add to queue
Brent Faiyaz is Listening to Sade, 2Pac, and His Song With Tyler, The Creator
This is “Add to Queue,” our attempt to sort through the cacophony of music floating in the algorithmic atmosphere by consulting the experts themselves. Our favorite musicians tell us about their favorite music—the sad, the happy, the dinner party-y, the songs they want played at their funeral. In this edition, we speak with Brent Faiyaz, who recently released his single “Gravity” featuring Tyler, The Creator. From Luther Vandross to Ludacris, Sade to Snoop Dogg, here’s what’s on Faiyaz’s playlist.
JULIANA UKIOMOGBE: To start, tell me about your new single “Gravity” with Tyler, The Creator.
BRENT FAIYAZ: I got into the studio with Yours Truly. We did these sessions for Adidas. It was me and DJ Dahi and we started the record. I did like the verse, the hook, and all that. He made the beat. Then I was like, “Man, who can I put on this to take it over?” So I called Tyler up and he put a verse on it. It came together like that.
UKIOMOGBE: Are you releasing an album this year, or are you just going to do singles?
FAIYAZ: Just singles for now. I got a project I’m working on. I ain’t going to say too much about it, but it’s some shit I’m working on.
UKIOMOGBE: What was the last song you listened to?
FAIYAZ: I think it was “Gravity,” actually.
UKIOMOGBE: What songs inspired “Gravity?” Were you listening to any other music while making of it?
FAIYAZ: Not particularly. Usually I would, but this time I just kind of went with how I felt.
UKIOMOGBE: When you were growing up, did your parents play a lot of music in the house?
FAIYAZ: Yeah, a lot of music. My mom, especially. She was big on R&B. Lauryn Hill, Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, all that shit. My older brother was on his rap shit, so he was listening to G-Unit and Ludacris. I got influenced by whoever I was around.
UKIOMOGBE: Do you remember the first CD you ever purchased?
FAIYAZ: I think it was The Diary of Alicia Keys. That was the first time album I ever bought with my own money. I had a little Discman.
UKIOMOGBE: Do you have a favorite song from that album?
FAIYAZ: “Diary.” That shit is crazy. That shit is nice. I was like seven and that shit was blowing my mind.
UKIOMOGBE: Do you remember what your first concert was?
UKIOMOGBE: Do you have a favorite movie soundtrack?
FAIYAZ: Boomerang. That shit was incredible. They had a P.M Dawn record [“I’d Die Without You”] on there. That shit was nice.
UKIOMOGBE: Who’s your all-time dream collaborator?
FAIYAZ: Probably Pharrell and Chad Hugo [The Neptunes].
UKIOMOGBE: Do you have a song that always puts you in a good mood?
FAIYAZ: It’d probably be any early 2000s Snoop Dogg and Pharrell collaboration. That shit is always going to make you feel life properly. When you listen to “Drop It Like It’s Hot” or “Beautiful,” anything where you got Snoop and Pharrell on the same shit, you already know it’s some party shit.
UKIOMOGBE: Similar to Snoop and Pharrell, do you have two artists that you’d like to see work together?
FAIYAZ: I’m trying to think. Sometimes I feel like everything’s already been done. It’d have to be some real unorthodox shit. It’d have to be like an old ass rock legend with some new hot shit. I can’t even think of who off the top of my head.
UKIOMOGBE: Do you have a favorite music video of all time?
FAIYAZ: I know it’s definitely something [directed] by Hype Williams. Maybe “How’s It Goin’ Down” by DMX. That shit is crazy. I feel like it captures a classic hood love story perfectly.
UKIOMOGBE: Is Hype your favorite music video director?
FAIYAZ: Hell yeah.
UKIOMOGBE: What’s your go-to breakup song?
FAIYAZ: I don’t have one.
UKIOMOGBE: How about a song that just gets you in your feelings? Like a very emotional, heavy song?
FAIYAZ: If I’m really going to listen to some emotional shit, I’ll probably listen to 2Pac. “So Many Tears” is the one.
UKIOMOGBE: What song would you use to describe yourself?
FAIYAZ: That’s hard.
UKIOMOGBE: I know.
FAIYAZ: I’d say my EP Fuck The World. I think that’d be the perfect description of my personality in a project. I think it describes how I see shit. It describes how I view relationships, situations, and the world. From the bullshit I get into to the introspection, it’s everything.
UKIOMOGBE: Is that your favorite project of yours?
FAIYAZ: Currently, yeah. It shifts and depends on what kind of mood I’m in.
UKIOMOGBE: If you were to compile a playlist for songs to listen to while you’re high, what would you put on it?
FAIYAZ: Well, I got one of those. “Weedman” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “Hyyerr” by Kid Cudi, and “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz. What else would I put on that bitch? I’ll probably put some Bob Marley on that motherfucker. Kush & Orange Juice by Wiz [Khalifa]. I be listening to a lot of high shit anyway.
UKIOMOGBE: What would you play at a house party?
FAIYAZ: I have to mix some new and some old. At any real nigga house party, this is what you got to put on there. “Hey Ma” by Cam’ron. You got to have “Slow Jamz” by Kanye West. You got to put “Back That Azz Up” by Juvenile. If you’re in Cali, you got to play “California Love” [by 2Pac]. It’s just how it goes. It depends on where you at. Certain places you go, you got to play certain shit. You got to play to your audience.
UKIOMOGBE: For you, is there a difference between an indoor house party and an outdoor, backyard type thing?
FAIYAZ: Like a cookout and shit? Hell yeah. The environment plays a big part in the music that you play because you got more space to dance and shit when you outside. I feel like the music would be a little more upbeat when it’s some outside shit. But you always take it inside anyway. An outside party don’t ever stay outside.
UKIOMOGBE: What about music for a dinner party?
FAIYAZ: Sade, all day. Wine and Sade.
UKIOMOGBE: If you could have dinner with four artists, living or dead, who would you choose?
FAIYAZ: I would definitely choose the ones that are dead: Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, and 2Pac. I feel that’s probably some of the best conversations that you could have. I would soak up so much fucking game.
UKIOMOGBE: If you were to pick a couple of songs to play at your funeral, what would you play?
FAIYAZ: I’ll play “Bury Me A G” by 2Pac and “Funeral” by Shy Glizzy.
UKIOMOGBE: Do you have a favorite television show theme song?
FAIYAZ: I hate to say it, but you remember The Cosby Show? It was later on in like the third or fourth season, when they had that jazzy shit? That shit was crazy.
UKIOMOGBE: What’s a song that everybody should know about or should hear?
FAIYAZ: Would it be biased If I say “Gravity?”
UKIOMOGBE: A little.
FAIYAZ: Right now, that’s some need to hear shit. It’s fucking great. It’s a great song. I be listening to that shit on the plane, I listen to that shit in the car. That’s the first thing I listen to when I wake up in the morning. It’s really good when you get up in the morning and you listen to it. Your whole day is made.
UKIOMOGBE: Do you listen to a lot of your own music often?
FAIYAZ: Yeah, all the time.
UKIOMOGBE: Is there an instrument that you want to learn how to play?
FAIYAZ: I’m going to pick up the guitar. I feel like that adds a really cool element to your live show.
UKIOMOGBE: Speaking of live shows, I know we can’t do those right now, but is there a song that you love to perform in front of an audience?
FAIYAZ: It’s been so long since I did a live show, I feel like it’s going to be way different. I really like performing “Rehab.”
UKIOMOGBE: What artists have you been listening to lately or have recently discovered?
FAIYAZ: I’ve been listening to a lot of street shit, a lot of DMV shit. I’ve been listening to CEO Trayle, I think he’s from Atlanta. I discovered this real indie-alternative band called Purr. Their shit is fire. It’s different, it’s all over the place. I like being on shit before anybody be on it. Oh, and 10K Dunkin. His shit is hard, he’s from Atlanta too.
UKIOMOGBE: What was your first favorite song that you can remember?
FAIYAZ: I think it might’ve been “I Wanna Know” by Joe.
UKIOMOGBE: That’s such a good song.
FAIYAZ: Yeah, I remember I used to be three or four in the back seat in the car singing that shit every time it came on the radio. That was my shit.
UKIOMOGBE: What song do you hope describes 2021? What’s your vibe for this new year?
FAIYAZ: Man, I’m not trying to plug my shit, but…
UKIOMOGBE: Of course not.
FAIYAZ: “Gravity.” I think lyrically, it’s exactly where my head is at and the type of shit that I’m on. I’m trying to be in outer space. Feel me? Out of here on some next level shit.
UKIOMOGBE: If your life were a TV show, what would be your theme song?
FAIYAZ: Probably “Can I Have It Like That” by Pharrell. It’s just some stunting shit, it’s some flexing shit. That shit just makes you want to blow a bag. It makes you want to decorate your shit with expensive furniture and goddamn expensive ass linens and shit. It makes you want to eat steak for dinner. “Picture Me Rollin'” or “All Eyez On Me” by Pac are good, too.
UKIOMOGBE: What’s your favorite song of yours?
FAIYAZ: Right now?
UKIOMOGBE: Is it “Gravity?”
FAIYAZ: [Laughs] Yeah. Definitely.
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