“Boy, this record is near and dear to me, too. To have something like that come out with a new artist and for it to touch so many people like that, I’ve never felt the love that I’m feeling from this record. Especially in my hometown, like I hear it on the radio all the time. They never played nothing of mine like that!"
“We were in Atlanta in my basement, just going through shit. Me and Khalid, we would sit together a lot and just go through melodies and he would tell me lyrics, and I would listen and try to put a melody to his lyrics. I’m going through a couple things and I’d carved out this ‘Location’ melody. It was sent to me by my homie Smash David, he had a beat on there. I was like, ‘I don’t like this beat, bro, but alright, let’s do the melody over.’"
“Khalid’s in the studio and he was like, ‘what’s that?’ That’s his favorite thing. When he hears a song he likes, he’s like, ‘what’s that?’ So I run [the melody] back and he’s like, ‘I got something for that.’ He sings the hook in its entirety. And I look at him like, ‘yo, what the fuck? That’s crazy. We’re doing that now.’ We went to a bigger studio the next day, I think, and laid down the hook. We just knew it felt really good."
“I went to El Paso, that’s where we finished it. We went to a studio called Beacon Hill Studios. ‘Location’ almost got forgotten. When we came into the session, a couple of weeks had passed and we’re thinking, ‘alright, let’s get some records out of this session.’ So we started new shit: ‘American Teen,’ ‘Hopeless,’ ‘Shot Down’ and a few others that nobody will probably ever hear. The session is damn near coming to a close. Khalid’s friends are in there, his mom is in there, we’re all just chilling. Khalid’s like, ‘yo, let’s work on that ‘Location’ joint.’ At this point, we’ve got melody and hook, so I’m like, ‘fuck I gotta make all this beat in front of all these people.’ I really like to be alone, I don’t like to work in front of people."
“So we get into it, and it’s just one of those moments where you zone out. Keep in mind, Tunji Ige is also in the session as well. Man, we created a vibe so crazy. Building on this beat, Khalid is starting to write the rest of the song, so he’s recording his verse as we’re putting a beat together, so essentially we’re going back and forth adding stuff, like in blocks. Alfredo, he’s one of the guys who actually produced on the record as well, he played the keys. We find the right sound for the keys and I’m like, ‘bruh, this shit’s crazy!’ We get the record down, we sent it off to get mixed and we put it out on SoundCloud. It is what it is today."
“It was completely organic. That build up, I’ve never been a part of nothing like that. And it almost didn’t happen, which is the crazy thing. This record could be the biggest record of my career—and to date, it is. It’s the highest on the charts of anything that I've done.
“If everything goes right, I should get co-exec on this album. I was there from day one. It’s crazy seeing this kid go from high school with essentially one song on SoundCloud and now he’s touring in Europe. I love that. I’m happy that I can help him, and have him help me, too. In his own right, he’s a genius. He writes all this stuff so quick. Say for instance I got three different beats, he can put one song and just change the melody of the record—or the key—to fit whatever beat. I saw that early in him.
“That’s how it came about. [My homie] Nick in my ear, ‘yo, check this guy out.’ Open the text. Man, it changed my whole life.”