From an outsider’s perspective, it would be easy to assume that the career of Sydney-based urban/pop dynamo Timomatic was launched solely off the back of the 2011 edition of ‘Australia’s Got Talent’. But with an independent LP already in the bag and top eight finish on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ two years earlier, it’s clear that Timomatic’s quest for global domination began many years before.
Two years on, he’s returning to the scene of the crime – as a judge on the reboot of ‘AGT’ – and has just dropped his new single ‘Parachute’… it seems life’s pretty sweet for the determined star.
“I’ve been working towards what I’m living now in my life for a very long time,” Tim tells us. “I by no means think it’s a final destination, but I’m just making the most of every opportunity and it’s working out well for me.”
Those opportunities seem to have been coming thick and fast since his third-place finish on ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ led to a record deal with Sony Music. But Timomatic had started the ball rolling on his music career long before most of Australia discovered his gift.
“I’d already started to really take the initiative to create a sound that was unique to me and to get all my ideas out and recorded. So I took that initiative and made my own project, so the wheels had definitely started to turn in regards to music,” he says
Following the show and once signed, Timomatic quickly unleashed his debut major label single ‘Set It Off’. It was a smash hit, peaking at No.2 and going on to sell more than 280,000 copies. It was the start of something big.
“I knew that the song was special,” he admits. “When we wrote it we knew it was special, but four times platinum was not something that I envisioned, so it was all a pleasant surprise for everyone and it helped to set up the next few singles and the chance to live my career as an artist.”
The next few singles, too, impressed on the charts. Each made it into the top 20 and each sold at least gold (in the case of single No.2 – ‘If Looks Could Kill’ – double platinum), proof that Timomatic seems to have discovered the perfect formula for chart success.
“I think that the Australian public and some fans around the world have really connected with me and stayed with me. And partly I think it’s because I try to make sure that whatever I create, it’s from a special and organic place, whether I write it or I don’t write it,” he says.
“I just feel that on a grassroots level, from the styling to the film clip to the music, I really have my head, my heart, my soul and everything I do in it. And I think that people really connect with that and connect with someone who’s giving all of themselves to the music.
“The artist DNA is what defines you and what makes you different from the get go. I’ve always made it a point of interest and a priority to make sure that whether it’s through the music or the performances, it really speaks to who I am as a person.
“The music business is such a flooded industry… pop music in particular. To stand up and be counted, you’ve really got to be yourself so that people connect with you as an individual.”
Though there have been many highlights in Timomatic’s career thus far, especially across the past couple of years, there’s one in particular that had him believing his music career was definitely going places.
“It was when I was invited to perform ‘Set It Off’ at Miss Universe in Las Vegas at the end of last year,” he admits. “That’s when I probably thought that it wasn’t a fad for people anymore. This is really going to stay around and people are starting to connect across the seas.
“I still didn’t even have a record deal overseas, but I was already getting invited to perform at these prestigious events and getting high rotation in Los Angeles with the track, so that’s when I knew I had started to make a lot of ground,” he says, revealing that while Australia will always remain an important market for him, he has much grander plans.
“I do! I do!” he exclaims. “But I think it’s special for Australians, because in pop music it’s probably only a handful of acts who’ve gone out and had success overseas. So I’m hoping to join that small number. I’d really love to make waves in America… and all around the world.
“I was able to perform ‘Set It Up’ in Mexico and start a fanbase there, and in China, Africa and other amazing places. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m building strong foundations here in Australia. I love this country and it’s my home and I’ll always come back here and treat you guys to the firsts, the premieres or whatever I’m doing.”
Timomatic’s latest effort from the studio is his newly released single ‘Parachute’. Already a top five hit, the single has joined its predecessors in achieving a gold sales accreditation. Tim gives us the lowdown.
“‘Parachute’ was recorded when I was in the States in February with these guys called Team Red, who’ve previously worked with Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull… amazing, amazing big artists,” he explains. “I fell in love with the song the first time I heard it. It’s a party song with soul. It’s romantic, it’s fun, it’s organic, it’s catchy. Everything I want to say right now in a song. I love music that inspires the masses – that really gets the masses going crazy. That’s the kind of music that I try to create.”
But although there’s a new single out and about, the singer refuses to be drawn on questions about whether an album may soon follow.
“There could be. No confirmation so far,” he teases. “We’re just focussing on singles at the moment. It’s very much turning into a singles market game. People are so selective now. With iTunes and the way that everything’s set up… Only if you’re The Beatles can you opt for people to have to buy your whole album.
“It’s good, I guess. It means that artists have to be more on top of their game. The whole notion of the ‘album filler’ becomes really difficult to do now when people have the opportunity to choose.
“For me, I’m just enjoying living it up and enjoying the speed of the new music climate where it has to be all about singles, singles, singles and getting new singles out.”
Tim’s visibility is about to get a mighty big boost too, as he goes back to where it all began (albeit this time on the judging panel) on Channel 9’s forthcoming re-boot of ‘Australia’s Got Talent’. It’s a career move the singer describes as his “full circle” moment.
“On one hand it’s been weird, but on the other hand, I’ve been in the mentoring and advising world for quite a while now,” he concedes. “I audition all of my dancers for my film clips and my live shows. Ever since I was 16, I’ve been teaching dance and teaching performance and having to adjudicate competitions. So I suppose there was a natural fit in terms of being a judge and being able to comment and provide feedback on different acts.
“The show is really unique. I feel that it’s the most unpredictable show on the planet. You have no idea what’s going to walk onto the stage. And when they’ve walked on, you already have this preconceived notion of what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it. And then they blow you away or they don’t blow you away.”
And has he been blown away?
“I’ve seen some things I’ve never seen before. Some amazing things. And some things that I never want to see again,” he laughs. “So it’s a bit of both. But all in all, Australia always surprises itself with discovering and producing such amazing talent that no-one’s heard of – and that’s just the name of the game. It’s just so unpredictable and so exciting that I feel that I’m glad to be part of the family of AGT.”
With his music and television careers going great guns, future plans to develop his acting skills and a steely determination for the future, it’s just as well Timomatic has a ‘Parachute’ at hand, because we suspect his career is primed to head sky high.
Timomatic’s single ‘Parachute’ is available digitally now.
‘Australia’s Got Talent’ returns soon on the Nine Network.