Feature Interview

Getting To Know TiMO ODV

TiMO ODV has gone from a relatively unknown producer from the East Rand, to a chart-topping star in what seems like just a few weeks. The genre-bending artist with a voice many would kill for chats to us about Youtube being the ultimate teacher, his love for Ariana Grande and how to pronounce his name, as his massive hit ‘Save Me’ reaches number 1 on the 5fm top 40 and is announced as the most played local track on SA radio.

Before we begin, I have to ask, how do you pronounce your name?
Tim-Oh ODV not Tee-mo like most people are saying! TiMO is just short for Timothy.

As I understand, you just woke up one day and decided to be a musician? Tell me a bit about that?
Well I woke one day and decided I wanted to be a music producer, the musician part started a year later when I realized I couldn’t make music the way I wanted to without understanding music

What did you do before that decision came about?
I was studying graphic design.

You have mastered an array of instruments, as well as the technicalities behind producing – did you teach yourself?
Yeah, I learnt basically everything I know from Youtube, I got a vocal coach later on to help me with singing but even singing started with Youtube. I went to sound engineering college after 2 years of producing hoping they could teach me something but Youtube had taught me all they had to offer so I quit that and went back to Youtube.

Growing up in the East Rand of Joburg – how do you think that has influenced the music you produce?
Well I think chances are if you’re from Joburg you’re gonna like house music and hip hop, most of my life that’s what I’ve listened to.

You’ve just been signed to Universal Music and now have the backing of a massive label behind you – how has that affected your journey as a musician?
The backing is huge because I’m working with a group of people who know what they are doing, and they do it well. We all see eye to eye and have the same vision so having a great team with the the same vision as you is rather priceless.

I see that you have covered some interesting tracks and artists like Of Monsters and Men, quite different to the very electronic/house type music you produce. How do you draw the connection between such varying genres?
When I started learning instruments my appreciation for different genres of music grew immensely and sometimes I’d be listening to something like Of Monsters and Men and in my head I would start building the track into a dance song [laughs] that’s how it usually happens.

What are you listening to in your car right now?
The Avener, I had Ariana Grande in my car for over a month and the passengers (not me) begged me to take it out, so reluctantly I did.

You have incredible amounts of talent – does music run in the family?
My mom plays 1 song on piano, I don’t think that counts. When I started my music journey my family looked at me like I was crazy.

Your massive hit ‘Save Me’ features Sarah Jackson. Are there any artists you are, or would like to collaborate with in the future?
I am currently collabing with Mathew Gold. His style varies from mine so there is a very nice texture coming from the clash of sound. Perhaps something to look forward to.

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