Monday, 4 October 2010


We talk to the voice behind the electro-pop track 'Humanoid', Talay Riley. We ask Talay about his collaborations with Chipmunk, touring with N-Dubz, and Taio Cruz.

What made you want to pursue a career in the music industry?
Watching MC Hammer on the TV when I was young and just seeing people’s videos like Missy Elliot, she always had great videos in my opinion. Watching artists like Michael Jackson and I thought I just wanted to be that, or to do what they were doing. The artists were like superheroes on my TV and I wanted to be that.

Who were your musical inspirations when you were growing up?
MJ, MC Hammer, Marvin Gaye….there was that girl group Cleopatra, I really liked them, I used to wake up in the morning and sing to their song.

How did the collaborations which Chipmunk come about?
I worked with these guys, for six years before all of this came about, called Parker and James who produced ‘Oopsy Daisy’, we had done loads of songs and ‘Oopsy Daisy’ was one of them. Chipmunk knows one of them and he came to the studio one time and said “What do you guys have?” and ‘Oopsy Daisy’ was one of the songs that got played to him and he loved it.

It was sitting there for ages and her took it and changed it up a bit, put down his verses and took the song to number one. That’s how it came about and from then me and Chipmunk stayed in contact and then we worked with Harmony and did ‘Look For Me’ and then other songs on the album ‘Beast’ and ‘Lose My Life’ with N-Dubz came as well so that was quite cool

Your debut single, 'Humanoid', has an edgy electro-pop-RnB sound to it. Will the album have a similar sound?
Some of the stuff on the album yes, and then there’s stuff that is the complete alter-go of ‘Humanoid’ which is more softer and ballady. I’ve got songs on my album like ‘Gravity’. ‘Missing You’ is like Country and there’s Indie songs on there, Pop, Rock, RnB – there’s a bit of everything for everyone. If you’re interested in seeing the dynamics of the album then definitely get it.

What would you say to those people who will compare you to Taio Cruz?
I’d say “Okay!”. People that haven’t heard the music in my album and then hear the music on my album will tell that I’m completely different. I think Taio Cruz is amazing, I like a lot of his songs like ‘Break Your Heart’ and ‘Dynamite’. But once people hear my songs they’ll see that we’re two different artists and we’re doing two completely different things. I think people who have seen ‘Humanoid’ are making certain assumptions, it’s just the beginning. I think my songs and my album will change a lot of people’s opinions.

What was it like touring with N-Dubz? We know they're a crazy bunch!
It was amazing! They’re so crazy, I love them! It was a great experience and learning curve for me. It was great for me to see people dancing to my songs because I’ve never performed to such big crowds, other than doing the Chipmunk promo stuff.

Did the crowd react well?
I think the further out you go from London, the crazier they get! A lot of people would tweet me about my performance, that’s when I really felt people started noticing me for me.

Do you think N-Dubz are pretty inspirational?
Definitely! I love the fact that they have a book out, they’ve been signed in the US, they’re doing so well. I think they’re very inspirational not only to me but to everyone trying to do music as they’re doing big things. At the end of the day we’re all doing the same thing so I think it’s great they’re doing so well as it makes it easier for the next person.

What are your thoughts on the UK music industry at the moment and the #teamuk movement?
I think it is bigger, stronger, faster than ever before. I think there’s a lot of great talent coming though, so many names, so many different styles. 2011 is going to be crazy! From Taio Cruz to Jay Sean, people going number one in the States, when we couldn’t even get over there years before. UK music has pushed through, it’s not gonna stop there, it’s gonna get bigger.

If you wasn't a singer/songwriter what would you like to be?
I’d be an actor. I’d like to be Will Smith. Everything he’s done, I wouldn’t mind doing it, I don’t think anybody would! He’s been in some great movies. I’d like to do movies like Transformer and New Moon, Sci-fi stuff, that’s something I’d definitely like to do. One of my aims is to break into the film world.

What do you hope to achieve in the next year?
I’d like a number one album and to buy my mum a house.

If you've yet to come across Talay, check out his video for 'Humanoid'

Humanoid is out October 10th.

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