One of the most respected architects of Atlanta’s trap sound, Zaytoven, is in even greater demand these days. As one of the producers responsible for helping Gucci Mane transition back into the mainstream last year, Zay has been catching the attention of new listeners.
Now, we officially know one of those fans is none other than JAY Z. After teasing fans with an Instagram photo during the summer of 2016, the Bay Area transplant revealed that Hov requested some of hew beats during a impromptu house call.
What’s so crazy is I always looked at Jay Z and guys on the caliber of Jay Z like they just the big dogs. I didn’t think they listen to my music or even know who I am. I was in L.A. in a meeting with [veteran publishing executive] Big Jon and he was like, ‘Me and Jay was just talking about you.’ So he text him and [Jay Z] said, ‘You have Zaytoven over there? Can he come to the house?’ And I’m like, What? For real?
This is me having no idea that he even cared about my music. First thing [Jay Z] said [to Big Jon], ‘Tell him when he come over, make sure he bring them beats with them strings and pianos in it.’ So that means he’s paying attention to what I’m doing. I feel like I’ve been behind the scenes, making music all this time but I’ve been making it just to satisfy my demographic.
I didn’t know how far it was reaching. So when Jay Z invited me to his house and told me what type of beats he wanted, it opened my mind up to be like, ‘My music is reaching everybody and touching people in a certain way.’ There’s a distinct something when they hear my music. I feel like [the collaboration] is gonna be for both of [our projects]. I know it’s going to be a trophy for me.
In later 2016, Zay stopped by the VIBE offices for an exclusive Facebool Live interview.