Much like The Weeknd when he was first introduced to the masses in 2011, PartyNextDoor has opted to remain somewhat of a mystery as his name grew over the last two years. Though he’s made public appearances at concerts and does maintain a social media presence, he’d yet to grant a formal interview until finally, FADER wooed him to be their cover guy for their April/May 2015 issue.
In the cover story, PND discusses the comparisons to The Weeknd - which have come in abundance since his start, and just like my previous mention of him, it’s kind of clear to see why.
“People throw that [Weeknd comparison] over me because I came at a time where people assumed I was there to fill a void,” he says, alluding to The Weeknd’s departure from the OVO fold in 2012. “A lot of things that came out of Toronto were darker at the time. But me? I’m all about colors. I’ll flip samples where one’s a completely dark song and the next one is a complete sexual song. People think my whole thing is a dark thing, but I don’t.”
Here are 7 more things we learned about PND from the interview:
1. Producer Boi-1da helped him get his OVO deal:
[Oliver El-Khatib] first received Party’s music from frequent Drake producer Boi-1da, who sent some songs over from an email address El-Khatib didn’t recognize at first. “I’ll just listen to anything,” El-Khatib says. “I give my email address to anybody. I was getting these emails from a random address, and I started listening, and it was crazy. So I hit back like, ‘Send me more, I need to hear more,’ because that’s how I gauge how consistent it is. Is it two flukes? Or is this like a sound, is this cohesive? He kept sending me more, and I started to get really into it and playing it for 40 and for the boy.”
“Oliver called me back in the morning,” Boi-1da remembers. “When you get a call from Oliver, it’s serious. Then Drake hit me back like two days later, like, ‘Yo, that Party kid’s nice!'” Party says his first meeting with the OVO camp took place in the back of El-Khatib’s Range Rover, “on some random street” in Toronto.
2. Party was a church boy back home in Canada:
As a vocalist, Party came up in the church, which he attended with his mom, who also sang. When he joined the choir as a preteen, he was so advanced for his age that he was bumped up to the program’s senior group.
3. At 21 (nearing 22,) he’s a social media kid:
“I know how to use computers. I was one of those guys on Myspace who had one of those fake hit counters.”
4. He was first discovered on MySpace:
Eventually, Party was discovered on Myspace, by a manager. He left Mississauga at 17, for L.A., where nearly all of his living expenses there were paid for by the manager. “My mom was giving me 50 bucks every two weeks to pitch in on groceries,” he remembers.
5. Smoking weed helped get him to be the writer he is today:
“I think too much, which is a blessing and a curse. I was so against smoking weed cause I always wanted to be in control, but my friend convinced me to smoke weed one day. And as soon as I smoked weed, that’s when I started writing like that.”
6. His name was inspired by his production side:
He took the name PARTYNEXTDOOR from a production filter in the Fruity Loops program, one he thought sounded closest to whichever one 40 used.
7. He doesn’t do selfies because #BitchesBeCrazy:
When a group of petite girls asks to take a selfie with Party, he politely explains his no-selfie rule, instituted after some photos taken with a girl from Miami landed him on the gossip site Baller Alert, in a blog post detailing a fabricated relationship.
Bonus: He refused to comment on Kehlani, whom he is rumored to be seeing and is allegedly the inspiration behind “Girl From Oakland.”
Read the full interview over at FADER.