Jazz Cartier Talks Lil Wayne Co-Sign, 'Fleurever' Album, Working With Mike WiLL Made-It for Red Bull Sound Select

Jazz Cartier, 2017
Cary Fagan

Jazz Cartier

It’s no secret that Toronto is heavy on the music map these days, with a lot of credit being given to both Drake and The Weeknd, but the rising talent is not to be underestimated. Jazz Cartier reigns from the Canadian capital, and has been hitting the hip-hop scene hard since the release of his breakout Marauding In Paradise mixtape from 2015.

Fast forward to this year, the rap star has a major Juno Award under his belt from this year’s awards, where he earned record of the year for his 2016 mixtape, Hotel Paranoia. Gearing up to release his Fleurever album through his new record deal with Capitol Records, Cartier is working with Red Bull for their Sound Select series as a chosen artist. The corporation teamed up with producer Mike WiLL Made-It to produce two songs with Jazz, with “Nobody’s Watching” releasing today (Aug. 16), and “Make A Mess” dropping next week (Aug. 23).

Despite his recent accolades, one of the highlights of Cartier’s career comes with a co-sign from Lil Wayne, who praised the Toronto MC for his record that he dedicated to the Young Money founder from last summer.

Billboard got a chance to chat with Jazz Cartier, who kept it candid about Lil Wayne, working with Red Bull, as well as what we can expect from his upcoming Fleurever album. Check it out below:

Tell us about your collaboration for Red Bull Sound Select. How did you land on their radar for the campaign?

I remember a long time ago when I first started out, Red Bull just showed a lot of love. I think they came out to my first show back home. Apparently they were sitting down with Mike WiLL [Made-It] and going through a bunch of artists and Mike was like, “Oh, I know Jazz.” Red Bull hit me up and told me they had an opportunity for me, and it was a wrap.

The two songs that are going to release, “Nobody’s Watching” and “Make A Mess,” were produced by Mike WiLL Made-It. What was it like working with him?

Mike’s a cool guy. I was super nervous just based off the fact that it was my first time working with a big league producer. But I’ve learned a lot since I’ve worked with Mike. I’ve seen him a couple of times ever since, and he’s been super cool. It was definitely a good experience.

What else can we expect to come from your involvement in the campaign?

You can definitely expect the two Red Bull songs to roll out. I think once the momentum starts from that, then I’m just going to go into my stuff. I think there’s going to be like a variety of sounds coming out.

How has your work ethic shifted since inking the deal with Capitol earlier this year?

It’s like… as much as it should be work, it’s a lot more of my life now. It doesn’t feel like work at all. It just feels like my every day, which is super cool. I just find new ways to get inspired. That keeps me going. Nothing really changed. Well, I don’t feel it personally. If I ever feel it, then I know things are going the wrong way. I just feel more motivated.

We know that Fleurever is set to come out later this year. What can we expect from the album?

I don’t even know to be honest with you [Laughs]. You’re going to get a lot. There’s definitely a shift in energy in comparison to a lot of my older material. You’ll just hear a more polished and more mature Jazz Cartier. I learned a lot in the past two years since the release of my last mixtapes. I felt like I always had to succumb to the pressure of the Internet, like releasing music constantly, and for awhile I felt like I needed to do that.

Eventually I was like, 'Okay, I’m going to work at my own pace. I’m not dropping a song like every week or every day.' I’m just going to make music at my own pace and find my groove until things aren’t clicking. They’ve been clicking for the past few months. We have way too many songs in the vault.

Where does the title come from?

It comes from my nickname in French, which is fleur. Essentially, in my head, or in my world, it’s the flower that will live forever. It will just never die. It just has so much energy from everybody for years to come, and it’s my take on that.

How will it differ from your Juno award-winning Hotel Paranoia tape?

There are a lot of producers involved. I usually just work with one producer, Lance, but the next one we have a lot of people from every angle.

How did you feel about Lil Wayne’s response to your “Lil Wayne” record?

Oh, that was fire. I think that kind of pushed the meter a lot for me, personally. I don’t need a lot of celebrity co-signs, and I never really wanted one, but that’s the one that I wanted the most. I’m good for life.

Any plans to grab him for your album?

Yeah. Yeah, I’m working on that. I’m really working on that.

Toronto has been making a lot of noise in the past few years following Drake’s rise. How do you feel you represent for the city in your music and career?

Everything I do from the music, to when I leave the city or if I’m here, it’s always Toronto. I just want to bring a new energy to the city. Obviously we have Drake and The Weeknd. Now, there’s like the new generation of kids coming up like Tory [Lanez], Belly, Nav, Roy Woods, PARTYNEXTDOOR. It’s pretty crazy out there. I’m just trying to do my thing while watching everybody grow at the same time.

Who do you seek to work with in the near future that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

Kanye. Pharrell. That would be sick. Norah Jones would be amazing. Rihanna would be lit. Her cropover picture was fire. I’m like blown away.

Other than finishing and releasing Fleurever, what’s on your radar moving forward?

For the rest of the year, I’m going to start testing the waters the involves music that I’m comfortable with. That I would die for. Let’s take a risk and throw the dice and see what works. I’ve just got to figure out a strategy.