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Zaytoven: "I Don’t Think We’re Trying to Create Timeless Songs"

The superstar producer argues that it's difficult to create "timeless" records when fans just want more, more, more.
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Back in May, Metro Boomin told Red Bull during their Red Bull Music Academy Festival in New York, “Really, he's the godfather, just flat out.” Sonny Digital, who was also involved in the interview, added, “He birthed all of us.” Of course, the man they’re referencing is Zaytoven: producer, Atlanta mainstay, and one of the biggest collaborators for some of hip-hop's biggest stars, including Future, Gucci Mane, Migos and more.

Yesterday (September 13), in an interview with Vlad TV, Zaytoven revealed that his highly anticipated next project with Future, Beast Mode 16, is more or less done.

"I was with Future maybe three weeks ago, and he was saying, like, you know, ‘I want to keep recording songs, but if it came to it, I needed to drop right now, we done. I’m confident in what we got right now to drop another Zaytoven and Future project."

We can now rejoice; the follow-up to 2015’s Beast Mode will probably arrive sooner rather than later. The soundbite that caught my ears, however, was when Zay shared his views on the state of music, making some thought-provoking points.

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DJ Vlad asked Zay what he thought of Future’s tendency to release so much music. In response, Zay said, “I think the fans now, we have ADD. It’s like one project you gave us last month, that ain’t enough. We need some more—give us some more. And I think Future, he done tapped into that and seen the way to stay on fire is to keep giving, keep feeding these folks. Keep feeding them over and over again, or you can cool off and somebody else can come in and really kinda take the spot. I think that’s what he’s doing.”

Vlad points out that it’s a “double-edged sword”: When you release so much music, you prevent some songs from blossoming. To which Zay replied, “I don’t think that’s where music is right now. I don’t think we’re trying to create timeless songs. We got so much in us that we wanna get out that we just tryna keep lettin it out."

"Nowadays, I don’t think a song means as much as it used to mean. One song can’t last you a year no more. You can’t have a hit record and it’s gonna last you all the way out through the year. It’s like that song might last two months. So it’s like, you just gotta keep comin with content."

Zay noted that he comes from an era where songs had a lasting quality, but that he’s had to change how he works as a producer, and create “10 times as many beats as I used to make.” Adding, “If I wanna stay on top of my game, stay in people’s faces, or stay relevant, I gotta make sure I’m on all these different projects.”

Zay’s right—one song cannot drive an artist for an entire year because there are thousands of other songs that will readily take its place. That’s something Future even admits, when he explained to Zay, “If it came to it, I needed to drop right now, we done.”

Right now, being in the music business is entering into a fight for relevancy — the game is volume, and it’s not always a quality over quantity situation. Right now, fans increasingly want more, and that’s what musicians feel they have to give them.

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