The DJ-producer, 38, has a hit with “Hold You Down,” the first single off his album I’ve Changed a Lot, due this month. He spoke to Billboard about teaming up with R&B and hip-hop heavyweights on the track and the transformations he’s undergone in his own life.
What inspired you to put Future, Jeremih, Chris Brown and August Alsina on the same song?
I remembered when Quincy Jones put El DeBarge, Barry White, Al B. Sure and James Ingram on [the 1989 ballad] “Secret Garden.” When I was a kid hearing that record, I was amazed. That was all the stars on one record and it sounded bigger than anything out there. So when I made “Hold You Down,” I wanted to make a collaboration that has never been done before.
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Why did you premiere the video for the song before releasing the track itself?
I don’t give my unfinished songs to nobody, so you got to wait until I put it together. So on the set they were like, “Shit — can you play it so I can see how you arranged it?” It was dope, and the response has been amazing.
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The single is off your upcoming album, I’ve Changed a Lot. What does the title mean?
It’s about me really changing. I remain real and who I am forever, but at the same time I’m exercising, being healthier and not making decisions [based] off emotions. Instead of me making a decision today, I might give you the answer tomorrow. Just to make the right decision.
This article first appeared in the Nov. 22 issue of Billboard.