Aj Tracey: ‘I just want to go out there, get the energy from the fans, give it back’

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2 d Newsdesk For this week's Fire in the Booth, AJ Tracey joins Charlie Sloth at night in front of his childhood home in Ladbroke Grove, West London for a special '4am in the Grove'.
On the UK opening up on 21st June, creating another summer hit and collaborating with T-Pain…
T-Pain man, obviously he's the auto-tune legend, you know what I'm saying? We all grew up listening to him and he's a super-legend in the game and from people like Young Adz to Lil Uzi and Young Thug, everyone uses what he essentially started, you know what I'm saying? He kicked down the door for that. I just felt it's only right to get him on. I was going for that 2000s bounce, that little sound there, I thought it's only right to get T-Pain on the heater, man, just to cook up the summer. I thought, England's going to open up, we need something, I've had the summer hit twice already. Let me just get them the next one. I had to do it still, had to.
On how he can’t wait to get back performing live after shows being paused during the pandemic…
Honestly, not even to sound like a hippie, but just sharing moments with the fans, man. Because making music and you're disconnected from everyone in life, just over the internet, it's not the same is it? It's just not the same. I just want to go out there, get the energy from the fans, give it back. And everyone who knows me like, yeah, cool, the studio thing is great. The radio, I'm doing quite well. But my shows is where I can really show off and impress people, you know what I'm saying? I'll turn it mad and I just haven't been able to do that for a long time. So I'm really looking forward to getting back on stage.
On not being lazy and trying to create new sounds with his music…
You know what? Yeah, I was going to do that at first. I sat down, I was like, 'Okay, these are my hits. This is the sound that people really like', you know what I'm saying? And I could have just went with that, but I thought, that's a bit lazy, I'll be honest. You know me, I'm always trying to do a new genre, a new sound. So, I thought, forget all that, I'm just going to go for new sounds, and fingers crossed everyone rocks with me enough that they feel it. So, yeah man, I just went for a completely different approach.
On collaborating with Kehlani on his new album…
The song that I'm the proudest of on this project has to be ‘Coupe' with Kehlani, because that's not my usual bag and I know there needed to be more of a female presence on my projects, on my LPs. And I heard what everyone was saying and I think it was just my insecurity. I was like, 'Oh, I don't want to get spun’. Because they’re way too good, you get me? But I just opened up and she did spin me, which is cool, hands up. But it's a sick track, that's the one, Coupe.
On being a workaholic and what drives him on in his career…
I'm a workaholic, I'll be honest, man. I get in trouble from everyone around me saying like, 'Yo, can you just turn off for like a week?' But I'm not turning off for a week because up until I was 22, obviously it was hard times, had no bread, had no anything, no ambition. Well, I had the ambition, but I had no chance of what I wanted to get, you know what I'm saying? So, for these years that I've got right now, while I'm young, healthy and I can record and do my thing, I'm just going to keep doing my thing. And that's just my angle, man.
On retirement…
Boy, I'll be honest with you, I'll retire as soon as everyone's not feeling me no more. I'm gracefully bowing out, there's no more forcing it, old man thing. I'll just bow. 100% there's a shelf life. We ain't got to say no names. You've heard rappers, and you're just like, 'Bro, you're like, however old you are, wearing the Nike Tech like the yout dem. And on that little electric scooter, you are trying to force it. And it's not that honestly, bro, it's not that.’ You can hold me to that. I'm never going to be that guy, never. I'm going to do the 50 Cent thing. If I feel like putting out something random, I'll just put something out random, but I'm not going to force the thing at all.
On whether previous success is comforting or creates pressure and his love of music…
You know what? It's a bit of both, man. There’s pressure obviously to perform, because you performed before you got to do it again. But at the same time, there's comfort. Because at this point, I'll be honest, I'm happy in life, I'm just trying to make music, because I love music, and to spread the sound, you get me? So there's comfort in knowing that, even if it doesn't do as well as someone else's thing, it doesn't matter, because I'm just doing it for the love. So it's a bit of both.
On what he was listening to while making the new album…
Boy, nothing but 50 Cent, DMX, rest in peace, and Mobb Deep. Nothing but those three. ,Original Article

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