I’ve had this interview under wraps for a while now editing it on and off for a month or so, and I am stoked to finally be able to drop it. I am honored to have had the chance to speak with one of the UK’s most promising up and coming musicians who is steadily growing in popularity. London-native Tim Worthington, known to most as Maths Time Joy, is a musician who you should be listening to right now – if you are unfamiliar with his music get acquainted by reading/listening below. In this exclusive interview we spoke about his inspirations, Film, the current UK music scene & many other topics. Check it out;
Skoodmusic: Who in your life ignited this love for music?
Maths Time Joy: Not sure it was any 1 person really, I never really grew up around majorly musical people apart from friends at school.
SM: What are some of your other interests and hobbies, and how do those hobbies interests inspire your music?
MTJ: Films, going to the gym, I used to like art and drawing a lot but its definitely slipped recently. I think cinema definitely inspires my music, I’d love to score a film one day, and also direct but I think that’s a long way off.
SM: What do you want your listeners to get out of your music?
MTJ: I think mainly an emotional connection, like the same feeing I get when I listen to something that I like. I think that connection can come from loads of different things, the drums, the lyrics, the chords.
SM: Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations?
MTJ: There’s a lot of artists that are inspirational in different ways to me, Flying Lotus is definitely one, Mount Kimbie, Pharrell, a lot of instrumental post rock stuff like Explosions in the sky, 60’s soul.
SM: Some of your favorite underrated up and comers?
MTJ: It’s hard to say who is underrated really, I’ve been into Jesse James (Solomon) recently, he’s a UK emcee, I love Vanilla’s stuff too he’s a beatmaker/producer from over here. Sampha I think is really underrated for sure, although he’s definitely on the rise now after the Drake features and doing more of his solo stuff.
SM: How do you feel about comparisons to James Blake?
MTJ: It’s a compliment overall, early on especially I really listened to his music I loved what he did on the first album and his early EPs, I wouldn’t say there’s too much in common overall though, some production stuff for sure but he’s definitely got his own lane. He’s not my biggest inspiration, some of his stuff I find hard to get into.
SM: What is was your musical upbringing like? Did you ever play any instruments? Clearly you have a strong vocal background.
MTJ: I didn’t really get ‘musical’ till secondary school, no one in my family is musical at all. My brother used to listen to hip hop a lot so I guess that’s where that side came from. I played in bands through school then got into producing at the end of school/start of uni. I’ve not really had a strong vocal background in terms of lessons etc, but I’ve always been into song writing and singer songwriter stuff.
SM: How long have you been making music and what got you interested in it?
MTJ: I guess I starting making music around the time I played in those bands so around 14 or 15 but only really started making my own stuff later on like 17/18. I played in a band for a bit where I wrote most of the parts so that kind of helped with what I do now I think.
SM: Whats the music scene like in UK?
MTJ: The electronic stuff is definitely strong, there’s a lot of young producers making a name internationally from the UK. I think the UK is still at the forefront when it comes to new music and musical trends. It’s hard to really place music now though, I think the internet has broken down those barriers where you could only hear certain music if you were from a certain area or city like when the blues or hip hop started. There’s a lot of dancey/house stuff going on right now over here especially which I kind of feel on the edge of as I’m not a huge fan of dance music as a whole.
SM: What software do you usually use to craft your music?
MTJ: Only ever used Logic really, I used fruity loops for a while ages ago but it wasn’t great.
SM: If you could go on tour w/ any artist RIGHT NOW who would it be?
SM: What are your thoughts on the ‘chillwave’ scene?
MTJ: Im a big fan of ToroYMoi, he’s like the main person I’d associate with that kind of scene. It’s difficult to place really what counts as chillwave though, I’d never use that word to describe my own stuff to someone new, it makes it sound too much like ‘ambient’ which really isn’t what I’m into making.
SM: If you could sign w/ any label which one would it be & why?
MTJ: Probably XL, their roster is definitely quality over quantity.
SM: Agreed. Do you like the way your voice sounds on your songs? You seem to kind of camouflage it sometimes in the well-produced background instrumentation, while other times its clearly the lead. Explain to us the process behind adding vocals into your production.
MTJ: It’s not like I intentionally hide it, I mix it differently depending on the vibe of the song really, sometimes I want it to just add to the atmosphere, other times I want it to be the focal point of the track. I wouldn’t claim to be an amazing vocalist but I like to use my voice, I guess it’s the only thing I have that’s truly unique to me.
SM: What are some of your favorite lyrics you ever wrote for a song and why?
MTJ: Lyrics are always like the last thing for me when writing, it takes me a long time to write just like 2 lines. For me a lot of the time it’s about choosing words I like the sound of as opposed to writing a fully cohesive story. I think the lyrics in “Walk With Me” are probably my favourite. The song was inspired by Twin Peaks so there was a lot of imagery and inspiration there to work off.
SM: If you could collab w/ anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
MTJ: It’s really difficult to choose just 1, I’d love to collaborate with Pharell in some way, or just spend like a day in the studio with him seeing how he works/talking about music. Other than that, Prince, Kanye West, Sampha or Bon Iver.
SM: Would you produce for a rapper? James Blake and Chance The Rapper recently linked up on a beautiful remix and it came out great; would you ever do something similar?
MTJ: Yeah definitely, I had a rapper on my first EP Lightyears. It’s always something I wanna maintain, I started out producing for rappers before I did all the MTJ stuff so it feels kind of natural to include that side where it makes sense.
SM: Tell us a random unexpected fact about yourself.
MTJ: I lived in Africa when I was younger.
SM: Any pre-show / after show rituals?
MTJ: Ha, no I’m just DJing right now and I’ve only played like 4 shows so it’s just me turning up with a laptop/MPC, not really any rituals.
SM: How do you feel about the music used in the film ‘Drive’ – A lot of people i know say thats one of their favorite movie soundtracks in history.
MTJ: Yeah ‘Drive’ and the soundtrack are both great, it’s similar to something like Bladerunner in that sense that the music and the visuals fit together perfectly. A big reason I like most of Tarantino’s films is because of the music, he’s got a great sense of what works with the visuals.
SM: If you could score a film directed by any director in particular, who would it be?
MTJ: Christopher Nolan maybe, or David lynch but that might get a bit weird.
SM: What are some of your favorite films?
MTJ: The Shining is probably number 1, I’m into horror a lot. Also Heat, Mullholland Drive, LA Confidential, The Dark Knight, Japanese horror in general.
SM: Just saw Heat for the first time like last month, really dope movie. So, what is Favorite album CURRENTLY & why?
MTJ: I’ve been bad with keeping on top of albums recently, I am someone that pays for albums I’ve just not had the time to sit with one for a long time, I still have a long list I need to get, Pusha T, Drake’s album, James Blake’s latest. The last full album I bought was Kendrick Lamar’s. Clear Soul Forces latest project Gold PP7s is maybe my favorite recent one, they remind me of like A Tribe Called Quest or Souls of Mischief.
Thanks again to Maths Time Joy for granting us an interview and for putting me on to Clear Soul Forces. Keep an eye on this promising producer/singer by following him on his social media accounts: