award shows speaking up. You see they had the walk for women. And I watched Black Panther — the most powerful warrior is a woman. She was in that motherfucker kickin’ ass.
This is a time to really remind women, ya’ll are so dominant. I know a lot of women say men control everything,. But really, ya’ll are the numbers. Ya’ll control the numbers. Ya’ll have the loudest voices. Ya’ll gossip the most. The more unified the women are, the more they see that they do have the power. And the more confidence. I think the world will be a much, much better place. And there will be so much less “thots,” and just typical IG models — which ain’t nothing wrong with that if your goals are bigger. But some that are settling for that, that will stop. Less strippers — no disrespect to the dancers because I show them love when I can — but there’s so much further you can go with that. That’s why this is so important for this project to be.
Well, congrats on that Travis record, “First Take,” that went platinum!
Yeah, that was dope! Shout out to Travis Scott. Bryson Tiller was on there. Just working on that Birds in the Trap, that album was pretty dope. I also gave my two producers, Teauxny and Illa Jones, an opportunity to get on that album. Just being a part of Travis Scott’s first Platinum-selling album, I thought it was dope.
So how did you link with La Flame?
Well my guy, Travis (another guy named Travis that I know), they did business before with some tour buses and stuff. Travis Scott actually — before any of that happened, I had a song called “Chase.” And he and a bunch of people would send it to me on Snap. He was singing, “Chasing money, yeah yeah yeah,” without even talking to me. He was singing my song on his social media.
So then I was like, “Damn that was dope.” But I couldn’t get in touch with him. And then Quentin Miller hit me one time, and Quentin Miller was listening to Travis Scott’s podcast when him and Young Thug were interviewing each other. And he played two of my songs. I was like, “Yo, I gotta get in touch with this dude.” They were doing the podcast at 11th Street Studios in Atlanta. And I said, “Trav, text him and just see. Tell him I’m in Atlanta and want to link with him.” Actually the record, I was trying to get him on it. His album dropped four days after I met him. He was like, “Hey, we going to use this for the album.” And I said “Fuck it, man. Let’s run it.” And it ended up going Platinum.
That’s dope! Congrats.
And then he put Bryson on it, so it was dope. But actually that record is a sample from my record, “Queen,” on Before The Heartbreak.
I saw that. And you have a hit record with Bryson, so it all comes full circle.
Yeah, it’s all full circle. It’s dope.
What is the best part of signing to Birdman’s Cash Money?
I’m just really big on being apart of hip-hop history, and seeing it. I know what I’ve done for Atlanta. I feel like Birdman — whether somebody says something good or bad about him — is a pioneer of hip-hop. He’s very important to the culture of hip-hop, to what he brought to what he did for other people that were next to him to bring. And just being apart of that, hearing some of the inside stories, and just seeing some of it — I learned a whole lot. Not just from hearing, but from just seeing how he moves. Like I said, no label to me is perfect. I don’t know anybody signed to a label that says it’s perfect. But that’s life in general. There’s no female without flaws. I don’t give a damn how bad you think she is.
I’ve learned a lot. I’m never going to have nothing but good stuff to say about him. Even if I go my separate ways in the future or if things don’t end well, or they end right. I’m always going to say the positive things that he did for me. He ain’t never take from me. He gave the people around me opportunities that nobody else was willing to do.
You’re only 32. What’s your end goal?
With music, my main goal was I wanted to be in conversation and will always be in conversation with the best. I know that I can compete. I know that I can perform with the best. In the studio, I know I can be with the best. I’ve been around some of them already. I just know that I can be in conversation like when people put together these top ten lists or top five lists, I already have that skill. I already have that stardom to be that.
But in life, I was really huge on my parents living the life that they weren’t able to. And just being able to give that to them before I got my gifts. Like buying my mom her dream car before — that’s really my celebration. I’m not really a guy who goes on to show stuff. My son is six. My niece is six. Those are my angels. Those are my best friends. My ultimate goal was I want my parents to pretty much live the life that they weren’t able to do. Now, I focus more on my little ones. Them being entrepreneurs — my parents weren’t able to do or really teach me because they had to go to work everyday. I want to be able to go to my son’s and niece’s basketball games and dance recitals. I want to be able to there. I don’t want to be working until I’m motherfucking 70 years old.
Speaking of, what would you do if you weren’t rapping?
I would be doing music. Period.
If you weren’t doing music.
My dad hit me with this question a while ago when I first started rapping. I wasn’t really making money from it. But that made me not just rap, but that made me… I bought my first studio. I learned how to engineer. I recorded myself. I know how to build a studio. I know how to produce. So even without doing music, there’s so many things in music. I feel like I would be doing something with the music business regardless. Without music, shit. I would be owning some type of business. I can’t make anybody my boss. I’d put people in position. I’d be mentoring, no matter what field I’m in. You know what they say, “No matter where you go, you are what you are.” And I feel like I would be the same guy. Happy. Working. Challenge accepting. Team work. I would always be that dude in any field I’m in.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
[whistles] I don’t have… I’m one of those guys, I listen to everybody. But something that I always end up going back to: Wu-Tang. Like when I can’t find any good new music, I trailed back to the album Wu-Tang Forever. it never fails. And Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, which is like my hustler’s bible. It’s my reminder that I’m doing stuff correctly. And I feel I’ve always been that husting dude. Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt and Wu-Tang Forever. I’ll never lose with them two.
It’s actually not with an artist. Before I go out this shit, I want to do an album where I have RZA producing on it, DJ Premier, 9th Wonder, and Timbaland. And I want all 4 of them to be on my album, all the way through.