It’s been a busy few days here at FatKidOnFire. It may have been quiet here on the site (and to an extent on the social networks); but there’s some seriously exciting content lined up for you guys over the next few weeks!
I spotted hip-hop duo T.iM.E a while back, when Google (of all people) featured their aptly-named single ‘Breakthrough’ (embedded below) as a ‘Song of the Day‘. I was pretty impressed with what I saw/ heard so got in touch with the guys to find out more…
Who are T.iM.E? T.iM.E is a duo consisting of MC E Reece and producer Theimagination; two visionaries and students of timeless hip-hop music.
Who or what influences you in your work? T: I’m influenced by many artists and free thinkers; from Huey Newton to Miles Davis to Steve Jobs to David Byrne to Chick Correa to Atjazz to Jean Michel Basquiat to Malcolm Gladwell – the list goes on and on!
E: I’m greatly influenced by the golden age of hip-hop, from the late 80’s to the early 90’s. That’s when I fell in love with the music and the art form and have never stopped loving it since. Growing up with hip-hop, I just love how that time period has always made me feel. From AfrikkaBambatta to Run DMC to Special Ed to Brand Nubian to NWA. But jazz was actually my first love and has heavily influenced the type of production I like and how I approach being an MC to that of a horn player, sticking and moving and flowing on beats and using my voice as an instrument. I’m just a fan of good music so when I hear something that resonates with me, I often find myself heading for a pen or freestyling and getting excited about the music.
What got you into producing music and writing rhymes? How did you start collaborating together? T: I got into producing music simply by being a lover of music; listening to straight-ahead jazz, soul, funk and gospel tunes from my dad’s record collection (long before crate digging was cool). I was constantly discovering new tunes from underground artists all over the world. I’m mainly influenced by what my favorite hip-hop producers (Pete Rock, Premier, Beatminerz, ATCQ etc) were doing in the 90s, I bought an MPC 2000 (but eventually sold it) and set out to make my own beats that sounded similar to other folks (until years later, when I was able to find my own musical ‘voice’).
E: It was just a natural progression for me. I’ve always loved music and it has always been a big part of my life. I grew up playing jazz saxophone, from the time I was 12 all the way through high school. During that time, hip-hop grew into this gigantic cultural phenomenon and it swept me right up in it. My cousing Reggie started rapping when we were really young and he was always writing songs and stuff. I was always a good writer and he kind of pushed me into starting to rhyme. I originally wanted to make beats, but due to him always pushing me to rap and freestyle when we were together, my direction quickly switched. It was a lot of freestyling at first, until one day I picked up a pen and said “I’m going to write a rap and see what happens” – I haven’t stopped since.
T.iM and I were introduced to each other by a mutual DJ friend of ours named A-Ski around 2005. Ski knew I had rhymes and T.iM had beats and thought that our styles would mesh together well. He was right and we’ve been working together ever since. T.iM’s had production on each of my solo records and I’ve done stuff for his solo projects as well. We work together well so the natural next step was to release a joint project and thus you have “The T.iM.E is Now” EP.
E: Yeah man, it was great news to hear that we were going to be featured on Google Magnifier’s Song of the Day. I think it will hopefully put a lot of people on to us who have never heard of us before and that’s the whole point, to earn the ears of new listeners so hopefully they listen, like and buy!
What does or will make your music stand out and distinguish itself from the rest of the hip-hop being dropped these days? T: T.iM.E brings a combination of experimental, sonic textures and straight-up content rich lyrics. Not saying that we’re here to ‘change the game’ or anything, but we have a lot to say and express musically. I think heads that know will be up on the music that we make.
E: I think just staying true to ourselves and what we like to do. We both have good ears for music and those combined ears know what good music is. As long as we don’t force anything, we’ll be fine and continue to earn the respect fans and supporters alike.
How does the UK music scene compare to what’s going on in the US? Can British artists compete on an international stage? T: As far as the electronic/ dance music and nu-soul scene, the UK has always been on the forefront. Of course, there a lot of rock bands from the UK that do well in the US, so I guess it depends on the genre. I’m not very well versed on any other scenes in the UK.
E: I have to agree with T.iM., I’m not too well versed on the UK music scene either, but it seems as though a lot of British acts do very well over here. There seems to have been somewhat of a British invasion in the past few years with Amy Wineshouse, Estelle, Adele and others. Those acts have done very well worldwide and don’t seem to have any problems competing on an international stage.
What’s your take on the global hip-hop scene at the moment? Who do you rate as artists/ producers? T – The global hip-hop scene is expanding. Whenever I listen to hip-hop artists from other countries, I notice that there is a lot of homage being paid to the early 90’s style of music making: straight beats and rhymes. Nothing wrong with that! I’m a fan of beatmaker/ producers like Eric Lau, Slakah the Beatchild and Floating Points. I think Spoek Mathambo has got a dope style too.
E: Man, hip-hop is the most powerful music on earth! And I say that because it has and continues to bridge so many different cultures together. You can go anywhere in the world and hip-hop is being made and the culture is continuing to grow daily. It’s a beautiful sight to see and its only going to keep getting bigger and bigger. As far as producers, I really like Pete Rock, J Dilla, Madlib, 9th Wonder and others and artists like Common, Little Brother, Jay-Z, Sean Price and others.
Where do you see you and your music being in 5 years time? T: 5 years down the line, T.iM.E will be making timeless albums collaborating with artists that have inspired us and folks that share similar vibes and the desire to create new sounds.
E: Man, I know that I will make music for the rest of my life and will continue to want to push myself and my creativity to new heights. I also want to collaborate with other like minds all over the globe. I want to continue to make music that makes a difference, that feeds people with positivity and shows people what real music is from my mind, body and soul.
Where can people expect to catch your music? Are there any upcoming releases we can look forward to? E: You can find our new album on our Bandcamp page, as well as on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. You can find details about us and our releases on the T.iM.E website. T.iM’s music and his other talents are showcased here and you can keep up to date with me here. Right now, we’re just continuing to push this new EP. You’ll probably see me featured on some mixtapes in the near future and will probably hear some of our music in films and on TV shows. Check in with us to see what we have going on!
E: Many thanks to everyone out there who continues to buy our music, message us with kind words and helps to spread the word to your families and friends.
Top 5 favourite brands? T: Apple. Don’t really have 5.
E: I would have to say
- (One of my most recent clothing sponsors) ProVerse Goods. Hit up their website! They got the fly t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. Positive poetics baby!
Shoutouts T: Special shout to DJ A-Ski and all of the authentic artists out there. Shouts to everyone listening, sharing, re-posting and purchasing our music.
E: What T.iM said! Also, props to all of my family and friends who have and continue to support me and my musical endeavors and to everyone who’s ever bought a CD or come to a live show. Many thanks! Shout outs to all of the other artists who we worked with on this project: Sivion, Joy Jones, Tomorrow Yesterday and Basicali. Thanks for your hard work and efforts. And shout out to all of the blogs and writers who have covered this project. Finally, RIP to Joe Frazier and Heavy D. One of my favorite artists growing up. You both will be missed!
I’ve been working on FatKidOnFire for almost two years now (a bit of a scary/ awesome thought) and am still regularly blown away by the serious talent out there. T.iM.E are another example of the undiscovered awesomeness that exists – and it’s an honour to have the guys down for a chat. If you’re feeling their music and what Theimagination and E Reece have had to say, hit them up on Soundcloud, Vimeo and Bandcamp for more info!
If you have any thoughts on what the guys from T.iM.E have had to say, or want to recommend a new brand you’ve discovered or just want a chat about something you’ve seen on FatKidOnFire, leave a comment below or get in touch via email, Twitter, Facebook or the FKOF TakesQuestions page.