The Socialista exclusive: TK Tycoon

“I LEFT HIP HOP TO DO HOUSE MUSIC BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE I BELONGED”

Adetokunbo Adedoyin better known by his stage name TK Tycoon is a Nigerian born artist and music producer based in Sweden, well known for his unique sound which is a blend of electronic music and rap. He made his debut in 2009 with the song ‘Guy Like Me’ and has since worked with many international artists. His latest single ‘On me’ featuring DJ Turtle was released earlier this year.

TK Tycoon was born in Somolu, Lagos and comes from a very big family. His mother is still alive, but he lost his father a few years ago.
– Losing my father was a very painful experience. But I was fortunate because later I was very close to my stepfather. I have a lot of siblings, mostly sisters but also two brothers, says TK Tycoon about his family.

His music career began with him starting his own company, something that he had wanted to do for a while. TK Tycoon went on to launch a salon and a recording studio back in his hometown of Lagos, and his passion for business led him down a slightly different path than the one he had first thought.

-You see the name, TK Tycoon, it comes from the fact that I have always been innovative and wanted to start businesses. I always had many ideas so one day I decided I wanted to start a salon and a recording studio. So that is what I did. I started working in the studio and I was watching my producer produce music for an artist. They did not finish so the producer said he was going to finish working on the track the following day. But he didn’t, instead he called in sick. So there I was with an artist who had paid for his time in my studio and no producer. So I said I would do it and I realised that by spending time with my producer in the studio, I had taught myself what to do. By watching and learning. The first track I actually produced became a hit in Nigeria. Some of you might know it, it’s by an artist called Jhybo and it features one of the biggest stars in Nigeria right now, Cynthia Morgan. I made that song and I created my own signature, so every time you hear: Wahta ta wahta ta Tycoon, you know it’s me. That is my production.

How did you get from producing to being the artist?
-Well, a few days later a group of guys came to the studio and one of the guys could not rap. Not like he couldn’t rap, but he wrote his lyrics and he could not deliver it properly. So I offered to help. Let me read this and see what I can do. So I got into the booth and the beat started playing. I just thought I will read it, I don’t care, so I started playing around. I did it a few times and after when we listened to the actual recording, I thought goddammit I sound good. I was so surprised at how good I sounded I thought they had added on auto-tune or something but it was all me. So that’s how I got in front of the mic as well.

What type of music inspires you?
-I have always been an avid music fan and I have always been one of those people who do not listen to just one type of music. I listen to all types of artists and genres. I go from Celine Dion to dancehall Sean Paul. I even go as deep as Toni Braxton sometimes. My connection to music has always been strong.

TK Tycoon has lived in Sweden for about three years now. He explains that after his stepfather passed away in Lagos, he felt like he needed a change of scenery. And that is one of the reasons he decided to leave Nigeria. But there it was also down to his desire to make his own type of music.

Why did you choose to come to Sweden?
-I chose Sweden because I wanted to experience something new, a new country and a new place. But also because of the kind of music I wanted to do back then. I wanted to go into house music and Sweden was well known for their house music. And I am also a very good friends with Dr, Alban, he is actually kind of a mentor to me. He was the only person I knew in Sweden before I actually got here. I just had an intuition and a good feeling about Sweden. That is how I ended up here.

Do you like living in Sweden?
-Yes, I love it here, it’s amazing. I love everything. Yes, it can get really cold sometimes but it is not bad. I remember the first time I got here, I walked out of the airport then straight back inside again. And I thought to myself; damn I’m in the wrong country and I have no money for a return ticket. What am I going to do? No, but I stuck it out and now I am glad I did, because I love it here. Summers are nice and so are the people.

What was it like in the beginning?
-It was difficult, coping with the language and communication. I had to go to SFI, oh my god, it was bad. Every immigrant who had been to SFI knows what I am talking about. Every time someone mentions SFI, they all just exhale. The first month in SFI was the worst, just terrible. Learning things like hi, goodbye, welcome, money. Those were the only words I could say at the beginning. But I caught on eventually.

How did you find your sound?
-I used to be really deeply into hip hop and I changed innovation because I found myself. So I started experimenting with different sounds, anything from rnb to dancehall to jazz, you name it. I went as far as gospel and I discovered my love for house music. And then I thought; how can I make house music my own? I did not want to sound like everybody else. So I created my own sound. I left hip hop to do house because that is where I felt like I belonged. Now I am doing Moombahton; it’s a fusion of EDM and Dancehall. I would not call myself an afrobeats artist but I do blend my African roots into my music to create my own sound.

Your single ‘On me’ is doing well, how does it feel?
-It feels good. ‘On me’ is actually released by Discovax, and the feedback has been phenomenal, it’s been absolutely amazing. Radios all over France are playing it and it is getting a lot of airplays.

 

 

 

 

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