T2 To the Max Drake

We interviewed T2, the UK producer sampled on DJ Khaled and Drake's new single "To The Max"

Earlier this week, DJ Khaled and Drake finally shared their much-anticipated collaboration “To The Max”. Set to appear on Khaled’s upcoming album, GRATEFUL, due June 23, “To The Max” is already heating up the airwaves. While Drake and Khaled keep the chemistry going on their latest collaboration, it was hard to miss the classic vocal sample laced behind the Jersey club-style beat. As you’ve probably noticed, UK music fans have been going wild for the past week over Drake and DJ Khaled’s use of bassline anthem “Heartbroken”.

Released 10 years ago, the track, which featured vocals from Jodie Aysha, was one of the standout hits of 2007 and one of the totemic smashes of the genre’s heyday. And it’s now become Drake’s latest British co-sign, since featuring Kyla on “One Dance”, jumping on a remix of Dave’s “Wanna Know” and featuring a bevy of UK artists on his More Life project.

Producer and DJ T2 is the mastermind behind “Heartbroken.” “When I got the call that they were interested in sampling “Heartbroken” I was excited”, he says speaking on his reaction to Drake and DJ Khaled reaching out to sample the record. “Because I respect DJ Khaled's grind and I think Drake will go down in history as one of the most consistent artists ever.” In an unimaginable busy period, T2 took some time out to speak with MOBO about his initial thoughts on “To The Max”, the success of “Heartbroken”, the story behind how the record came about and his future plans. 

How has it been ever since “To The Max” came out?

Since "To The Max" dropped it has been crazy. My phone has been ringing non-stop ever since, from people that want to do business and to "friends" coming out of the woodwork. It was a trending topic on Twitter that DJ Khaled and Drake had sampled me, so that’s good for my friend since we have a single dropping next week.

You mentioned in an interview with The Fader that you weren’t aware the track was going to be released.  Can you tell us a bit more about who and how you were approached regarding the single?

I wasn’t aware the track was going to come out because I was under the impression they were no longer using the “Heartbroken” sample. Also, the song title changed to "We Lit" at one point, initially.

What was going through your mind when you got the initial call that they were interested in sampling “Heartbroken”? 

When I got the call that they were interested in sampling the record, I was excited because I respect DJ Khaled's grind and I think Drake will go down in history as one of the most consistent artists ever. I rate Drake's music, so I was gassed.

When you first heard “To The Max,” what was your initial reaction? Were you a fan of how it turned out?

They played it down the phone a few weeks prior but my location at the time had bad reception, so I could barely hear it. The call cost me 30 quid too, so I was kind of pissed [laughs].

Have you spoken to Jodie Aysha since the record dropped? How does she feel about the track?

I haven’t spoken to Jodie since the record dropped, so I don’t know how she feels about it. But if I was her, I would be happy because that’s made her relevant again and she can capitalise on it to get some music done with bigger people.

Drake’s come under fire in past, with some questioning his intentions when it comes to him sampling and featuring UK and Dancehall artists on his records. In your experience, do you feel that his intentions are genuine and a good thing in regards to putting a spotlight on British music and acts in particular?

I think Drake's intentions are pure when taking inspiration from global music. He has always been a fan of UK culture because Toronto culture is the mirror image, just with a slight twist.  So he gets the UK movement more than your average American artist.

It’s crazy to believe that “Heartbroken” was released 10 years ago. Why do you think the record continues to resonate with new audiences?

Yeah, the fact it’s still relevant is beyond me. I will be honest, I did not think for a second the song would make it this far.

Why do you say that?

Because of the circumstances I made it under. I was not established and I was just a young teenager trying to make music. At the time, it was just my friends and the people in my city that would rate me. I didn’t not make [Heartbroken] with the intention of making a "hit" record, and even after I made it, I did not even think it would ever get played on radio. 

You’ve worked with artists like Dizzee Rascal, Craig David and Rebecca Ferguson in the past. Are there any new artists that you would like to get in the studio with at the moment?

I would like to get in the studio with Jorja Smith and I’m a huge fan of Drake also. I have a beat put down for him and it won’t be what people expect because I have a lot to offer on the production front. Yeah, there’s too much more to mention. 

Connect with T2: @t2bassline // SoundCloud


Adenike Gboyega