Travie McCoy on Rough Water, Marrying Bruno Mars, Boffing Adam Levine, Killing Jason Mraz
There is no doubt that you've jammed out in your car to Travie McCoy's tunes. What can we say? The man and his music are pretty goddamn catchy.
You know him one of two ways. Perhaps from his days with Gym Class Heroes or maybe from his solo career, which took off in 2010. Since then, he has topped the charts with songs like "Billionaire" and "Stereo Heart." But he also tells Crossfade, "No, the band hasn't broken up. We are just exploring other options. Those guys are my family."
So before Travie takes over the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship this Saturday at Trump National Doral Miami, we chatted with the South Florida resident about everything, from Miami to his future music.
He even agreed to play a casual game of Marry, Boff, or Kill.
Crossfade: Travie McCoy, true or false: You are a resident of the Magic City?
Travie McCoy: Well, I am back and forth between Miami ... Well, Aventura, and New York.
Aventura! You're so classy.
[Laughs] Yeah, you know, South Beach is fun, but I've got to keep my distance. I don't want to get into too much trouble. So it's cool to have it at a safe distance.
What is it about Miami that you were like, "Yep, this is for me."
I really can't tell you. I went down probably seven years ago and I was working on a Gym Class Heroes record with a couple producers who were kind of well-known in Miami. I had only been to Miami a few times just for shows -- in and out. I never spent real time there, so I was kind of immersed. I was down there for, like, three weeks and there was just something about this place. And then I was like, "Forget it, I am making this happen." Here I am.
We don't question why you're here when there's an Arctic blizzard happening everywhere but Florida.
Yeah, for real. I grew up in Upstate New York my entire life, so it was like no question.
We're really excited for you to be performing at the Cadillac Championship, but you don't seem like much of a golfer. Do we have you wrong? Is Travie hitting the balls on his free time?
Here's the thing: My friends are super into golf, so growing up they'd drag me along. I was like, "Alright, I can deal with this as long as I get to drive the golf cart." I would tag along, just so I could rip the golf carts, you know what I mean? A couple of times I actually took the time to try to get into it, I'm just way too uncoordinated, way too coordinated. A lot of people don't know until they meet me in real life, but I'm six foot, five. So where it would probably give me an advantage, the ball is way too small. Yeah, I am way too far from that ball to make any magic happen.
I just try to stay as close to the bar car. That's where I really do well on the golf course.
I tell you what, I give super props to people who can actually control their shots. It's a really tough and intense sport and my hat is off to anyone who can actually focus.
Your cousin is Tyga. What did your moms feed you growing up? You should probably bottle that shit up.
We just grew up in a really musical household. For me, personally, my dad was a bass player, so there was constantly music being played. He didn't discriminate at all when it came to genres, he was listening to everything, from funk to soul. I mean I grew up listening to Curtis Mayfield, Earth, Wind & Fire, Guns N' Roses, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. So it was like this crazy musical gumbo that I was introduced to at a really young age.
I think it gave me the ability to not be closed-minded when it came to music. And when it came to making my own music, kind of having that open-mindedness bled over into what I did musically. You know, we didn't come out saying, "We're this kind of band or that kind of band." We said, "Let's just do what we do." When you label yourself, artists kind of drive themselves into a corner. And then when you try something different, your fans kind of persecute you for it. I never wanted that to happen, so we never tossed a label on ourselves.
When you grow up in a musical household, I can imagine when you come to your parents like, "I'm gonna be a musician," there's not a ton of hesitation.
Yeah, I gotta say, my dad wasn't really too stoked on the whole idea, because he took a stab at it when he was younger. And I guess being the papa bear, he was just looking out for his baby cub, which is understandable. But at the same time, once he realized how serious I was about it, he got behind me 100 percent. Having him back me up, there was no stopping me as far as pushing this thing. Even if it never really got anywhere, at least we gave it a try. I never thought in a million years that it would get this big. But I can't complain.
Your new song with Jason Mraz is maybe one of my favorites you've ever done. Can we expect new music from Mr. Travis is 2014?
Thank you! Yeah, I mean honestly, this past year, all I've been doing is cataloging and working in the studio. They say a record's never really done, you just have to know when to stop. I'm kind of at that point. At this time, I'm trying to do probably four or five more songs, and then sit down and pick the crème de la crème, and then put it out for public consumption.
So maybe an album in 2014?
Yeah! I'm actually shooting for summertime.
Oh, that's cool! You're definitely a summertime hit kind of man.
I am not sure that is what I set out to do, but that has just kind of happened naturally. It's great to have a single go big in the summer. People will tell me a song of mine reminds them of a big event that happened in their lives one summer. I love that.
You've done collaborations with all of my favorite artists, like Adam Levine, Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars. Now, with those three, let's play Marry, Boff, Kill.
I would probably marry Bruno, I have to say I would boff Adam and now I gotta kill somebody? Oh no, I just set myself up for that one. Yeah, it'd be with a play-knife, but I would kill Jason. Poor Jason.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.