Chingy Teams with 'Very Talented' Country Duo Meg and Tyler — Watch Music Video Premiere
"I call it a universal track — pop, country and hip hop at the same time, it’s a great track," Chingy tells PEOPLE of his new collaboration and accompanying dance with Meg and Tyler
The star, 40, is behind countless hits from the early aughts, including “One Call Away” and “Pullin’ Me Back.” He tells PEOPLE “The Woah Down,” which drops Friday, is an exciting mash-up of the trio’s hip hop, pop and country music backgrounds. The R&B singer says that after his cousin began working on a music project in Nashville alongside The Voice alum Meghan Linsey and her collaborator fiancé Tyler Cain, the song came about almost instantly.
“Somebody told Meg and Tyler that I was his cousin, so they said something to him and Stan was like, ‘You should go down to Nashville and just vibe with Meg and Tyler,'” the award-winner tells PEOPLE. “We ended up going to Nashville and that morning I had an idea in my head for a track. I had the beat in my mind, so when we got to Meg and Tyler’s, I told Tyler to let me get on the drum machine and let me lay this rhythm section down for the track. Then, Tyler played the guitar.”
PEOPLE has the exclusive premiere of “The Woah Down” music video which includes a tutorial for viewers to join in on the trio’s dancing fun shortly before the three-minute mark.
As for how they created the catchy title “The Woah Down,” Chingy recalls, “Meg was right there and she said something about ‘The Woah Down’ so we started working out the hook for the record. Then I went in the booth and laid my parts down. I didn’t even write them, I started rapping and that’s how the song came about.”
The “Balla Baby” rapper tells PEOPLE he enjoyed working with the recently engaged country stars. “Meg and Tyler, they’re great people — very talented individuals. Meg, she’s a great singer, songwriter. Tyler plays guitar, bass, piano and keys. He’s really talented and he can sing. It came together and now we have a nice record on our hands.”
While some fans may not have guessed Chingy could be interested in breaking into the country music genre, he says he’s staying true to his musical background even on the new jam. “I call it a little mixture of pop, country and hip-hop because when you listen to the track, nothing changed about me. When people hear it, you’re gonna know that’s Chingy. There’s nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to me and how I’m rapping. I call it a universal track. It’s like pop, country and hip-hop at the same time. It’s a great track.”
“I remember when I first came out, the record company wanted to market me urban, but my music instantly crossed over to mainstream,” he recalls. “When I make music, I don’t go into the studio with the mindset of ‘Today, I’m gonna make an urban track. Today, I’m gonna make a pop track.’ I go in the studio and create based on how I feel in that stage of life. I just put down what I’m feeling. However it comes out, that’s how it comes out, but somebody’s going to gravitate to it. I don’t really put a tag on my music when it comes to genres. I’m kind of a universal thinker, so I like for all walks of life to appreciate the art.”
Chingy, who has been passionate about making music since his youth, says that before the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to large gatherings, his fans would often still approach him and sing his past hits.
A few weeks ago, “I was getting some workout equipment and a guy came up to me in line and was singing ‘Right Thurr’ and ‘Holidae Inn’ and was saying how I’m one of his favorite artists,” he says. “I appreciate that because that’s why I do it. When you have those fans come up to you, that makes me feel good. That makes me feel proud that somebody’s actually taking to my music.”
Fans looking to sport Chingy’s apparel complete with some of his nostalgic song lines can purchase items from his official website.
Chingy says he feels even more honored is when a listener finds a deeper meaning within his music.
“‘Pullin Me Back’ featuring Tyrese was kind of an R&B track and ’till this day, people come up to me and say that song helped them with their relationship. When you hear people doing that and you think about it, it’s like a therapeutic type of music,” Chingy tells PEOPLE. “When it can help somebody’s relationship, when they listen to that record, that’s therapeutic and that’s why we do it. I do it because I want people to get something from it and for it to help. I don’t want it to destroy.”
He credits some of his originality to the era in which he was raised.
“Growing up with me doing music and coming up in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s on my grind and trying to make it, back then, the thing was being authentic, different and standing out,” he recalls. “Always coming up with catchy phrases and hooks, so that’s what I go by. When you hear those hooks and hear those things, I’m always trying to be catchy. I’m always trying to make something that soon as you hear it, you catch on to it.”
“The Woah Down” isn’t the only new project for the rapper. Although he’ll “still have the Chingy records that people can dance to,” he’ll be releasing his “conscious project” — the EP Crown Jewel — this summer.
“It’s called that because the crown jewel is what people call the third eye — the pineal gland, the thalamus up in there. I call it the first eye because it’s the eye that gave birth to the two physical eyes,” he says of his upcoming release. “That’s where the crown jewel aspect comes from, because I see with that eye so it’s going to be a little more substance.”
His EP will feature collaborations with Twista and Bobby Valentino, hip hop and R&B stars respectively.