Introducing the multi-hyphenate artist cooking up tunes for the likes of Mary J Blige and Bebe Rexha.
What a week this has been, August is well and truly settling into the calendar by delivering a heatwave to end all heatwaves. If you’re headed for the beach or a relaxing drive and are in dire need of some soulful magic to help you unwind, say hello to your new favourite artist – Maths Time Joy.
The British producer, singer, songwriter, remixer and DJ has been on the scene for a hot minute, making a name for himself by producing hits for the likes of Mary J Blige, Bebe Rexha, Mahalia, Snakehips and Kevin Garrett, to name a few. His soothing lo-fi beats have even caught the attention of Ellie Goulding and Bon Iver, flexing his remix muscles for the two mega-acts without so much as breaking a sweat.
Today marks the release of his newest single, the deliciously sultry and stripped-down “Real Deal”. In an effortless blend of Soul and R&B, Joy creates a sparse soundscape laden with slow grooves and stirring vocals. With the added synergy of J Warner and Sinead Harnett gliding into the sonic spotlight, the whole ensemble comes together in a seamless and transcendent blaze of feel-good vocal bliss.
We caught up with the singer below, talking everything from his musical beginnings to all the great projects he’s been cooking up over lockdown.
Hey Maths Time Joy! How lockdown been? How has it affected your creativity?
Its been ok thanks, very surreal situation but I was in Norway for most of it so was nice to be in different surroundings and by the ocean.
How has growing up in London impacted your sound?
I grew up just outside so we used to visit on weekends, but I think London music definitely has influenced me. Bands growing up and then artists like Burial definitely helped shape my music.
Where did the name Maths Time Joy come from?
It’s an anagram of my first two names, Timothy James.
What inspired you to start creating music?
I didn’t grow up in a musical family but my brother used to listen to a lot of hip-hop that definitely got me interested in the production side, Dr Dre and DJ Premier. Then later people like Flying Lotus and James Blake really changed my perspective and the direction of the music I wanted to produce.
Congrats on the new tune with Sinead Harnett and J Warner! How did this come about?
Thanks, me and J originally wrote the idea and then J had the idea to have Sinead sing on it and make it a duet.
What is the process of making and remixing your music?
It depends, a lot of the time I’m producing for other artists so it really reflects what they want to do or how they’re feeling, but with my own music it’s different because I get the freedom to make and release what I want to. In some ways it’s a feeling but it also can be hard when there’s no restrictions or direction. Most of my artist ideas come from a beat or a chord progression.
Who are your inspirations?
Producer-wise Quincy Jones, Rick Rubin, Dr Dre and then beatmakers like DJ Premier, Just Blaze. More recently James Blake, Flying Lotus and Burial really inspired me to explore different sounds and production.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Bon Iver as a vocalist I think, or Anderson Paak.
What’s next/ what are you most excited for?
I have a new project coming with Rich from Third Story, and an EP I’ve worked on with a singer called Flores that I’m excited about.