We first heard of Roy Wood$ when he performed his explosive verse on TRIPSIXX‘s 2014 summer anthem “Goosebumps”, eventually catching Oliver El-Khatib‘s attention and leading to Roy sign to OVO, a testament to the track’s street presence in Toronto that summer and ever since.
With plenty of time to build, TRIPSIXX recently released his debut EP We Own The Night along with an exploratory video for “Savage Sh*t.” Directed by Thomas Ridout, it’s a great snapshot into the aesthetic of an artist who explores varying sing/rap styles yet manages to keep them cohesive. We sat down with the new artist to discuss his influences, cultural differences between Canada and the US and his latest musical offering.
How long have you been making music for?
“I always used to write raps and record for fun, I didn’t take any of it serious till maybe three or four years ago.”
What was it like growing up for you?
“I guess it was cool. I’m from a border city, so I got the best of both worlds. I was born in Windsor but because I’m a dual citizen I spent a considerable amount of time in Detroit and traveling back and forth is a very different lifestyle. I was basically raised by teenagers because my mom had me pretty young, so I got put on to the culture and swag at an early age. Like rap isn’t something I got put onto as I got older; I was literally raised on that sh*t. My parents have crazy music knowledge. There was little to no censorship in my household so it was anything goes; my mom would let me play anything in the car as long as it wasn’t too disrespectful to females.”
What are some of your biggest musical influences?
“My biggest influence hands down is Prince. I must have watched Purple Rain a hundred times. That n*gga was on some other shit. 50 Cent, Eminem, Outkast; Aquemini was actually one of the first albums I ever bought. Three 6 Mafia, Black Moon was a big one for me, Kanye, Kid Cudi, Soulja Boy; I don’t know I got a bunch.”
There are always those music moguls that inspire us. But other than them what else inspires you to make good music?
“Life in general. I can find inspiration in a lot of random things.”
Your EP We Own The Night is well curated. What was the process like?
“The process was like some fear and loathing on Queen St sh*t. A lot of drug fueled chaos and bitter sweet moments went into the making of this EP.”
You worked with Key! in the past. how did that come by?
“I met Key through the homey Omari, kicked it with him while he was up in Toronto and the opportunity to work came up so I cooked something up with him.”
Toronto is getting hot with so many artists coming out. Is there a lot of pressure?
“Naw, not for me at least. This shit just becomes kinda natural after a while, everything falls in place when it’s supposed to. I don’t stress this shit too much anymore it f*cks wit your thought process, stress can have a n*gga acting out of character.”
You have a big hipster fan base, especially hipster girls. Are hipsters changing the music scene you feel?
“I don’t even know what’s considered hipster anymore these days, but that whole street kid and party scene I think is definitely changing things as far as the music and the fashion. You get a different perspective on the music, not everybody’s super thugged out and some n*ggas is stuck in between. I be around all different types of people—I got friends that trap and friends that are house music sensations overseas and s*it, pro skaters or fashion n*ggas. I make s*it for the people stuck in between, I wanna blur the lines between what’s considered cool or acceptable.”
I know you travel back and forth from Canada to the US. Are both demographics very different from one another?
“I don’t think they’re all that much different other than the fact the Canadian scene is fairly new so that’s a cool aspect, being part of something fresh. I think good music is just universal, if you make it they’re gonna listen no matter where they’re from as long as you’re making music people can connect with. I been gettin’ love from both sides. Ideally I wanna appeal to a wide range of demographics.”
What would I find on your playlist right now?
“A f*ck ton of Future, TRIPSIXX, Tame Impala, some Toro Y Moi, Mac Demarco, Roy Woods, 21Savage, Chief Keef random s*it. If it’s good I’ll f*ck with it.”
When you’re in the studio, what is your aim every time?
“My aim is to make a better track than every track before it.”
What can we catch you doing when you’re not working on music?
“Ladies, blunts, anime, Xbox. I like to get money and turn up or I’m just in my thoughts working on the next move. I be reading and s*it. I’m very impulsive, I just do whatever comes to me.”
What is a typical day in Toronto downtown like?
“A typical day for me consists of waking up, smoking good weed (I need backwoods in rotation throughout the day). I like food more than I like most people, I’m always tryna eat something good. I’ll usually get into the studio or write something. I like small turn up functions, I used to party a lot but nowadays I avoid as many f*ck n*ggas and bad vibes as humanly possibly, so I’ll just cool out with my brothers and squad. Or I just say f*ck everything, sit in the crib watch Naruto and do low-key nerd s*it.”
Five goals in 2016?
- Make love to Sade.
- Have a strand of weed named after me.
- Help revive Bow Wow‘s rap career.
- Attend a space camp.
- Write and co-star in a movie with Michael Cera