Tory Lanez describes his musical style as swavey. The word, according to the Toronto-born artist, is a “two-adjective word”, meaning a genre of music that incorporates many different genres. “I know it sounds strange,” he says, “but if you ask an artist what they do they’re going to say that they rap, they sing, they do rock – a lot of people are multi-talented . . . Labels want to put you in one lane, but I feel like there are so many people who are more talented than that, and they’re swavey artists.”
The genre has been making headlines lately, even if hasn’t had a bona fide name until recently. Lanez (real name: Daystar Peterson) is pushing for it, and the success of his own music is a testament to its unique allure. At just twenty-four years old, Lanez has become a familiar, echoing voice across numerous genres, with his own music establishing a persistent foothold on radio stations worldwide. Since he began releasing material back in 2009, the tally is up to fifteen mixtapes, dozens of standalone singles, one EP, and one major label-backed full-length, I Told You (August 2016). There’s dancehall and R&B, but there’s also reggae and rap and pop and soul, all of this inflected with a genuine expression of the currently in-vogue Jamaican patois that for some reason fits so naturally over lush, electronic instrumentals.
Lest we forget that, in a loose sense, Lanez is also something like the hip-hop/R&B equivalent of Nashville’s seasoned top liners, meaning that the upper echelon of both producers and artists alike trust him to come in and lay down the hooks, the melodies, the parts of songs that listeners will be singing or humming to themselves later on. This is, after all, the powerhouse who, back in 2015, gracefully provided a melody for Meek Mill’s masterpiece ‘Lord Knows’. Don’t remember that one? Let us remind you: producer Play Picasso sampled a movement from a Mozart symphony and Tory Lanez hopped on what became an absolute monster of a track to croon, soulfully, “all I wanted was a new Mercedes”. Legendary. In 2016 alone, Lanez has appeared as a guest or featured artist on cuts from Joe Budden, Cashmere Cat, Sean Paul, Zayn Malik, Casey Veggies, and DJ Drama, though to be fair, these make up only a small fraction of his endless songwriting credits.
Needless to say, we’re stoked he’ll be joining DC audiences this coming Wednesday, December 14th, at the Fillmore Silver Spring. The man is also bringing along a veritable who’s who of emerging artists, with Jacquees, Kranium, Kurt Rockmore, and VeeCee rounding out the bill. Head over to the Fillmore’s site for a closer look at the specifics (eg. Uber discount), but the important thing to know now is doors open at 7:00, show starts at 8:00.
Scroll down for a look through some of Lanez’s recent career highlights, and grab your last minute tickets here.
Header image via RigoShotMe