tdotostudios (aka Theo Davis) is a UK based medical doctor by day and music producer by night. He spent time honing his craft as a multi-instrumentalist at church, school and university musicals. Despite enduring a busy course and job as a medical doctor, he demonstrates a notable CV in music. He scored his first UK Top 30 single as a producer with a track called Azonto by Fuse ODG, which to date has a combined total of over 70 million views on YouTube alone.
His contributions to this record formed the foundation and pioneered a new sound of UK afrobeats during that time period. Having helped to sonically pave the way for UK afrobeats, tdotostudios, through his own artist project, wants to continue to spearhead a new sound called Afro-Lofi, combining the vintage and granular atmosphere of Lofi music with infectious afrobeat rhythms to create a pleasurable listening experience.
In addition to Azonto, he co-produced two other songs on Fuse ODG’s debut album “This is New Africa”, which ended up at number 25 in the Official UK Album Charts and earned him a BPI Silver Award plaque. The music he has produced has been broadcasted on reputable radio stations including BBC Radio 1 and 1xtra and many popular TV shows including Match of the Day, Take Me Out and X-Factor.
He has more recently teamed up with upcoming Nigerian-British singer-songwriter IsaacO, having had a hand in the production of his first four singles. This has culminated in a total of over 1,000,000 streams on Spotify alone. His work with IsaacO has resulted in noteworthy playlist features including Spotify editorial “Easy” and Starbucks’ own personalised playlists “Coffeehouse” and “Starbucks Soul R&B Hip-Hop” and a personal invite to Spotify UK HQ in London.
He has just recently collaborated with Hans Zimmer’s and Pharrell Williams’ founded plug-in company ujam instruments to create the track “Adonai” and “Jireh” to promote their newly released plug-ins Virtual Pianist VOGUE and Reggaeton Beatmaker RICO.
When asked about his latest single with Mister Styx of Musicarenagh, this is what the multi-talented artiste had to say:
This release is called AFUA. The reason for the name is that it is a female Ghanaian name meaning “born on Friday”. Being of Ghanaian descent, there was a longing to shine a spotlight on the beauty of my own personal heritage and the African Diaspora. I also wanted to create a sound which encapsulated the beauty of women from the African Diaspora without the need for song lyrics.
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What is your stage name
Is there a story behind your stage name?
There is a story. When I was thirteen and in secondary school, at the time because I would go by the shortened version of my name Theo. One of my classmates suggested I should change my name to T.O which is pronounced without the dot saying my name. That name stuck with me and I have decided to take it forward. The name has gone through various versions like T.O productions. The name tdotostudios is a continuation of this but it spells out the dot rather than using a full stop symbol.
Where do you find inspiration?
My faith in Jesus is really integral to why I make music. I regularly serve in my church by playing the keys (piano) as part of my church band. Other inspirations include family and friends.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
It played a significant role in my family. Music was always in the house and I grew up on an eclectic mix of music including Gospel, Soul, Motown, Folk and Singer-Songwriter music like Simon & Garfunkel.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Yes, both my immediate and extended family are musical which definitely is a real blessing.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
My cousin Nathan helped to pique my interest in music and music production when I was about 13. He had rapped as part of a mixtape his cousin made called Breezy’s Mixtape. Listening to that mixtape inspired me to think about making my own music and it is amazing to see the journey I have been on so far.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
A mixture of self teaching, learning at various youth projects and through collaborations.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
I think I went to see Graham Kendrick (a Christian singer and worship music veteran) at a church event when I was really young.
How could you describe your music?
Afro-Lofi – which combines the granular/vintage atmosphere of lofi music and chilled afrobeats.
Describe your creative process.
I tend to be inspired by tracks I might have heard that day. It might be that which sets the tone for the track I decide to make next. Depending on the track I make, I may start with a nice drum loop or chord progression and build from there.
What is your main inspiration?
Same as what I said before – God, family, friends.
What musician do you admire most and why?
I really admire James Jamerson (he was a bassist in a group called the Funk Brothers). The funk brothers were the session band behind all of Motown’s music from Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell to Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder. The reason why admire him was he used his bass to “talk” and create a new feel to any track he played on. His baselines could stand alone without anything else.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Not particularly. Pretty much most of the music I make has some sort of Afro-Influence. Back in 2011, I was one of the producers of Azonto by Fuse ODG. This song has now gone down as an innovator in afrobeats history in setting the tone and foundation for later afrobeats tracks. It also gave me my first UK Top 40 single and to date has over 70 million streams across all streaming platforms.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
No-one in particular
What are your interests outside of music?
Cooking, socialising with friends, helping and mentoring young people, church, God
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
This is an interesting question as my aim to combine my day job (which is a medical doctor) and my music career so I have time for both.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Trying to find serious people to work with. In such an industry, some people can be quite unreliable and flaky and you only get to know what a person is like by working with them. So, it’s a bit of trial and error. I am glad however that currently I am working with a good group of people on various projects who push me to be a better musician and producer.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
Less reliance on social media to have to build a fanbase. However, in this day and age, you cannot get away from optimising your social media accounts to increase your audience and reach.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
The new single is called AFUA. The reason for the name is that it is a female Ghanaian name meaning “born on Friday”. Being of Ghanaian descent, there was a longing to shine a spotlight on his own personal heritage and the African Diaspora. I wanted to create a lyricless sound which encapsulated the beauty of women from the African Diaspora. This will be one of the first tracks from a wider body of work called “Kofi’s Lofi”.
What are your plans for the coming months?
More tdotostudios releases, more collaborations
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
Yes, quite a few are in the works.
What message would you like to give to your fans?
Thank you for all the love and support on my music and journey. I really appreciate you all.