Who is Roy Wood$? We're formally introducing you to the new rapper making waves in the burgeoning Toronto hip-hop scene.
We stumbled across Roy Wood$ innocently enough, during a daily peruse of Soundcloud. After being impressed with his "I Got" record, which melds the lines of r'n'b and rap, we skimmed through the rest of his Soundcloud, albeit, it's not too full just yet. That's okay though, as the Toronto-raised MC is really just getting his start. He's yet to release a full project, although he's been rapping for awhile now. He only started perfecting his craft over the course of the last year or two, and with that, we will soon receive his debut EP Exis. Coincidentally, the same day we heard "I Got", Roy released a second track, "Murda" with DeJ Loaf and Sha Hustle. There aren't too many facts on the internet about this young spitter yet, so we decided to head straight to the source and find out a little bit more about Roy. Now's the time to start paying attention (and to start listening). Check out his two previous drops below, and read on below to find out more about the 18-year old singer slash rapper. Hit him with a Twitter follow too, @RoyWoods_.
HotNewHipHop: So first off, Roy Wood$, tell the people at HotNotHewHipHop who you are exactly?
Roy Wood$: I honestly don't know who I am yet. I'm still trying to figure it out and music has been helping me do that.
HNHH: How old are you?
Roy: I just turned 18 this past April but mentally I wouldn't say I'm 18.
HNHH: We happened across your song “I Got” which basically served as our first introduction to your music. How big is your catalogue at this point? How long have you been rapping for? And how did you first get into it?
Roy: Well I've been freestyling since I was around 14 when I used to go to the YMCA Downtown in Brampton every Saturday night, and I started dropping music when I was 16. My catalogue is deep but the top-tier songs are a separate catalogue. I've been surrounded by music all my life especially through parents as they've always encouraged it.
HNHH: How representative is “I Got” of the rest of your music?
Roy: "I Got" represents what my music is like for now in the sense that it's the Exis sound, the EP that I'm finishing up... but it's not the only sound I have.
HNHH: “I Got” was a surprisingly polished record for a newcomer. Who did the production on that, can you talk a little bit about how that track came together. Were you expecting it to spread on the internet like it did?
Roy: Thank You. Taylor King is responsible for the production on the song, Stretch was the engineer that mixed the instrumental and my vocals together to create that perfect blend. It was recorded this summer, one that was a very special one because so many things came together and helped start this journey that I'm on now. To me it didn't seem any different from what I recorded previously and I certainly didn't expect it to spread the way it did, but when I saw it spreading I just let it be so we're letting the record breathe a little bit.
HNHH: And then following that, you dropped “Murda” with Dej Loaf and Sha Hustle. How did you end up connecting with Dej? Did that happen before or after she began popping off?
Roy: When the opportunity to work with Dej was presented to me by my management, I brought it to Sha's attention and we decided to record a song together the same day. Myself and Sha got really creative with the record to really make the song fit her sound. When we got the track back, we knew it was more than just a feature, it was a hot record.
HNHH: Who did you listen to growing up? What are some of your current influences when it comes to making music?
Roy: Before high school I listened to a lot of Nelly, Usher, Michael Jackson & Bone Thugs N Harmony. During high school I listened to a lot of Drake & The Weeknd, then PARTYNEXTDOOR, A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg and Wiz Khalifa.
HNHH: So you’re working on an EP called Exis. Will this be your debut project, or have you put out mixtapes prior?
Roy: This is my debut project, I've never dropped one before Exis.
HNHH: Who’s working with you on Exis? Will it be a commercial release?
Roy: I can't reveal that yet, but it will be a very fun tape. It will be free.
HNHH: What’s your current life like out in Toronto? Have you started getting a notable buzz out there or not yet?
Roy: Life is beautiful in Toronto, the buzz is noticeable. I like the fact that I can go to parties and people will tell me they've heard my music and they like it.
HNHH: You rap and sing which has become a pretty common thing for rappers these days, particularly Toronto artists. What do you associate yourself with more though, r’n’b or rap? What do you prefer to do?
Roy: I've been singing since I was 12. So I'd consider myself a singer, but I do love to rap.
HNHH: What can we expect from Exis- a mix of r’nb’ and rap? Will it lean more one way than other? And what about in terms of content/theme?
Roy:Exis will be a very balanced tape based on its sound and its story. When people listen to Exis I hope it becomes an experience for them, because Exis is full of them. It's a seamless blend.
HNHH: Do you have any specific long term goals? Are you interested in major labels or indie labels, for example?
Roy: I just want to be the best at whatever I'm doing with music right now and let it take me where I need to go. Not sure about signing to any labels at the moment though.
HNHH: Anything else you’d like people to know about you?
Roy: Anything else people would like to know about me they'll find out in Exis. There's magic to mystery and suspense.