TroyBoi opens up about his debut album, ‘Left Is Right,’ playing Webster Hall, and his musical inspirations
UK native TroyBoi was often labeled as a trap artist back when he first broke into the scene. As his hard-hitting, bass-heavy beats crossed the Atlantic and spread throughout the American underground, it quickly became obvious that the exploding talent could not be pigeon-holed so easily. TroyBoi has amassed a global following of fans who have fallen in love with his unique brand of music appropriately known as “mystyle,” which draws inspiration from a variety of genres and sounds.
Earlier this month, TroyBoi came back to New York City and brought his ultra-stacked Left Is Right tour to Brooklyn Steel. The dynamic event and the lineup that came with it brought the same incredible energy and immersive atmosphere that propelled the bass explorer to super-stardom. He sat down with Dancing Astronaut ahead of his show for an interview about his musical inspirations, his hometown of London and creating a multi-sensory experience for his fans to dive into.
Welcome back to New York! How many times have you performed here now?
It’s a pleasure as always to be in New York — thank you for having me. I came to New York twice actually once in 2015 for my first ever show. Then, I came back last year when I did the Mantra tour, which was my first all-original set that I played that at Webster Hall.
RIP to Webster Hall!
I know! Absolutely legendary venue. I’m so glad I got to play it and manage to sell it out, which is just amazing. Being able to come back again, and to a venue like Brooklyn Steel, is next level. We’ve got a bigger show planned as well, so it’s actually perfect.
It’s quite interesting that the last time you were here, you performed at one of the oldest venues in the city. Now, you’re at a brand new spot in Brooklyn steel. What’s that like for you?
For me, I like to be a pioneer in my own right. Even though this venue is brand-new, I’m happy to be here and christen it in my own way. It’s still history regardless of whether you’re at the beginning or the end, at the end of the day we’re still making history no matter where we go. It’s amazing to be here and to create my own history in this building.
Awesome! On an unrelated topic, we’re curious about your feelings on New York as a city vs your hometown of London. Do you feel like there are any similarities between New York and where you are originally from?
Completely — I was literally just having a conversation with my friend, who’s also here from London, about the exact same thing. Every time we come to New York I feel like I’m at home. It’s so diverse, and I love the “rough around the edges vibe” to New York because London is very much that way as well. Life isn’t always so pretty, and even though both cities are beautiful, at the same time they truly capture the realness of life. You know what I mean? The people and the fact that it’s completely multi-cultural means there are a lot of quirky places to find. It’s very like London to in that way.
Keeping with that theme, what is it like when you come to perform in the states or in North America as opposed to in London and Europe?
There is definitely a huge difference because in my opinion in Europe the alternative music, especially the type of music that I make, there is a scene for it. However, it’s not as prominent there as it is in the States. I feel like the States are a bit more open-minded, whenever I come here it’s truly crazy even though in Europe is also wild, but in a different way and not really to the same degree. In America/New York, it seems like the crowd gets it more…
In your new album Left Is Right, you’re able to fit so many different sonic textures and genres together. How are you able to do it so seamlessly?
It’s very hard to explain but I just do. Whenever I make music I’m just inspired to make good music that people can relate to. I always start off with my drums because that’s my favorite part to build on, and the rest all comes naturally. Melodies and ideas just start to pop into my head. But as the great mentor Michael Jackson always says, never concentrate on the music and let it write itself. When I heard that ideology at a young age, that just stuck with me. I always felt like that I could relate to those words.
You always describe your music as “mystyle.” It seems electronic in general is moving away from concrete genres. Do you feel like this move away from genre categorization is better overall?
I do think it is good for electronic music because it allows people to grow and be more daring. It’s really going to highlight a lot of the people who are one-trick ponies, you know what I mean? I’m very happy and blessed to do what I want because for me, music is my expression. If someone told me I couldn’t make a certain type of beat I’d say, “what?” So for me being able to explore different types of music different types of genres, it’s key for any type of growth individually and for the scene..
Your album has a lot of features on it, from Ice Cube, to Icekream. In your opinion, what makes the perfect collaborator?
The most important thing is the music. I’ve got to be able to catch a vibe but also connect with the people too. Everyone I have done a collaboration with, apart from Ice Cube, I’ve met face-to-face. Especially with my boy Icekream — we are best friends, so the chemistry is so important. You need to be able to connect with the person as well as connect on a musical level.
What advice would you give to a young producer just starting out?
Be comfortable and confident in your music. When you do start creating and start putting it out, make sure that you’re comfortable and confident with whatever you’re doing. Own it and don’t be afraid to experiment —everything that I’ve produced, I’ve wanted to do it. Whether it is experimental or not, I’m so proud to share it with everyone. Keep pushing keep putting out your music and eventually if you are taking it seriously the right person will hear it and that can take you to the next level. Everything will fall into place, but you have to work extremely hard and be honest in your music.
Finally what can people expect when they come to see you on tour?
First of all you are going to see an all-original set, with 100% original music this is for the fans. I want people to come out and see the Boi and not just hear the music but see it and feel it too. This tour especially isn’t just a regular show — it’s an experience and a journey it’s a celebration of my music, and it’s a way for people to see the music as well as hear it.Overall, I want to give people an experience they never had before via my own music.