Cheers to the Best Memories

dvsn & Ty Dolla $ign

Cheers to the Best Memories

“We grew up on ’90s R&B, so I feel like it's in all of us,” Ty Dolla $ign tells Apple Music, capturing the inspiration behind and bedrock of Cheers to the Best Memories, a collaborative album between the LA singer and Toronto duo dvsn. It's a dream pairing for R&B fans that was born of mutual fandom and a chance meeting at a party. From there, it was a labor of love that found the trio bouncing ideas off each other on a tour bus before they even knew a project would exist. “One song turned into another song which turned into another song, and we looked up and realized we're sitting on a bunch of records together,” recalls Daniel Daley of dvsn, adding that “Dangerous City,” which landed on dvsn's third album, was a result of those sessions. “We locked in and just had fun, not overthinking.”
There’s a natural synergy that comes out in the tracks here. It sounds, in turns, like all three artists doing what they do best and finding a shared language—a rare collaboration between stars that seems truly unforced. But more than anything, it’s feel-good music that comes at a time when there’s not always much worth feeling good about. “We really wanted people to appreciate the moment and just take it for what it is and be willing to create your own memories,” producer Nineteen85 says. “It's been a crazy couple of years for the whole world, and even when we were sitting in the studio, that was like the one theme that kept coming back up—how do we just make it about making things feel special again, making things feel better than what we've been going through?”
To answer that question, they looked to the past, injecting healthy doses of nostalgia—those sexy-smooth sounds of ’90s R&B and the carefree sentiment they evoke—from start to finish. The sonic DNA of that era runs through the veins of both Ty and dvsn’s music, but what makes both acts special is the way they remake it in their own unique styles. Where dvsn is fluent in gospel tricks, Ty seamlessly builds hip-hop influences into his approach. Together, throughout all of Cheers to the Best Memories, they reveal what they're molded by but also how they've molded themselves—and, by extension, much of the sound of today's R&B. Below, they share the stories behind each of the songs.
“Memories” Ty Dolla $ign: “We were just in the studio going through everything and trying to pick the first song. [Nineteen]85 pulled out the laptop, and we came across this beat that 40 sent a while ago and Daniel always loved it. I went in the booth, I went crazy, Daniel went in there and went crazy, and we have this song, which is one of my favorites.”
“Don’t Say a Word” Daniel Daley: “That's a perfect example of where you can hear that '90s influence. That's the embodiment of 'if it doesn't feel like '90s love, '90s R&B, I don't want it.' That was that moment for us. We were always talking about different terms that we use—shit we say in Toronto and shit we say out in LA. And one thing that we always say out here is 'don't say a word,' like, 'I got this.' And we kind of flipped that whole meaning: don't say a word, but also just the idea of 'this is our secret and we don't really have to tell anybody about what we're doing behind closed doors.'”
“Can You Take It (Interlude)” Daley: “That was actually just part of 'Don't Say a Word.' That's when 85 kind of took the alley-oop from 40, like, 'I have a crazy idea right here: What if we just flipped this whole beat?' That was originally all part of the same record, but then we realized, let's separate it so people can have a chance to just listen to each on their own. Ty was always a fan of how we always bring in the choirs and make them sing some reckless-ass shit, and that was the vibe for that.”
“Outside” Daley: “That line ‘We've been inside too long for me to be outside of you’ was just this line that I had been thinking about for a while, and Ty was like, 'Yeah, I know what to do with this.' And he just went in, and he's just so good at taking a drop of inspiration and turning it into a whole painting. So I would have probably sat on that line and overthought it and thought about it for another three months before I came out with something.”
“Can’t Tell” Nineteen85: “That's probably one of the earlier records that we worked on. I remember basically as soon as I played the beat, Daniel had that flow. I think that was instant. And then by the time Ty heard it, Ty basically just like followed the lead and bodied his verse, and then added YG at the end.” Daley: “YG definitely sent his verse in like this [release] week. [Ty: “It was literally like two days ago.”] Ty was like, ‘I'm telling you, YG is going to kill this shit.’ And he fuckin' bodied it, so shout-out to YG.”
“Somebody That You Don’t Know” Ty: “That was another one from the tour bus. Murda Beatz was also on that tour with us, so he came through with a pack and we started that song, and it sounded totally different. It was a total different tempo, totally different drums, everything. [Nineteen85: “We might we have to release that version.”] I ended up linking up with Rauw [Alejandro] in Atlanta at one of those Triller fights. So he ended up in our same box, and we chopped it up and then he came to LA and then we did that song and we did another song. He blessed us. [Guitarist] Jeff Gitty, he went crazy on that song, he's amazing, and Jermaine Dupri came back and did some drums on there.” Daley: “We were always trying to find the right way to bring the drums to life and nobody had nailed it exactly what we were thinking in our heads. Shout-out to Jermaine Dupri, definitely blessed us. He found that thing that we probably wouldn't have found without him.”
“Fight Club” Daley: “People don't realize how much work goes into being on tour. Besides the rehearsals, the shows, the meet-and-greets, the pictures, all the interactions, the interviews Ty's doing on the bus right before hopping out and doing a show, right after the show, he had another hosting at an after-party that he had to do. And while he was gone, I remember I just came up with that verse for 'Fight Club.' It was just the idea of how fights usually go. And then as a nod to the movie Fight Club, it's like, at the end, you realize a lot of times you're not really fighting someone else, you're fighting yourself.”
“Rude (Ty Dolla $ign Interlude)” Ty: “'Rude' was a Hitmaka special. That's what I like to call them, a lot of the songs I do with him. He just came through and blessed us with this, and I think I nailed it, and it is what it is, man. So shout-out to Hitmaka and everybody else involved with that song. It was an obvious choice.”
“Better Yet (dvsn Interlude)” Daley: “I'm going to blame 85 for people not hearing that one before, because that's a song and a beat that I've loved and that we've had for a minute. We just were always like, 'Where do we do it? When do we do it? Do we drop it on this? Do we drop it on that project?' And we just never did. And, you know, we played it for Ty. We definitely went right back into our original, our natural dvsn bag, our SEPT. 5TH bag, and just went all the way there with it. I think the real true dvsn fans are really gonna love that one.”
“Wedding Cake” Ty: “‘Wedding Cake’ was my homeboy Mike Moore, who's my drummer and my keyboardist on tour, he came with this beat. And as soon as he played it, I loved it. And then I looked over on the table and on the table we had this jar of flower and it was called 'Wedding Cake,' like the strain. And then automatically, I just started thinking of the hook and then we started coming up with it together, right there on the spot.” Daley: “Go and make up a reason to celebrate, you know? And there hasn't been any records like that. There hasn't been any record that has to play at the barbecue or at the wedding or whatever else in long time. And Ty—just the way his vocal sounded singing that hook, it was like a classic record before you even get into the verse. I love that record, I love that we end off with those kinds of vibes.”
“I Believed It” Ty: “That is probably my favorite song on the album. As soon as I heard the beat from 85, I wanted to add some shit to it. It just brought me to J Dilla vibes, like Madlib, Pete Rock, like real hip-hop shit. But if anybody knows like back in the day, my first first shit, Ty & Kory, that was like our whole swag—those types of beats and singing over them. And I just thought it would sound fire with me and Daniel's voice. And then on one of the off days, we went to LA and hooked up with Mac [Miller] at the Record Plant. And he hopped in the booth and went crazy, but we didn't love that verse. So with this Mac verse, he changed the whole joint on the next session we did, and then we had that record. So long live Mac and shout-out to his fam for helping clear the record super fast and his whole team and all of his fans for tapping in with us.”

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

Other Versions