Zaytoven, the longtime producer for Gucci Mane and much of Atlanta trap, wears two different hats these days. Most know the Atlanta native for his bass-heavy production for some of hip-hops's biggest acts like Gucci Mane, Soulja Boy, Future, Nicki Minaj, Rocko, Drake, E-40, Chief Keef and most recently Migos. But the role he's most recently adopted is movie director. In 2013, Zaytoven wrote, directed and starred in his first movie, entitled Birds Of A Feather. With the help of Al Nuke—a film director and actor from Detroit—Birds Of A Feather was met with positive reviews. Now with Christmas just around the corner, the “Icy” producer is set to release a new comedy film.

"The movie is called Finesse," Zaytoven told XXL back in June. "It’s just gaining something from somebody by not telling someone the whole truth to get what you want out of them. The music business a lot of times has a big finesse mentality to it. That’s what made me come up with the movie." XXL got Zaytoven back on the phone last week to discuss his upcoming movie Finesse, why he chose to drop it on Christmas and finding inspiration in the shady side of the Atlanta music scene. —Emmanuel C.M.

XXL: Tell me about the movie. Who's the main character?
Zaytoven: That's me; he works at an entertainment company called TJ Enterprises that sell shows and bookings and beats and stuff like that. TJ is my boss but he ends up getting locked up and sent to jail. He's a con artist and does a lot of janky business. We decide to take over the company and proceed to do the same stuff he was doing.

Who's playing who?
The main character is Al Nuke, he plays TJ and that's the guy doing the finessin' and janky business. I play a guy name Quick. I’m also TJ too because I end up taking TJ's place. My character changes his name to TJ.

Zaytoven movie finesse

What do you mean by finessin'?
Finessin' is really taking advantage of somebody or selling them a dream to get financial gaining from them. I think it's moreso a gift. You got to be really cold-hearted. [Laughs] And not care about what's going on. You really don't care about repercussions. Its more of a gift; it's a characteristic you got to have. It's been in the culture as long as I’ve been in the music business. Back when Gucci and I were making music. It's been around for a long time.

Your character is a good guy turned bad?
Somewhat. He saw an opportunity. He wasn't really a good guy since he was helping TJ do the shady shit; my character just seen an opportunity to take finessin' to a different level. So he did.

What was the inspiration behind the movie?
Atlanta, Georgia. The music business in Atlanta, the whole music business in general, is really selling dreams. Someone can tell you, "You sing well, you rap well." As long as you spending money or really giving somebody some money, they are going to tell you you’re good and to keep you coming. They will do whatever to keep selling your dreams. That’s what really inspired the movie.

Do you see that often?
I really have seen it over and over again in the music business. I just seen it happen so many times, that's what really inspired me.

How long did it take to write the script?
Well, a buddy and I wrote it over a couple of months; just the general stuff we saw and ideas. It took like six months. This was after Birds Of A FeatherBirds Of A Feather was my first time trying to get into movies. I didn’t know how well it was going to do but when I seen how it was received well, I said, I need to do another one. This time I wanted it funny. Anything I do I want to keep it entertaining. So I went straight to the finesse aspect of the industry. It's funny, we really laugh and get a kick out of that. Just seeing that happen all the time.

Was making movies something you always wanted to do?
It wasn’t anything I never wanted to do. When I met My buddy Al Nuke, when I saw him act in his own movie, direct in his own movie, just seeing him inspired me to want to do it. I felt like, I got somebody around that can help me do it.

Did people come to you and say, "You’re a producer, why are you making movies?"
Nope. People really applauded it. They applauded me expanding my brand and getting my face on the screen. Being a producer, people don’t know what you look like or see you as much. Me doing the movies is really just branding my identity.

Where was the movie shot?
It was shot in Atlanta and took us like a month to shoot it. All over Atlanta. We used an office out in Roswell, different clubs in Atlanta, the studio in downtown Atlanta, Patchwork Studios, airports, and just different places.

Visually, did you have something in mind? 
Janky Promoters with Ice Cube and Mike Epps.

You have a lot of names in the movie—Trinidad Jame$, Migos, DJ Scream—what are their roles?
Migos is one of the groups that get finessed. DJ Scream is actually the guy that finesses my character out of his money. We use his big DJ conference that he does every year to get all our money back. Trinidad Jame$ is a record executive that comes and makes everything worthwhile. He comes and uses an artist of ours. Everybody did a really good job.

You're dropping it on Christmas?
I wanted to release it at the end of the year. The movie felt colorful to me so I wanted to release it on Christmas. I'm doing one [movie] every year. Until it get to two every year. It's fun. I really enjoy making movies. I don’t look at it as work.

What's the difference between producer Zaytoven and movie director Zaytoven?
It’s really no different. I enjoy everything that I do so much, it's fun at the end of the day. Doing the movie is a ball, making music is a ball. I’m just enjoying it.

You put together the score for the movie, correct?
Yeah. It's a lot of exclusive content from a lot of artists that [are] in the movie and from others as well. We got Trinidad Jame$ and Young Thug exclusives. We got maybe four new Migos tracks. Shy Glizzy, Johnny Cinco, Young Dro, Yung LA. We got a lot.

What other things you got in the works?
Music-wise, I did a track with Nicki Minaj for her album. It’s called "Want Some More." I have the Usher single that should be dropping. It’s Usher featuring Migos, that’s going to shake up everything. [They linked] through me. Usher asked for some production for his new project so I sent him the music I send to the rappers. Once they got the song written, they said, "We got to get Migos on here." I called Migos and it was a no-brainer. They jumped right on it.

What do Migos have in store for the future?
They are working on their debut album. That's going to be special. I don’t know too much info on their album but I’m going to be all over that. Migos and I are like peanut butter and jelly, man. Every time they come out with a project you see I have a majority of the production. They're getting better and better.