• Shante Collier-McDermott

Platinum Selling Producer 169 Continues To Straddle Lanes With The Release of His 2nd EP 'SYNC'

Playing an integral part in some of the biggest rap hits to come out the UK in recent history, producer-artist 169 has become a staple in the scene. Coming up alongside friend and colleague Dave, the 21-yo musician has seen an array of early success, the producer behind international anthem “Wanna Know ft. Drake”, Headie One’s “18Hunna”, Ramz’ “Family Tree” & many more.

The South London talent continues to show prove his prowess doesn’t end behind the scenes as he now releases his 2nd body of work. Taking centre stage, he presents the Sync EP – an 8-track project that perfectly displays his growth as an artist.

Sync kicks off with “Slide”, a mellow introspective track that see’s 169 subtly flex and set the tone for what’s to come Inclusive of 4 feature artists, the first on track running is “No Fears ft. Wretch 32”. Undeniably a moment for 169, he flows effortlessly back-back with the vet rapper for a dancehall infused banger.

“Cocoa Butter” and “Crazy ft. Jaz Karis” seem like the initial go-to’s for the ladies. “Cocoa Butter” is warm and sensual, “Crazy” a love song that takes a different approach. Best described as heart-wrenching this one follows two lovers stories.

As we edge to the middle of Sync, 169 comes through with the more up-beat instalments. “Millies ft. JAIAH” and “Respect” laced with head-bopping trappy sounds.

Championing his fellow new school artists, track 7 “Over Me” calls on a guest verse from KNWGD. The pair working seamlessly together but distinctive in their own way. “This Way” serves as the outro, the instrumental striking in right ways.

We got a chance to have a chat with 169 about his new project, music and more - check it out below.

Having already seen great commercial success in production, music must’ve been something you took an early interest in – what is one thing you can’t believe you’ve accomplished?

To this day I look back and think wow I’ve actually produced a track that Drake is on, that shock never goes away.

Do you prefer laying down your own vocals or staying behind the scenes?

I'm a musician, so I don’t really prefer one or the other, I get the same level of enjoyment & fulfilment out of both. I guess laying low is sometimes what comes with being a producer, but I’m more than willing to put myself out there.

Talk to us about the Sync EP, why the title and what inspired the music?

Sync is about Duality, realising who I am & some of the relationships I’ve developed as a musician. What a lot of people don’t realise about the music industry is that it's so easy to lose yourself, it's like your 2 people. This project is an example of me finding that balance between the 2 people.

There are a couple interesting features on the project, they all worked so well – how was it working with a veteran like Wretch 32?

Effortless; we’re both from Jamaica so there’s always an instant chemistry & we creatively work very well. It was interesting to see his writing style (he writes in his head) which isn’t new, but interesting to see how he pieced it all together, that’s when you realise the levels.

What were some of your most exciting moments making this EP? Lyrics or melodies you did or heard.

Slide for me was definitely an exciting moment for me, it's a song I’ve always wanted to write, just never had the right beat. But once I got the template, it was like painting a picture I already knew how to paint – Another would be Millies, I’ve always wanted to make something trappy that would fit my voice & working with JAIAH my day one bro, it just came together perfectly!

Jaz Karis, Infamousizak & KNWGD are also featured, it’s great to see upcoming artists shining – do you have any others you’re currently in support of?

Yeah shout out to my gs! Right now i'm currently supporting UNKNWN, KNWGD put me onto him, don’t play with these abbreviated rappers Loool. Lavida Loca is on fire right now her tone is mad & Mnelia is wavy that's my g

What is your second favourite track on the EP? and why isn’t it the first?

Over me is my second favourite, only because slide for me something I’ve always wanted to make

Some musicians can be very particular with who they work with, would you say you have a criterion?

It’s hard to give a detailed criteria, but I don’t listen to a lot of music and i'm hard to impress nowadays so If i listen to you and like it, den you passs di tess!

Your ability to take on multiple genres is great to see, would you say you have a preference when it comes to both production and singing?

I love rap & R&B but definitely a preference, but as you know I could easily produce for a man like Craig or Sam Smith if he’d let me.

When trying to break boundaries with your production, what place would you want to take it sonically that your fans wouldn't expect?

I try to incorporate different elements from different genres of music, but I try to mix the right elements in. Balance is keep, the more balance I'm able to achieve, the more developed it sounds.

Your music feels as though it could slip straight into the Toronto R&B scene, is that something you feel you did consciously?

Not at all, all my day one guys know I've been making music like this from like year 7, it's always been in me. I definitely am influenced in some ways by the boy, but as I grow I develop my own style and flow with it, the next wave of music is ridiculous.

A lot of people use music, singing especially as a form of expression and your tracks are quite heartfelt – would you say your art comes more from personal experience or emotions you want to capture?

Definitely the art comes for personal experiences, myself, people I know. Part of being a writer means you have to paint pictures that sometimes aren’t based on true stories or yourself, but that's where the magic is.

Cocoa Butter is a smooth record that is sure to set a relaxed mood, when would you recommend your female fans to play this song?

Ayye when they come out the shower, getting ready to link, post rona of course, little bit of cocoa butter for the skin smelling sweet, no man can resist that!

Respect is a song with an amazing melody and transition, how would you suggest your fans be with you through your progress and success?

Come to my shows, when we have some you know we're gonna make that special, listen out for my tag cause you're definitely gonna get tired of hearing it in 2020 & just know now new music will come more frequently

The Sync EP is out now on all streaming platforms!

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