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Interview: Tim Chadwick

9 min read

Following the release of several highly acclaimed singles, Dublin based singer-songwriter Tim Chadwick has recently unveiled a brand new EP, Timothy; adding 5 impressive new ‘sad bangers’ to his growing repertoire. Tackling sensitive topics such as coming out and mental health, Timothy highlights the musicians vulnerability and enthusiasm to bring topics usually uncovered into the spotlight.

As the world continues to live through a global pandemic we were given the opportunity to speak with Tim about his latest EP, about coming out and the advice he would offer to fellow members of the LGBT community and what he has done to keep himself busy during the last difficult year in lockdown. Here is what he had to tell us….

Brendon Veevers: Hi Tim. How are you doing and where in the world does this interview find you?

Tim Chadwick: Hi there. I’m good, thank you for asking. I’m currently in my parent’s house in Dublin, Ireland. Basking in the ease that is living at home with the folks.

BV: The last year has been a pretty rough one for everyone. How have you been during lockdown and what have you been doing to keep yourself busy and entertained?

TC: I’ve been up and down to be honest. More ups recently, which are very much welcome. The beginning of all this was hard and heavy, I think I’m in a state of auto-pilot now. It’s been a mix of comforts and work that have kept me sane. Started watching The Office for the first time, finished Schitt’s Creek (still not over it), wrote an EP. I didn’t dive into work like a lot of people did last March. I went the opposite. It took me 4 months to start writing and creating again.

BV: What have you found the most difficult during this pandemic?

TC: Managing my anxiety. My worries pre-Covid were always to do with ‘what if’. We have now been living in the most uncertain time of our lives so it’s been difficult to remain calm and present. Also, channelling my boredom. I try not to fall into habits of laziness, but it’s a global pandemic. I just have to survive it. Anything else is a bonus!

BV: One thing you have been clearly busy working on is your brand new EP titled Timothy which you released on March 12th. Can you tell us a bit about the release?

TC: The making of Timothy kept me sane throughout the last year. I had just gone through a breakup, travelled to LA immediately after and then returned home to a global pandemic. That was a lot of life I needed to process. The EP meanders through self love, self discovery, accountability, healing and heartbreak. I wanted to call it Timothy because that’s the name on my birth certificate and I wanted to return to that person for a moment. Over the years I went from being called Timothy, to Timmy, to Tim. Suddenly I was an adult and I didn’t know what to do with that. So I had a lot of relearning to do.

BV: We are going to get a philosophical here Tim! The EP is obviously named after yourself and listening to your music there are a lot of layers that make up Tim Chadwick – but for those who are yet to discover Tim Chadwick, who is Timothy?

TC: Well, let’s dive in. Timothy in my head is my 11 year old self. That’s the last time I feel I was totally unaware of the world, in the most positive sense. There’s beauty in the innocence of childhood. Somewhere between Timothy and Tim, I lost a sense of myself. So, not to get even more philosophical but, I’m not totally sure who he is? I know who I am now, but that is also ever changing. Timothy feels like that voice inside my head that says, this is who you should be staying true to. Timothy feels like the root and Tim feels like the branches.

BV: We have seen the term ‘sad bangers’ being used to describe your musical style. Would you say this phrase is an accurate description of your music?

TC: I would. I wish I could take credit for it, but it was more so the listeners who coined the songs as such. I love it. My favourite type of music is the kind that can help you process and deal with emotions through high energy and movement. As Kacey Musgraves says, “happy and sad at the same time”. The lyrics are heavy and hard hitting, but the production and sonics are light and fresh. It’s a beautiful juxtaposition. As a writer, it also helps when performing the songs live. I don’t feel as if my own feelings are weighing me down.

BV: Once with a label but since going the more popular independent route – how are you finding things as an independent artist?

TC: Really enjoyable. Ownership is something that has really suited me. Like most artists, I’m a bit (a complete) control freak. I like to really take the wheel on everything. So, being in total control of my art has been a very much welcome change. I would never say I am anti-label, I think they are brilliant when the time is right. But I now firmly believe that artists should own their masters.

BV: Throughout your releases you have been brave with exploring topics like mental health which is becoming a very strong topic these days during lockdown and something that still unfortunately carries a lot of stigma to it when someone admits to struggling, especially with men. What are your views on mental health and why do you think talking about mental health is important?

TC: We are seeing more and more the negative effects of silencing our emotions when it comes to mental health. I view mental health now as equal to physical health. I used to feel ashamed of the phrase ‘mental health’ and I always thought it meant that I was struggling. Humans struggle and humans thrive. That is just life and there is no other way around it.

I talk about my ups and downs because that is my therapy and that is my outlet. I am lucky in that my mental health stays in a manageable state because of that outlet. But, that may not be the case for everyone.

Over the last year, I have gained a new sense of strength in allowing myself to be more vulnerable. Softness does not mean weakness. It is also important for me as a songwriter and artist to feel everything fully and strongly and then give that to the world. A quote that has always stayed with me is one my Anais Nin, “and the day came when the risk to remain tight in bud, was more painful than the risk that it took to blossom”. Talking is strength.

BV: We read in your bio that you came out at the age of 21 in Vienna. Has accepting your sexuality and your journey coming out and embracing your sexuality been an easy thing for you or have there been any challenges?

TC: I have been blessed that my sexuality has never held me back or been an issue. I’m aware that I am extremely privileged in being a white cis man from a stable and comfortable socio-economic background. It is safe for me to be gay where I am right now, and I really am grateful for that. The only main challenges have been within. With my own acceptance and my own understanding of what it means for me to be gay.

Everyone’s journey and understanding of themselves is different. I have come out multiple times since the first time and each experience has brought me closer to a true sense self.

BV: What advice would you offer someone who isn’t out yet on coming out and who may feel scared about their sexuality?

TC: There is no global “coming out” clock or deadline. I think you should do it when you feel the time is right for you. However, you have to accept that it may never have been the “right time” for the person/people you’re telling, but this is your future you are trying to pave. I would also say to go easy on yourself.

Personally, I found myself in a state of panic (gay panic if you will) because I was still anxious and unsure about what being gay meant to me, even after coming out.. I found it’s more of a journey than a destination. All my uncertainties and questions didn’t disappear the moment I said “I am gay”. I learned to navigate my own sexuality.

I feel like sometimes we are sold the glory of coming out and not reality that is being gay, and the beauty of that. I would also say that we only have one life on this earth and it would be such a shame to hide something so deeply beautiful and “you” from the world. I felt like coming out in stages helped me a lot. It didn’t feel like tearing the plaster off slowly. It felt more like filling up my glass slowly, so as to not get too overwhelmed.

At the end of the day, there will be a place for you in the world and you will find it. It just takes care and patience.

BV: Going back to your music, who did you grow up listening to and as a singer-songwriter who would you say has inspired you the most?

TC: We grew up listening to all of my dad’s CDs in the car. That ranged from Elton John to Whitney Houston, to Mary Black to Dolly Parton and back. You know, all the dad golden classics. It was only when I was a bit older and in school did I discover the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Kate Bush.

The songwriter that inspires me the most is Hayley Williams from Paramore. I fell in love with the band when I was 16 and that love has never disappeared. I admire her vulnerability and softness while still allowing herself to be heard loudly and clearly. Her lyrics are those in which I constantly look back on and think I wish I wrote that. She also performs…and I mean performs on stage and I believe every word and move.

BV: You’ve already found yourself a staple of the live scene and you’ve so far found support slots with a few notables including Mabel. How would you describe a Tim Chadwick show for those who may not have seen you live yet?

TC: I would say it’s both vulnerable and energetic. I don’t stop and explain the meaning behind every song but I feel like sonically, the message gets across. I’d like to think that people leave feeling less in their heads and more in their bodies.

BV: Are there plans to release an album as a follow up to the Timothy EP?

TC: An album is on the cards, such as, yes I am writing for one, but it has no date and no name. It’s very much the target at the moment but may not necessarily be the next project I bring into the world. The first album is such a statement and huge milestone. I know what I want it to sound like and represent, but I ain’t exactly there yet.

BV: There is obviously still a way to go before the world is back to normal and live shows can resume like they once did but do you have any plans in place to get on the road to promote the new EP that you can tell us about?

TC: Yes, I do. I had a good few shows postponed due to Covid and I look forward to putting them on again. I want to make sure that Timothy’s first outing isn’t one of limited fun and restricted connection. It would go against everything the EP stands for. So right now I just have to remain patient. An Irish and UK tour would be top of the list.

BV: Thanks so much Tim

Tim Chadwick’s brand new EP Timothy is out now. 

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