With hits like Wanna Know, Funky Friday and 18Hunna (to name a few) under his belt, 169 is a talent without a doubt. I caught up with the artist recently and dived into his latest musical project, his personal life, UK producers and more good stuff!
Where did your music journey begin?
That started at home. My dad ran Reggae, Dancehall, R&B – everything. I always would go on the keyboard and I could make beats on it.
You knew quite early music was for you?
I actually wanted to design cars – still do – but music was for fun and a hobbie. Over time you develop, things shifted and went that way. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else, to be honest.
Straight up – Drake. He’s so hard. A lot of Dancehall artists like Shabba, Beanie Man and Kartel – it’s just the way they flow. R&B wise, Bow Wow and Omarion’s album.
What led to producing beats?
I wanted to make music for myself, I could sing. At that time, YouTube wasn’t somewhere I could go for beats. I’d hop on my laptop and keyboard and start creating.
Meaning behind ‘169’ tag?
It’s about my work rate. It’s a play on the amount of hours in the week. There’s 168 hours in a week. I put one extra (hour) in.
What’s you and Dave’s working dynamic?
Bounce of each other. Come with ideas and finish up together. We always know where we’re heading – collaborative
What makes a banger?
Catchy, relatable. But it’s hard to say, standards change all the time
I started working on it after I finished the last EP (Seaons), I was just ready to go. I could’ve released single after single but I wanted to give people something where they’d know who I am.
The title ‘SYNC’ came in the middle (of process). I was writing music and wanted to give specific songs direction. From that point it all came together.
It’s about the personal side of life, being a musician and the relationships you come across on the journey. This project syncs the two lives together. Point is, it’s never really that simple.
Production on EP?
I feel like, as a producer, an artist has a criteria of what they want. With my personal music, it was an opportunity for me enjoy it – to learn, experiment and teach myself. You can hear it develop as the project goes on.
Which producer would you clash?
ADP – that would be a challenge. I wouldn’t wanna clash if it isn’t a challenge… EY and Quincy.
How did you feel about UK Drill vs NY sound?
Initially, I wasn’t sure how it sounded. You have to understand they aren’t coming from the same place, they’ve made it more club friendly. Our sound is dark and road. I grew to respect it over time – nobody should take ownership over it because we got Drill from Chicago.
Artists you want to work with?
Giggs! Giggs is on my hitlist. I hope he hears this… Mnelia.
Once again, check out 169’s EP – SYNC – readily available on all streaming platforms!