Casey Veggies is prepping his debut album, Live & Grow, for a September 25 release, and it couldn’t come at a better time. The Inglewood native hasn’t officially released a project since 2013’s Life Changes, which featured some of the best songwriting and record-crafting we’ve ever seen from Casey, who is only 21 but already has a handful of projects under his belt.

Since then, a lot has happened, including being signed to Sylvia Rhone‘s Vested In Culture imprint (Epic Records), and Veggies joined the Roc Nation management fold, meaning meetings with Jay Z–for whom Veggies recently played his album.

What does all of it mean, though? Well, for one, it means that Casey is determined, early in his career, to learn how to excel in both the commercial and underground market, and this album, Live & Grow, is a seamless representation of that. Whether he’s teaming up with his longtime friend and collaborator, Dom Kenendy–who, incidentally, played a pretty big role in breaking Casey–or grabbing some of today’s hot names–the YGs and the DeJ Loafs of the world–in an effort to grab mainstream radio’s attention, Live & Grow is certainly an effective microcosm of the concept reflected in its title.

You live, you learn, and you experience. Here, Casey takes us behind the scenes of that process for the first three songs on the album, and you can check back here every day leading up to Friday’s release date for more on his debut.