Published on December 21st, 2014 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson


Rey Reel: Taking The Industry By Storm

Tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how exactly did it all begin for you?

I became interested in music at a young age, but I didn’t take it seriously until I was 15. I just loved the different forms of sound and the feeling that it gave me.

Now you are a native of Sacramento, CA, correct? So growing up, who all did/do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

Yes. Growing up, I really didn’t listen to much Hip-Hop, which is funny because that’s what I love now. I used to listen to a lot of movie soundtracks; they ranged anywhere from Disney to very cinematic soundtracks like (The) Lord of the Rings and Thor.

At what point in time did you even opt to pursue music on a professional basis?

After myself and Oktane had put out a few mixtapes in our high school, it started becoming more like a real trend, and then he linked up with Price and Octane…Price and I did a record called “Teach Me How To Jerk”; we just put it out on Myspace and it blew up! At the time, Myspace was bigger than radio and we got over a couple million views. From then on, I thought we should really invest in this. We all agreed at one point to go full throttle on this, because it’s our passion and it’s what we feel. It wasn’t something we just woke up and decided we wanted to do; we just fell into it basically.

Because you have already worked with a who’s who; Beyoncé, Drake, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj,, Britney Spears, Waka Flocka Flame and Diddy, among others, of the industry’s top tier talent, is there anyone actually left who still remains on your “wish” list?

Yes, there are a lot of artists who remain on my wish list; Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry, the Jonas Brothers — They would be dope! Also, collaborating on some instrumentation with Quincy Jones or Pharrell (Williams) would be fun.

Take me through a typical studio session, is there a “method to your madness” when you’re crafting for others, or does it vary from artist to artist?

Usually, you get a call saying “so and so wants to work with you or would you like to work with so and so,” and from there I’ll study their music and decide…Or if they’re well known, I’ll go over their new sound seeing if I can advance it. Then, I’ll ride out to the studio listening to their music the whole time. I’ll meet them, have a cool conversation with them and see what their influences are, and what direction they’re trying to go for. Once I can sense what they want to relay to their fans, we find a way to present it in the dopest way.

Do you have any funny/memorable stories and/or anecdotes that took place while you were working in the lab?

With HS87 I have a lot of fun moments…We go in there having our own little inside beats; we will do 3 or 4 different parts to one beat and everyone’s is super dope. You hear one part like Hit-Boy’s: ‘Aw, dang, his is hard!’ And then you hear Haze (Banga)” ‘Aw, his is hard!’ And then you hear mine, mine is hard! That’s our fun; our fun is competing against one another. We have a cool chemistry going. Even when I work with other artists, I still have fun; it’s more of a calm, chill environment for them. I don’t know their personality too well, but I try to make it interesting to them.

I know it’s probably not “politically correct” to really expect you to answer this, but is there any one specific individual(s) that have been your favorite(s), when it comes to previous collabos?

M.I.A. is a big influence in my music right now, but she always has been. Meeting her and getting to know who she was on a personal level in the studio was so dope, and to watch her go in and record…She’s very dirty when it comes to her music. She doesn’t like too many mixes; she likes raw edits and it changed my perspective that everything doesn’t have to be specifically clean.

With that being said, how then would you describe and/or define the style of music that you create and perform?

The music I design and create is very experimental. I just like to pick sounds from out of the air like, “Boom!” Mix and match like a card game, ‘Old Maid,’ except this time there’s no wrong or right. Having fun is my key and just listening to the sound.

What do you feel you offer the music industry that we don’t already have in other performers?

Personality! Everyone says I have a great personality — not to sound cocky or egotistical — but a lot of people say they like my vibe and I am thankful for having such a well brought up mother to hand that trait down to me. To have me go in and have conversations with these people and to pull me into their personal space and get to know them on a personal level instead of just going in and working and working and working. I feel as a producer everyone in their own way can bring something to the table; talking about me especially I can’t say because everything changes so much if we are talking on a musical level.

Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career?

Through the politics, yes. Ya know there’s a lot of back and forth on records getting placed or records getting moved to different artists, but other than that, no. Everyone I have come across has been very valuable and I’ve been very valuable to them, so no.

What do you want people to get from your music?

The creativeness, if anything.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

My greatest achievement, obviously, is to make it to the music business. I got a jump start with one of the dopest producers out right now, Hit-Boy. Another achievement I’m aiming for is to get a Grammy.

If you could collaborate with any one “DREAM” artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?

That’s a good one! …Michael Jackson, because I love his tone and I feel I could learn from him. He was BAD and super dope! He was born to be a worldwide entertainer.

If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

New York is pretty legendary, but I’d have to take it back to Aquarena (Center – Texas State University) because that’s just my home.

One track of yours that you think defines you and why?

“Trophies” (c/o Drake) especially, because there aren’t a lot of things I do and they don’t have awards for that, but that’s okay because I’m still a winner.

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?

My website:, My Twitter and Instagram: @ReyReel…And you will see me on the big screen sometime next year.

Any “parting” message(s) for our readers?

Be great at whatever you chose to do in life; go full throttle!

By: Todd Davis

About the Author

Publisher and CEO of The Hype Magazine. Follow me on Twitter @HypeJustJay

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