The music video for your new song “Not a Criminal” is intense and thrilling! What was the inspiration behind it?
Timur: Thank you! Well, when we were coming up with concepts for the music video, we looked at the lyrics and meaning of the song and it very much reminded us a bit of Robin Hood. This seemed like a natural fit for the music video and definitely is a key inspiration for the concept. We were also inspired by musical movies like Step Up and In The Heights and how they present songs in a cinematographic way.
The end of the music video for "Not a Criminal" ends with a cliffhanger. Can you tell us where we might see the storyline going for the song and video?
Timur: Sure! In this music video, we have already set up all the key players for the next part of the story, if you pay close attention to the end of the music video you will also see that there is a small hint of what is going to happen next. In addition, the hint that I will give is that “Josh” the policeman character is going to play a larger part going forward.
You showcased a lot of dancing in the music video for this new song. What has your experience been with dancing in the past?
Timur: Unlike the style of dance you can see in my music video, I actually started out learning ballet when I was about 5 or 6 years old. It gave me a great foundation in dance, though admittedly it wouldn’t have been my style of choice as I wasn’t the most elegant or flexible child. Since then I’ve continued to dance but mostly in more urban styles which have led us to where we are now!
Growing up, did you know you wanted to be a musician and how did you go about pursuing this passion?
Timur: I always knew that music and performing was a passion of mine, but I had never really considered that being a musician could be a viable career path. I definitely had the Asian mentality where I thought to succeed in life, you either had to be a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer, so much so that I ended up getting a Master's degree in engineering from the University of Oxford. I then ended up working at a bank and realizing that I wanted a career where I could actually do something I’m passionate about and I’ve been pursuing my career as a musician by writing and now releasing music.
Going off of that question, who were some of the most influential people in your family or popular culture who inspired you to pursue a music career?
Timur: My whole family is very supportive of me, but I think my dad is definitely one of the people who influenced me the most. When I was younger he was always the one who would encourage me to sing and he would love it when I would perform for him.
How do you start a new project?
Timur: I guess it really depends on what you mean by a project. If it’s a small project like writing a song, I always like to start with a key idea, whether that be a melody or a concept and just see where it takes me. Because it’s not a huge project, it doesn’t take a significant amount of time to get the idea down so if I don’t like it, it’s not a big deal. I can always revisit it again in the future if I feel like it. However, if we’re talking about a bigger project, I like to start with idea generation and just brainstorming all the possibilities before narrowing down the options till we reach a consensus on what we want to do, before planning out the steps we need to take to execute it.
Interviewed By Hannah Conkin