Interview: Tony DeShayes

To no fault of our own, the present music industry is congested with recycled names, sounds and styles.

Naturally, this makes it increasingly difficult to discover unique creators - especially in the adolescent stages of their musical career. Unless a label or influential name discovers you, the feat of cultivating your own spotlight can seem insurmountable at times. An attributing factor to this initial struggle could be credited to artists setting their sights short; shooting to make it big locally or in a certain area appears to be a growing trend.

Tony DeShayes demolished this first step.

Despite not having a debut single yet (July 7th), he's already booking shows.


Let me rephrase that: he's already selling out shows.

Like a 1968 Bob Beamon, DeShayes launched himself over the first "wall" of any young artists career with astounding ease.

I got to sit down with Tony.

This doesn't surprise me.

As a Venezuelan-American, Tony thinks Global. While local and/or national reach seems like the ultimate finish line for most artists, Tony sees the importance of shooting beyond the borders of America. This is rare. Tony is special. Let's talk.


In case you somehow don't pickup on whose who: I'm the italicized dialogue, Tony DeShayes is the bold dialogue.


Where are you at right now?

Camden, New Jersey.

East Coast, love to hear it. Alright, I got a couple questions for you bro - are you ready?

Bet, let's hear it.

The one thing that hit me off top was how hard you work - could you tell me what a regular work week looks like for yourself?

Shit, I'm still in my work clothes right now.

Damn - so you put the time in.

Of course.

So do you work during the week, then go to the studio on the weekends?

Yea, so usually work 7-7 or 6-6, almost always 12-hour days.


I do landscaping, building basketball courts, tennis courts - stuff like that. So that's all week for me, and I generally use about 25% of my check to pay for the studio - every Saturday night at midnight I record.

Are you in there every Saturday and Sunday then?

No, so we do midnight sessions from 12 to around 5 or 6 in the morning.

I get that. People don't realize how expensive studio time is, so the fact that your fully paying for that out of pocket... I've got respect for that.

Yea, and this is Lounge Studios too - they get a lot of traffic from Atlantic Records artists.

Damn, really?

Yes sir, the engineers in {Lounge Studios} all have crazy credits - the one that I work with has a Gold and Platinum plaque under his belt.

Who do you work with?

His name is Jordan B. Mitchell - he's my primary engineer for all of my recording sessions.

Let's talk about the music - from what I've heard so far, you really are coming close to what I would consider to be "one-of-a-kind" in terms of your sound. I think it's because of the unique vocals that you bring to compliment the instrumentals... it just sits in it's own league in terms of what i've heard from newer artists. That's my take though, what do you think separates you from other talents in a fairly crowded music world?

Just overall creativity. For example, for the independent label that I'm a part of {The Garden's Favorite}, I'm the Creative Director for the entire thing - all the music videos that we've done with artists like Tory Lanez are due in part to my curation. I'm helping create them, styling the artists, editing the visuals... beyond the music, I'm a visual artist as well.

I was told by your manager {Nick Ferraro} that you've done some extensive work with WE THE BEST music, could you tell me some of the stuff you've done for them?

So our label manager is signed to WE THE BEST as a sound engineer.

I gotcha.

Yea, you remember that one viral video where Khaled says "Ayo Juan, did the Drake vocals come in yet?" that's our manager Juan.

That's crazy! Ok, you're of Venezuelan descent, how does your heritage directly play a part in your sound and style when you create music?

Honestly, it's everything. One of my main goals in life is this: when I was really young, I told myself that in order to be successful, I felt as thought I needed to gain as much ultimate perspective as I could. Every single perspective around the world is different, and the way I see it, if you can learn from as many perspectives as possible, that'll allow you to do what I would consider to be the closest to the right thing or the right sound. My background and the traveling I've done has allowed my to gain access to the kind of music that different types of people from different places enjoy.

That's amazing. I feel like that's an incredibly rare asset to posses.

I tell people all the time that I'm not worried about the United States in terms of my music. Having a number one records in countries other than America is really what I see as an ultimate goal - I want to be GLOBAL.

I don't think I've ever heard that from a young artist before, you're a special person. People do live in a bubble here, and to have that International scope is immensely valuable - we really don't see that much from upcoming artists.

You want to know why that is? I attribute it to the fact that the United States largely controls Pop Culture, so fresh faces really don't feel like they need to get out of our culture to influence what they're doing as a creator.

You could not be more right about that.

World tours are better than US tours, you feel me?

{ahahaha} yessir.

Could you give me 2 or 3 of your biggest musical inspirations?

Bob Marley and Meek Mill are two of my biggest inspirations. I've read a lot of Marley's books and his international awareness is something I strive to achieve on a day-to-day basis. Meek Mill is one of my favorite because seeing him become big in the way that he did is a driving factor in my work ethic. If I had to pick a third artist, I think it would be Daddy Yankee - my mom worked for a TV station that covered Daddy Yankee and I was able to see him live when I was younger.

That's dope, and that really speaks volumes to the fact that you really are aiming for global success - the fact that you consider Bob Marley and Daddy Yankee 2 of the 3 big influences in your creative process speaks volumes to your inevitable international appeal.

Yea, most definitely. In terms of a certain project, I also really enjoy the 'Acid Rap' tape, Chance is an artist I spend a lot of time listening to and that mixtape in particular stands out for me.

Chicago, baby.

You know it.

Where will we be seeing Tony DeShayes in 2 years?

In the studio, overseas somewhere on some different vibe, isolated - working on my second album.

So you haven't officially released any music to the public, when can we be expecting debut music from yourself?