Unveiling cye: From Vegas Roots to Hip-Hop Heights

In this interview, we dive into the dynamic journey of cye, an emerging artist with roots deeply entrenched in Pomona, California, and the vibrant culture of the Las Vegas Strip. From the hardships of the 2008 housing crisis to the pivotal moments like his photoshoot with Mike Tyson and joining Entourage, cye shares the experiences that have shaped his artistic persona. He also discusses the inspiration behind his breakout single, “NYC in the Backseat,” the creation of his debut album “The Keeper,” and his ambitious plans for THE IONIC WORLD TOUR.

cye, welcome to A&R Factory! Before we delve into your music, we’d love to start the interview by giving our readers an insight into the start of your dynamic personal narrative. Can you share some insights about your upbringing in Pomona, California, and how growing up on the Las Vegas Strip influenced your music and artistic persona?

It’s good to be back on the road piecing things together. Vegas is home to us. I’m set out to make it a point for people to understand what this city means to me. Real sh*t happened there… I grew up in Vegas during the 2008 housing crisis. We didn’t have a lot all the time, but I take pride in the fact that my momma worked hard to give us a good childhood. My momma is my everything. And Vegas built the whole understanding of my entertainment standards.

The 2021 photoshoot with Mike Tyson at Tyson Ranch seemed like a pivotal moment in your career. How did that experience shape your journey?

It was cool… Really changed my whole life… It’s family and love over here, for real, like, my cousin Matt has been in business with Tyson for a long time. And Uncle Meco has been taking me with him everywhere I need to be in Hollywood and D.C. We’re all close and spend a lot of time locked in on this sh*t now.

Joining Entourage, a full-service sports and entertainment agency, was a significant step. How did that opportunity come about, and what impact did it have on your career trajectory?

That was back in Hollywood, I think 2022… Working with these companies is cool and all but it’s more hands in the pot, really… I prefer to stay to myself but when certain steps are necessary then, so be it. I am not one of these artists that’s on a mission against the industry. That’s lame sh*t. Can I say that? There has been way too much of that “F- the record labels” talk over the last decade. As a young artist, you have to identify what you want for yourself and allow the space for others to move how they need to. All that negative sh*t is flat…

“NYC in the Backseat” was your breakout single in early 2023. What was the inspiration behind the song, and how did it feel to see it resonate with so many people?

Actually, when I recorded that I hadn’t ever even been to New York City, yet. There was already a plan in place to produce and master the album in Brooklyn, though. I think Andrew [Krivonos] reached out to my manager, Mason, and set it up… Can’t remember exactly how it went. But I love NYC. It’s been dope as h*ll to see so many people, kids, grown women and all that vibe out to my sh*t. I’ve only performed the song a few times live and I’m real amped to see how they respond to it.

Your debut album “The Keeper” was released in November 2023. Can you tell us about the creative process behind the album and what message you hoped to convey through it?

It was really just an introductory piece… We wanted to provide a solidified sound, no gimmicks, with a hefty production team behind it but it’s really not a debut album in the sense of what we are working on putting together, at this point. Our team is not naive in the understanding that we have a long way to go before y’all know who I am… Understand, we spent more than $100,000 to finish TK in its entirety… Independently released and funded by my label, Recovering Child Music. There’s a lot that TK cemented into reality for me. TK is a building block of RCM, and everything else that I’ve set out to craft in this sh*t.

Working with Andrew Krivonos and having your album mastered at The Brewery Recording Studio must have been an incredible experience. How did those collaborations come to be, and what did they bring to your music?

It’s really as simple as it was… Like I said. Andrew and I work really well together. We were at an event at his studio in Los Angeles, before we did the album in Brooklyn, and we had a few drinks and talked about what my music can do, for real. I’ll always remember that. What we created together on TK is timeless sh*t that will always be noted as the music that started this whole thing.

You’ve recently announced “THE IONIC WORLD TOUR” for 2024 and 2025. What can fans expect from this tour, and how are you preparing for such a massive undertaking?

Yeah, touring is a learning process for me and I’m enjoying that. I’ve really taken my time stepping into this new space I’m in… Moving with the utmost respect and discipline in my approach. I love what fans do for the music, man. They keep us honest. If they don’t like something, they will let you know. That makes my job easier and makes their days at these festivals worth it. There are artists that waste a lot of people’s time and I’m not into that. If you’re going to spend your money to get live at one of my shows and stand in the rain and sh*t… The least we can do is give you the best f*cking music you have ever heard in your life. I want people to leave with a memorable night behind them so they can go home and f*ck and sleep good. This sh*t one big therapy session, for real. I swear that’s what Recovering Child Music is meant to be… Therapy.

The tour includes stops at over 200+ hip-hop culture shops and universities across North America. What inspired this unique approach, and what do you hope to achieve through these visits?

It’s marketing all over the world, really. I grew up in the city, that’s just how we move when you find yourself downtown. There are a lot of folks running these spots that hold down the whole culture of Hip-Hop and keep it rooted in something real. Otherwise, this sh*t would just be gimmicks re-uploaded over and over again. The people make the culture… And I stand by that. I’ve been in the streets with the people in every city we’ve been to build a connection, really.

You’ve experienced life in both Hollywood and New York City. How have these two iconic locations influenced your sound?

I grew up going between Vegas and Los Angeles like once a month, it felt like. Especially as my brothers and I started to get older… So, Hollywood always had a grip on my soul, in a way, where I knew I had to get out there just to see… And New York City is way different. I never experienced anything in my life like getting to the city, man. It’s a whole other level of living out there and we got busy right away. Even though I’m a little less into the luxurious vibe, I feel NYC does it best. I lean into what I like, and experiment once I’m in the room. My favorite sh*t in my life is shrooms and late night Hollywood / Bev Hills, too, though. It’s a cool balance.

Your stage name, cye, carries a unique identity. What’s the story behind choosing this name, and how does it represent you as an artist?

That came from my dad. I’ll end up telling this a million times but I showed this man “Cyclone” by Baby Bash and T-Pain, yeah? And while we were playing basketball and listening to the song, I put up a shot that circled around the rim a few times before going in… He said, “you put it down like a cyclone…” and called me cyclone for the rest of my fourth grade school year… 10 years later, it got shortened to cye and scribbled into my iTunes library… And I was crazy as h*ll as a kid so I always liked that name.

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for the next few years in your music career? Are there any new projects or collaborations on the horizon that you’re particularly excited about?

A lot has been scooped onto my plate over the last half-decade. I’ve got work that needs to be completed, right now. We’ll be in Africa next year… It’s crazy. I want to create something for the fans of this music, and maybe I have it figured out already. It’s a lot of awesome f*cking people out there, man. I’m going to get where we are meant to be in this sh*t… And I couldn’t do it without The Bullies.

Please, visit cyeforever.com to connect with cye.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    24 June 2024 at 7:45 pm

    The read-through was great! You have my full support, cye!

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