The question we all want an answer to: when is the next time we can dance ‘til dawn in a music venue together and forget the apocalyptic nightmare that was 2020?
While our time hasn’t quite arrived (but there’s sure as hell a light at the end of the tunnel), Centineo’s new single, “Fearless” is the next best thing and will inspire you to dance your face off all night, even if it’s in your living room with a few friends. Because the best thing we can do moving forward, is to live fearlessly.
We caught up with Tim to learn more about this single, getting supported by Hardwell & David Guetta, and more.
T.H.E – Hey Tim! Welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials. How’s 2021 kicked off for you?
Tim Centineo – Hey guys! Thanks for having me! Happy to be here. 2021 has been good to me so far, extremely busy but good.
T.H.E – Loved your new single that was out the previous Friday. How long was “Fearless” in the works?
Tim Centineo – Thank you – I appreciate the love!
So my brother (Robbie) and I received the vocal almost 10 years ago when we first started producing. We knew how good the vocal was but we also knew we didn’t have the ability to do it justice yet. So we shelved it in our Dropbox for 8 years. 2 years ago (now a much more competent producer) I was working on a track and stumbled upon the vocal again. It was in the same key as the track I was working on and was a perfect fit. 2 years and 3 different versions of the song later – Fearless was completed.
T.H.E – You’re one that has received support from the biggest artists in the industry like Hardwell, David Guetta, etc. Could you tell us what this support meant for you in your journey as an artist, and how did you go about getting it?
Tim Centineo – Yeah, it’s still a little bit surreal honestly.
Don’t get me wrong – I visualized and daydreamed about all of those things happening for a decade, worked my ass off and earned it – but it’s still insane to me when I think about it and look at my support list.
When you first catch the EDM bug you look at those guys as Gods. They become larger than life figures to you. To have watched from the crowd for so many years – dreaming about not only being the one up there on stage but to have those guys/my idols playing and supporting my music – to then watch it all materialize and happen. It showed me that this crazy little dream was possible. In the earlier stages of my career – receiving that support and validation gave me the fuel I needed to push on and make it to the next level.
So the support from those guys was a culmination of a few things. One, I worked my ass off for almost a decade to make sure the music I was releasing and handing out was top notch. Two, I had a #1 record on Beatport which turned a lot of heads and opened doors for me. Last but not least, I accidentally bought Hardwell’s Mom & Dad drinks, diced my way through TSA security hurdling over suitcases in Miami Airport to give Hardwell a USB wristband with my music on it and risked my life to cross a 4x capacity LIV dance floor at peak hour on David Guetta’s birthday to give David Guetta a USB wristband with my music on it (lol).
T.H.E – For young artists, how important is it to get support from big DJs? Do you feel it adds more pressure in the long-run, since there’s a certain amount of expectation that comes with it?
Tim Centineo – Well, like I said above, it gives you confidence and validation to an extent but looking back and with the knowledge I know have – I think it’s important as it definitely brings credibility to the project and opens doors for you but it’s not essential. If you don’t get any support but you cultivate an audience that loves your music – you don’t need the help of others for you to do well and if you can prove your product on your own, the support will come around eventually. I think the same goes for labels today too and it’s why I turned down a major label that wanted Fearless. The most important thing young artists can do is be true to themselves, cultivate their audience and be independent in as many areas as possible. It’s never been easier than it is today – all of the resources are available to you.
I think that pressure comes when you’re prioritizing the approval of others instead of the truly important stuff. That’s kind of why I stepped away from releasing music for the past 2 years. I didn’t like the culture I was participating in, I felt I was compromising what was supposed to be my art because my priority and what I felt was essential to my success was getting signed or receiving big support and it couldn’t be further from the truth. I kind of fell victim to the what I call “support/validation culture” that exists in the industry today. Martin Garrix, David Guetta, and Hardwell never operated from a place of seeking approval – they created what they loved and it connected because they are true artists and I believe true artists eventually rise to the top. That’s why I pivoted 2 years ago, turned down a major label that wanted Fearless and released it independently. I am and have been working towards establishing myself as a true artist and not just a producer.
T.H.E – When you started off, which artists inspired you?
Tim Centineo – Musically in general – Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, Kid Cudi and John Mayer are huge inspirations of mine.
In the EDM space – Hardwell was a HUGE inspiration of mine. Swedish House Mafia, Axwell, Ingrosso, Alesso, Dubvision, and Dannic were the big ones for me. I love and always will love progressive house – especially from 2012-2014. I try to keep it alive in my music today and capture a piece of that same feel/vibe but with a bit of an update.
T.H.E – Lastly, what can you tell us about your plans for 2021?
Tim Centineo – This year is going to be about really showcasing myself as an Artist and moving away from the label of DJ/Producer. After Fearless, a majority of the music coming out is not only produced by me but I am the lyricist and vocalist on the track as well. The music ranges from euphoric and nostalgic progressive house all the way to pop. I’m really excited to showcase my abilities and show everyone what I’ve been up to these last few years. It’s all coming soon so stay tuned!