Tory Lanez is the quarantine gift that keeps on giving. He’s provided ample new music—his mixtape, The New Toronto 3, dropped last month, and his new single “Temperatures Rising,” drops today— as well as ample entertainment on his YouTube channel, where he’s received over a billion views, and on his Instagram series, “Quarantine Radio,” which broke record numbers on the app.
Originally rising to popularity in 2013 after the release of his mixtape, Conflicts of My Soul: The 416 Story, the 27-year-old Canadian has been on the go ever since. His singles “Say It” and “Luv” both went double platinum, with the latter also being nominated for a Grammy, and he’s garnered over 19 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
In honor of the release of “Temperatures Rising,” Lanez talked to L’Officiel USA about his new musical projects, family as his priority, and “Quarantine Radio.”
What have you been up to during quarantine?
When I’m not with my 3-year-old son, which is the most important thing to me, the first thing I’m doing is recording my music. I record all my stuff myself; I have a studio in my house. It’s either that or I’m video editing – I’m editing all the music videos that you guys ever see of me that ever come out. Either doing one of the two. I tell myself every day that I’m going to wake up at 9, but I usually wake up at like 1 or 2 and then get flooded by a bunch of calls from people that work for me and my manager. Even if we can’t physically be in certain places, there’s a ton of things that I have to do in the morning, emails that have to get sent out, contracts that have to be signed, a ton of deliverables.
Tell me a little about your mixtape, The New Toronto 3.
This mixtape is very cold-hearted. I’m definitely getting over a girl that I felt did me wrong but also friends that I feel like the flame has blown out on our relationships. Just people doing me dirty. The album sounds cold, but it’s also motivational. Sometimes you feel like you’ve got a dark cloud over your head and things aren’t going right for you, but if you put on this project then it’s going motivate you and make you feel like you’ve got to get up and do something. This was my last project with a major label, now I'm completely independent. I haven't even released none of my real golden songs.
Talk a little about your upcoming albums.
These albums are going to be my greatest and most timeless music. I waited until I was out of the deal. Now that I'm out and I own all my masters and publishing, I’ve got these three projects I want to release. Each project runs between seven and eight songs deep. I have an acoustic project as well, it's like Ed Sheeran meets Adele meets some[one] from the hood. I have an "80s" project, which is like hopping in a time machine and transporting back to the decade of synthesizers and John Hughes films.
I also have an all Latin project coming out. I just dropped a single from it with Ozuna. I wanted to do a Spanish-language album for all my Spanish and Latin fans. I want to be the biggest artist in the world, and I’m not letting anything stand in my way, not even language barriers.
Talk about your wildly popular Instagram live “Quarantine Radio.”
It's been great. If you're going to see me for four or five hours, you're going to see me being happy. I'm a happy guy. The show helped a lot of other people not really take things so seriously. Let's just get drunk with everyone, that's it. I don't take any of it seriously. The buttons are funny, the sound effects are funny. I really laugh at the ad-lib guy, it's just funny to me. That time when Drake came, we were already at 197,000 views and then he came in and they went to 350,000 and broke records.
What inspired you to start?
It was totally organic, it was not even supposed to be a thing, The dude who does the ad-libs, he's a part of my day to day management and he ended up passing me the mic and headphones. He started doing the ad-libs and we found it funny, and it just became a thing. I ended up yelling for four hours because I was just on Instagram having a good time.
What are some of your hobbies outside of music?
I box a lot. I box at the crib just trying to stay fit. I’ve got weights in my house. I do a lot of callisthenics workouts.
What’s next for you?
Continuing Quarantine Radio. MTV offered me a 30-minute show, I'm still thinking about that. I just did my Social Distancing Quarantine Concert on Youtube which is the #1 trending topic on Youtube and I have three albums coming out. Labels are offering me life-changing multi-million deals but I'm not interested. Ownership to me is the most important thing right now. I’ve always looked at my career like I’ve got something to prove to other people, but now I think I’m at a place where I’m proving something to myself. Family is my priority. If it's not God or my child, I'm not taking it seriously.