For “Studios Sessions,” we delve into the stories behind the long hours in the studio and all that goes into making an album by talking with artists, producers, engineers, photographers, and more who are intimately connected to the recording process with some of the biggest artists in the world. These are the stories that rarely leave the booth.
Vory’s visceral music makes everyone feel like they’re a part of his world. So, when he was in the Bahamas recording with Meek Mill during the pandemic, the studio was filled with mixed emotions that spilled out into the songs on his Vory project.
“That was my first time being in the Bahamas, and I felt free but also down because I was over there living life and my family is over in the United States talking about they can’t get tissue, and emotions are at the highest,” the artist told REVOLT.
In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” Vory discusses being in the lab with Drake, the songs that made him cry while making them, and his upcoming project. Read below.
How did you first connect with Meek?
We connected through someone in his camp who put us in touch. I came to the studio where he was at, played him a few songs, and it’s been up since then. He already knew who I was, but we never met. This was about a year ago. After that, at first, we were just sending each other shit. We’d hit each other up like, “Yo, bro, you snapped on this.” One time we both were in Atlanta, and he was like, “Bro, I’m at the crib, pull up.” I came through and we started locking in.
How did both of your creative processes mesh?
We both are sort of the same. We both sort of freestyle in that moment. He freestyles for real. I more do melodic freestyles, and then I come back and put the words to it. He really freestyles actual words and puts everything together.
You said you two first connected in the studio last year. The pandemic started rather early in the year, so when did you two link exactly?
I would say March/April. Before the pandemic got real bad, I was actually in New York with him. We came from the Bahamas to New York. It got really bad when we were in the Bahamas. We stayed in the Bahamas for two weeks. Everybody was quarantining and chilling.
Were you and Meek recording there?
Yeah, we were recording. We also shot the “Ain’t It Funny” video in the Bahamas. I recorded “All Due Respect” in the Bahamas. I recorded “Not Outside” in the Bahamas. We recorded at this studio Monster Energy Drinks owns. Their studio is crazy out there. It’s on an island where all the billionaires live. You got outside the studio and you see billion-dollar yachts. There’s peace of mind. You have to see it. I can’t describe the feeling, but I felt it. It was motivating. The room they had me in in the studio was overlooking everything.
How did being there affect making your songs?
Honestly, that was my first time being in the Bahamas, and I felt free but also down because I was over there living life and my family is over in the United States talking about they can’t get tissue, and emotions are at the highest. It weighed on me a little bit. There were a lot of mixed emotions. I’m in paradise every day and they can’t get tissue.
You put out Vory at the very end of 2020. How long did it take you to make it? When did you know you were making it?
I think it took me four to six months. That’s only because there were so many songs and I was so eager for them to drop that I would listen to them so much I got tired of them. Then, I was like, “Nah, I don’t want to put this on the project anymore.” Every week, I was recording new music. A lot of what was on Vory was new because I was so tired of the old stuff.
What is a typical studio session like for you?
It depends. I’ll know the energy I’m feeling. I’ll be like, “Oh, today I feel good. I feel turnt.” So, I’ll go to the studio, drink, turn up and hype each other up like we’re in the club. Sometimes, when I feel a lot weighing on me, I’ll limit it to my personal people in the studio and just zone out thinking.
You ever got emotional working on a song?
Yeah, for sure. I ain’t going to lie, I probably cried the night I recorded “CC Interlude.” There was a lot going on. My music is my life. It’s a pride thing with me. It’s like a kid who never picked up a gun and he rapping about shooting. You have to be able to take your own music seriously. I have people who look to my music for answers and I’d never want to misguide them.
Let’s go through Vory a bit. What songs have memorable sessions?
“CC Interlude” and “Outro.” For “Outro,” I had a previous conversation with another artist and we were talking about how we overlook stuff that we should be grateful for. They told me, “If you were writing a book for your kids to see your legacy, how would you end it?” That’s how “Outro” came.
How has your music style change over the last five years?
I feel when I came into the game, I approached every record like I was Bryson [Tiller]. I had my own sound, but I approached it like him. It took me a little while to figure out my own sound.
Besides Meek, who are some artists who have given you guidance?
Drake. Fabian [Marasciullo]. Fabian is my guy. That’s family for real. He’s mixed every project of mine even before Vory. Trae The Truth is also an OG who helped out. He would reach out and has good knowledge. I can tell he’s a teacher.
What did advice did Drake give you?
He’s been giving me advice since 2016. It would be little stuff. I’d ask him, “Hey, bro, where do you think I should take it next?” Or, I’d send him a song and say, “I’m thinking of dropping this as my net single.” We talked a lot when we were in the Bahamas. We recently went to the Bahamas about a month or two ago. We chopped it up for about an hour or two in the studio.
What were those sessions like back in the Bahamas roughly a year after the pandemic started?
They were lit. I kind of did my own thing. Rich The Kid was out there, I had a house out there, and my family was out there. We had a setup at the house we rented out. Rich pulled up and we caught some vibes.
You brought your family this time. That’s a full-circle moment.
Yeah, there are moments like that, that make you go, “We need more moments like this.”
It looks like your life is getting better. Do you expect your music to change?
Nah. Life is better, but I don’t see my music changing. I think I live two lives. I have so many stories to tell. I’ve learned a lot. I don’t think my music is going to change to pop or anything crazy. It’s going to be pain and struggle.
What was the hardest song for you to write and put out for people to hear?
None. I’m vulnerable. My struggle is my struggle. I embrace it all.
Working with Meek means you’ve been connected with a Studio Sessions alum, his engineer Anthony Cruz. What have you learned from him?
He’s another gem, bro. He’s knowledgeable for real. He helped with the energy and the vibes. We would be in a group chat — me, Cruz, and Meek — and Cruz will be the one like “Let’s go!” There were times where I wasn’t excited and Cruz kept that energy. He’s like one of those coaches everyone needs to hype you up beforehand.
What do you have coming up in 2021?
I have a project I’m finishing up now. The vibes are pain, struggle, honestly, vulnerability. This might have one or two turned-up vibes, but most of it is Vory.