OnlyL (feat. Nimmo)
TSHA’s OnlyL is an EP emerging from the confines of the coronavirus pandemic, with booming beats designed to ease listeners back to the dance floor after months of lockdown. But unlike her acclaimed 2020 EP, Flowers, an intentional curation, this collection was more of a happy accident. “The reason why the EP doesn’t have its own individual name is because it wasn’t necessarily supposed to be an EP,” the London producer/DJ tells Apple Music. “It’s not like a body of work where each song is related to each other.” If anything, its purpose is to set the scene for what’s to come: TSHA’s debut LP. “It’s more related to the album and the future, because that’s what I was working towards when I was writing,” she says. Every track here sits within its own sonic universe, each with a different origin story. The title track is straight-up electronic pop, while “Power” drips with twinkling club nostalgia, and “I Know” is a fraught, melodic tale. Here, TSHA takes us through each track.
“OnlyL” (feat. Nimmo)
“I actually had a different track that I wanted vocals for, and I contacted Nimmo because I really liked their sound. They had a ’80s/’90s feel to them—a bit like Eurythmics. They wrote vocals over this other track, but the voice and beat just didn’t go well together. I loved Nimmo’s vocals, so I rewrote a new track around them and chopped it up. The chopped vocals are what you hear in the chorus. I make beats ready so that I can always access stuff that I like quickly. So, I dragged a beat that I really wanted to use underneath and that just brought everything to life. Then I just built around Nimmo’s vocals and added a modular pattern that comes in as the second part of the drop. An organ sample that’s been chopped acts as the base.”
“My music is good for certain times, but I didn’t really have club tracks. That’s where ‘Power’ was born. I’m just super excited to DJ now that the pandemic is easing and play it in a set. I sampled a 1982 Brit-funk song by [early ’80s band] Direct Drive in this track, and I don’t really know what inspired me to do that. I just decided to try out sampling because I’ve never really sampled like that before.”
“In this song, the phrase ‘I know’ could mean a lot of things. It could be about clarity, or it could reflect the hurt of realizing someone doesn’t really love you the way you thought they did. I wrote this when writing my 2019 EP, Moonlight. At the time of writing it, I sent it to people alongside lots of other tracks, and no one said anything about it, so I just assumed no one liked it. But it was my favorite track! Then, I sent it again when we were looking for a third track for this EP. And everyone was like, ‘Oh, this is great. This is brilliant.’ I was like, ‘You do realize I sent this to you, like, a year ago?’”