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G-RY Interview: ‘Laugh Now, Cry Later’ producer speaks on ties with OVO, Hit-Boy

There’s been little that hitmaking producer G-RY hasn’t seen in his decade-long run in the industry. Even still, he looks to his idols to stay hungry when success comes.

Working with artists like Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Travis Scott and others, G-RY is responsible for some of hip-hop’s most recent chart-topping tracks. Producing hits like “Laugh Now, Cry Later” (Drake and Lil Durk), G-RY is at the top of his game only looking to double down on himself.

G-RY began making beats around age 19, sneaking studio seasons on FL Studio using his twin brother’s laptop. This led him to one of his biggest collaborations of his young career with Nipsey Hustle on “4 in the Mornin” off his 2013 mixtape, Crenshaw. He would soon meet Hit-Boy and Surf Club producer, Chase N Cashe. Working with Hit-Boy unlocked many doors for the LA-based producer, as studying his approach to production helped fuel G-RY’s passion for creating music.

Soon after, Hit-Boy introduced G-RY to PARTYNEXTDOOR. Known as Jahron B then, he was the first artist ever to record over any G-RY production. The duo continued to build a strong relationship throughout 2014 and beyond. G-RY was heavily involved in PARTY’s projects at that time, executive producing his EP COLOURS 2 in 2017, while also claiming earlier credits on “SLS” and “FREAK IN YOU.”

Through PARTY, G-RY’s lo-fi,ambient hip-hop naturally led him towards the OVO team, and even the 6-GOD himself. Producing on Drake’s 2017 playlist More Life with “Nothings into Somethings” and “Since Way Back” (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR), G-RY found himself only at the cusp of his greatness.

After More Life, his success continued to surmount, producing some of hip-hop’s best from 2020 in “Laugh Now Cry Later” (Drake and Lil Durk), “Calling My Phone” (Lil Tjay and 6lack), “The Blinding” (Jay Electronica, JAY-Z and Travis Scott) and “Deep Reverance” (Big Sean and Nipsey Hussle).

As G-RY continues to take over the game, he took the time to sit down with OGM host Hakeem Rowe to discuss how these hits came together, his experience working with hip-hop legends and what he’s working on in the near future.

HR: What was the first thing you produced on?

G-RY: It’s always been FL. It’s crazy because I started using FL on his [Roland’s] computer. He had FL Studio on his computer, the demo version. When he wouldn’t be at home, and when I started being inspired by my friends seeing them producing on FL, I was like ‘Roland’s got that shit on his computer back at home. I’m going home to open that shit up and fuck around with it.’

HR: When did you get your first major placement?

G-RY: The first record with a major artist was really Nipsey Hussle. Even though that was on a mixtape, it was cool because it was his iconic Crenshaw mixtape where he did the $100 “Proud to Pay” campaign. That was the first record where a major rapper got on it, and when I would go on Twitter I would see girls tweet the lyrics.

HR: Explain y’all’s [G-RY and Hit-Boy’s] relationship and how he inspires you.

G-RY: He’s inspired me from day one ever since I met him. Ever since I met him he’s been locked in. He’s always been like that. You have to pay attention to him, that’s the best way to learn from him. That’s been my bro for so long and we’ve done records back in the Surf Club days, and still nothing has changed. No matter who pulls up, you’re going to work with him, you’re gonna do a song with him, from top to bottom. It’s not like ‘oh he’s gonna give me a beat and get out of the way,’ no he’s like ‘I’m gonna record you, I’m gonna produce you, and I’m gonna do whatever the fuck I feel like is fire for this record.’ Just watching that is like ‘say less, that’s the type of time I need to be on.’

HR: What’s an underrated part of the music business producers should focus on?

G-RY: They should focus on etiquette. Studio etiquette because sometimes it’s what you say or don’t say that gets you into that room, that lets you pull up to that opportunity. Sometimes you say the wrong thing that turns people off. You have to learn to be on the fine line of not annoying, but still persistent to where ‘this guys believes in himself, he’s confident. But he’s not like the most annoying person in the world,’ because you’ll block your blessings.

HR: “Since Way Back,” “Portland,” and “Skepta Interlude” are my favorite records on More Life. That was a really good drake body of work. Was that [“Since Way Back”] a beat you sent out to Drake?

G-RY: So “Since Way Back,” PARTY just told me ‘Yo, the boy’s using this on More Life.’ And the other beat I did on there, “Nothings Into Somethings,” I sent it to Oliver [Drake’s manager Oliver El-Khatib]. Oliver was hitting me for pack’s at the time and he just told me, ‘this beat, the boy’s using it on the project.’

HR: What is it like getting that confirmation that you’re getting one on the Drake album?

G-RY: It’s like taking a hit of crack. It’s a rush.

HR: How do you go about sound selection and even just mastering that?

G-RY: How I go about it, it’s from what I listen to. I feel like I have a good taste in music so anything that I’m listening to is what is inspiring and shaping in my head what I want to create next. I’m picking up all the sauce and all the techniques in what I’m listening to.

HR: What do you do when you don’t feel inspired and have beat-block? What do you do to get yourself out of that and get stuff done?

G-RY: I step aside from my laptop, I call one of my friends up or I call Hit-Boy up, and I say, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ And he says, ‘Hey I’m at the studio cooking up.’ I’ll pull up and he’ll say, ‘Oh I just did this new song for Beyonce. Oh I just did this new song for JAY-Z. Oh I just did this new song for Rihanna.’ And then I’ll be like ‘I’m inspired again. Let me go back and cook. Let me make something of my life.’

HR: Your moment, a big crazy moment, “Laugh Now Cry Later.” How did that record come about?

G-RY: Shoutout to my brother Roget Chahayed. People don’t know who he is he did worked on Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode.” I met him through Hit-Boy. We were working on Big Sean’s album, Detroit 2. Sean just wanted beats to write to, he likes to take his time on records. I had pulled up these drums and then Roget, who was already patched on his keyboard, started playing those horns. Hit-Boy and Sean were like ‘Man, this shit sounds fire.’ I didn’t think much of it to be honest with you. It was kind of weird because the way the beat drops, it was fucking me up. I couldn’t hear anyone doing a song over it because it was unorthodox. I gave the beat to Sean and I knew I wasn’t going to hear anything back for at least a week. A week or two went by, and I seen Drake posted a selfie in the studio saying he was 80% done with his album. I was just like ‘Let me throw a Hail Mary.’ I sent it to Noel [Drake’s audio engineer Noel Cadastre]. He texted me, ‘Send me the files to this beat ASAP.’

HR: Was there any difference from in how the original beat you gave to Sean sounded compared to Drake?

G-RY: Yeah, there’s a very small difference. I sent the files over. Drake recorded the song, and then he sent the song to Cardo. Cardo is crazy as hell, amazing track record he just came off doing “God’s Plan.” Cardo and his boy Yung Exclusive took that shit to the next level. They made the 808 go crazier, they moved some hi-hats and stuff, and just the overall quality of it.

HR: I wonder how Big Sean feels about passing on that hit.

G-RY: Man, that’s my brother. He’s so happy. He’s happy for Drake and for me. He even told me, ‘I’m so proud of you. So happy this happened.’ He’s just shown nothing but love.

HR: What are some future plans for you? You got a lot of stuff rolling right now what do you got for the future?

G-RY: Really focused on ding some more for the boy. You know, trying to go crazy on CLB [Drake’s upcoming album Certified Lover Boy]. And with my brother Big Sean. We got some stuff that we’re working on and want to drop soon. Working on a lot of stuff for Kehlani, that’s my sis right there I love her. PARTY, he wants to do a COLOURS 3, that’s a real thing.

HR: What’s the vibe for COLOURS 3? What are y’all going for?

G-RY: Really just trying to capture the essence of his sound. Bring it back to what people really fuck with him for. The sound they really gravitated to when they first heard him.

HR: What’s your message for Our Generation?

G-RY: Work hard and don’t ever give up. It sounds so cliche, but if I could be blessed to be in this situation, a lot of other people can. I’m just a young kid from Orange County that did it.

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