River Tiber is the multi-instrumentalist and producer from Toronto whose new EP “When The Time Is Right” has us totally obsessed.
River Tiber is clearly multi talented. All you have to do is listen to his music and the explosive sound resinates in your ears as you absorb the fact that a singular human made all that noise. In many ways his music is moody and anthemic, poignant and emotive of late night drives through cities white washed by street lights. It’s the kind of music you’d want to listen to late night over a candle lit dinner, or early in the morning as you watch the sunrise. It’s cohesive and impactful, while sitting securely in the passenger seat of you consciousness.
Born in Toronto, River Tiber, or Tommy Paxton-Beesley if you talk to his parents, is slowly seeping into our everyday lives, like when Drake sampled his track “No Talk” on his album, or when he collaborated with beatmaker heavyweights Frank Dukes and Wondagurl. Not like that’s a big deal though, right? His new track “When The Time Is Right” is a heady mix of echoey drums and melodic vocals that glide over growing rhythmic beats and we can’t quite get enough of it.
Tommy floats between genres, and his home grown music style seems progressive and original. He’s got a truly unique sound, and for someone who has begun to so successfully penetrate the mainstream that’s quite the achievement. Here at Wonderland we sat down with the musical mastermind and picked his brains about just how he goes about making the music we’ve become so obsessed with.
What is your main influence when you’re writing music?
I wouldn’t say I have one main influence when I’m writing. It comes from all over. I’m drawn to cinematic music, and its focus on creating mood and supporting a moment. I’ve listened to a bunch of progressive and alternative shit that purposefully floats above and between genres. I love psychadelic music and shit that makes you feel disoriented. I love the emotion and wisdom and structure of gospel music. I draw a lot from the harmony and feeling of RNB. I listen to a ton of hiphop and electronic music, and that influence comes through mostly in the rhythms I guess, because that’s always the first thing I hear. I grew up playing and listening to a lot of jazz and classical. On top I write greened out musings on love and existence that can be read from a lot of different angles, and the meaning rearranges itself. So my vibe is pretty diverse.
How do you start to write a song?
There’s always a spontaneous moment of inspiration, deeper than conscious thought. I just ride with that. Usually I’ll have the seed of an idea in perfect focus, and all the surrounding parts will be a little fragile or blurry and I have to work to grow them and make them sharper. That’s one way to describe it.
Do you enjoy performing live?
Yes, I love it. When I’m on stage and the energy is flowing I’m more present than anywhere else.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
This week I’ve been listening to a bunch of Aaliyah. I switch it up pretty frequently though. I’ve found myself looking back a lot more recently, just trying to understand my influence and why I’m drawn to certain sounds.
Lots of people find touring really hard. Do you enjoy it?
So far yes. I haven’t toured that extensively yet, so I haven’t hit the point where being away from home and living out of a suitcase has gotten excessive. But when I’m on the road my mind feels free.
Where were you when you found out Drake was going to sample “No Talk”?
I remember I was in the basement working on some music when I saw that the mixtape dropped and downloaded it. That was a surreal moment. It felt like getting bumped to business class by the airline you know? I was like damn I got all this legroom & shit. Metaphorically speaking.
Where does the name River Tiber come from?
It’s the river that runs through Rome. I lived there briefly when I was a kid.
Tell us about the inspiration behind Let You Go
I wrote that one when I was on the road…I framed it as a story of a relationship but to me it’s about looking for a deeper fulfilment from the things you hold, and from the present moment.
Describe your perfect Sunday.
In the studio working on music. Maybe get high and go surfing. I did that one time and it was unreal.
WORDS: India Opie Meres