Ty Dolla $ign and dvsn have been well established as beacons of brilliance in the contemporary music landscape. So, it’s fitting that news of their new collaborative project – ‘Cheers to the Best Memories’ – sent fans into a frenzy.
And the excitement was amplified the more when the eclectic set was unleashed.
Infectious from its first track to its last, the LP sees the collective serve up a masterclass in qualitative R&B – pulling from a blend of influences to create delicious new gems.
That Grape Juice caught up with Ty and dvsn’s Daniel Daley, who opened up about the project’s inception, the void it fills in R&B, and what it was like working together.
The stars also dished on working with the likes of Mariah Carey and eyeing a team-up with BTS.
Read the exclusive interview below…
That Grape Juice (Sam): We’ve had Cheers to the Best Memories on replay! How did this collaborative project come about?
dvsn (Daniel): Actually, Ty and I met at a party in Miami and I quickly realized that we were both fans of each other when we got introduced and he invited me out to go hang out on some yacht. We went out on the boat and we were just playing records that we love, playing records that were old, things that were new, playing stuff that we were working on. And we were just like, ‘yo, we got to get in and cook up a couple of songs.’
Ty ended up going on tour, and I hit him up like ‘Yo, I was serious about that record. Let’s do something.’ And he said, ‘Well, I got a studio on my (tour) bus. When I’m on tour, I can tell you what city I’m in. And then we could just cook up and then you could go back home.’
I flew out and I don’t think I left (laughs). I just ended up rocking out on the tour bus with him. And we went there to do one song. And by the end of the first day, we had like four done. And Ninteen85 started sending beats and Murder Beatz was on the tour. And he helped produce too. And then we kind of just left it there because we’re like, ‘I don’t know what to do with this.’
We just kind of kept vibing. We weren’t really planning to do anything…formally. We’re just like, we made a bunch of records. But then we’re like, ‘yo, it’d be crazy like if we put together like an EP like a joint R&B, ‘Watch the Throne,’ ‘What a Time to Be Alive.’’ Like the first time that ever happened, we just joked about it, and we left it alone. And that was literally late 2018.
In 2019, we saw each other a few times. Did Coachella with me. We rocked out and we’ve just been homies and then, 2020 the whole world shut down. And then I think both of our camps were like, ‘yo, that sh*t you were doing with Ty, people need to hear that sh*t.’ And so, we really locked in and really sat down and finished cooking up what you now have as the ‘Cheers to the Best Memories’ and we just fed it to the streets.
That Grape Juice: The album is such a vibe. From ‘Memories’ right through to ‘I Believed It’ (which features the late Mac Miller). What were your goals sonically heading into the project?
Ty Dolla $ign: I feel like we just were trying to make the best project period that we can make. And even though when me and Daniel got together, like one of the things I loved is, he works quick. Like the first day when we were supposed to just make one song, we ended up making like four songs. And that became like an everyday thing for as long as he stayed on the tour. Some of the stuff ended up on the album, one of the songs ended up on dvsn’s last album –
dvsn: ‘Dangerous City.’
Ty Dolla $ign: And we still got more. It’s been fun. We just wanted to make the best of the best though and even though we were making songs fast, I feel like Daniel was on me like ‘Nah, you might want to come better.’ Even with the YG verse, he was like, ‘Nah, let’s get him to do another verse.’ Same thing with Mac. Mac Miller did a verse. And then he was like, ‘Nah, I can improve it, I can make it better.’ So, I just feel like, the main goal was to make the best of the best.
That Grape Juice: Who were your influences heading into this project and how did you pour those influences into the album?
Ty Dolla $ign: My influences were straight-up Daniel and ‘85. Like straight up, like, they were just like, it was like full collaborative energy that we all fed off. Like everybody that was around us are engineers, everyone. I don’t even feel like we’re really listening to any other music at the time.
dvsn: No, we weren’t listening to anybody else to see what they were doing. We were definitely like, in the moment, just like being inspired by each other. I mean, it’s almost impossible not to be inspired when you’re in the room with a Ty Dolla $ign or a Nineteen85. It’s very hard to not want to step up and show out.
The only thing I would say is…one thing that people are saying is that they can hear so much of our musical influences period. There was no sonic influence per se. But I would say as artists, I definitely think that our 90s R&B roots shine through. And I think that’s what people are loving because I think that there’s only a couple of people that can really pull that off authentically. There are only a select few people I think can really embody that. And I’m just glad that people took that from what we did.
That Grape Juice: This is such a unique project, because not only are you artists…you’re all producers too. Were there any hurdles meshing your respective ideas? Or did the chemistry flow naturally from the jump?
Ty Dolla $ign: I felt like the only hurdle to me was putting together the final tracklist. Because Daniel had his tracklist. ‘85 had his tracklist and I had my tracklist. We just all had to come together and make it work. So that was the only time where I feel like we kind of bumped heads a little bit. But in the end, we got the perfect tracklist. So, I’m happy about it.
That Grape Juice: You’ve all enjoyed so much success over the course of your careers. What are some of the best memories you’re cheers-ing to?
dvsn: For me, my favorite thing is to perform. So, when I look at my career, a lot of my best moments and a lot of my favorite moments are, on tour, on stage, and being with the people. That’s what I’m about all the time, dvsn is for the people.
Ty Dolla $ign: I agree. I feel like that’s definitely the payoff. You do all this hard work in the studio for hours and hours, nights, days. And then when you finally get into the crowd, and we get on stage and you see the people out there saying every word of the song, that’s like the full-on payoff. For sure.
That Grape Juice: Individually and collectively, you’ve worked with so many heavy hitters – from Drake to Mariah Carey. Who are some of your dream collaborations?
dvsn: I totally want to do a song with BTS.
Ty Dolla $ign: Yeah. Crazy. I found that they are dvsn fans recently too and shout out to those guys because I definitely would love to tap in over there. So, if they’re able to catch this interview…let’s do it! A lot of the people that I really want to work with are, it’s not even so much the artists. It’s the producers. One that I checked off my list that I’m super excited about – with not only the new song that we did but the music that we have come in is like Jermaine Dupri. We’ve been hooking up crazy and this next dvsn project is something different. I’ll tell you guys that, but it’s those people. It’s the people that were making the records that changed our lives that I’m really looking forward to hooking up with.
That Grape Juice: Ty, so we loved your work with Mariah Carey on ‘The Distance.’ Tell us a little bit about how that track came about.
Ty Dolla $ign: That track was, Skrillex, Lido, and Poo Bear wrote it with us. I remember being in Atlanta, I was on tour during that time. And they wanted the verse done ASAP. So, Skrillex flew out there. We didn’t end up getting to record that day, because some bullsh*t happened. But then we ended up getting back together in LA, and we recorded it. And it came out crazy. And then I remember we performed on Fallon, me and Mariah, and I was just like, wow, ‘is this really happening? Like, I was singing with Mariah Carey, the GOAT.’ There’s like, a few people like that can just make you feel like, darn like, I really made it. You know what I’m saying like, God is great. Like, I hope my mom is watching this. Like it was one of those feelings.
That Grape Juice: Advice for those getting into the music industry?
Ty Dolla $ign: I’d just say, be consistent. As long as you’re consistent, it’s going to end up happening one way or the other. There’s a lot of hurdles in between but as long as you just keep on going, it’s going to happen. You can take a break; you just have to get back up and keep going.
dvsn: I definitely say that one thing that I learned, because it’s how it happened for me, is there’s gonna come a time when you’re going to want to give up, there’s gonna come a time when you’re going to want to stop. And the success you’re looking for, or the big break that you’re looking for is literally the next step right after that. As soon as you feel like you can’t take one more step, it’s the step after that, that is the one that’s going to go.
That Grape Juice: If each of you had to pick one track that fans must hear from the project, which would it be and why?
Ty Dolla $ign: For me, it would be, ‘Don’t Say a Word.’ And that’s just because I don’t think anything exists in the world of R&B that feels that authentic to that R&B that molded all of us right now. That to me is like the, ‘if it doesn’t feel like 90s R&B I don’t want it.’ That’s the embodiment of that song.
dvsn: I feel like ‘Outside’ is my favorite. Just from what it’s been. We’ve been inside alone, we are gonna be outside. I feel like everybody can relate to that right now. That’s my choice.
That Grape Juice: Plans for the project moving forward?
dvsn: From dvsn standpoint, we’re about to go change the whole climate. That’s kind of our goal and our focus right now. We plan to really affect the whole landscape of R&B with this next project that we’re about to do.
Ty Dolla $ign: I’m gonna just keep going! Expect more crazy stuff for this particular project. Expect some more visuals, expect another video, expect…more.