Don Toliver joins Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1 to discuss his new album ‘Life of a DON’. He tells Apple Music about being inspired by “Don-like” figures who have shaped his life and explains that he works best in an intimate studio. He also reminisces on making ‘Flocky Flocky’ with Travis Scott, collaborating with Baby Keem, Kali Uchis, Chase B, and Mustard, shares why he’s ecstatic to tour, and says that he originally wrote ‘No Photos’ for the late Pop Smoke.
Video | Don Toliver tells Apple Music about new album ‘Life of a DON’, collaborating with Travis Scott, Baby Keem, and Kali Uchis, being ecstatic to tour, and more
Don Toliver tells Apple Music about making ‘Flocky Flocky’ with Travis Scott
‘Flocky Flocky’, man. It was just one regular studio recording day I had, and randomly… Trav rarely comes. Usually we’ll do something at the office, or I might pull up to his house or something like that, but he randomly came to my session and just pulled up on me. And I already had that record. I had just did the record before he walked in, and he pulled up and instantly laid his verse down, and I was just happy, man. I was happy he pulled up to the session, period. So like seeing him get on the mic and doing that verse it was exciting, bro.
Don Toliver tells Apple Music about working with Baby Keem
Don Toliver: I just randomly hit him up, reached out to him, and just let him know I wanted to work. I pulled up on him one day in LA. We did the record on his album, ‘Melodic Blue Cocoa’. That’s the one I’m on with him. I did that and from there we just kicked it off, you know what I’m saying? There’s not too many people out here in the industry that I really click with or understand too well. He’s a great guy.
Ebro Darden: Have you ever thought about somebody of your talent level, seems like the type who could collab with a lot of people. You already have, but I mean in an album construct of like, doing a joint album. Is Baby Keem somebody like that, that you could really be like, yo, we could do 10 records?
Don Toliver: Oh no, facts, facts. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’d be dangerous.
Don Toliver tells Apple Music about ‘Drugs N Hella Melodies’ featuring Kali Uchis
Don Toliver: She has hella melodies and to be honest, it’s like the whole title, the whole name of the title with “drugs that Hella Melodies”, it’s just stemmed off of music being like a certain type of serotonin. And some people say that serotonin, happiness, is a drug in some circumstances. So that’s kind where… that’s that natural high bro. And it’s exactly what I felt when I hit a beat. Exactly how I feel when I hear her tone and her voice on tracks. And it’s serotonin for me, so…
Ebro Darden: Y’all look happy in that bathtub. In the video.
Don Toliver: Yeah. It was lovely.
Don Toliver tells Apple Music he’s ecstatic to tour and says he originally wrote ‘No Photos’ for Pop Smoke
When you drop an album, when you drop a tour, usually you would say, I’m dropping my album on this day. And two weeks later you go on tour. But that wasn’t the case with this. I’m dropping my album this Friday, and I’ve been on tour for at least, I been did 12 days out here, right? And the tour’s called Life of a Don tour, but what people fail to remember is that I never toured Heaven to Hell. I never toured Donny Womack. So these fans that are dying to just see me and dying to spend time with me and dying to see what I have to offer on stage, are there for everything. Donny Womack, Heaven to Hell. And it so happens that I’m actually going to drop a new album on the tour. So I’m very happy about that and I think it’s crazy man. I’m ecstatic, man.
Ebro Darden: What’s one of the biggest songs while you’re on stage?
Don Toliver: I want to say ‘No Photos’, man. I just turn into a whole another animal when it drop. I turn into a whole another human being when that song drops. Actually, yeah, man. Crazy story about ‘No Photos’, I was actually trying to write that for Pop Smoke, man, and I never got to go to the recording shoot that he, I think he held it in Cancun or something for a second. I forgot where he was at. But I written that for Pop Smoke man in the hopes that he’d either get on it or take it and do whatever he wanted to do with it. So that song, really, it means a lot, man. And it’s definitely one of my most… It’s like a real turn up track. Real deal turn up.
Don Toliver tells Apple Music about album opener ‘XSCAPE’ and his unreleased collaborative album with Chase B
So me and chase B, we were working on a collaborative album together, called ‘Escapism’, and we couldn’t get it to wherever we were trying to take it. So it just ended up being Chase’s solo project. But what I did take from it was ‘XSCAPE’. This is like one of the few times where I liked the process of how beat making is…it was just the one time where I just implemented exactly what I wanted on the song. And it was great. Chase actually was the one who did that, the beat, the beat placement, the 808 placement for me. And he threw in that, Yeah sound too. So I was just happy that for one time I was able to articulate–get my production on.
Don Toliver tells Apple Music about making an LA track with Mustard
I currently live in LA right now. I’ve been here for at least about a year and some change. And I just love the culture. I love the vibe I get from my friends and some of the people that I know from there, I just wanted to come with my own little flavor to where I was already at. So I love it, man. Mustard is a great guy. We got more crazy hits coming.
Don Toliver tells Apple Music about ‘After Party’, the first song he recorded For Travis Scott
It’s crazy cause that’s the very first song. So, when Travis flew me out to Hawaii for the Astroworld recording camp, that was the very first song I did to Sonny Digital. I didn’t even know Sonny, Sonny Digital, didn’t even know who I was. Very first song we pulled up, I did real rap.