When I was a 13-year-old kid in Saint Joseph’s Institution, I met a kid from the class next to mine named Timothy De Cotta. Every recess, we’d be on opposite teams on the street soccer court. In football, Tim was a baby-faced assassin, a gentleman of a player who played his way into the hearts of onlookers by combining courteous fair play with captivating dribbling and deadly finishing. You could compare him to Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, but in those days, there was only one Timothy De Cotta.
As I sit with him today, I am not just sitting opposite an old friend. I sit opposite a musician with burgeoning accomplishments, having grown into his own since being bassist for now-defunct local supergroup Sixx. Today, he is on the cusp of releasing his aptly named debut album, The Warrior. Ahead of its launch this coming Saturday, I took the opportunity to discuss the album and take a deeper look into the heart and soul of Tim De Cotta – warrior, musician and friend.
Here are the highlights:
Suffian: I’ve known you for years, and have always known you to live life with a lot of passion. You put heart and soul into football, into your music. Where does it come from?
Timothy De Cotta: I eat a lot of sambal so they say it increases your metabolism. I guess that and genes, basically a recipe for disaster or greatness.
Does it ever get tiring? I mean, in putting your heart and soul into the music, not with the sambal.
Yes of course. I’ve learnt that there is a type of tiredness that isn’t physical or mental. I’ve experienced a spiritual exhaustion that can only be cured by spending time with my loved ones or doing things I love.
Do you have a favourite film?
The Matrix. It blew my mind. Started me thinking. Jolted me with fear that reality isn’t what it seems. Gave me hope that I could literally change it. Made me see limits are only in your mind. And that it’s never too late to come into your own.
Harris bin Potter. Duh. Ok I lied, I didn’t read it in full yet. The Little Prince though.
Okay, put in descending order of importance the 10 most important things in your life.
- Family & Loved Ones
- Being Happy
- Values & Beliefs
- Being a good person to other people
- Being kind even when it hurts
- Having fun
- Writing & practicing music
If you could say anything to 14-year-old Tim De Cotta back in SJI, what would it be?
Don’t worry. You’re a late bloomer. But maybe in 10 years I’d say “Don’t listen to your 30-year old self he’s homeless”.
Last thing you got high on?
Playing with my band The Warriors. It’s the most freeing thing in the world.
If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you would have been?
I think I’d be in APB doing marketing communications and strategy for beer. Like seriously. I’d be selling beer. To the world. I’d be an international beer uncle.
Who are your greatest musical influences?
D’angelo, Maxwell, The Roots, Jamiroquai, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, J Dilla. The Dave Matthews Band. Antonio Carlos Jobim. James Taylor. Bread. Aretha Franklin. Ella Fitzgerald. Bilal, Musiq Soulchild.
What subjects do you sing about in The Warrior? What part of your soul did you want to put into the Warrior?
I sang about what’s not-so-right about the society I live in, talked about the world and it’s craziness and how close we are to destroying ourselves, but I also talk about love and keeping it real and keeping art pure and having hope. I wrote songs about the established order and how we need to wake up for our own good, and on the other end of the spectrum I wrote songs about very personal experiences like love and the passing of a friend.
What was the writing process like?
These songs have evolved with me for the last 4 years. They have changed so much from how they were when I first wrote them and all for the better, with my experience in life and my progression from being an artist that wanted to be seen and heard to one that was just really comfortable in making my music and doing my own thing. I guess you can say my writing matured along with how I did, but there’s always a ways to go. Till we die.
Complete this sentence: If you lovegood stories that also make you want to dance at the same time, you would definitely love The Warrior.
What can fans expect at the launch event?
All the stops to be pulled out musically. I’m not so much a fan of grand gestures and flashy displays to attract attention in ways outside of the music. I like to do it with the music to make the experience interesting all the way! They can expect to be engaged, entertained, educated(maybe?) or triggered. Either way they can be expected to have something to say about it at the end, for sure.
From your days at Sixx, to your current team-up with The Warriors, you’ve always been a strong collaborator in music. Who would you love to collaborate with that you haven;t before, locally and internationally?
Locally I’ve been collaborating with alot of artists recently like Intriguant, Evanturetime and others I can’t mention yet but I’d also love to work with Hiatus Kaiyote, with Childish Gambino, Andre 3000, with Mayer Hawthorne and even Flying Lotus perhaps. I’d also love to work with people who are stunningly talented in the region like Najwa (KL), June Marieezy (PH) or Zion T. (KOR).
The Warrior is out on Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify and other online stores on 10 Mar.
You can get physical copies of The Warrior Album Booklet and merchandise at www.timdecotta.com
The Warrior launch concert is on 11 Mar 2017 at Studio Point, 158 Kallang Way.
Tickets at: http://thewarrior.peatix.com
Follow Tim De Cotta on Facebook or Spotify.