Published on August 29th, 2018 | by Tariq Peters
TON X LEMZ EP (INTERVIEW + DOCUMENTARY) [@LEMZIARTIST] [@TONIASOULBIRD]
East London Hip Hop artist Lemzi has teamed up with soulful songstress Tonia for the release of their joint EP ‘Ton x Lemz’
Following from their first collaborative single ‘Hidden Gems’, Lemzi and Tonia have been working on infusing their vibrant sounds with the release of ‘Ton x Lemz, a 6- track EP filled with great concepts and a feel-good vibe!
To complement the release of their EP, the dynamic duo has also released a documentary exploring their artistry as they share never before seen footage with loads of gems and insightful conversation regarding the meanings behind the music on the EP.
We had a chance to speak to both Lemzi and Tonia as they share the story of how they met, the musical process behind their EP and their insightful documentary:
We have been following your musical journeys for a while now, but how did you two meet up and when did you realise you make great music together?
We met a little a while ago at an open mic in Stratford called “Newham Nights” that took place every last Sunday of the month (shout out Abena the Actress for organising the show as long as you did!). It was a really good vibe down there generally and we just came together naturally. We rated each other’s music and more than that, each other’s character. In the open mic, we saw a batch of talented artists as well such as Kemi Sulola, Diamantina, Jay Scriptz and a lot more! The first thing we worked on together was Hidden Gems the single and that involved meeting up in Leytonstone Tesco Costa, writing the bars and a few signs that told us it was something to continue and spread…
How did this new project come about, what was the inspiration behind it?
Hidden Gems was the instigator! We had a great reception from that single, we enjoyed the whole process of making the song, the video and mostly, performing it live. Developing it to the stage where we can perform it with a live band and adapt it the way we have just made us want to do more. So, we reconnected off the back of Hidden Gems and just started searching Youtube for beats. It didn’t take long for us to get the material of Ton x Lemz (plus more that didn’t come out…).
Were there any times during the making of the project that you felt pressured?
Nah, we kept it as calm as we could. No pressure, no real deadlines, no external influences. We created everything from within and talked about things we mutually enjoy/think are important. Although money is always a factor, we just gave it time we can work on everything properly. We’re both looking forward to getting out there to perform the tunes to the people!
On the EP you touch on many relatable topics that resonate with a lot of people chasing their dreams, what does this EP mean to you?
Freedom, free expression, sharing our own insecurities and really just enjoyment. We had a lot of fun making the project, a lot of discussions based on the topics so we both understood each other’s perspective. A lot of growth and something we’ll definitely both listen to for some years to come…
Tell us more about the documentary, whose idea was it to document the musical process?
Lemzi came up with the idea of documenting the process, getting into the studio with a camera etc. Tonia recommended Akin Falana (@thelifeofAkin) to shoot the documentary which we got in just two sessions (the studio and the interview portions). The main premise was really just to show people our characters a bit more, even answering some of these questions you’re asking! Special thanks to Akin for capturing everything as well as he did, we’re really happy with the final documentary and it took him almost no time at all, especially considering he said he had to delete a lot of moments of us chatting nonsense…
What’s your favourite track on the project?
Ahhh when people see the documentary they’ll know our favourites and even the deleted track…
The project is sonically pleasing; do you plan to perform the EP live in the near future?
Definitely! We need to share this with the people as soon as we can. People tend to comment on our chemistry on stage and hopefully, we get to the point soon where we work with the band to bring everything completely to life. No dates just yet but follow both of us on Instagram (@lemziartist & @toniasoulbird) and we’ll publish some dates!
Last and not least if you were to describe your latest project in one word what would that word be?