Hello everyone and welcome to our latest installment of Lucky 13 where we ask 13 questions to some of today’s most talented Independent Artists.
Featured today is Romanian artist Tony Baboon (real name Adrian Carciova) who made his musical debut in 2010 as a member of Blue Nipple Boy. Now he performs his unique style music solo and is gearing up for a new release this Monday. The artist was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule and give us an exclusive interview.
Thank you for making a few minutes for FDRMX, Tony. Let’s get this started:
FDRMX: Why the name Tony Baboon?
TONY BABOON: The name is very suggestive for the themes I tackle. So it’s an animal (baboon) with
a common human name (Tony), bearing the idea that the humans are just pretentious monkeys. Also it sounds and looks good.
FDRMX: A lot of your music has to do with the wilderness and specifically the jungle. Did you have a lot of experience with the outdoors?
TB: Being from a small town near the Danube I had some experience with the nature, especially when I was a kid. I used to go fishing in the wilderness alot. But the idea that nature is the most powerfull and sincere entity, rooted in my mind in the last 10 years or so.
FDRMX: Do you like to write your music outdoors to get the feel of nature or do you prefer to write indoors for stability?
TB: It’s a complicated process. I rarely write lyrics, writing is for writers and poets. I try to make unwritten poetry. So, I compose everywhere I am, in my mind. Ideally would be to have a nice studio where I can go and try to put togheter the ideas that come to me wherever I am. I do this at home now, but it’s not very efficient.
FDRMX: Where do you find your inspiration if not the outdoors?
TB: Like everyone, I find inspiration mainly in someone elses songs, in the human behavior and I also like surrealism and philosophy.
FDRMX: What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
TB: I had audio cassette tapes with Queen, Lionel Richie, Ace of Base, UB 40, Michael Jackson, then I started listening to Eminem alot and Romanian Rap. After many years of listening to rap I discovered the diverse spectrum of music and started listening to everything that came up to me. I guess Eminem, Patrice, Gorrillaz, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Damian Marley, Serj Tankian, Frank Sinatra type of singing and maybe a little bit of Jim Morrison where some of my early influences and some still are.
FDRMX: If you had an iPod that could only hold three artists, what would they be?
TB: Now I try listen to everything that’s labeled music. If not from pleasure then curiosity or research purposes. From traditional african music to 8 bit music. Also, I rediscover some very well-known bands that I didn’t got the chance to listen to fully. For example, this week I’ve listened to a couple of REM albums. If I had an Ipod that could hold just three artists, right now, I think I would choose Serj Tankian (for some rock vibes and percussive voice), Damian Marley (for some melancholic sunny island atmosphere) and let’s say Eminem (for some high quality rapping and groovy beats).
FDRMX: Was there a key moment where you realized this is what you want/need to do with you?
TB: There were a couple of key moments. As a kid When I started making rap As a teenager, when I discovered that I also can sing. As an adult when I actually began singing continuously and thinking I should form a band. When I got the leading role in the Romanian production of the musical Hair and got some vocal coaching. And of course, my 2 years experience with the Blue Nipple Boy band, which split up in 2012.
FDRMX: What would you say was the most embarrassing moment in your career (that you’re willing to share with us)?
TB: I had a couple of embarrassing moments. One was at a big Venue with 2000 people: I’ve apologized for our drummer cause he did a song with 5 bpm slower then it should’ve been. It was embarrassing for the rest of the band, then when I looked back it was embarrassing for me too. Then, at Sziget Festival in 2012 I waved the Romanian flag then said ” This is not my flag, I just wanted something to wave”. I’m not a patriot but I guess I shouldn’t have said that. I find it emarrasing to look back at almost everything I’ve said on stage, between songs. So my new bands resolution is to reduce the mumbo jumbo.
FDRMX: Musicians are often pegged as being reckless in their fun loving. What would you say is a crazy moment where you felt most like a wild rock star?
TB: I’ve never really felt that way even if the other band members considered themselves rockstars. That’s because music means something else. Real music is not an industry, is not about fans and fanatism, nor being a rockstar. It’s exactly the opposite. Music is sounds put together in an harmonious way, more or less. The sounds of nature and the Universe. That’s music. So, if a ever felt or will feel like a rocsktar, it means I’ve snapped.
FDRMX: Your music defies classification. It has been categorized as Jazz, Hip-Hop, Pop, Rap, and Reggae yet none of these labels do your work justice. What would be the one word to describe your own music and why?
TB: I’ve named it Tropical Jazz. By jazz, I understand diverse, open-minded, free, creative and unusual singing. That being said, the “Tropical” term comes to sweeten this exclusivist style. And that’s what’s happening when I create a song. When the song starts out as a common one, I try to jazz-it and when it comes out uncommon, I try to sweeten it to the point that other people will like it too, not just me. I try to maintain a balance.
FDRMX: You produce your own music videos under the alter-ego Zichmann Fose. What is it like to adapt your own work into a different medium?
TB: I also like branding and managing myslef, so I try to separate the arts that I’m playing with. In this field of communication I like to be as clean and clear as possible. Even if it means I have to create alter-egos. As long as they’re just superficial alter-egos, it’s all good. In reality the music and the graphics blend so naturally together. All arts complement each other. I often find myself making lyrics based on drawings I’ve made.
FDRMX: My personal favorite video of yours is Copacao, mostly of how the video corresponds so well with the lighthearted music. Is there a favorite video or song of yours?
TB: I wouldn’t say that the lyrics of Copacao are lighthearted but the instrumental and the music video are. I see your point. That was the hole idea. To create a very misantrophic story with a very childish approach. As for my favourite clip and song , I would say Pinecones River. Mostly because the animation is a start for an animated series that I want to make and the whole song is kind of uncommon and ambiguous. You don’t know if you feel sad or happy, or ready for something bad to happen.
FDRMX: What are your plans for the future? Is there a magnum opus brewing in that head of yours that you want to see complete before the end of your career?
TB: I’m currently working on mixing my fifth song, wich will be out on Monday I hope, and will have a simple animation clip, I double hope. Also I started working on an underground rap tune. Rehearsing with a guitarist for my live show and hoping that in a couple of weeks I’ll gather a full band so I can play gigs worldwide, if possible. Only others can label your work as a masterpiece or as a nothing. My goal is to continue challenging myself, get out of my confort zone and try to make something as unique as possible.