TIEKS may not be a familiar name, but his music definitely will be. Just over a year ago, his summer smash ‘Sunshine’ (featuring Dan Harkna) could be heard everywhere as the soundtrack to colourful Fiat 500 TV ad, reaching number 15 in the official charts. What people don’t know is the London based producer can be heard on many a track, having worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine, Duke Dumont, MNEK, Cheryl and The XX. About to Blow caught up with TIEKS surrounding his latest release ‘Say A Prayer’ working with Soul Queen Chaka Khan and Reggae sensation Popcaan.
Congrats on ‘Say a Prayer’ being playlisted by Radio 1. Where were you when you heard the news?
I think I was at the studio when I heard. It feels good, it just means more people will get to hear my work and my art, which is an artist is what we want.
You have two great features with Chaka Khan, and Popcaan on the track. How did this collaboration come about?
It was all pretty organic. I asked both of them and they both said yes and gave me more than I asked for, because they are both incredible artist in their own lanes.
Chaka Khan is a huge name in the music industry. What were you feeling prior to her hearing your beat?
Well I didn’t actually send her a beat. I sent her a whole song which in itself is a bit of a gamble approaching such a legend with a full song. Thankfully she got it and felt where I was coming from and added her own unique twist to it. When we met she made a point of telling me how much she loved the song and that on hearing it she “had to vocal it.” Imagine hearing one of the artist you idolised saying that to you?
On first hearing that Chaka Khan and Popcaan are featuring on the track, some may not put the two together. What were your initial thoughts about this?
I think that’s one of the many elements that make this record special in my opinion, it is unexpected. I like to bring a bit of an element of surprise with the Tieks stuff. All my singles so far have been different from each other and all my remixes have been different from each other and I think it’s good to have a bit of variety.
The new single’s release follows the great success of ‘Sunshine’. How did it feel to hear your music on a television ad?
Being on an ad is not something I’ve thought about much or something I have aspired to. I think that stems from the fact I’ve scored quite a lot of ads and films in the past plus I’ve had a few other songs synced with ads; it’s all part of the business. For me, the good thing is it gets people hearing the record. The special feeling comes from when people actually like the song.
You’ve been producing and co-writing behind the scenes for some time now. What have you learnt about yourself in your craft over the years?
Trust your gut and the colours you see. Become really good at something because there is a high chance you will not be good at everything.
Where do you continue to draw inspiration from?
Everyone and everything.
You’ve collaborated with a variety of artists, established and up and coming. Where does your preference lie and why?
My preference lies in people who are hungry and want to be creative whether they are a new artist or someone who could be considered at the top of the industry. They are all the same to me.
Who else do you have your eye on to feature on a TIEKS beat?
I can’t really say; there are a lot of exciting, cool artists about and I just want to work with people who are serious about making musical memories.
When it comes to this 2017 and your music, what have been your stand out moments?
Getting ‘Say A Prayer’ finished and hearing it sound like diamonds in the speakers.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2017?
More music, more music and more music. Whether it’s for me or someone else, I’m usually in the studio working on music. Other than that I’m hoping to do some more live shows and just continue to make great music.