DJ Mustard caught up with Billboard’s Tetris Kelly on the red carpet at Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Gala on Saturday (Feb. 9), discussing working with Ella Mai and the growing representation of R&B music.
Asked what it was like working with the now Grammy nominated Mai so early on in her career, DJ Mustard replies that when he found her four or five years ago, he knew that he wanted to sign her. Since then, they have built a brother-sister relationship.
“She’s chill,” Mustard adds when asked about Mai’s songwriting style. “Everything she’s talking about is real. It’s interesting to see her do it and see her write and sit down … I see her mumbling things in her head. So it’s really an interesting thing. It’s no one way every time.”
DJ Mustard also chats about switching between genres and getting back into his R&B roots. “I think I was in the EDM thing for a while and I kinda got out of it ’cause I just wanna go back to my roots,” he says. “But with Ella … I knew I wanted to have an R&B artist. I think that now is time for me to get back to what I usually do and what people love me for so.”
He is also posed with the question of what he thinks of R&B’s current representation, with the growing success of artists like Mai and H.E.R., to which he replies, “That’s the representation we want. We want people to understand that R&B can be played on the radio. We can get Billboard hits with R&B music.”
You can watch the full video interview with DJ Mustard above, and be sure to tune in to the Billboard Grammy pre-show, streaming live on Twitter on Sunday (Feb. 10) at 5:30 pm ET/2:30 pm PT.