From the birth of Trap music with Gucci Mane, to the heavy-hitting sounds of Rylo Rodriguez, Alabama has birthed some of Hip-Hop’s most noticeable artists over the past decade, now BLEU is ready to enter the conversation and build on what has been a dazzling past 18 months for the versatile showman.
Whilst 2021 was seen as the year BLEU really put his blueprint out to the world, his rewards are being reaped and deservedly so after consistently releasing project upon project. Longevity is a key component in building success and keeping your name as a brand relevant. Formally known as Yung Bleu, the transition to BLEU comes with an evolution to his artistry.
It’s not just being an R&B artist where his talents lie, working recently with the likes of icons in Ashanti and Chris Brown showcased his ability to song-write for the veterans of the game. BLEU is proficient with anything and everything to do with music, his debut album Moon Boy collated over 400 million streams and was self-made with the Alabama native producing a ton of hits off the LP.
BLEU is as versatile as they come and as we sat down in Leicester Square, We spoke about building a relationship with Chris Brown, album processes and much more!
You and Chris Brown collaborated for “Possessive” and seem to create instant anthems whenever you link up. Is this someone you could see yourself working on a joint project with?
“It’s always a possibility with me and Chris! We just work so easy together. I’m also on the tour with him and Lil’ Baby.”
What was the process to making “Possessive” which is on Chris Brown’s latest Breezy album?
“With “Possessive”, I made the hook for that one! Really the whole song was already done. I was already putting Lil’ Wayne on it and then when I went to Breezy’s house and played it. He then got on it and put it on his album.”
Do you produce for yourself or more look for producers for beats?
“I produce for myself; I did like 60% of my album and I produce for other artists too. I got a lot of stuff with Wayne and Yak (Kodak Black).”
You had one album and one E.P in 2021, it’s been single’s so far this year – Do you like to let your music breathe after releasing a body of work or do you have a schedule of when you will release?
“I’m working on a project this year! It’s nearly already done. I like to let my work breathe though, because I have so many songs that come off a project. I want to give myself time to work on it, there’s no rush. You want to make sure your fans are enjoying the work you created.”
What is your process to making a full-length project? Is there a concept and story to tell, or do you just have fun in the studio and compile all your best tracks together?
“I try to keep all my best work for the album. I try not to make any trash music whether it is an EP or album! The album is more where I spend a lot of time perfecting in particular, my best work.”
Moon Boy was a successful offering which expanded your fanbase globally with over 400 million streams. Did you envision how successful the project was going to be once released?
“To be honest, I didn’t really think of how big it was going to be, but I knew it was going to do good, but just not the status that it’s at now!”
What made you choose the title Moon Boy?
“You know I was just sitting back thinking of creative things. I remember I had just dyed my hair blonde, and I was just trying something different. Then I just came up with Moon Boy. They all looked at me crazy!”
Who was your favourite artist to collaborate with on the album?
“There’s a few! You got me and Drake, me and Chris Brown. John Legend, Kehlani! With everybody on the album, there was just this chemistry, it was so crazy.”
We recently saw you in the studio with the legendary Ashanti – How was the recording session and was this for a future single or project?
“That was for her new single! I wrote a crazy single for her and she got it coming out soon. It’s really crazy.”
Do you prefer to working with the older generation as opposed to new-school artists?
“I love working with the older generation, people that I consider legends. I like working with new artists too, but I get a nostalgic feel when it’s people I grew up on and then get the chance to work with.”
Making music prior, did you see your amount of success coming, and was it a case of staying consistent to yourself?
“I’ve just been doing music for so long you know. Putting out hit records from 2018, I’ve had over 100 million streams. I’ve been on the underground scene before I really blew up commercially. I’ve had a lot of plaques so it was coming.”
Is there a difference with going independent opposed to working for a label?
“I would say the only difference is the money! Independently, I make a lot more than people in a label but of course they got the machines behind them. I do a lot of things on an independent scale, but you know it’s cool, it balances out. I make a lot of great hit records so I’m good.”
Are there any UK artists you have been listening to?
“I mess with Headie One! I like Fredo and M-Huncho too. I like U.K music but I’m still getting into it!”
Outside of America, where do you find yourself having the most memorable times?
“I would definitely have to say London! I always have so much fun here. Dubai and Bahamas was cool. I haven’t really been to a lot of countries like that, so I’m just kicking off. I got a UK, Australian and Canadian tour coming up.”
Aside from yourself, which three artists are you currently listening to?
“I listen to a lot of old-school stuff! Not to say I have none, but I listen to a lot of underground music, new artists who are on the rise. I’m currently listening to NOBY.”
If you were not successful in music, what would be your dream career to pursue?
“I always think I’ll be something in music. I’ll probably be a manager or a producer. I’m a producer now but you know, it would definitely be something in the music world.”