Do you believe that you are turning this industry upside down by what you are doing?
I do think so! I really think I came up with a new style of sounds. It's kind of slow to accept, but once people can see I think it might be a big impact.
Is that why your picture is upside down?
It's actually not! *laughs* I'm going to reveal it in my debut album that is scheduled for next year.
You recently released a video with J. Cole featured on the track. Tell us how this collaboration was formed.
I made the song "Trouble" and used my style "R&B Upscale". It's a style that sounds a bit hood, but a little polished and cleaned. It's not the Roll's Royce yet, and not the Lambo yet.. but we definitely have something here. When J. Cole heard it, he jumped up on it. J. was a big supporter, I played it for the label, and they loved it.
Getting into fashion a bit now: you partnered up with Fly Pelican to issue a limited edition t-shirt series. How has the response been and where can people get their hands on it?
I had ideas to make these upside down shirts. It has my number on the backside that I gave out to my fans. They are always leaving me messages and texts, and whenever I have the chance I sit down and play them back - 313-242-7775. I haven't even put out those shirts yet. So nobody can get them -- except for my mom. *laughs* I'll come out with them soon.
Pick an instrument that defines you. And Why?
That's a good question! I would have to say a synthesizer. It has so many different sounds in it, and you can create your own style out of it. It's not locked into one particular sound.
We have seen many producers/writers trying to come out as an artist but haven't been successful. In your opinion, what key elements of a successful producer that's transitioning from behind the board to in front of the camera as an artist?
I think a part of my success has been that I write about how I was honestly feeling. I feel that a large portion of talented people are scared to tap into themselves. Draw out all our emotions and lay it out on the table.. exposed.
That defining moment in your life when you were nominated for a Grammy in 2010 for Trey Songz and most recently in 2011 for Monica. Take us through those feelings of excitement. Who did you call first?
Oh Man! I found out that I was nominated for a Grammy because of my work with Trey Songz and Monica. I was stoked! The first person that actually found out about my Grammy nomination was not me.. it was my Mom! She called me.. it was a rush of excitement, and happiness. However both Grammy's were won by Beyonce. I'm not mad at her, I just know now that I need to get in the studio with her.