Young, sweet and fresh faced; do not be deceived by the looks of 17 year old Tom Nicol! This guy is one to watch in the electronic music scene with a sound he can’t quite describe himself. At 17, Tom understands the needs of the crowd and plays to his seniors effortlessly. His skills alone created upbeat, feel good vibes at Release’s launch night. Tom’s productions are distinct in their sound with tracks such as ‘Talktome’ and ‘Your Games’ that capture a softer, sensual side to Garage and House music. So where did this guy suddenly appear from? Tom’s hometown is the small city of Chester; LSRadio discovered what the polite and friendly talent that is TJPN is all about.
Hi Tom, TJPN is your stage name. I’m curious what does this stand for?
It stands for the initials to my name; it’s Tom John Paton Nicol. It doesn’t actually mean anything, I just didn’t really know what to call myself at first!
Yeah there tend to be a lot of wacky names around.
That’s true, well a lot of people nowadays have the names where they take out the vowels like ‘SBTRKT’ and people think that’s what mine is but it’s not.
How old are you?
I’m 17, turning 18 in May.
So being young, have you had any awkward moments when playing in clubs?
I do worry about this when I play a gig like ‘am I going to get in’ but it’s been fine actually, apart from Leeds; I tried to get behind the decks and a guy was like ‘what are you doing?’ Haha I was like ‘mate I’m on next…’ Bit awkward.
Haha just a bit! How long have you been producing music for?
I started making really bad Dubstep and Drum and Bass around 3 years ago and over time I turned away from that and started producing this kind of music; not sure what it is to be honest. I’d say last year around June is when I started posting my first couple of tracks and that’s as long as I’ve been doing it seriously, so not very long.
How many gigs have you done so far?
This one in will be like my 4th gig, not really done a lot. I’ve done two gigs in my hometown Chester and then I did one in Leeds recently. Leeds was good, I got to meet a lot of producers I’d speak to on the internet but never conversed with face to face. Yeah I got to meet Taneli and JohnBear, it was nice to meet them there.
What kind of music do you enjoy listening to yourself other than house?
I listen to a lot of bands I like Phoenix and Last Dinosaurs, apart from house music though I don’t think there’s any kind of genre within the electronic spectrum that I’m really that into.
Who and what are your influences?
I’d say the first sort of artists I started listening to before making my music would be Disclosure and Bondax, I’m well into Bondax. I’ve seen them a couple of times and the first time I saw them I spoke to Adam after the gig and he was a nice guy. It’s great when you meet someone whose music you like and they turn out to be a good guy.
So when do you tend to produce music and find you work best?
I know everyone probably says this but at night time, definitely. I’m not sure what it is but a lot of the songs I make, I start something and leave it then come back 3 or 4 weeks later and finish it. I think that’s how like all my songs have been made apart from ‘Talktome’ which was literally in 3 hours. I just smashed it, don’t know how.
When sampling vocals what sounds do you like in your music?
A lot of the time I’ve listened to a vocal and based my music around that. At the moment if you look at any producer who is starting to show through the cracks they use RnB and that’s because it sounds really good. I always try and find something that’s less used because there are a few tracks that get absolutely rinsed, like Lauryn Hill’s been sampled a lot and ‘Say My Name’ by Destiny’s Child is sampled all the time. I’m sampling a song at the moment by an artist called Tank, that’s coming out soon. Yeah so at the moment I’m sampling only RnB artists.
What about producers or musicians are there any you would like to work with in the studio?
Oh so many; erm Karma Kid, Taneli, JohnBear, all the people I listen to, whetherit would work I don’t know. I also want do something a bit different and get a vocalist; I like the sound of George Maple, I think she’s from Australia, she had a release on Bondax’s label a couple of months ago and I’ve just been listening to her songs quite a lot and I am well into them.
Let’s hope that happens, you and George Maple would be sweet music to the ears, how are you feeling about playing for Liverpool tonight?
I am nervous; this is the most people I will have played to. I have a bit of a weird set, like I’ve got 30 songs or so that I like listening to and I will just see when I’m up there what to play when. I have a few of my own in there as well,yeah not sure how people will respond to it.