The Internet, Phony Ppl, and Kilo Kish weren’t the only bubbling stars at the show at the Bowery the other night. During The Internet’s amazing set, Syd introduced her longtime friend and music partner Tay Walker. The crowd was in utter silence, listening to a voice that displayed so much depth and range. While playing his favorite song “Karma,” which was more of a traditional R&B jam than the rest of the night’s set, shrieks of women could be heard in the crowd. Vocally, Tay’s a great juxtaposition to the crooning style of the Internet — and did we mention that he’s a musician as well? We gathered after the show to discuss his upcoming project entitled 25 Hours a Day and his future with The Internet.
First off, congrats. How are you feeling after that show?
Man, I feel the same way after every show. It was a pretty amazing show. Everybody showed so much love.
Is this your first time performing in the U.S.?
This is my first time in New York. For sure, I’ve always wanted to come to New York. We just came from Europe a month ago. We did a whole European tour but they definitely showing us a lot of love here.
Did you expect this reception when you guys started working on Purple Naked Ladies?
You know, it’s funny. When we were working on the album, we weren’t even thinking about doing it live. Ya know, me on the keys. I just went to the studio, and Syd was like, “Sing this song.” And she was actually supposed to sing the whole song, and I came in and ended up singing that part. She liked the way I sang it and I got on the track. She was like, “ Yo, you just staying on there.” I was like “For sure, I’m down with that.” Everything started happening so fast. They really like us overseas. We like to go over there a lot.
How did you meet the internet?
I’ve known Syd for ten or eleven years. I’ve known her since I was like ten years old. I’m from L.A. She had a studio on Crenshaw in L.A., and that’s where OF started. Right there in the trap, man. Tyler, the Creator, Hodgy — everybody was in that studio full time, every day of the week, 24/7, just making music over and over. I figured that if we work hard enough, something will happen.
Syd’s such a great person. I’m happy to be doing the piano at the show, but I asked if it would it be okay if I sang “Karma” at the show. She said, “Fuck yeah, it’ll make the set that much better.”
It feels like so much has come from the Odd Future movement. What is it like to be around that energy?
Odd Future is incredible. I’ve never seen anything like that. People compare them to Wu-Tang because they’re rebel kids, but at the end of the day they’re doing something that nobody is doing right now. They’re really just attacking your comfort zone. Odd Future fans will rip your head off if you say anything about OF. They’re doing a carnival in L.A. I know it’s going to be crazy.
Frank is my inspiration. That dude probably the most talented writer I’ve ever known. I feel really blessed even to be a part of it.
Frank is speaking on love in a way we haven’t heard before. How did you feel about the album?
He changed R&B. He literally took the face of R&B and upgraded it. He’s not just singing a song. He’s telling a story. And that’s something that I like to do as well. If you tell a story you can feel the song with all five senses. That’s what that man does on every track. He thinks outside of the box.
What’s your background with singing?
I’ve been singing forever. My mom is actually a singer, and she actually brought me up on everything Motown. Stevie Wonder is my idol. I was just trying to mimic him as a kid, and you know, Jamie Foxx, Boyz II Men, Tyrese. All these soft-spoken but really sensual singers. If you mimic a style, your own style will come out of it. So that’s what happened to me. A lot of people compare me to Tyrese and Jamie Foxx, but I don’t mind because at the end of the day, I look up to those guys.
What’s your favorite Stevie Wonder song?
Honestly, “A Ribbon in the Sky.” I sang it at my aunt’s funeral. It’s always been my favorite song. My mom sang it at my uncle’s wedding. It’s a very spiritual song. It as a lot of meaning to it. I would practice it over and over again as a kid. You can’t really not like a Stevie Wonder song. He’s the man.
How were you involved on Purple Naked Ladies production-wise?
I actually didn’t produce anything on Purple Naked Ladies. I played the keys, but we actually did that in rehearsal. I sang on “They Say,” but that was it. The next project they’re coming out with, I’m a lot more involved. I’m producing on it, I’m writing on it a lot, and I’m also featured a lot as well. Purple Naked Ladies is kind of an introduction with me. The second album should definitely hit pretty hard.
I heard you say on stage that you had a project coming out.
Yes, it’s called 25 Hours a Day. Syd and Matt are actually producing a couple tracks on the project. CoCo from Quadron is going to be a part of it, Gwen Bunn is going to be on it, Mike G’s supposed to be on it. Speech is going to be on it. Ill Camille is going to be on it. “Porsche” featuring Ill Camille is going to be on the album. We’re also doing an EP together. I just have a lot of stuff in the works.
What’s the drop date?
I don’t have a drop date just yet because I’m still working really hard on it. Everyday I get a new song that I want to put on it. I’m making these songs that just sounds super dope and I’ve been working on that album for a minute. This one’s for sure, and I’ll release the release date soon.
Your song “Karma” is about a particular relationship. Do you think love fuels a lot of your writing?
Yeah, you know I actually wrote “Karma” a couple years ago when I was in high school. When I wrote that song, I was going through a little something, but my whole songwriting has shifted quite a bit. “Karma”’s going to be my baby. It’s switched up a bit, but it’s still a soulful sound. I’ll never get rid of that song. “Karma” is probably my favorite song I’ve ever made.
What else inspires you to write?
Honestly, if the beat knocks hard enough then lyrcis will just start screaming at you. I could write a song in no time if the beat is nice. Sometimes me and Syd and the rest of the crew will just sit down and we’ll be sitting around, fooling around, and come out with this. And then all of a sudden we all just get very deep into thought. We’ll sit and say “This sounds like this,” so we’re not going to write it like a normal song. We’re going to actually write it like a story. So we’re going to tell the first part of the story, the middle, and the last part. We actually go through it surgically every single time we make a song. It’s a fun process, but at the end of the day, we’re just going to tell stories. At the end of the day, I think people want to hear stories. That’s the reason why Frank, and all these amazing writers get it from. They’re telling you and you can relate because they’re describing it instead of some repetitive hook.
What are The Imaginary Friends?
Technically, that’s the group in general. That’s actually the original name before Syd and them came up with the Internet. We were the Imaginary Friends. Pretty much like the Funk Brothers of today. We just wanted to make music and we didn’t have a plan. Then, they came up with Purple Naked Ladies and they came up with the Internet. So the Imaginary Friends is me, Pat, Syd, Matt, and Chris.
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