The soulful singer-songwriter Treasure is tucked away in the countryside producing silky nostalgic jazz-esque tunes from his bedroom. His new EP has arrived “Nostalgia: The Prelude,” and it is just that. The beginning of longing. Kelvin Beyioku, professionally known as Treasure, doesn’t sound like anyone but himself, sure he has elements of D’Angelo’s soul and Frank Ocean’s vibe and a touch of grime from London and the smoothness of Jazz, this is what makes him unique. He is a nostalgic melting pot of the greatest sounds in life.
The sequence of this EP takes us on a journey all the way from letting us in, making us feel welcome, to showing us the trauma found after acceptance. He opens up his mind and lets us look in. We’re all wondering what comes after the prelude. We want to hear more bedroom blues. I got to talk to the London born artist about relocating to the countryside, his musical influences, and writing his latest EP “Nostalgia: The Prelude”.
What was it like relocating from the city to the countryside with your family years ago? Has it influenced your music? Did you find your way back to the city?
It was upsetting really, I thought I’d spend my life in the city but I was young at the time and didn’t know any better. I felt like I was leaving all of my best memories. Moving from London and leaving those childhood memories, has deeply affected the subject matter of my current projects, there’s a lot of lines that reference the past and I guess it’s just my way of dealing and processing my feelings. I never did move back to London and don’t think that’s even possible but luckily I’m less than an hour away from central.
The order of the songs on “Nostalgia: The Prelude” has a really great flow to it. Did you always know what order it was going to be or did you kind of fit them all together at the end?
I’m obsessed with sequencing projects. I spend more time sequencing a tracklist than I do actually making the music all because I want to provide an immersive listening experience. I feel like the best projects pay particular attention to this.
I can hear a lot of influences of jazz and soul in your music. Where does that originate from? What inspires you about those genres?
I think I was around 9 or 10 when my Dad called me into his computer room and made me listen to a jazz mix he created but I didn’t really get into jazz till an ex of mine put me onto Chet Baker. You can hear the sincerity in his melodies and that’s what inspires me about jazz and soul, the honesty; you can feel it down your spine.
What was the songwriting process like? Were you working with a band the entire process or did you write the songs first? What was your favourite song to write?
I produced most of the album in my bedroom but called upon Jay Lewn and Ben Lindenbug for the intro Track, I wrote and played the rest of the instruments myself.
In terms of the songwriting process, I never force it. I need to have an intense urge to write, and when I do I usually write the music first based on how I’m feeling at the time then the lyrics follow suit.
My favourite song to write was Acceptance, just because of the extremely abstract lyrics and off-kilter production choices.
What music has been getting you through quarantine?
Blonde – Frank Ocean
How Do You Feel About Getting Married? – Dijon
A museum of contradiction – Mk.gee
Peak – Choker
What does a typical day look like for you?
If I’m not in a session or working on music, the theme seems to be some form of exercise, some reading and general lounging with friends and family.
CONNECT WITH TREASURE
photos / Tobi Olásupo
story / Vogue Giambri