Set­ting it off

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - TI­MO­MATIC Out now ( Sony)

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.

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