Toronto never seems to sleep with the constant wave of producers rising to fame. Producer GREY is the most recent to claim the title with his remix of THINGS getting over 60 thousand plays in less than a week.
Toronto is now not only notorious for creating Justin Bieber but also for its insane gene pool of hip hop producers and artists (The Weeknd, Drake, and WondaGurl etc). While many choose to live the life in the Sunset Plaza hills of Hollywood it seems as if the urban lifestyle of Toronto is just what some need in order to create hits. Producer GREY is doing just that.
Originally from London, Producer GREY has reached over 60 thousand plays on his remix of Maggie Lindemann’s new single THINGS with his dark hip hop interpretation of the track. The remix quickly became one of 2016’s favourites after generating so much buzz.
The one time recording engineer of artists including One Direction and the Imagine Dragons Live London sessions is proving to be one of Toronto’s rising producers, where he is working on his own projects as well as with other name artists such as Shawn Mendes.
We got to chat with Producer GREY about transitioning from engineering to producing, becoming one of Toronto’s biggest players, and what’s next for him this year!
See the full interview below:
1. You’re originally from London but are now located in Toronto! Insane producers are coming out of both places. Do you think you’ve grabbed a lot of influences from these cities musically?
Both cities have a lot to offer musically. There’s multiple great scenes in each city with different genres – everything from Indie to hip hop, house to classical.
2. Being part of the Toronto hip hop scene why do you think people around the world seem to be fascinated with producers and artist coming out of “The 6ix”?
As much as Drake and OVO have created a buzz about Toronto, they’ve also created a mysterious and dark aspect to it which is great because this makes many want to know exactly what goes down in the 6ix, what life is really like etc.
3. By the age of 22 you had recorded some pretty crazy people like One Direction and Imagine Dragons. Was it hard to break away from the pop world and find credibility with your genre being more ambient hip-hop/ dark pop?
Not really as engineering and producing are two different things. I personally think that bands of that stature are a measure of professionalism in music, and if you’re lucky enough to work with them you should learn everything possible while the opportunity presents itself. My sound is darker but there are lessons to be learned everywhere and I think people usually judge my music as they hear it.
4. When did you find out music was something you wanted to pursue?
Ever since I could play something half decent on the guitar.
5. What’s one thing you wish you could tell your 15 year old self?
Begin producing immediately.
6. If you could work with any artist in 2017 who would it be?
Obviously Rihanna and Kanye would be cool but I’m really digging Interscope’s new artist BORNS, and OVO’s Roy Woods.
Yeah we noticed BORNS actually liked a remix you did of Seeing Stars.
Yeah he did actually.
— BØRNS (@bornsmusic) January 13, 2015
7. Production has changed a lot over the last few years things are a lot more minimalist. Do you think that makes it harder or easier for producers and artists to shine through?
With minimalism comes restraint and that poses it’s own challenges. It’s easier to throw a lot of paint at a canvas than to make measured strokes.
8. England has given us some of the best bands and artists in the world, but tell us 3 people who really inspired you growing up?
Incubus is a band I remember being inspired by, they mixed so many things from hip hop to psychedelic rock with great atmospherics. Love Bonobo’s production and I’ve always looked up to the holy trinity of Dr Luke, Benny Blanco & Max Martin when it comes to pop.
9. Your remix of Things by Maggie Lindemann has literally blown up on Soundcloud with over 60 thousand plays! How does it feel to have earned so much respect over her originally fairly commercial track?
It feels good, I’m glad people have responded well to it. It’s funny because a lot of people out here in the hip hop scene didn’t realize it was a 17 year old pop girl from LA on the vocals. I think my remix just showed another direction she could go in.
10. Did you worry Maggie Lindemann’s fans wouldn’t respond well to your interpretation?
No if anything I thought it’d be fun for them to hear an alternate version that isn’t a four on the floor.
11. Why was this track the first one you decided to release after a few years of silence from you as producer?
I have a few projects coming up and releases so in the meantime I just wanted to put some music out. I heard this track on Spotify and immediately wanted to do something with it.
12. What can we expect next from you in the next few months.
I’m working on my debut EP and am working with some cool artists and writers, so hopefully there will be more releases in the near future!
Checkout his remix of Things Below.