Setting it off
TIMOMATIC is a man who likes to set goals. He showcased his foot skills on So You Think You Dance in 2009, later adding singing to his repertoire on Australia’s Got Talent last year.
The TV show led to Top 10 hits Set It Off ( No. 2, triple platinum) and If Looks Could Kill ( No. 8, platinum).
But when his third single Can You Feel It peaked at No. 18 in June, Mr Positivity admits, when pressed, he took it hard.
‘‘ I did beat myself up a little. For me that was the strongest song I’d written so far,’’ Timomatic ( pictured) says. ‘‘ It ticked all the boxes for me. ‘‘ It may have gone over people’s heads. Maybe it was too futuristic, not poppy enough? But on the flip side [ it’s] gotten the most respect from the industry.
‘‘ Sometimes the tracks you think will nail it don’t. You have to keep rolling with it.’’
Ironically, the ‘‘ failure’’ has seen him reflect on his success.
‘‘ I’ve had to learn how to celebrate. I always want more. I’m never wanting to take my foot off the pedal, I always want to know what’s next,’’ he says.
‘‘ I’m learning to enjoy the moment, to say, ‘ Man, we’ve made some great moments, some great history’. It’s something to be proud of.’’
His trademark positivity resounds through his self- titled debut album – it’s not just wall- to- wall club bangers.
‘‘ There’s a track called Trust where the chords and the chanting are inspired by Coldplay,’’ the 24- year- old says.
‘‘ At one point every song was over 120 beats per minute. It was going to turn into a workout album. A treadmill album. I wanted to take a breath.
‘‘ I wanted to capture an uplifting, positive mood so people keep coming back to it.’’
Born Tim Omaji in Nigeria, his family moved to Australia when he was a baby. His hip- hop skills saw him earn the nickname Timomatic at age 15.
Inspired by Michael Jackson, he keeps ‘‘ hunger and humility’’ as his anchors.
‘‘ I don’t let it get in my head that it’s all about me. That can have an effect on the music. It can stunt your growth if you think you’ve made it,’’ he says. ‘‘ It’s about working hard and being a nice dude.’’
Timomatic admits he’s bombarded his girlfriend, fellow Dance contestant Talia Fowler, with endless talk of his goals.
‘‘ She’s never said ‘ Stop talking about music’. I’ll talk to her about my shows and she’ll say, ‘ That’s good, that’ll work for the ladies’. She’s been a rock,’’ he says.
On his wish list, he can tick off an album.
‘‘ There’s still the Grammys. I’d love to be nominated and fortunate enough to win an ARIA,’’ he says.
His immediate goal? Removing the covers from his live show when he opens for Pitbull this month. ‘‘ It’s risky but there comes a time in a man’s life when he needs to make his mark. This is my moment,’’ he says.