The-Dream Reveals His Sinatra Obsession & Why Coldplay Is His Ultimate Collaborator

As a songwriter, Terius “The-Dream” Nash, 37, has supplied stars like Beyoncé and Justin Bieber with a diverse array of styles. But he took a more divide-and-conquer approach as a solo artist for his two EPs: the R&B-oriented Crown, which arrives April 14, followed by the more pop-leaning Jewel, due July 7.

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Why did you decide to release two EPs ­instead of a full album?

It was all [one] album, and we tried to figure out the best way to serve the consumer. People consume music so fast -- I wanted to take advantage of that by doing six songs and then another batch of songs. Crown became the host for the quintessential Dream stuff. Jewel is more of a daytime record for a bigger audience. I wanted to draw the line between what people expect from me [as an artist] and what they expect from me when I work with other people.

You reunited with your writing-producing partner Tricky Stewart on this project. How is your relationship different now versus before?

Earlier in my career I had so much to prove. Tricky had already had success. If you’re the little brother in the situation, you want [people] to see you as an equal, which I gained from the experience of going our separate ways. I ended up with Grammys and No. 1 songs in that time.

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After collaborating with so many musicians, who’s left on your wish list?

Coldplay. I’m definitely a fan. It’s just about ­[finding] the right time to do it.

What’s your music obsession right now?

I listen to Sinatra way more than a person my age probably should. I listen to the Sirius XM Sinatra channel religiously. There’s something about the storytelling of that music.

This story originally appeared in the April 11 issue of Billboard.