James 'Keyz' Foye

Listen to the episode ⏱ duration 46:19 | date: Tuesday November 12, 2019
- The Big Break, 12/11/2019 -

James Foye, better known as Keyz, is part of the Grammy winning production duo The Upperclassmen. In the early years of high school James was making beats and immersing himself in music. His talent did not go unnoticed either- receiving a Grammy Nomination before graduating from college.

How did James get traction so early on in his career? Being talented definitely helps, but if you ask him, it’s all about networking. Meeting people and building connections are critical parts to the music industry, and as James network grew, so did his success. Culminating in a Grammy win last year for his work on the Cardi B album Invasion of Privacy.

We sat down with James to talk about his journey and get some advice, on this episode of the Big Break.

Follow James on Instagram and Twitter

Show Notes

1:30Growing up in Buffalo, NY

2:41So you were interested in music even in highschool?

4:04What were you learning while you were in college studying music?

6:30Learning from the first placements

7:01Let’s Talk by Omarion, My Man by Meek Mill

7:49Wickedest Style by Sean Paul and getting a Grammy Nomination


9:19Did you have a collection of tracks already logged that you would show people?

10:45After graduating

12:47How did you network?

15:29What happened after the Grammy nomination?

16:22Working, moving, and traveling

17:33Bickenhead by Cardi B and winning a Grammy

18:50After your successes did you get affiliated with a Publisher or Label?

22:15Are you guys actively looking for writers to sign for UCMG?

23:38What’s it like shifting your work to from creative to managing people?

26:32What’s your relationship like with Ayo?

29:25Was there ever a time where you doubted pursuing music as a career?

34:20Trusting the process

35:49“I have such a passion for music, that even if I wasn’t getting paid I’d still be doing it.”

36:46Do you discuss the business and how it works with writers and producers you bring on?

38:58What’s coming up for you guys in the next few years?

41:15“Don’t get so caught up in being successful that you miss out on life.”

42:10What does that moment of success look like to you?

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