In 2020, the impressive rise of modern African music accelerated and staked its claim on the global stage by breaking multiple records on the charts, earning an array of award nominations and wins, and leading to collaborations with the world’s best. Once upon a time, it was a dream, and now it is reality. As we dodged the coronavirus and police brutality around the world, Bad Boy Timz connected with me. We crossed paths when local promoters were trying to figure out how to band together and get our media to support this fresh, new global rhythm. And in 2023, here we are. Afrobeats is global, and the superstars from West Africa are making dollars, sense (not cents), and euros.
In conversation about his brand new album ‘No Bad Boy, No Party’, we talked about the makings of the eleven-track outfit and what it took to make it happen.
GRUNGECAKE: It’s been a long time. We connected briefly during the pandemic, and here we are. How have you been?
Bad Boy Timz: I’ve been really good. It’s been a journey of ups and downs. For where I am today, I can only thank God, my family, friends, and, most importantly, my fans. I’ve learned and unlearned so much, I have grown, and I’m ready for whatever the future offers.
GRUNGECAKE: Talk to me about the production work on your debut album. Who did you work with, and how involved were you with it? Did you experience any difficulty during the selection process?
Bad Boy Timz: ‘No Bad Boy, No Party’ has been a rollercoaster ride for me. So many sleepless nights, just to make sure I had the perfect project. What really made this process seamless for me was working with my friends. I have a personal relationship with all the producers, so that made recording much more seamless and easy. Although, we faced challenges like getting blocks while recording or producing. I am really glad we were able to overcome all obstacles.
GRUNGECAKE: Correct me if I’m wrong, but your debut project is one you use to make a statement. What’s the declaration for this era of Bad Boy Timz?
Bad Boy Timz: I believe this project will make a statement for me. The aim is to show different sides of Bad Boy Timz. I have not put so much music out there in recent times. So I want to show people different sides of me, and still maintain the ‘No Bad Boy No Party’ element.
GRUNGECAKE: On ‘Tossmitoss’, you sing that you’re the young Fela. Care to break that down for me? For the people who don’t speak or hear pidgin, what does it mean?
Bad Boy Timz: Legendary Fela, is the pioneer of Afrobeat without an ‘S’. He is the blueprint for the majority of the songs out there today. He is someone I look up to, and take inspiration from his music. That’s really why I call myself Young Fela sometimes. And ‘Tossmitoss’ means ‘Tossmitoss’… lol
GRUNGECAKE: Because of the violins present in ‘Pop (Alcohol, Alcohol’), I can’t help but think how Afrobeats meets Country would sound. Are you experimental like that? Could you see yourself collaborating with a Country music artist in your class?
Bad Boy Timz: Definitely, music has no limit. I am not just limiting myself to everyday music. I am exploring with different artists in different countries. Definitely, that’s in the works. I have a few surprises, too, after the album.
GRUNGECAKE: What was it like working with Olamide again for ‘Skelele’, Zlatan for ‘I Salute’, Shenseea for the ‘Move’ remix, and BNXN for ‘Make Sense’?
Bad Boy Timz: Olamide is a big brother to me. He has always supported me, I have been in the studio with Olamide a couple times, and it’s always been positive energy.
Zlatan is very supportive as well. We have an awesome relationship. Creating ‘I Salute’ was actually very funny and a lot of positive energy.
Me and BNXN go way back. Even before we became popular, we’ve been making music together. So it was a no-brainer to have him on this project.
I haven’t met Shenseea yet, but hopefully soon. My team sent ‘Move’ to her and she loved the record. She even re-recorded it just because she wanted to make it perfect.
I am really grateful for everyone on this body of work.
GRUNGECAKE: Can we expect a tour from you this year?
Bad Boy Timz: Definitely. It’s in the works. I have done a few cities in the UK already. So, it’s just one step at a time. But there’s definitely a plan for a tour this year.