“There’s power in being mysterious,” Vory tells HollywoodLife. That power can be found on Lost Souls, the new project from one of hip-hop’s fastest-rising stars. Having worked with such acts as Kanye “Ye” West (“GodBreathed”), Fivio Foreign (“Changed On Me”), and Meek Mill (who signed Vory to his Dream Chasers record label, in conjunction with Roc Nation), Vory’s new project sees him step into the spotlight while keeping a shadow over his face. Appearing with half his visage covered, Vory shares in an EXCLUSIVE interview why he stays in disguise.
“People will be more interested in things they can’t figure out,” he tells HollywoodLife. “That’s like me, I would be more interested – if I shoot my shot to a girl in her DM, right, and she reply, and then I shoot my shot at another girl, and she leaves me on seen, I would be more interested in the girl that leaves me on seen than the one who replied.”
“The mysteriousness of it makes people more interested,” he adds. “Who is this guy?’ Nobody knows nothing besides he was a writer, and he knows a lot of people. That’s it. So I feel like it’s the mysteriousness.”
With Lost Souls, Vory etches his name in the history alongside rappers who wore physical masks (MF Doom, RMR) or adopted personas (Dr. Octagon, Bobby Digital, Captain Murphy) as part of their expression. But, Vory tells HollywoodLife that this tenure behind the mask “has its time limit, eventually, and I know that.”
In the following EXCLUSIVE interview, Vory talks about the best advice he’s ever received and who gave it to him. He also explains the hardest challenge in putting together his ‘vulnerable’ new album and why he’s always a “shadow person.”
HollywoodLife: What is the overall vibe or attitude on Lost Souls?
Vory: Vulnerable and no regret, to be honest. I wouldn’t say sympathy because I would say I don’t really feel sorry for anything I did.
In an earlier interview, you described your focus as building a solid discography. What would you say has been the hardest part in creating this album to be that strong entry?
Puzzling it together is the hardest part, for real, because you feel like you got it together, and then you sit with it, and you don’t feel it. Then, you gotta go back and maybe change a record or two, or you feel like, ‘This fits better.’ So I feel like puzzling it to make it a story from the beginning to the end – it’s like the hardest challenge.
Millions have heard your work on some big songs by Bryson Tiller (“Don’t”), The Carters (“Friends”), Drake (“Mob Ties”), and more. Was there ever a moment when you thought about stepping back and being strictly a songwriter? Or was your focus always on being the one in the spotlight?
I wanted to be a star, but when I think about the stuff I see stars go through, I’m like, ‘Man, I don’t know.’ But I’ve always been like a shadow person. I like to shadow.
I was just talking about this to my homegirl the other day. I had gotten a text from Lil Baby, and he was telling me, ‘Bro, you gotta pop out, man’ cause he’s like, ‘Bro, you a star. People are frightened for you to pop out because you’re so talented. So, when they see you don’t wanna pop out already, it’s easier for them to tuck you in the shadows.’ He was just like, ‘You gotta pop out. You need to.’
You’ve got some good friends guiding you along your journey — Meek Mill, Kanye, etc. Was there ever a moment when you didn’t take someone’s advice and wish you did?
All the time. I always gotta learn the hard way, I feel like. That’s the only way I take it for real. Like, I’ll listen and don’t really take heed to it. I’m still the type of person that you’ll tell me, ‘Yo, that stove is hot, don’t touch it,’ and I gotta touch it to burn myself to know that it’s hot.
What was the best advice you’ve gotten, and who did you get it from?
Drake and the advice was to never take advice.
In a couple of interviews, you’ve said that you “stay more in a bubble” and that you live through Instagram videos or living through the folks that go out with you on the road. How do you think this perspective has influenced your music?
I don’t think it has yet, to be honest, because I haven’t really traveled that much right now. We’ve been locked down. I think it will, though, eventually. Like now, I’m trying to get more comfortable speaking to people, going out, and doing new experiences. We got things to do, the schedule is getting busy. I think it will then, for sure. But I don’t feel like it has – I still live through Instagram videos and stuff.
You recently shared a meme of Bane from The Dark Night Rises saying, “no one cared who I was until I put on the mask.” Why do you think a mask still has that power, especially after these COVID years?
Because there’s power in being mysterious. People will be more interested in things they can’t figure out. That’s like me, I would be more interested – if I shoot my shot to a girl in her DM, right, and she reply, and then I shoot my shot at another girl, and she leaves me on seen, I would be more interested in the girl that leaves me on seen than the one who replied.
My mind would go to ‘Why did you leave me on seen? Do we know a mutual? Have I messed with one of your friends before, and I don’t know?’
The mysteriousness of it makes people more interested. Who is this guy? Nobody knows nothing besides he was a writer, and he knows a lot of people. That’s it. So I feel like it’s the mysteriousness. But it has its time limit, eventually, and I know that.