Photo: Getty
  /  12.16.2022

Fridayy isn’t normal. The artist, producer, and songwriter with arguably the biggest hook of the year — DJ Khaled’s “GOD DID” — makes visceral sonic stories not bound by traditional structures but by emotions we all share.

“On ‘Empty Stomach,’ you can probably hear me crying in the little break when the beat dropped. I started crying and thought, ‘This sounds hard; let me keep going,’” Fridayy reveals to REVOLT.

In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” the Grammy-nominated artist explains how his “GOD DID” hook inspired JAY-Z. He also opens up about what DJ Khaled and Timbaland think of his new EP, Lost In Melody, and the artist he wants to record with the most. Read our exclusive conversation with Fridayy below.

Your work on DJ Khaled’s “GOD DID” took your career to new heights. Where and when did you record the hook that would change your life?

I probably recorded it a month and a half before the GOD DID album came out while I was at my mom’s house in Philadelphia. My room was right next to my mom’s room. I made that in the ‘hood, bro. I always made my music in my room on a small setup of my laptop, interface,  mic, and speakers right next to my bed. So, I would wake up every day and make music next to my mom’s room.

Did you make it to give to Khaled?

Yeah, I made it just for him. I knew a couple of producers who knew him. Every day I heard him saying “GOD DID” on Instagram. I knew he was about to drop an album. When I made it, I called the A&R on my publishing side, and he sent it to Khaled. Khaled hit us the next day. I recorded it in June, and he dropped the trailer around July 6. He made it the sound of his trailer.

When did you finally get in the studio with Khaled?

That was in September. I was going to Miami for a trip to celebrate, and I hit him saying, “Yo, I’ll be in Miami.” He told me, “Pull up to the crib.” That’s when I met him, and I played him my EP Lost In Melody. He became a bigger fan once he heard my EP. He wanted to be involved even more. It was genuine. After I met him, we went to Club Liv. I performed that whole weekend with him.

 

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What song from your EP did he gravitate toward?

His favorite song was “Don’t Give Up On Me.” When he was listening to it, he kept getting on his knees. That wasn’t even supposed to be the single. “Empty Stomach” was supposed to be the single. But, when he shared the video of him listening to it, we had to make it the single. 

Months later, you linked up with Hov. What did he tell you about your work?

He was just telling me to keep going. He was telling me nobody came in how I came in. He congratulated me. He told me that when he first heard it, it sparked him.

Wow. Your hook awoke the sleeping giant in JAY-Z.

Yeah, for sure.

 

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Your music is imbued with a level of vulnerability that makes me wonder when you last cried while making a record.

I cried in a lot of sessions. Half of the time, I cry, but it has to be one of them songs, and I have to be by myself most of the time. I record by myself. I don’t like anybody in the room. When I’m running around LA, I won’t be crying. I’ll probably shed a tear when I’m in my room, and I’m saying some s**t that I’m touching on. “Empty Stomach” brought out some real emotions. “Momma” had some real emotions. “Don’t Give Up On Me” had some real emotions too. On “Empty Stomach,” you can probably hear me crying in the little break when the beat dropped. I started crying and thought, “This sounds hard; let me keep going.” That song was about the story of when I first went to LA in 2019. I was really about to be homeless. I went to LA with my brothers and $3,000, bro. I just grabbed two months of rent thinking s**t about to change, but we were about to be homeless. We were three months behind on rent with an eviction notice on our door, and we were still trying to find a way. I was getting in front of these artists, and they were not taking my music. They were not taking my flash drive. 

You put out the EP Lost In Melody. Are you planning for an album?

Yeah, my album is already almost done. I got a few more verses and things to rerecord. I work every day, so I got four albums ready.

You were also in the lab with Future. What did you two work on?

We locked in last month. We already had some s**t. When we linked, it was really him wanting to meet me. We didn’t even want to cook up, bro. 

Who is an artist you’d love to collaborate with?

I want to work with Frank Ocean. I want to make one of those emotional joints. I get much of that from Frank… when you hear songs where I don’t have any beats, but find different cadences. Certain songs are just him and the keyboard with 30 vocals. You listen to a Frank song and hear new vocals you didn’t hear last time. I want one of those breakdown songs with Frank where it’s just me, him, vocals and choirs. I already got one of those songs waiting for him too. I’m waiting.

 

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You also hit up the studio with Timbaland, who loves to give the new generation its flowers. What did you speak about?

Timbaland and I have been locked in since last year. I recently met him right before the [Lost In Melody] project came out. I played him the project, and he said he had never heard anything like it, bro. He wanted to know what was going through my head regarding structure. I was just trying to tell him it’s all about a feeling with me. I don’t go off the structure. He said most songs like this are supposed to start with a verse, but I’m starting it with the hook, and then going into the verse and then going into the hook. Then you enter into the song. He said it feels like I did three verses, and the song feels so full, but I only did a hook, verse, and then a hook. 

What do you have coming in 2023?

Hopefully, we will take the Grammy home and drop some projects right after. I want to drop a project sometime next year. And I’m going to tour

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