Tim Prottey-Jones has one of those voices that could tear down a line of picket fences. His rock-operatic voice offers a real grandiose feeling of emotion and sentiment through 'Until I Do', his brand new duet with the wonderful Stephanie Quayle.
With the video premiering exclusively today at Holler, the song is an emblem of yearning and desire - Quayle and Prottey-Jones channelling the intimate longing for being with the one you love and not waiting another day for it to happen. It's an endearing, passionate excuse for seizing the day - if tomorrow never comes, then do you want to be sat alone simply dreaming of being with those you care about most?
The pair couldn't compliment each other better; two voices with such range and depth could easily compete with each other for the most encapsulating performance. Nevertheless, they simply ebb and flow, creating an encapsulating ballad that could easily stand up with the Clarkson & Aldean's and Paisley & Krauss's of the contemporary country landscape - and deservedly so.
As our New Artist of The Week, Holler sat down with Tim Prottey-Jones to discuss embracing the very moment, the influence of rock on his songwriting and never fighting the urge to change course.
Where are you from and has that influenced the type of artist you are?
So I was born & bred in the Midlands in a Welsh family - that has certainly influenced who I support in Rugby! I would say that the area where I lived felt very rock and metal orientated. So many incredible bands came out of the Midlands, like Black Sabbath for instance, and I think that definitely played a part in my love of rock music growing up. There are definitely still elements of that in the music in what I am putting out now.
Speaking of influences, what were you listening to growing up?
I grew up in a household surrounded by the music of The Beatles, Elvis, early Cliff Richard and classical music. I definitely had my rock 'n' roll phase and the obligatory Beatles stage, where I learned to play pretty much their entire anthology. As well as that, we had easy-listening country music on in the house during meal times - Kenny Rogers and Don Williams have definitely stuck with me. My earliest memories of being a music ‘fan’ though were when listening to Queen and Michael Jackson, I had their albums on a constant loop.
My rock and metal phase hit me as I went into my teens and so I was listening to bands like Guns n Roses, Metallica, Green Day and plenty more music a lot heavier than that. Country music came back round in my early 20’s, after I finished my Music Degree at University - that's where I became a session musician in the country scene, playing sessions with the likes of Albert Lee. From there I started a rock band that sat somewhere between Evanescence and Paramore - we had a brilliant few years of writing, recording and touring the UK. Once again though, Country music came back around and completely took over my life.
Did you ever want to do something other than music?
In all honesty, it’s always been music for me. I was massively into my sport, most notably Rugby, but I’m not sure I ever felt the need to pursue it professionally. There was a time where I considered joining the police force but once again, my love of music was just always the overriding factor and nothing else came close.
Are you more creative when you’re happy or when you’re sad?
That’s a really great question! I would say that my output is a lot higher when I’m sad or upset, but quite honestly many of those songs became so personal and probably wouldn’t resonate with anyone else. So in that sense, I’m not sure how conducive being that sad is to writing songs that would translate to a wider audience. That being said, sometimes you just never quite know where a song will take you - you could be in a happy mood and the session you’re in could take a real turn and you end up connecting with something that wasn’t intended. I’m always of the mindset that you should never fight that urge to change course.
What drives you the most?
When it comes to my music, I have always driven myself. Maybe too much at times, as I never feel content with what I’m doing. Something amazing could be happening and already I’m thinking about the next thing, the next goal or milestone. I would say to anyone doing this same journey, that you should take time to appreciate everything you’ve achieved because nobody can take that away from you, regardless of what comes next. When it comes to my actual life, nothing drives me more than my son. I want to do things that will make him proud, but I also want to be here for him as much as possible, so it’s a bit of a balancing act. Although he’s only two and a half, he already loves my music and requests my songs in the car by whatever nickname he’s given them, like “The YEAH song” or “The FIRE song”.
In general which comes first for you, the title or the song?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realise that I don’t have a set way of writing at all. My phone is full of song titles, single lines of lyrics, concepts and of course a whole heap of voice memos that I continue to label terribly. There are some really good ideas in there, but there are of course plenty of horrible ones that will never and should never see the light day. Even so, when I go into a session with another artist or other writers, I’ll go back over these ideas and for whatever reason, I would always opt to work on something new, something organic that will only come out because of who I’m working with that day. Many of the ideas on my phone end up being used for my own solo material, rather than being for other artists. I guess this comes back to my point earlier of things I write being extremely personal sometimes, so I feel like it should be my voice that tells that story.
Any nicknames you care to share? How did it come about?
That’s a tricky one! I’ve never really had a nickname that stuck. There was a time in school where I was called Tubby Tub Thumper…a slightly rotund guy who played the drums was their inspiration behind that one! Funnily enough, that one didn’t really stick. Before I was married, I was just plain old Tim Jones, a nice, easy short name so I don’t think there was ever a need for one. However, now I’m all double-barrelled, people tend to call me TPJ or Prottey, which is an odd one for me as it’s not my family name! Anything else I’m called on a regular basis cannot be discussed in a public forum.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
This is always a difficult one to answer as I feel like I’m being greedy. As a writer, I would love to write with Shane McAnally or Emily Shackleton, and then as an artist, a duet with Kelly Clarkson would be an absolute dream - I think we could come up with something pretty special! I know she’s a massive fan of country music and has a huge knowledge of the genre, plus she’s just got one of the best voices of the last 20 years.
All my attention right now is on my brand new single 'Until I Do', a duet on which I’ve been lucky enough to be joined by the fabulous Stephanie Quayle. Our mutual friend and renowned Nashville songwriter, Jeff Cohen, introduced us. When I heard the song, I just knew it was a track I need to record and produce. 'Until I Do' was written by Jeff Cohen, Steven McMorran and Grammy-nominee Jamie Floyd.
On top of this, I’m now able to begin putting together my full-band live show ready for the summer, where we have a number of festivals lined up that I’m so excited about. I’ve put together such an amazing group of musicians and people for this next stage of my career and we really want to turn some heads and introduce more brand new music to UK Country fans.
'Until I Do', Tim Prottey-Jones' new single featuring Stephanie Quayle, is out now. The video is premiering exclusively today at Holler - watch the video above.