Sy Ari Da Kid is not new to the rap game. The Bronx born rapper, who found his musical home in the ATL, has experience behind production boards and in front of the mic. His lengthy discography shows he’s no rookie to the business and with new projects set to be released, he’s has been and always will be committed to the game. We caught up with Sy Ari while he’s out on tour with 6lack to talk music, signing to Cash Money and so much more.
For those who don’t know, when did you get started?
I started my first business and started producing when I was about 24.
Who was the first person to recognize your talent in music?
I recognized it first and then my brother. I would freestyle around him before I rapped around anybody else so he was the first person who saw my skills in it early on.
Did you grow up in a musical family?
Not really but my brother was a big fan of RZA from Wu-Tang. Also my dad had a Yamaha keyboard that I learned to produce on along with lots of records from artist that he loved. Other than that I didn’t have a musical background or musical mentors. I really started from scratch with it.
Can you talk about your relationship with the Atlanta music scene and how it came about?
Around the time that Lil Jon, Shawty Red, T.I., and Jeezy started getting hot, I was there in Atlanta as they started dominating the scene. I came up in the following generation. I was a part of one of the biggest open mic events in Atlanta called Battle Ground Mondays. I recorded a lot of hot songs coming out of the south during that time. I was engineering for Roscoe Dash, and Waka Flocka around that time and a lot of people don’t really know that about me. I was there to see people like Travis Porter emerge. That’s when Atlanta really started to grab the world. All of those producers like Mike Will and Sonny Digital, TM88, Metro Boomin, I knew all of those guys early in the game. These are the guys who are running the industry now, sound wise and production wise. I feel like I’m a huge part of the industry because we all created that sound during one time. It shaped alot of music now.
Let’s talk about the evolution of your sound. How has it changed from where you started?
I was born in the Bronx so at first I though everything was just about lyrics and bars. As I started learning the game, I started learning how to produce. I found out that every beat does not have to have a thousand sounds. Artist should have an open space to create his own melody. If there’s no open space in the beat, that’s how my sound kind of evolved. Being a part of the production and learning how to make my voice become an instrument. I learned cadences, and how to add wit and creativity to make it that much better. Women and kids should like it just as much as the streets. Future is good at that. He makes something the streets want to hear and things the women want to dance to. Then the kids like it because of the melody, and how catchy it is. Musically, I learned as I grew in the game.
What was it like signing to Cash Money and working with Birdman?
Birdman is really cool. As much as he’s accomplished he understands that the youngings are the new wave. He lets me do my thing in the studio. I go in and I record and engineer my music and they respect that.
Who has been your favorite collaboration so far?
I don’t know if I have a favorite collab. I’ve got so many different processes when recording music. I’ve done stuff in studio and some out of it. The song I did with Bryson Tiller, I did that in my kitchen. I emailed it to him he sent it back and we got that running in 20 minutes. I like working with K Camp because we have the same recording process, we have good chemistry in studio. Timbaland was really creative and great to work with. Slim Dunkin was also another favorite for me. There’s so many different ways I’ve collaborated with people.
It seems you have a very efficient energy in the studio. Is that something you’ve developed working first in production and then as an artist?
Yeah, it’s like everything in general. It’s from the practice I put in as an engineer to understanding that everyone doesn’t work the same. I’m on the road right now doing features and I still record my own way. I keep a set-up on my laptop because I have my own preference.
Wire Transfer off of your mixtape 2Soon had an air of honesty. Can we talk about that for a moment?
Everyone that knows me knows I don’t bite my tongue. I’m very understanding to the business. I like to address the elephant in the room. If there’s an issue, I’m always the guys that’s going to address it. When I signed to Cash Money I wasn’t going to pretend I didn’t hear the allegations about Wayne and Birdman. So many people want to come at Birdman because of his success. I wanted to have his back and let it be known that we both know the business. I’m very professional in all settings and so is Birdman. I think it’s important that artist hear that side of the story as well.
So what’s the meaning behind the title 2SOON?
My first big mixtape was titled Soon. So I wanted to do a sequel. A lot of people say I’m ahead of my time to that’s why I ended up using my son on the cover as well. Metaphorically it represents me knowing I would be in the position that I’m in today. That’s why my son is on the cover wearing my clothes. It’s like being ahead of my time and staying ahead of the game.
This is your first album under Cash Money, followed by 2 Weeks Notice. Have things changed when it comes to who you are as an artist?
People who know me, know that I was the same before my deal. The cars I drive, buying my mom her dream car, all of that I did before my deal. It’s like I did a lot before signing to him. I have the same demeanor. I have the same control over my brand and my music. I always keep my independent grind first.
How has tour been so far?
I’ve waited a long time to be on a tour that had he audience and the energy I was looking for so I like it. Day to day it’s a grind. Tour is unpredictable. You have to adjust on tour. You have to learn how to move, you have to learn how to deal with what comes to you but it’s a blessing. People are loving it so I’m having a good time.
Sy Ari Da Kid is on the brink of his on tour, he will be dropping After The Heartbreak 2, and moving forward under Cash Money. You can keep up with him on Instagram and Twitter at the links.