PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
Energy is available at:
Indie; Pop; Experimental
Moscow, Russia/Bristol, U.K.
THIS review provides me with the opportunity…
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
to represent an artist who has quite a few different sides. Before I come to look at Ria Timkin and her latest track; I want to look multi-instrumentalists and music that contains different elements; Russian/Moscow-based music and strange inspiration for songs – a bit about new female songwriters and the reason many artists go into music. I will look at that first point and why music, when it is more expansive and imaginative, is far stronger. There are many artists who lack necessary expression and colour: reliant on rather limited sounds and extolling interest from very few instruments. I am not suggesting every artist needs to come equipped with a full orchestra and a truckload of instruments. What I am getting at is how rigid and uninspiring a lot of music can be. This is something I have been thinking about for a while; compelled and driven by a slight annoyance at the current scene. There are a lot of great artists around willing to push the limits and subvert expectations. I know many artists need to be restrained simply because that is the genre they are playing in – if you are a Folk artist you are less likely to throw everything in. You cannot understate the effectiveness of those unexpected incorporation. I hear some songs and, before you know it, there will be some teasing strings or an out-of-the-blue organ. It is hard balancing that side of things and utilising instruments/sounds naturally – not cluttering a song and making it sound too busy. I appreciate there are genres where there are limitations and rules but, even something like Jazz can retain its purity and roots were an artist to sprinkle some originality in. I love Jazz but want it to become more exposed and assimilated (into the mainstream). The same goes for Folk and wonder whether there is stiffness and stubbornness that is causing a delay. Maybe the artists involved want to keep those genres free from commercialism and ill effects but, if you were to try something different, does that betray the fans and creators? I would say the only way music can keep itself from stagnating and regressing is that pursuit of advancement and experimentation. I am always drawn to songs/artists that thumb their noses at convention and are fastidious in their inventiveness.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
I feel genres such as Pop and Rock, as opposed to Folk and, say, Hip-Hop are in the greatest need of a retooling. Pop and Rock are more ‘mainstream’ and the sort of genres one will find in the charts. Many serious music fans derided chart music because it has that commercial sound and can often appear bland, insipid and simple-minded. If one is to inspire new generations and ensure 2017’s music is as fine as any before; you need to reassess and overhaul the established norm and encourage artists to be braver and more ambitious. Ria Timkin is an artist who does not need to sail a Noah’s Ark-sized raft of instruments into the ocean to get a reaction. She is an Indie/Pop artist who knows the competition out there and how hard it can be to stand out. She is a multi-instrumentalist who, through her early music passion and desires, has prepared herself for the demands of the industry. I know many of her peers might not have the acumen and abilities to be able to master instruments in the same way. That is okay but that does not mean you have to limit yourself. With software available that can provide a world of sounds: there are musicians for hire that can come in and flesh your music out. There are no excuses, if you wish to expand your music, not to. I love artists that can affect and seduce with few layers but that is a hard thing to achieve. I mention this subject because of the expansiveness and hectic nature of music. It is, as you’d imagine, becoming more congested as the days pass by – harder to discern which artists are worthy of approval and those who aren’t. In that race for survival and appreciation; it is worth – if you are a musician who is a little sonically-restricted – thinking about an emboldened palette. Timkin has that musical background but is savvy enough not to rely on that education and ability. She does not go down the route one would expect – Classical elements and what her peers are doing – but surprises and exceeds expectations. I will come to this more in the conclusion but feel artists like Timkin should be used as a blueprint for how new music should be: inventive and original but tangible enough for every listener to be able to understand and appreciate.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
If one thinks of Russia they would struggle (possibly) to list that many modern musicians. If one imagines Russian bands, there might be that ingrained prediction: bearded or tattooed men in Metal groups; perhaps some off-Broadway attempts at the mainstream. Aside from the likes of Pussy Riot and TatU; there are few standout Russian acts from the last few years. That may be the case but is not to say there is a derelict scene there. In fact, Electro. Bands like Pompeya – who I mentioned recently when reviewing another Russian artist – hail from Russia but reside in L.A. They have been on the Russian music scene since 2007 and have evolved from a hipster band to one that attracts the attention of Western audiences. They have played across North America and continue to grow. Likewise, Little Big are a Thrash-Rave outfit who hail from St. Petersburg. They have millions of YouTube views and are non-conformist. They mock Russian culture and seems to have an anti-establishment dynamic. Therr Maitz consist Anton Belyaev and his crew. He hails from Khabarovsk and has attracted a loyal local crowd. That is not a long list by any stretch and does not really do justice to the scene there. I have never visited Russia and am a little hot-cold in regards the country. From a cultural perspective, I admire their composers and rich legacy – some of the greatest Classical minds hail from Russia. It is a nation with a diverse and impressive music history. In terms of modern art and literature, again, there is plenty to recommend. The nation does take in Western influences but has its own culture and style. I know there are great music spots in Moscow, for instance, that attract a mixed crowd. Down Ul. Bol. Dmitrovka 32, bldg. 1, one can find a daytime coffee-and-book emporium – for those who like to chat and relax – that transoms into a great spot for an evening cocktail. Chinatown Café and Cult Club (Lubyansky proezd 25/12 and Yauzkaya ul. 5) promise spectacular views – Chinatown Café promises an oriental entrance and Chinese roofing tiles; the latter is great for Funk and Soul lovers – appealing to a younger and cooler demographic.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
Dzhao Da is a weird fusion of a restaurant/bar/club that lures older and younger crowds; Crocus City Hall is a concert hall in Krasnogorsk and is an urban settlement. Down in Pushkinskaya, there is a concert hall that provides entertainment and music – Izvestiya Hall is another popular venue. As I say, I have not spent any time in Moscow and wonder whether there is a supportive government programme for musicians and artists. I am the last person who would pledge any affection and allegiance to Vladimir Putin. I find him to be an equal to Donald Trump: someone running a nation on his own terms and dedicated to a dictatorship and oppressive regime. I am not sure whether musicians like Timkin are supporters of him – he divides the nation and is celebrated by many – but I would not imagine him to be that concerned with the music scene and artists in Russia. I will move on to another subject but want to look at Russia and how influential their government is. The President has a foreign and domestic policy that seems at odds with that in the West. If one looks at Barack Obama and his policies and mandates – much more supportive of the arts and his people. It seems there is a new Cold War shaping up between Russia and the U.S. Trump and Putin are balkanised and seem determined to shaft one another. I am a huge detractor of both and feel they are not acting in their country’s best interests. Putin, to me, seems a dangerous figure who, along with other people in Russia, is tarnishing their good name. We have all heard about the ‘alleged’ drug cheating of Russian athletes. There is that reputation for homophobia and racism – not all the population but certain factions – that paints Russia in very intolerant and bigoted strokes. Of course, how much of the actual truth we are being fed is hard to say – the media can skew facts and miss half the story. Regardless, it seems like there are people in Russia who offer aggression and hatred to those they perceive as being ‘different’ or ‘abnormal’ – an abhorrence that violently contradicts the ethics of the broad-minded and civilised. Timkin realises this and knows her nation gets a bad press here. There are so many good sides to Russia and a lot of great things coming out of the country. I wonder whether that minority tars the nation and struggles to shift opinions from the negative.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
I am reluctant to visit Russia because of that homophobia and racism – many other people are quite sceptical. Is Putin really willing to support musicians and provide opportunities for young acts there or is he too concerned with warring and conflicting against Trump?! Ria Timkin is someone who is among the finest artists from Russia (let alone Moscow) and has huge potential. The Western media spends very little time studying the Russian music market because of divisions that exist. Although Putin is not representative of many Russian citizens; his twisted agenda is something that clouds our views and dictates our perceptions. From my standpoint, I feel, unless there is a shift of power – someone who can overturn Russia’s black marks and controversies – to somebody who can coexist with the West whilst spending time/money on promulgating Russian art – I fear there will be a struggle for native musicians. As I have shown; there are many who are emigrating and moving to L.A. and other cities. There are many Russian musicians over here and others who have moved to nations like Sweden and Norway. Were there more любовь и мир and far less ненавидеть then the Western world would pay much more attention to the music coming from the country. I worry about the stability and prosperity of Russian culture. Timkin is a Moscow native but someone who has been gaining more attention from nations like the U.K. – now being based over here. There are so many eager and talented musicians in Russia but is there a vibrant and profitable scene there? One suspects, like other nations, there are a few venues and acts but nothing like you’d see in other areas. I shall leave this subject here but hope artists like Ria Timkin will remain or choose to remain in the U.K. or move to the U.S. She is a fantastic artist and one that deserves a lot of acclaim. We, in Britain, are vibing to her music and have provided her a warm and prosperous home. Having relocated to Bristol; there is that British base Timkin can build on.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
I will come to look at Energy (and Timkin’s catalogue) but wanted to address something: strange inspiration for songs. It might not be that peculiar, mind, but love racks that originate from unexpected places. We all know love songs are rather open-booked: they come from a personal place and are compelled by break-ups and relationship dramas. Outside of love songs, the minority of tracks, you are always eager to know where they stem from. It is great interpreting a song and its meanings but can be tricky deciphering just when the moment was that spark came. In the case of Energy, as Timkin explains, she states:
“In 2015 I went to Dubai and was really fascinated by the pulsing energy of the city. I fell in love with its gorgeous illumination, the never-ending vibrancy and the striking contrast between the empty desert and the city that just breathes life. During the trip I had the phrase stuck in my head that later became the chorus: “I feel the energy beating…” I knew it wasn’t grammatically correct because usually you say that energy flows or pulsates, it doesn’t “beat”, but I really wanted to keep it that way because it was how I felt during the trip. However, it wasn’t just the magnificent electric lights that made Dubai feel so special”.
Not only is that ‘country of birth’ quite unexpected – not many musicians claiming inspiration from Dubai – but the ‘thing’ that led to the song. I have not been to Dubai – need to actually travel outside the U.K., me! – but know what an evocative and vivid country it is. In terms of wealth, like the U.A.E., it is the Middle East equivalent of Mayfair (or Chelsea). In fact, one would see fewer expensive cars and gorgeous buildings in the richest parts of London. Dubai seems never to have experienced any cash-flow issues or seen their back balances go into the red. Take a look at the skyline and it is filled with decadent and awe-inspiring vistas: tower blocks and lavish buildings; restaurants and ports decked in glamour and money. The cars you see pounding the streets are not exactly second-hand Ford Fiestas.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
You have the police that drive Bugatti Veyrons, Porsches and supercars. Whilst there is some rigidity regarding morals, religion and luxuries – women having to be covered and their stringent alcohol laws – there are wonderful opportunities to make a good life and reap the rewards of a wealthy nation – one that has fewer social issues and political problems than many wealthy nations. Of course, Dubai is very strict and perhaps not somewhere I’d like to live but can appreciate how its energy and eye-opening views could inspire a songwriter. There is that extraordinary desert vastness – the sheer heat and desolation; lifelessness and quiet – that is starkly contrasted against the never-sleeping vitality and voice of the city. As Timkin experienced; one gets a sensual rush of light, energy and life. That is enough for anyone to become inspired and create music. When music is suffering, in some areas, a lack of inspiration: how beneficial would it be for the would-be musician to take a trip and abroad and be struck by a different culture. Whilst that is an expensive work trip, it can be done in conjunction with a planned holiday. One only needs open their mind and eyes and, before you know it, there are songbooks full of material. I still feel there are few that have that originality and fascinating approach to music. Timkin is someone who has travelled the world and brings that fascinating travelogue into her work. I will expand on that in a bit but am impressed a song such as Energy does not stem from the tried-and-tired relationship quarrel. It is a positive and thought-provoking song that comes from a talented and hungry artist. Instead of (musicians I am talking to now) taking influence from love and personal life; have a think about events happening the world and subjects that are not often covered. You can write a quirky song about a historical figure or an epic instrumental – maybe a sample-heavy track or tune concerning recent political events. There is so much one can write about: there is that over-dependence on the personal and cliché that is putting off many listeners. Ria Timkin is someone who takes from her own life but lets the vastness and unpredictability of life to have the bigger say.
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Dean
Timkin is a Moscovite – living in Bristol – who has followed her heart and dreams from a young age. Not only does she have a degree in Law but is a talented figure skater. As one might imagine, she has an engaging and curious mind; a physicality and need to express herself that has led her to music. In terms of her instrumentation; one gets loop station brilliance and beat-boxing magic; melodica and keyboards fused alongside vocal solos and harmonies. It is an explosive and engaging music box that conveys and provokes different emotions. I feel a lot of new musicians are coming into the world to inspire others and change music as we know it – rather than fulfil personal dreams and make money. That might be naïve or all-sweeping – many have different agendas – but I am seeing changes occur. Music is becoming more engaging, inspiring and fascinating to me. I am getting a great feeling from music and think it is improving in many areas. Whether new artists are genuinely trying to make changes and compel others remains to be seen. That seems to be what Ria Timkin is here to do. She has featured on national radio stations here and been spotted by the BBC. Not just that; she has played festivals and nations such as Germany and Greece. In a mega-competitive and hectic music world; those who have an all-hands-on-deck approach are likely to succeed a lot quicker. For Timkin, the most effective way for her to express her feelings and thoughts it to create music. I guess, psychological, if you are confused or searching clarity; putting pen to paper (or finger to laptop) is an effective immediate release. Whilst there, it might take a while for the words to coalesce into something tangible but does provide a therapeutic outlet. I guess a lot of musicians start careers as a way of making sense of negative emotions – and positive observations and curiosities. I, for one, use journalism in the same way: always looking to express myself in whatever way I can; perhaps not able to do so in the same manner in the flesh. In terms of Timkin’s latest track, one suspects the brilliance and wonderment of that Dubai moment was too strong to refute – it struck the imagination and unearthed realisations and deep-down thoughts.
The first words of Energy see the heroine keeping things calm and repeating a mantra: the energy beats in her heart and is infusing her body. There is no needless rush to be heard: a passionate and, oddly, lustful vocal that sets the scene and starts to build the intrigue. One can easily imagine themselves in that moment, surrounded by the heat, light and rush of Dubai. In fact, one does not have to specifically set themselves there. Energy is a song that can be applied to any situations and be redefined by anyone. To me, there is that city excitement and being surrounded by people and excitement. The energy, it is said, is “beating around”. Timkin lets that voice strike and allure as the beats start to come in. Electronics warp and there is that defined pound that kicks the song up a gear and adds an extra layer of excitement. One has their senses pricked and the imagination goes in another direction. Your hands and feet are compelled to move and become active; the brain starts to picture new scenes and the song suddenly gets flexes and protrudes its chest. There is something unorthodox and unexpected about Timkin’s voice. It is not a ‘traditional’ Pop voice and has a distinct flow and rhythm. Some of the most distinct singers are those who do not stick to defined courses and allow their own personality and flair to come through. Here, one can detect a young woman who keeps her natural accent intact but lets her voice flow and stutter. There is a passion and seduction to the performance in addition to a quirk and mysticism. Again, you can picture things unravelling and transport yourself in a dream-like vision. Whether you are among the bodies and unpredictability of Dubai or in your own space – it is a very physical and vivid song that will make its presence known and urges the listener to follow the story.
PHOTO CREDIT: Katie-Jane Konstanz
As Energy heads towards the half-way mark; there is an idea of rebellion and changing things. The heroine has played the victim for a while and there is a need to alter things and improve. Maybe travel and escape is her way of seeing the world how she wants and leaving somewhere she is unhappy. That question of backing down – should she be timid and retreat – is repeated and the need to embrace something of-the-moment and physical. Timkin is in this city and somewhere new; she is forcing herself to change and not surrendering to past ways. Maybe, in the past, she has been dictated to and been made to live a certain way. The song is a celebration of freedom and a declaration of independence. Yes, there is a sense of nerves and uncertainty at this moment – perhaps a move that has not been attempted and fears towards a new way of life. Maybe that rebellion is only for this brief time. The heroine is in a new city and feeling the raw excitement and strangeness of the place. Perhaps Energy is not solely about that experience in another city but a wider message of change and transformation. If we get out the comfort-zone and are not slaves to old ideals; that means we are free to see the world in a more honest and open way. Perhaps, most of us get too settled and never really open our eyes to what is around us – especially in a technology-driven way. You bond with Timkin and her heartfelt performance. Those beats keep pressing and whip up imagery and strange passions. The voice, with its accent and distinct delivery, gives the words a real originality and sense of meaning – whereas an ordinary singer or mainstream artist would do them a disservice. When at the “brink of obsession” is when Timkin is at her best. It is a curious sentiment that gets the imagination looking in another place. You follow the timeline and structure of the song – in a new place and castigating an old way of life; peeling that skin away – but there is that obsession one investigates. Maybe it is a need to embrace everything new or a restless pursuit or success and accomplishment. Being an ambitious musician; there is always going to be the drive to reach audiences and fulfil dreams.
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Dean
As a human being, Timkin is definitely struggling to continue as she has in the past and feels the desire that is building in her. Whether abroad and in a vibrant city or remaining at home; there is that concern things are not as she wants – a realisation is here and she is doing something about it. The chorus comes back in and joins with the previous verse. Things start to coalesce and solidify as the different strands form together. Many of us will be in that place where things are stagnating or causing us anxiety. Maybe it is a case of exploring and discovering something new – thus, providing new insight and motivation – or resisting bad habits and a poor way of life. The chorus is ridden and repeated as its meanings and words gain new relevance and strength. Every listener will be able to relate to the song because it has quite a simple heart and ambition. It is a story of a young woman who is embracing what is around her and not ready to confirm. Maybe she has in the past and been quite cautious but there is a certain evolution unfolding. You will be drawn into the catchiness of the song and everything happening in it. The composition has a strange and inviting energy whilst Timkin’s voice has a blend of the peculiar and beautiful. Put this together and one is presented with a track that gets inside the head and makes you think. I would hope there is more material afoot that is inspired by the same thing as Energy. It is clear Timkin is going through changes and evaluating thing. Experiencing a fleshed-out and expansive assessment of this time and where she goes now. Energy suggests there is something around the corner – what form that takes is hard to say. Energy, as it stands, is a strong and fascinating cut from the Moscovite. One would like Timkin to take the song on the road and deliver it to a British audience. If that does happen, it will bring her music to the stations here who favour something bold and different – not the kind of song that festoons and invades the charts.
I shall come to the original points – a bit about Russian music/culture and musical exploration; something more regarding reasons to get into music and unexpected inspiration behind songs – but will think ahead at Ria Timkin’s year. So far, Energy has garnered praise and clearly has touched quite a few people. That desire to represent the energy and activity of a city is something most of us can relate to – transplant ourselves in the song and wander and gaze alongside Timkin. I believe she has dates ahead and will be coming to the U.K. very shortly. I suggest you look at her official site (link below) and see what she is up to. Timkin documents her musical adventures in her blog, The Secret Plan of Ria Timkin. It is an honest and traveling portrait of someone obsessed with music. In 2016, the debut E.P., Visitor, was received with positive reviews and collated upbeat and catchy rhythms with quirky lyrics. The messages urged listeners to live life to the fullest: Energy is a song that carries along these lines but looks deeper and treads new ground. 2017’s music sees a darker and more curious side of Timkin come to light. Those same energies and vibrancies are intact but join something more shadowed and unnerving – not in a bad way; things are always uplifting but there is a more daring attitude on Energy. Timkin stands for testing limits and ensuring everyone tests theirs. She is obsessed with this pursuit and inspiring other people. That desire and bring passion, one feels, will carry on this year. I wonder whether 2017 will see another E.P. and more tour dates announced. Timkin is a brilliant and ambitious artist who wants to take her music to as many people as she can. I hope she plays more shows in the U.K. as there is a lot of support for her here. I know there will be bigger ambitions ahead: touring in new countries and, maybe, releasing an album. Energy is another bold and spirited offering from a fantastic and determined artist. Timkin is someone who lives and breathes music – you can hear that in every note.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
I started by looking at the use of instruments and the possibilities when broaden the horizons. There are a few musicians that feel copying everyone else is the way to success and longevity. One reason people criticise the mainstream and chart music is how samey and derivative it can be. There is a mass of music that has so little imagination and diversity. I feel a bit annoyed when chart artists get so much attention and streams on services like Spotify. One feels the music is being aimed to the wrong audiences – those who have little music education and have been spoon-fed the kind of bland and poor music their entire life. I know people are entitled to listen to whatever they want – music is subjective so we should not judge so easily – but, if there was a stronger alternative available, that would be a lot better for everyone. You can have chart/commercial music but still promote a different method of working. I know some genres are quite limited in terms of sound: that is how it has always been and altering it too much would deny its integrity and purity. I am suggesting, without taking things to extremes, the artist looks at the chasm of available sounds, instruments and sub-genres. The most exciting revelations in music, I feel, come when an artist does something genuinely new and unexpected. Usually, this involves a certain stylistic shift or unexpected detour. I think the most untapped (or perhaps the hardest to incorporate) genres are Classic and Jazz – maybe 1990s Dance, too. Artists like Kendrick Lamar and Loyle Carner – quite a few Hip-Hop/Rap acts, in fact – perfectly blend Jazz fusions into their work. It gives the songs a centre lush-ness and sophistication. Jazz, to me, is a very underrated genre and one few people listen to lovingly – just as few use the genre (musicians) as they should. There is such a wealth of possibility and opportunity. You do not need to sample pre-existing songs; you can be inspired by them and attempt your own version, perhaps.
You can say the same about Classical sounds. At certain stages, it was the go-to thing for artist: putting strings into their music to give it, I guess, a grandeur and atmosphere. It still does happen quite a lot but more on the ‘romantic’ end of the spectrum. Using pizzicato violins and Bernard Herrmann-style Twisted Nerve-like song or something. Trip-Hop bands of the 1990s experimented quite a lot but I find any grand Classical blends are less-common. It can be complicated and risky throwing too much into music but, if you get it right, the results can be magnificent. Ria Timkin is someone who backs up her luminous and rainbow-like visions with appropriate sonic textures. That beat-box and drum loop sound provide the rush and physicality; there are so many different ideas and expressions injected into her songs. Energy is a fitting title for a song that balanced dark and light with infectiousness and nuance. I guess, if you are writing a heartfelt song about as departed father you’re not going to have a pulsating Dub-Step break in the middle but there are still options – plaintive strings or an emotive glass xylophone; perhaps Jazz trumpets or muted sound effects. I am merely suggesting but feel there is still little risk in new music – perhaps over-generalisation but have a listen yourself and be the judge. Timkin is someone who can never be accused of narrow horizons and a lack of musicianship. Listening to the best new sounds, I am struck by the compositional elements that elevates the tracks above the predictable. It is always amazing discovering artists who mesh fantastic sounds together and how that comes about. Me, as a non-musician, am always impressed so shouldn’t judge those who are bit more limited, musically. I’ll put that point to be bed only to say I am constantly seeking musicians who go further and beyond the ordinary. I get tired of so many chart acts who seem content to sit behind producers and anodyne sounds. It is causing such a negative culture and something that needs to be addressed.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
I’ll finish by looking at odd inspirations for songs and the Russian music scene. Energy stems from the buzz and jittery hum of Dubai. Having found herself in the city, Timkin was enveloped in the bright lights and compelling skylines. I guess she would be able to tell us about the true scale and majesty of the place: conceiving such an immense and glistening city is something most of us will struggle to do. Even compared with London, Dubai is something special. Not just in terms of the wealth and expensiveness but the beauty and modernity. There is history there but Dubai has that ultra-modern aesthetic that appeals to the million/billionaires that reside there. It is a fast-paced place that is designed to open the eyes and imagination. It is no surprise Timkin found inspiration there to write her latest track. One can get a sense of the vibrancy and electricity of the place. It is a brilliant number that makes me look at her future. How will her songwriting evolve and what will her next song be about? I imagine she is keen to see more of the world and its people. Energy should act as a guide to modern songwriters who struggle to distance themselves from songs of love and heartbreak. It is okay if you intersperse these tracks in with other but, if this is all you write, there is a risk people will become bored. You do not need to travel somewhere like Dubai to discover something as compelling. I want to talk (briefly) about Russian music and ways it can be highlighted.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley
The nation takes a lot from western culture – in terms of its music – but, in other areas, distances itself altogether. There are those who take influence from the British and American charts and are making similar music. Away from that, there are some interest Rock bands and Electro. artists. I mentioned a few artists around Russia who are achieving great things and primed for success. I feel there is not the support in the country the artists deserve. I would assume there is some government funding for arts but one wonders whether native music – artists who live in Russia – are as popular and needed as British and American sounds. It is a shame because there are so many artists in Russia who have a lot to say. Although Timkin is based in Bristol, there are still a lot of musicians in the country who do not have the opportunity to move and relocate. I suppose anyone who is a Putin dissenter would be sensitised and quashed. It is quite a fraught and sensitive situation in the country: how much freedom of speech does the average artist really have?! It is an interesting point and one that is seeing some flee to other nations. There are more opportunities somewhere like America. Perhaps it is unfair to paint Russia as an oppressive nation because there are so many great people and a lot of beauty there. It is the small number of people there who are blackening its name and projecting images of discrimination and bigotry. Timkin is from a city (Moscow) who has a wonderful mix and vibrant scene. Maybe Moscow musicians have to struggle to get their voices heard but there are plenty of promising artists there. The nightclubs and venue around the city are varied and seem to cater to wide tastes. Ria Timkin is indicative of the young artists emerging who want success and attention. Maybe Russia is not top of most people’s lists for new music but we should not ignore the music coming from there. Timkin is making strides and has the potential to record many albums and singles. Where she goes next is up to her but I would not be surprised to see more material in the coming months. Energy is that pulsating and intriguing recollection of Dubai’s majesty and mysteries. If there is a new song in her mind it will be fascinating to see…
WHERE that inspiration will come from.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Walkley