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Slidin’ Thru: LevyGrey

July 9, 2018

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

Hailing from Harlem, New York, LevyGrey is ready to do this artist thing once and for all. Newly signed to Cinematic Music Group, the 23-year-old producer turned rapper made his festival debut at Smoker’s Club in Long Beach, CA. Read more…

Levy began his career working for DMG Clearances helping with sample clearances for Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and Diddy’s Money Making Mitch. This lead to production credits with reputable outlets such as Smoke DZA, Nyck Caution, Bodega Bamz, and even two Netflix originals (Deuces and True To The Game).

It wasn’t long before he discovered his own talents behind the mic. Now he celebrates the release of his debut EP, Shades.

For those who don’t know, who is LevyGrey?
LevyGrey is an artist, creative and just super fun.

How would you describe your sound?
Genre-less, genre-free, no genre. I’m here to kill that whole concept and idea of genre, because it can box artists in. If you listen to my project, that’s what the funeral sounded like.

You’re from Harlem where there’s so much hip-hop history. How does this play into your life and your music?
Harlem definitely influenced me because of the culture: rappers, fashion, basketball, chopped cheese sandwiches. This is all Harlem and that’s in my DNA. I can’t run from it.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
Really important. It’s an opportunity to expand your crowd, your sound. I was fortunate enough to have a set out here at this big festival. So it was pretty dope. I’m grateful.

Talk about your Shades EP. What do you want fans to get from your story?
I just want people to know it’s cool to be different. Whether it be sonically, creatively as an artist, emotions, everything is different and I want to translate that into music.

I was actually listening this week. You’ve definitely got that trap influence. Talk about working with the GOAT, T-Pain.
That’s the GOAT right there. It’s funny because we spoke about the feature and it didn’t happen for a few weeks. Then one time, Jonny Shipes, CEO at Cinematic, came to the studio and he just played the song without saying anything. Shout out Jonny Shipes. It was crazy.

Talk about transitioning from producer to artist. What obstacles are you facing?
The biggest obstacle is knowing when to shop a beat and when to keep it for yourself. Me, I would like to keep all my beats to myself. ‘Cause they’re all pretty fire. But sometimes, I gotta put my producer cap on and let that help my artistry.

Talk about your relationship with Smoke DZA.
Smoke DZA, that’s my big brother right there. We grew up in the same neighborhood. Me growing up as a kid, I always saw him and his homies. It just looked like they were winning at whatever it was. Going from that to doing records with him and performances is just crazy. It’s super surreal.

How does it feel to be making your festival debut at Smokers Club?
It feels really good! Really good. I was just super excited. When I saw the flyer, I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about my set and what songs I would do.

If you had 1 song for fans to hear, what would it be?
“For Me” with T-Pain. The single that’s out now.

You’re only 23. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I need to be wealthy in 10 years. That’s my goal. I don’t want to be rich, I want to be wealthy.

What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Studio: 20 hours. Sleep: 2 hours. Eat: 1 hour. And I’ll spend an hour playing Guitar Hero.

Nyck said Fortnite. What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Well hopefully if I had the height, I would be playing basketball. I used to play on my school’s team. But once I stopped growing at 5’9, it was over.

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Sade.

Dream collab?
Kanye West.

Is there anything else you want us to know?
Shades is out now. Shout out Cinematic. Shout out the 23rd. Shout out everybody that helped me through this process.

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