British-Nigerian producer, Tony Njoku, recently released new single ‘Remain Calm’ taken from his yet-to-be-released album ‘HPAC’.
In a chat with us, he reveals what Tony Njoku’s music is all about, talks about his journey of self-discovery through music and much more.
What is the story behind ‘Remain Calm‘?
With a lot of my work, the tracks are representative of where I was in my life, at the time I made them. With ‘Remain Calm’, it symbolizes a lot of anger and shock. I was angry and overwhelmed. Something that happened triggered my feelings and my feelings turned into music.
Is there a message you’ve tried to convey with your album H.P.A.C., due in April?
There are different emotions and ideas reflected within the album. Some songs are euphoric and joyful, some are very angry and some very calm, and others are remorseful. It’s all over the place in terms of subject matter.
Describe your sound. How has it evolved?
My sound sounds like me. It’s all the stuff I love. It’s electronic, it’s dance music, its psychedelic. It’s unique. It’s Tony Njoku’s music.
As I’ve evolved, my music has evolved. On the flip side, as I write music, I learn about myself more and more. My music has made me more aware of myself and other people.
You said your music leads to a sort of self-discovery. Does this self-discovery, then lead to more music?
Yes, as I discover more of myself, I note them down. Sometimes the music is made from those discoveries immediately, sometimes I come back explore it in much more depth. I like to jot things down as soon as I can, clear my mind and then put them together so that they flow lyrically and musically.
Who are some of your major musical influences? And on a personal level, who inspires you?
In music, there’s so many. I listen to and take influence from so many artists.
I grew up listening to Radiohead, I love Bjork. I love hip-hop, so people like Kanye. I also love classical music. One of the best pieces of music, I’ve ever heard is in a landscape by John Cage – it was the definition of tranquillity. I always go back to that track and enjoy it. Recently, I’ve been listening to this band The Rajasthan Express, and their song called ‘Junun.’
On a personal level, of course, my family for sure, influence what I do. I love other art forms like architecture and visual arts. I’m a big fan of James Turrell, who are focused on ‘the thing’ – that is their art form itself, instead of it cultural or commercial impact. I really enjoy this kind of work- where the work itself is the end all be all. I am really inspired by people like that.
What’s a memorable moment in your career so far? And what are your future ambitions?
When I finished this album, I had it on loop and listened back to it. And everything just clicked and made sense. It was really exciting and memorable knowing that the album is done.
For the future, I want to keep doing great work and be consistent at it. And I want to expand my creativity, by doing not just music. Working with other artists.
What is one question you wish you were asked in an interview, that you’re never asked?
That’s a good one. Very often in interviews, it feels like the person who’s being interviewed is just a content provider. So there’s this disconnect between the interviewer and interviewee. I would appreciate having more of a connection with the person I’m talking to, so a question like “How was your day?”, would be nice.
Listen to and stream ‘Remain Calm’ below:
HPAC comes out on 27th April, 2018, via Silent Kid Records.