Tory Lanez on His 2017 Grammy Nod: 'It's A Complete Honor'

Josh Brasted/FilmMagic
Tory Lanez performs during day 3 of Lollapalooza 2016 at Grant Park on July 30, 2016 in Chicago.

“My name is Daystar Peterson. One day I’ma be the biggest artist in the whole world,” Tory Lanez asserts at the outset of the skit "I Told You" from his debut album of the same name, released earlier this year. The Toronto hip-hop star has released hit after hit since signing with Interscope Records last year, including his first official single "Say It" to the reggae-influenced jam "LUV," which hit No. 1 on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

Now with a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Song under his belt, Billboard spoke with Lanez over the phone about what the nod means to him and the upcoming releases he’s preparing to unleash by the end of 2016.

BILLBOARD: Congratulations on your Grammy nomination! Reflecting on how big 2016 was for you from releasing your debut album to "Say It" going platinum and now a Grammy nod, what does it mean to you to have your work recognized by the Recording Academy?

TORY LANEZ: Honestly, this is like a dream come true to me. It’s a complete honor to even be mentioned in anything that the Grammys have to offer and to even be honored in that room of people who decide who’s nominated is just an honor for me. I’m just at the utmost level of happiness because I didn’t even expect to be nominated this soon in my career. It’s a blessing and I’m just happy honestly.

How did you find out about the nomination?

I'm on tour right now and I was sleeping in the back of the tour bus. My tour manager came knocking like, "Yo Tory, Tory” and he sounded really concerned. He said "'Luv' got nominated for a Grammy!” and I’m coming out of my sleep so I didn’t know what he was talking about. We started running back and forth on the bus, just overjoyed. I was just chilling after that and went back to sleep. I just woke up so to know that it’s actually real and wasn’t a dream was amazing.

Did you expect "LUV" to do as well as it did, let alone get a Grammy nomination?

When I made the record, it always just kind of made me feel really good. It was about me trying to get the feel of the song and what it was all about. When I create songs, I don’t really have these expectations for certain songs, I just let songs organically do their thing. But I just always have this feeling when I know a record is a big record in my heart and I kind of felt that way about "LUV." It had that spark. I remember it was like 3 in the morning when I made "LUV" and I remember hitting everybody from the label in the group chat like, "Yo, I got it! I got the craziest record. I promise you guys are gonna love it!" Everybody woke up to the record the next morning and I felt like the way they reacted to the record was the same way I felt about it, and that’s what made me feel like it was dope.

Looking back to the younger Tory Lanez you rapped about on I Told You, what advice would you give him based on your experiences and growth over the past few years?

I would just tell him to avoid all the traps and have patience because good things come with patience. I’m somebody who’s been working for a very long time and I’m consistently working. Even before I got on this phone call, I was recording in the back of the tour bus so I’m always working. Things will come your way if you have patience and have faith in God.

As a new artist, describe how it’d feel to have a Grammy award to start a new collection.

It’d mean the world and help me to believe. Well, I believe that this is real regardless but I think that [winning] would be a very big step in my career. It’s not necessarily to have a Grammy, that’s the big part of it but my biggest thing is to have the decision from the people who make the decisions for the Grammys. It’s the honor of being able to say that those people came together and believed I was a good enough pick for that so for me to walk away with that, it’s more than a prize. It’s like I got to please some of the hardest judges.

You mentioned earlier that you’re in the studio so are you working on Chixtape 4/The New Toronto

The New Toronto 2 is coming and Chixtape 4 is coming just like how I did it last year. For right now, I’m in such a good place musically especially with Chixtape 4 and I’m very excited about people hearing it because this time around, I sampled more of the music I grew up on. The old Chixtapes were a lot of '90s but this is like more the 2000s songs that I actually grew up listening to in parties so this one’s really special to me.

What’s the update on the I Told You film?

Yes, the I Told You movie is definitely coming soon. Me and Zac Facts, the director, had just finished a lot of the edits so everything is about to be super A1 and it’s about to be out soon. If not by the end of this year then probably next year. I’m very excited but this movie, it’s incredible.

What are you cooking up for 2017?

I’m working on my second album and just a lot of other projects. A lot of things to come.

You really don’t stop working.

I don’t -- that’s the thing. [Laughs] That’s why I’m honored to even be a Grammy-nominated artist. I feel like with all the work that I did, at least somebody is recognizing it.

2017 Grammys

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