CLICK ABOVE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW!
On March 9th 2007, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Trey Songz for about 20 minutes. Among other things, we discussed “Trey Day,” how he got his start in the music biz, and his take on Barack Obama as our nation’s president! Want to learn more about Trey Songz? Check out the interview below, and be sure to purchase his latest album – Trey Day – when it drops nationwide on June 12th 2007!
Dustin: What’s poppin think2wice? This is Dustin right here, and right now we’re bringing to you an exclusive interview with singer/songwriter Trey Songz. How you doing Trey?
Trey: Whatâ€™s happenin pimp?
Dustin: Whatâ€™s happenin?
Trey: I ainâ€™t doing much.
Dustin: Alright, first up .. I read somewhere that you got signed right after graduation. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Trey: Well, I got signed about a year after graduating from high school. It was a year and a half, Iâ€™d say. But I had deals proposing the year straight after high school. I graduated when I was 17. By the time I had reached 18, around that same point and period, summer of 2003, I was looking at signing into Atlantic. And December 2003 I signed the papers.
Dustin: Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s up. Did people at school know that you could sing?
Trey: Yeah, man. By the time I had graduated, I had won a whole bunch of talent shows and been at fashion shows and all types of stuff. Like, once I figured out this was what I wanted to do at age 15, I just went all the way with it.
Dustin: Oh, so you were 15 when I found out you could really sing?
Trey: Yeah, when I found out this was what I wanted to do. Like, when I recorded my first song I was 15.
Dustin: Where were you when you first heard “Gotta Make It” for the first time on the radio?
Trey Songz: â€œGotta Make Itâ€ â€¦ in Virginia.
Dustin: You were in Virginia? [Trey: Yeah] What were you doing?
Trey: When I heard it â€¦ my homeboys always play it. Like I brought it to â€˜em first. And I played it as tape interviews with the Bad Boys Radio in Virginia. It was a tape interview that we did and they ran it back when I was in the car. So it was dope to hear it on the radio, and people was calling me and saying how much they liked it. But I had been on the radio back home before, when I was like 17, I got my first song put on the radio.
Dustin: Oh, ok, so you had already experienced something like that then.
Trey: Yeah, back home Iâ€™ve been doing this for a minute. Iâ€™ve been underground for a long time before I popped off.
Dustin: Oh, ok. About Trey Day. As far as producers, who did you work with on it?
Trey: We got R. Kelly, Brian Cox, The Runners, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, B Major, Dre & Vidal, we got Troy Taylor, of course, and Nokio, formerly of Dru Hill, heâ€™s on A&R on this project.
Dustin: Sounds like you got some really big names on there.
Trey: Yeah man, itâ€™s definitely a blessing to be working with the people Iâ€™m working with.
Dustin: What are some of your favorite songs off the album?
Trey: Man I love â€˜em all so much, I ainâ€™t even gonna try to give you one. Iâ€™m so in love with the project. Itâ€™s stupid man, like from the arrange in the vocals, to the harmonies, to the singing, to the range Iâ€™m using, to the tracks, to the mixes of the records. I got Bun B and Jim Jones on there, and I got a couple of folks on there, but Iâ€™m gonna keep it under wraps though.
Dustin: Oh, ok, thatâ€™s good. Surprises are always good. [Trey: Yeah] When will you be shooting the video for Wonder Woman, your first single?
Trey: Iâ€™m shooting the video on Tuesday, the 13th [March 2007]. Iâ€™m actually looking at casting call pictures right now. Thatâ€™s why I sound a little pre-occupied â€˜cause Iâ€™m looking at â€˜em, trying to look through these pictures at the same time. Itâ€™s been a long day bruh.
Dustin: Ok, I feel you. When do you think [the video] will come out on tv?
Trey: Usually, videos take about 2 weeks to edit. Probably 2 and a half weeks. So, which means about 3 and a half weeks from now. Itâ€™ll be 2 and a half weeks from next week.
Dustin: Generally, what exactly separates â€œTrey Dayâ€ from â€œI Gotta Make It.â€
Trey: Itâ€™s just growth bruh. Itâ€™s an older man, yâ€™all familiar with me now. People know who I am, they know what Iâ€™m about. They know I can sing, but now they wanna see me do more. You see what Iâ€™m saying? So, itâ€™s just â€¦ you gotta hear it bruh, like for real, I wish I could play you some songs [laughs], but itâ€™s so crazy. Like if you hear Wonder Woman, it sonically sounds so different from everything on the radio right now.
Dustin: Yeah, I was just listening to Wonder Woman about 5 minutes ago [before the interview]. I really like it, itâ€™s really cool.
Trey: Yeah, and it donâ€™t sound like nothing else on the radio. [Dustin: Yeah, I agree] But thatâ€™s an example of what itâ€™s gonna be like, itâ€™s just a different sound bruh. You know what I mean? Like, Iâ€™m singing over different kind of beats, hard beats. The love songs, itâ€™s real good love songs. The uptempos, itâ€™s real good uptempos. And if Iâ€™m rapping, Iâ€™m rapping real good, you see what Iâ€™m saying? [Dustin: Yeah] So all grounds are covered.
Dustin: Oh ok. About collaborations, if you could collaborate with any female artist thatâ€™s out right now, who would it be?
Trey: Honestly, it would be Beyonce. [Dustin laughs] Sheâ€™s vocally amazing, and not to mention sheâ€™s easy on the eyes. Outside of her looks, and all that, sheâ€™s so talented. Like when it comes to singing, her harmonies, her background vocals, her lead vocals, like crispy, always.
Dustin: Yeah, Iâ€™m a really big Beyonce fan, so Iâ€™m kind of glad you said that. That would be hot to have a song with Trey Songz and Beyonce.
Trey: Yeah, sheâ€™s great.
Dustin: Yeah. Who are some of your major musical influences?
Trey: Major musical influences, Jay-Z and R. Kelly off the top. Before I was introduced to real R&B, like, you know, the original R&B. Prince, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, Isley Brothers, stuff like that. I was only listening to what was on the radio. And R. Kelly and Jay-Z and Biggie, you know what I mean? [Dustin: Yeah] I was more into hip hop.
Dustin: Oh, ok. Whatâ€™s on your iPod right now?
Trey: Whatchu say, what my iPod lookin like?
Dustin: Yeah, whatâ€™s on your iPod right now, musically?
Trey: My iPodâ€™s crazy man. We got Jeezy, matter of fact, Iâ€™m gonna scroll through and call some names right quick. [Dustin laughs] â€˜Cause I got so much stuff on my iPod bruh. You got, look here â€¦ Iâ€™m gonna start right here, and go up. Mint Condition, Miki Howard, Mike Jones, Michael Jackson, Mary J Blige, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Lil Wayne, Lauren Hill, Kanye West, K-Ci & JoJo, Justin Timberlake, Johnta Austin, Joe [laughs].
Dustin: [Laughs] You got a good little mix of about everybody, donâ€™t you?
Trey: Yeah. Jay-Z, Jeezy. Music is my life. Janet Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Jagged Edge, Isley Brothers, Herbert Hancock [laughs]
Dustin: [Laughs] The list goes on and on, I guess [Trey: Yeah] What do you like to do in your free time?
Trey: Man, I really donâ€™t have much, but when I do get free time, I like to chill, kick it with my family. Sleep. Get some rest. I like to bowl. But Iâ€™m real family oriented, so any time I get time, I like to spend time with my cousins, my little brother, my mama. You know what I mean? â€˜Cause I live a very busy life bruh. I like to play basketball too.
Dustin: A lot of the ladies wanna know if youâ€™re currently in a relationship right now.
Trey: [Stutters] Come get me, baby! Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m saying [laughs] Iâ€™m looking for a â€œWonder Woman,â€ where you at?
Dustin: Whenâ€™s the last time youâ€™ve been to the movies, and what did you see?
Trey: I ainâ€™t been to the movies in a long time, but I watched â€œBoratâ€ yesterday on DVD. And I watched â€œThe Departedâ€ yesterday.
Dustin: How is â€œBorat?â€ [Trey: Huh?] How is â€œBorat?â€ Iâ€™ve heard a lot about that movie.
Trey: Man, that movie so goofy [laughs]
Dustin: [Laughs] Just goofy is all you can say?
Trey: Itâ€™s retarded dawg, itâ€™s stupid. I like stupid movies. Like, Iâ€™m a big Will Ferrell fan.
Dustin: Yeah, â€œTalladega Nights?â€ Thatâ€™s my joint.
Trey: Yeah, thatâ€™s my favorite movie.
Dustin: Politically, do you support Barack Obama as being the first black president of the United states?
Trey: I mean, a lot of people are wanting him to be the president just because heâ€™s black. But I think he does have some good views. I think whatâ€™s been going on between him and Hilary lately, the swapping back and forth and lashing and all that. I think thatâ€™s crazy. I think they should just stick to telling people what they gonna do for â€˜em, instead of slandering each other.
Dustin: Yeah, but thatâ€™s politics [laughs].
Trey: Yeah, that is a part of politics, but I think it would be a good look, you know what I mean, for the country. I think he got some good views, like I said, I think I Hilary Clinton got some good views as well. Iâ€™m happy to see Democrats in the house, but they actin like Republicans.
Dustin: I know right [laughs]. But if you really think about it, itâ€™s a win-win situation. If Hilary Clinton wins, thatâ€™s another Clinton in office. And if Barack Obama wins, thatâ€™s another win for us, so.
Trey: Yeah, itâ€™s all good, either way. [Dustin: Yeah] I want her to be my Wonder Woman [hums & laughs]
Dustin: [Laughs] On this part of the interview, itâ€™s called â€œRoll Out.â€ Where I give you a random word, and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind? You Ready?
Dustin: Alright, Virginia.
Trey: The Prince of Virginia, Trey Songz
Trey: My family
Trey: My life
Trey: R&B â€¦ I think so many things when you say R&B. I think Iâ€™m about to kill it! [Laughs]
Dustin: [Laughs] Paris Hilton
Dustin: Terrel Owens
Trey: Terrel Owens? Hmmâ€¦ Whatâ€™s the word I wanna use? [Goes off track for a second] They got this Biggie special on TV, this shitâ€™s crazy. That nigga Fabolous got so much ice on, home boy! Itâ€™s stupid
Dustin: [Confused] Okay? [Laughs]
Trey: My bad [laughs] Whatchu say? What word you say? [Dustin: Terrel Owens] Terrel Owens? Dallas â€¦ Dallas Cowboys.
Dustin: Oh, Dallas Cowboys? Alright. With you still coping with your new-found fame, are you still star-struck when you meet certain people?
Trey: Nah, man, I donâ€™t get too star-struck. I mean, Iâ€™m always happy to meet certain people, but I ainâ€™t never been star-struck to meet nobody.
Dustin: Who in your personal life pushed you to pursue your professional music career?
Trey: My mama. My grandma, and, my mentor Troy Taylor.
Dustin: Thatâ€™s the guy who got you your deal, right?
Dustin: Oh, ok. [Trey says something indistinguishable] You said what? [Trey: talking to my boy] Oh, ok. Speaking of your friends, do you still have the same friends that you had before you got signed?
Trey: Yeah, you gain friends, you lose friends. But, for the most part, anybody thatâ€™s around me now been around me, you feel me?
Dustin: They still see you as the same old â€œTremaine?â€
Trey: Yeah, Iâ€™m the same old cat bruh.
Dustin: Oh, ok. If you hadnâ€™t gotten your deal right after graduating high school, would you be attending a college?
Trey: My mama told me if I ainâ€™t get that deal, in that first year, she said I had to go get a job, or go to college or something. So, I probably wouldâ€™ve went to college, but I donâ€™t even like to think about that, you know what Iâ€™m saying? â€˜Cause it ainâ€™t nowhere else â€¦ this is what I wanted to do. You know what I mean?
Dustin: Yeah, youâ€™re one of the lucky few that actually get to do this kind of thing. [Trey: Faâ€™ sho] Do you check out any celebrity gossip blogs when you have free time?
Dustin: Yeah, celebrity gossip blogs, like my blog, Think2wice.
Trey: I donâ€™t really get into the gossip. You know what I mean? People talk about it so much, you ainâ€™t even gotta go lookin for it, you know what Iâ€™m sayin? [Laughs] I donâ€™t really get into too much of what people doin. I know about it â€˜cause itâ€™s in the air, but I donâ€™t try to focus on the gossip, and the bashing of people and all that.
Dustin: Yeah, it gets a little crazy sometimes. [Trey: mhm] Alright, are there any crazy rumors out about you right now?
Trey: Well, itâ€™s been rumors. But I ainâ€™t trippin on â€˜em. And I ainâ€™t gonna reiterate â€˜em either [laughs].
Dustin: [Laughs] Well I got one small one I heard about heard about last year. Is it alright if I try to clear it up for you?
Trey: Yeah, itâ€™s cool.
Dustin: Alright, I heard about your album Trey Day sometime last summer, right when people started hearing about Beyonce’s B’Day. And a rumor got started that your camp was mad at her camp â€˜cause they thought that she stole the idea with the â€œdayâ€ in the album name or whatever. How true is this?
Trey: Man, I donâ€™t remember that happening, but, I know my album been called Trey Day since last February [laughs]. I donâ€™t know about that.
Dustin: Oh? So we can officially declare this one false then. [Trey: Yeah] Okay, good, good. I was hoping so. If you could be with any woman in the industry, who would it be?
Trey: If I could be with her? [Dustin: Yeah] Let me think, let me thinkâ€¦ Well, I do believe Beyonce is the sexiest woman in the industry, but if I could be with any woman…. â€˜Cause like I said, I look up to Hov [Jay-Z], and that ainâ€™t even a thought in my mind for real. But if she threw it, you know Iâ€™d catch it. Hey. [Laughs]
Dustin: [Laughs] I donâ€™t think nobody would deny it.
Trey: Yeah man, you daggone right [laughs] â€¦ Um, Eva Mendes is very sexy.
Dustin: Eva Mendes, yeah.
Trey: Yeah, Iâ€™d give her what she lookin for.
Dustin: [Laughs] A couple of fans on the site wanna know why Trey Day kept getting pushed back. â€˜Cause wasnâ€™t it supposed to come out sometime last year?
Trey: It was supposed to come actually in September. And, you know, everybody has to agree on something, in this camp. We do it like this. We have a meeting with all of the executives. Everybody from my camp, everybody from the label. Kevin Liles, Craig Cowman, Mike Kern, Nokio, all the big label heads and everybody that manages my camp. And we go ya or nay, you know what Iâ€™m sayin? [Dustin: Yeah, I feel you] We wanted to make a project where everybody likes it. Nobody feels like they donâ€™t wanna be a part of it. â€˜Cause in reality, thatâ€™s how the business works. If everybody likes it, you got more chance of winning. You gotta please everybody, itâ€™s hard to please everybody, but if you want them to push your record, they gotta believe in it.
Dustin: Alright, thatâ€™s good. So basically one of the main reasons is you didnâ€™t wanna put a rush on anything. You wanted to take the time and make sure you deliver something thatâ€™s good for the fans.
Trey: Oh yeah, most definitely. You donâ€™t wanna rush nothing â€˜cause without the proper backing, it ainâ€™t gonna be nothing.
Dustin: Okay, my time is almost up, but I got one more question for you. In the future, would you like to branch out into acting, or fashion, or making your own clothing line or something like that?
Trey: Most definitely, Iâ€™d like to spread out into other things. Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s gonna be clothing, or acting, but I wanna explore a lot of different things. Music is only something to get you to another level. As blacks, all we got is sports and entertainment. Thatâ€™s the only way out the hood sometimes. But what you do with it, when you get out, you know what Iâ€™m saying? Thatâ€™s what it is â€˜cause you donâ€™t wanna be singing songs forever. And you donâ€™t wanna be ballinâ€™ or playing football forever. You wanna make that paper right, make sure you make that money make other money.
Dustin: Yeah â€˜cause when you get a certain age, you wonâ€™t be able to do it [entertainment] anymore, so you need something to fall back on.
Dustin: Alright man, I guess our time is up for the day.
Trey: Faâ€™ sho it was alright hollerin at you bruh. Put that on the site. Much love from your boy Trey Songz. Iâ€™m a lil tired if you hear me and you like â€œwhy he sound so low?â€
Dustin: [Laughs] Nah, you was alright â€¦ you were straight.
Trey: Oh, ok, faâ€™ sho.
Dustin: Is there anything youâ€™d like to say to your fans before we leave?
Trey: Yeah, I love yâ€™all man, real talk. Real talk, my fans keep me together.
Dustin: When does Trey Day come out?
Trey: Trey Day comes out June 12th.
Dustin: Oh, they changed it from May?
Dustin: Aww man, alright, I guess I gotta wait a lil longer to hear it, so June 12th?
Trey: Yup, youâ€™ll be alright [laughs].
Dustin: [Laughs] And â€œWonder Womanâ€ will be released to radios sometime, what, this month?
Trey: Yeah, this week actually.
Dustin: This week? Oh ok, Iâ€™ll make sure I look out for it. [Trey: Alright bruh] It was nice meeting you, it was nice doing this interview and Iâ€™d like to thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with us.
Trey: No doubt bruh, thank you.
Dustin: God bless.
“TREY DAY” – IN STORES JUNE 12TH, 2007!!