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Travie McCoy: ‘Rough Water’ Is About My Past Relationships

Thu, December 12, 2013 3:46pm EDT by Emily Longeretta Add first Comment
Travie McCoy
Fueled by Ramen

Travie is back with his first solo hit since 2010 and it’s better than ever! The 32-year-old singer paired up with Jason Mraz for ‘Rough Water’ and then he told HollywoodLife.com exclusively all about the love story that inspired it all.

Travie McCoy started his career at a young age with Gym Class Heroes and has spent his fair share of time in the public eye. He talked to us all about his new single “Rough Water,” the past relationship that inspired it, and the advice he has for stars like Justin Beiber who are stuck in the middle of the limelight.

Travie McCoy Debuts ‘Rough Waters’

While Travis’ new album isn’t out yet, his new one will be Rough Waters and will come out sometime around Spring.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a concept album but I think theres a lot more introspective stuff and a lot more about me kind of digging deeper, emotionally,” he told me in an exclusive interview. “Lazarus was fun upbeat summertime album. I’m not saying this is dark, but it’s just emotional.”

Travie Talks Love, Bieber & Tattoos

Read the full interview below:

Your new song has a lot of love references in it. Why?

I was in a relationship with my ex-girlfriend who I’m still really good friends with and uh, the Titanic stuff, I put in for her, because that was a movie we watched together. I never gave it a real chance until we were bored and watched it and I really liked it! So yeah it’s kinda for her, but they made sense in the context of the song so it worked out. More or less, the song’s about me in past relationships. I have always avoided confrontation at all costs in arguments or disagreements, whether it be changing the subject or going in the other room while she cooled down. In this particular relationship, I valued it and I loved her so instead of avoiding it, I’d listen to her and in doing that, I learned a lot about myself and things that I need to work on to keep our relationship afloat. A lot of that is inside the song. I just played it for her, and now the relationship has dissolved as an intimate relationship into a friendship. When I played it for her, she cried.

What was it like working with Jason Mraz?

It was kind of a happy accident. I don’t like to make mistakes but I like happy accidents. He took it to another planet. When I heard his stuff, I was like, ‘holy shit. we gotta do something with this. It’s too good for the world not to hear.’ The label loved it, and the people have loved it. We didn’t meet until we shot the video and it was like we knew each other for years.

You’ve been in the public eye for partying, etc and have been open about it. How do you feel about Justin Bieber & other young stars going through that now?

A lot of time the public forget that were not superheroes. Were not X-Men, we’re human and we fault and we make mistakes and were not invincible. The only difference is that our lives are up for public conception. It’s sad that a lot of times, often things that were not too proud of become a spectacle. I feel for these youngest artists in the spotlight before their teens. You know as well I know, those are the years that we spend figuring things out. We kinda stick our feet in the water and test whether it’s too hot or not.

For people like Justin Bieber, it sucks because you get scrutinized for your f–k ups. I’ve always been pretty open about my shortcomings and things that I’ve considered faults and whatever, and I think that in doing that just as I learn from my mistakes, everybody who follows my life, can learn as well. That’s why I’m so open. I’ve had numerous occasions where people would come up to me after shows and be like, ‘Oh, I saw behind the music,’ or ‘This song really helped me get through tough times,’ and at the end of the day, that’s what I do it for – in hopes that it helps people. A ton of people are going through tthe things I’ve been through, so if I’m open, maybe I can make their lives easier.

Advice to young stars in the industry?

Best advice I can give to anyone right now is to stay as self sufficient as possible. Don’t rely on a label or a record deal. There are so many peoplel out there who are doing big things. You have people like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, that aren’t necessarily relying on major money or packaging. Why sacrifice your artistic integrity or even your art and the money you can make off your art, when you don’t necessarily need a middle man. Especially with technology and the resources that are available today that we didn’t have. In 1997 when Gym Class Heroes started, there was mp3.com, there wasn’t many musical outlets! And now there are so many – Soundcloud, Facebook, you know, where you can show the world your music. You have artists getting signed off their Facebook likes, or how many YouTube views they have. It’s not impossible to do it on your own.

Your career before GCH, you were an artist! Tell me about your tattoos!

Right now, I just got recently — I got a portrait of my dog in the inside of my right bicep. That’s probably my favorite today. I got it on Best Ink! It was a crazy experience because the guy who made it to the finals on the show was a kid that I grew up tattooing with. So when they flew me out, they were like, ‘Meet DJ Tambe,’ and I’m like, ‘Wait, DJ Tambe from Rochester, NY?’ I was like, ‘HOLY SH-T! ‘ Before Gym Class Heroes, I tattooed with him. He actually did my portrait of myself in second grade. I was an ugly kid.

For some reason, we don’t believe that! Check out the video for ‘Rough Water’ and stay tuned for new music from Travie!

— Emily Longeretta