Times New Roman talks music, aspirations, and what’s next with FNT

Posted by on November 6, 2013

Before our interview, I honestly had no idea what to expect from Times New Roman. All I knew about him was from his chill, laidback music that I had been listening to as of recently on his SoundCloud and the couple of exchanges we had over some emails prior to the date. As soon as we got the ball rolling though, I knew it was going to be a one of those interviews that would take its natural course. Of course, I already had some preset questions that I wanted to get answered along the way, but as far as formal conversations go, this was not one of them. Times New Roman, formally known as William Bolton, was more than eager to share talks about life, girls, music, and more. Currently residing in Chestnut Hill, MA attending Boston College as a sophomore, William lives a healthy balance between goals and reality, but is more than focused on his career as Times New Roman to blend the two together. Our interview flowed smoothly as ever, but here are the main questions that everyone should know the answer to when it comes to Times New Roman, which include his major musical influences, his aspirations, and what’s next.

FNT: So how did Times New Roman come to be?

TNR: Well one of the bigger things was that my older brother got Pro Tools when I was a junior and started making beats for fun and stuff, you know, just screwing around. When he went off to college, he ended up leaving it, but during the time he was still home was when I started my hand at music. Really my first music was me just playing on the guitar and singing and I released CD’s to my friends in high school that I recorded. When I started really figuring out all the types of music that moved me was when I kinda put everything together into this genre that I call soul-hop.

FNT: What would you say are your biggest music influences?

TNR: Mayor Hawthorne… He is like the biggest influence on my music to date. Just the way he’s singing all this soulful music, so old school, but so new all at the same time… I really got hooked to that. The whole mo-town sound in general as well, just all the great soul music with great instrumentation, I take a lot from that. Pharrell Williams is a huge influence as well. You know the beginning of Passion where it does that stuttering? Yeah Pharrell does that in his songs a bit. And the drum pattern as well I got from one of my favorite J Dilla beats – I just take the bits and pieces and make it my own from everything.

FNT: So when would you say you got super serious about music?

TNR: At the beginning I feel like I just didn’t know enough to become super serious. Back in high school I literally just released CD’s to my friends and I always thought that I’d love to do it as a career but I just didn’t get into it as much as I would have liked to. So I got to college and I was still doing music, and I put in a lot of work on my EP Detroit to Boston, and that was kind of like my major transition from high school to college in terms of music. In my head I was like “this is really cool”, but nothing really happened from it, you know? I mean I pushed it to a couple blogs, but at the time I wasn’t really workin that hard for it. So basically last spring I had this epiphany… during my finals week when I was supposed to be studying I basically was just like “fuck it” and hibernated myself away for three days doing nothing but music to kind of get away from the stress of school… After that week that’s when I had one of those moments where I was like this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I was already pretty serious in my head, but that’s when I was determined to make it happen.

FNT: Is there any notable people that you’ve worked with or anyone that you work with a lot that you prefer?

TNR: Alright well, so you know the feature on my EP, Ash? He’s another rapper from Detroit that’s on the come up too who’s in a pretty similar situation that I’m in. We worked together a few times and he’s really talented too – I’d say I prefer to work with him. Other than that I take pride in doing a lot of it myself since I feel like not a lot of artists can say they did their whole project on their own.

FNT: What are you doing with your music that makes it different than everyone elses?

TNR: I think a lot of it is that I’m making hip hop but… I’m singing. I’m a hip hop head but I love soul music so much that I want to sing in that manner, and that’s the differentiating factor. My single Passion is a straight up hip hop drum pattern but its got jazz chords and singing. I also incorporate a lot of live instrumentation in my recordings, versus midi that people are starting to veer towards.

FNT: Have you thought about doing any parties or shows to get your stuff out there?

TNR: Yeah! I did a release party for the demo tape on campus the day after I came out with it, just passing out flyers and CDs around to students and had a really nice turnout. I’d have to say that is the most fun I’ve ever had preforming live. I also do some showcase stuff where I have to sell a certain amount of tickets and I get to play with like, five other bands in the same night in Boston. Right now my live shows work like this: my friend Dan, he’s a really talented keyboardist, he runs the backtracks through Pro Tools and plays the keyboard, and I play the guitar and sing, all live. As of right now that’s what I’m doing for my audience, just playing shows in Boston a lot.

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FNT: What do you want people to take away the most from Satisfaction? Like, what’s the main message?

TNR: Honestly, in my mind I was thinking about all of it like Day 1. Satisfaction has a concept and each song has a story, but it is more something that I put a lot of time and effort into and its really just saying “here’s what I have to show”, like “This is Times New Roman, and its good” you know? That’s what I want people to take away from all it, for my music to just resonate with them.

FNT: What is your favorite song off of your EP?

TNR: I love all of them for differents reasons; Biazzare just has the best beat hands down. Diamonds is more of the banger track, it has that catchy sample chorus and all around upbeat and in your face type of deal goin on. Passion is the most different from all the other because its so personal… Actually now that I’m thinking about it Passion is for sure my favorite.

FNT: When people give you feedback on your music, what’s the one thing that you’ve heard that made you feel super good about your work?

TNR: When people compare me to artists that I like/are well known…that’s the all around best compliment you can get. Frank Ocean… I love Frank Ocean, and I got a lot of that when I was showing people my new songs on my upcoming album The Garden. The Garden is even more soulful than Satisfaction and a bit darker…that’s when people started really comparing me to him and I was like “oh yeah, that’s dope”.

FNT: So when is the release date for The Garden?

TNR: At first I was going to drop it a month or two after I released Satisfaction, but after I got Satisfaction out there I started realizing that I put so much time and effort into that EP that I didn’t want to put it in the backburner because the songs are good, so I want to just mainly push Satisfaction at the moment… I want The Garden to come out sometime after Christmas once Satisfaction has had a little more time to make its mark.

FNT: A lot of your songs tell a story about a girl… is there a mystery girl!??!

TNR: *Laughs* Yes, there’s a mystery girl. The Garden is really all about her… but she’s the same one from Diamonds as well. She’s back home… and a bit older than me. We kicked it off this summer and it was great. She was a family friend first so it worked out well and everything clicked, but the problem was we both kinda knew it was going to end at the end of the summer, and at the end of July shit just went really bad. We ended up having no contact for awhile, so that’s also when I wrote some crazy music, and that’s where the whole idea for The Garden really came. It was a really uncertain time for me… but it worked out in the end because I have The Garden to show for it.

FNT: Shit happens… but you got something good out of it so don’t sweat it dude! Our time is running out though, care to answer some fun facts before you dip to class?!

TNR: Go for it.


If you had to guess, your top played song of all time: Sweet Life by Frank Ocean
Dessert of choice: Hot brownie with ice cream
Early bird or night owl: Night owl
Secret Talent: Freestyle rapping
Would you consider yourself a good dancer? I try… but sadly no
Do you like your handwriting? No I have pretty damn bad handwriting
White or Black? Grey
Mentality or Physicality? Mentality
Sarcastic or to the point? To the point
Favorite season: Summer
Most memorable party: I don’t remember it *smirking*
Do you like cliché? Yes
Best Friend: My brother
Victoria Secret Model or Girl Next Door? The girl next door – she’s so much easier to access honestly
Scariest thing you’ve ever done: Used to freestyle ski and hitting those ginormous jumps in Colorado…scary
Last person you called: My dad to talk music and business as usual
Dog or Cat? Dog
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘salty’? Bitter
Most embarrassing moment: Not really sure…
Would you rather walk around without shoes or a shirt for one week? With no shoes on because you’d get some crazy extra strength – its more natural.

Now that you know a little more about Times New Roman, catch him on SoundCloud and stay tuned for his upcoming work The Garden!

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