We sat down with Tieks to talk about his brand new track, music, fashion and how he spends his time out of the studio.
Hey Tieks, thanks for talking to us at Boohoo Man today!
Thanks for having me!
So, how did you first get into music?
When I was 4 or 5. I had a dream around that age that I was in a studio recording a vocalist and tweaking what I think was a compressor. I woke up feeling so high that I knew whatever I was doing in that dream is what I want to do for a job and here we are. Bear in mind I had never been in or seen a studio at that point but I dreamt of one. The vocalist in the dream was Whitney Houston.
Who inspires you musically?
Good food, film, art, colours, people, nature… Everything is in music and music is in everything so for me, inspiration can come from anywhere.
Name three artists you had on your playlist growing up…
Daft Punk, Radiohead and Wu-Tang Clan.
Where was your first ever gig and how did it go?
Wu-Tang Clan at the Shepard Bush Empire. I was 13 years old and I was about to see my then idols perform. I was dressed head to toe in Army fatigues which was the thing back then. Basically, out of the 9 Wu-Tang members, only 4 turned up and the rest were ringers. The gig was terrible but I got my picture taken that ended up in Arena Magazine later that summer so every cloud. I guess my Army fatigues caught their eye…
You smashed the music scene back in 2015 with your chart hitting track Sunshine? What have you been up to since then?
I’ve been working on more music! I’m a perfectionist so it always takes me a little bit longer to release more TIEKS stuff. In the meantime, I’ve mixed records for Jax Jones and done remixes for the likes of Mabel and Years & Years. I’ve also been doing a lot of production work with some other exciting artists on the come up.
You’re now back with your new track ‘Say A Prayer’, a song in which you collaborated with Popcaan and the famous Chaka Khan! Can you give us a bit of info about the track…
I’d been working on it for a couple of years but it’s only in the last 6 months or so it really started to come together. The most important lyric in the song is “I’m praying with real love.” It’s not about the process of praying, which can mean anything religious or reflective in a secular sense. “Praying” can also be destructive and selfish. I can pray that I get a Porsche 911 tomorrow but that helps no one but my ego. So the lyric “I’m praying with real love” pins down that the song is about genuine love and genuine goodwill to whoever you’re singing it to or praying or hoping or willing for. It’s not necessarily religious, but it’s about honest love. Real love that keep us human and sane.
How did the collaboration come about?
In both cases, it was merely a case of just reaching out to people and gauging their reactions. Popcaan loved it straight away; he saw the vision and delivered a killer verse to me almost straight away. I sent him the parts and he came back an hour or 2 later and I was blown away. With Chaka, I asked my management to just reach out to her & her team and thankfully, they loved it and she loved it too. I went over to LA to work with her and I was battling a cold at the time but she made the whole experience really easy.
How did you react when you met both Popcaan & Chaka Khan?
I haven’t actually met Popcaan yet but we’ve spoken a couple of times since and he really loves the track. Meeting Chaka was surreal; her version of ‘I Feel For You’ is my one of my earliest musical memories, so working with her was a big deal for me. It was such a great experience because she’s is a legend with so much wisdom. She’s an incredible woman.
Can you tell us about any funny stories when working on this track?
I don’t know if this is a funny story but we probably spent more time talking than working. We had a whole day in the studio but she recorded most of her parts in just 10 minutes. That’s how much of a legend she is; she just knows when to switch on and go into superstar mode.
If you could collaborate with any other artists, past or present, who would it be?
Marvin Gaye. In my opinion, the greatest vocalist of all time!
What’s been your biggest career highlight so far?
Getting my first release proper with Florence & The Machine. Nothing beats that first time one of your songs goes on a commercial release. I’m a pretty level person, I don’t get too hyped about my wins or down about my losses but that was one moment I allowed myself a pat on the back.
Apart from your own song, what have you got on repeat at the moment?
Migos; they are originators of the current sound of Hip-Hop to a degree along with Gucci Mane. ‘Bad & Boujee’ is the song of the year for me. 21 Savage ‘Bank Account’, Rae Morris ‘Do It’; I love her. The new Giggs tape is incredible too, it would be great to work with him at some point. I still have A Boogie wit da Hoodie ‘Drownin’ playing on my iTunes about 5 times a day too.
What’s your guilty pleasure track that nobody else knows you love?
I love pop music so no song is a guilty pleasure for me. I’ll happily admit I like what I like but one that maybe raises a few eyebrows is ‘Chain Reaction’ by Diana Ross and the Bee Gees.
What’s been your summer highlight of 2017?
Actually seeing some royalty cheques come in!
How do you spend your time out of the studio?
I watch a hell of a lot of movies. I probably watch about 2 movies a week and try and read a book every few months. Outside of making records, movies are my passion and where I see my final career.
Drink of choice on a night out?
I don’t really drink much now. I’m all about clean living these days but if you twist my arm mine’s a Negroni!
Give us your best chat up line/joke?
I’ve never needed chat up lines but I actually have a joke I used to tell at parties about a little green man that takes about 20 minutes from beginning to end so I won’t tell it here. It either gets you laid or punched in the face by the end of it.
Can you explain your fashion sense? How would you describe your style?
Simplicity is key for me. I like to be comfortable and keep it simple with clean lines and simple but classic designs. I’m not crazy about the brightest colours or the biggest logos, I like things that are a bit understated. But I am tempted to go all out and rock a fur this winter; faux fur of course!
What advice do you have your any aspiring musicians?
Listen to your gut and trust the colours you see. When your music makes you feel like you did when you were a little kid listening to your favourite records, then it’s ready to go out into the world.]
Listen to Tieks’ new track below: