Exclusive: Ryan Trey Reflects on New Deluxe Album Release and Creative Journey


Emerging R&B artist Ryan Trey doubled down in March with the release of the deluxe version of his stellar November 2023 album, STREETS SAY YOU MISS ME. The expanded edition features new tracks that delve into the unexpected twists and turns of Ryan’s early twenties, offering a lyrical narrative of his personal journey.

The deluxe version of “STREETS SAY YOU MISS ME” showcases Ryan Trey’s growth as an artist and his ability to connect with listeners through his music. The new tracks add depth to the album’s themes, exploring themes of love, loss, and self-discovery.

In an exclusive conversation with The Source, Ryan Trey opened up about the success of the album and his creative process. He shared insights into how he feels about releasing his work to the world and the impact it has had on him personally.


Congratulations on releasing the deluxe edition of your debut album, Streets Say You Still Miss Me! How does it feel to have this project out in the world, especially with the bonus tracks?

Ryan Trey: It feels really good! That was a project that I really worked hard on. I think it’s my most complete body of work. It’s a project I came to Atlanta to do to really incorporate that collaborative effort that Atlanta has as far as producers working together and artists working together. I feel like that’s something you don’t get anywhere else. This is the most features I’ve ever had on my project, so it’s dope. In terms of the Deluxe, there were two long-awaited songs that were leaked: “Reset” and “Ridin 4 U,” so I feel like my fans were super excited about hearing the actual mixed versions of those records in full.

The trailer for Streets Say You Still Miss Me gave fans a glimpse into the emotional journey of the album. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the visuals and the message you wanted to convey?

The trailer represented me being at odds with my best friend in my life. It starts off with me being with a girl next to me, and then me being in that same place without her. That’s kind of how Atlanta was for both of us. We were both in Atlanta, and we went through some things, and I ended up having to finish that project in a place we both came to damn near together. The symbolism of a female figure starting off in the trailer and disappearing signifies that situation. That’s where that trailer comes from.

Could you share with us the creative process behind the project and the themes of the album?

The album’s theme was about my experience going through a breakup with someone I was super close with, and it was all about us being at odds for the first time. It almost felt like we were just going to war with each other about internal things within the relationship as far as my loyalty and her being anxious about certain environments I’m in as an artist and all those types of things, so we ended up breaking up. We were going through a rough patch, hearing things about each other while we were both outside trying to get over each other. That’s where the title ‘Streets Say You Miss Me’ comes from, because even though we were both trying to move on, everyone else was saying we still miss each other. I always also say that to me, this project was a bunch of excuses because I still feel like, as the guy, I was wrong in a lot of areas, but that kind of goes into my next project. The next project is more mature. But all in all, it was just an emotional battle with someone close to me, and that’s where the title draws inspiration from.

Since its release in November 2023, Streets Say You Still Miss Me has garnered over 9.8 million total streams. What has been the most rewarding aspect of seeing your music resonate with listeners on such a large scale?

It’s two things! When people DM me and message me saying that certain records helped them understand certain situations, whether it’s about me as an artist or their personal relationship. When guys see me and they’re like, “This is exactly how I was feeling,” or girls see me and say, “You were actually honest about this on this record,“ I like those responses. Also the live performances. Hearing people sing your songs back to you live means they feel them emotionally more than just listening to them. I think that’s dope.

The album features collaborations with other artists, such as Mariah The Scientist on “Ain’t Even Friends.” How do these collaborations enhance the overall narrative and sound of the album?

I felt, specifically with Mariah, that this album wouldn’t have been complete without a woman’s perspective. I didn’t want to masculate it too much to the point where it’s just my side of things, so I felt like having a woman on the song who’s probably also been through heartbreak and has the best perspective on how women go about those situations made the song what it is. It certainly wouldn’t have been complete without her, and she did the track justice for sure.

Your singles “More Than Sorry” and “30 Floors Up” have been particularly well-received. Can you walk us through the creative process behind these tracks and what they mean to you personally?

“MORE THAN SORRY” is probably the most apologetic record I’ve done next to “REDWING DRIVE” that’s on the album. “MORE THAN SORRY” is me really just venting about not being the best boyfriend at the time but trying to be now. “30 Floors Up” is more of a record about turning your girl up, exploring the sexual side of things as far as feeling that type of way towards the person you like, and spending that quality time with them. Those are two emotions I was able to hit on the album that I felt like were needed. 

Streets Say You Still Miss Me touches on themes of love, heartbreak, and self-discovery. How much of your own experiences and emotions did you pour into this album?

I poured all my own experiences and emotions into the album. I think an important lesson I’ve learned is to not take advice from other people who’ve been through heartbreak because everyone’s situation is unique. For example, If you are trying to get your girl back or something, you can’t go ask your guy friends for advice that have never had a serious relationship or are currently enjoying their single life. They’re ultimately going to give you their perspective based on that. You also have girls that will maybe tell you that you’ll never be able to mend a relationship due to their own experiences with heartbreak. When I was getting both of those sides, neither of those things happened. I ended up getting a girl back, working it out and even going through more stuff, so it’s just so unique to my own experiences. I always tell people, you just have to go through it.

Looking ahead, what can fans expect from you in terms of future projects or collaborations? Are there any new directions you’re excited to explore in your music?

I’m just chasing the 18-year-old me again in this next on this next album. I feel like ‘STREETS SAY YOU STILL MISS ME’ is a great album, but it narrates the peak of guys making excuses. It was an album that spoke to me taking accountability for messing up but also acknowledging the mistakes of the other person. The direction I’m working on now is taking full responsibility, and it’s just a really sweet album. I keep telling people I’m in my Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez era, like my ‘Journals’ era where I’m just trying to reset and get my inner child back — that middle school, high school type of love. Not pointing a finger or anything but just straight boyfriend mode, releasing that toxic energy.  I feel like that’s what’s missing in the game right now, so that’s the lane I’m about to go down.