Today we speaks to a musician Toly from No Native who released his debut single #WGMI (We’re Going To Make It) last month. The track was inspired by Lily Rice when he saw her backflipping her wheelchair on TV at the WCMX. This lead to No Native teaming up with Lily, and collaborating on the music video. The aim of the music video is to raise awareness of the growing sport, but also to inspire others to persevere with their dreams and aspirations and to overcome adversity. I caught up with Toly to find out all about it as well as talking about electropop.
Hello No Native tell us three unknown facts about yourself?
I have a phobia for cockroaches despite having a keen interest in all other insect species, especially praying mantis
Afraid of deep water despite having done hundreds of skydives
Still in love with LEGO Technic.
How did you get into music?
Back in the 90s I had my first Sony walker and kept playing a song called “you’re in the army now” on repeat. Can one get any more Russian than that? hahaha
What do you find your inspirations?
Alps, twisty alpine roads, dangerous women, autumn, London in all its grey glory
Tell us all about your new single #WGMI?
This song is an anthem to all those humans who happened to have been alone and accepted whatever challenge life has thrown upon them. Human race reminds me of a particular type of ants called Army Ants that build bridges using their own bodies that can reach several meters long over rivers or other obstacles. Together we are truly unstoppable. Together we are gonna make it.
How long did it take to write the song?
From conception to execution and what I call ‘polishing the song’ took approximately two weeks to be completed. To be honest there’s still things in it that I would improve, but that’s the cross any artist doomed to carry. Perfection is always out there somewhere, all we can do is try to reach it like Icarus reaching for the sun. Sometimes we burn, sometimes we plummet. Sometimes we gracefully glide above all doubt and smile. With this song I dare to be the latter.
Where does the inspiration for the song come from?
The inspiration came from deep personal issues linked to family that resulted in self destructive behaviour, quarantine that brought about isolation finally teaching me the difference between solitude and loneliness. It was the time of either implosion or explosion. Something else has happened entirely. I broke my own mould and changed into a different being and that is what I wanted to share with the world.
Tell us about how you have been making music in lockdown?
For as long as our health condition allowed, we have continued working in the studio taking all necessary precautions while getting in and out of the studio. I am thankful to God for this opportunity of taking away almost every distraction that has allowed me to focus entirely on feelings and perception. A powerful song has been born out of courage, rebellion and love. Thank you God.
What is the most challenging thing when it comes to producing a record?
Being honest with oneself. Not trying to do anything at all actually.
How do you warm up for a show?
Good sleep before the next day’s show. 30 minutes of proper vocal warm up – usually 5-7 different exercises designed specifically for vocalists. NO SPICY FOOD. NO NUTS. NO ALCOHOL. before not after the show. Hydration is key. And a secret herbal based vocal spray from France.
Also let’s talk tour – will there be live shows coming next year?
What is one of your favourite songs to perform live?
There are some songs where I hit rather high notes for my vocal range. Since I sing with distortion, I have to be extra careful to push too much and sing too loud. I have what is called a big voice, and manoeuvring it can be quite difficult at times. I get very excited doing shows, so I always have to kinda keep my emotions at bay and sing 70% of what I’m capable of so I don’t burn the damn microphone.
What are the toughest songs to perform live and why?
Meditating, playing piano and driving around the country. Sitting on the edge of the cliff overlooking Bedruthan steps has been one of the most inspiring moments of my life. Speaking to my family and of course my team has provided invaluable support. I did lots of pushups.. I mean lots. I started at 15 reaching 50 by the end of 3 month.
How have you been keeping creative during lockdown?
Yes absolutely. We have a beautiful EP of 5 songs ready to go.
Has it led to lots more songs?
Live live live!!!!
What are your plans for 2020?
The plan is to release 4, maybe 5 more tracks and shoot at least 2 music videos as part of WGMI EP. Hopefully by spring, I should be able to resume touring, meaning we will tour the UK and finally go to the US to shoot and record.
And finally why should people check out your music?
I dare to say my stuff is powerful. My stuff is brutally sincere.