Tresor Interview – Love, Life and Songwriting
Be kind always because it’s a free beautiful thing.”
In this exclusive Tresor interview the singer/songwriter talks about song writing, being fascinated with English songs as a child, writing songs for other artists, the personal essence of his début album titled ‘VII’, and respect for the ‘lowest jobs’ in our society. He is a nice guy, a big hearted spirit whose positivity can seemingly not be beat. Song writing is essentially all about the soul. He is a stand out songwriter because this is the place he not only writes from but lives for.
You’re a multi-platinum award-winning songwriter, for the songs written on Zahara’s début album. What was it like writing for someone else and how does it differ from writing them for yourself to perform?
Tresor Interview: Writing songs in general is my favourite part of what I do and I believe if you write a great song from a true place any great artist who relates, can sing it and nail it because as human beings we are very similar with our emotions and the way we live. Most of the time I just write without any particular artist in mind and then after the song is done, I choose if I’ll keep it or match it with the right artist. In a few cases when I [get] requests to write for specific artists, I kinda let myself sink into their world and music to write from their perspective. There’s no really major difference because whether I’m writing for myself or another artist I still want to write a great song from a true place because often I end up performing the song even if it’s recorded by another artist.
Your single ‘Mount Everest’ is a dreamy, romantic song. Were there any specific events or people that helped inspire you to write this, and why?
Tresor Interview: With love being the best thing that ever happened to humanity, I just wanted translate a youthful,fun,young and wild love from a personal experience into words and melodies. I wanted this song to elevate whoever listens to it. The lyrics ‘Take you higher then the empire state, take you higher than Mount Everest’ seems to be serving the purpose. I’ve heard a few people are dancing to the song at weddings and that’s my vision achieved.
You’ve worked as a car guard here in South Africa, how did you start doing this work and what are some of the things you learned about yourself and other people while doing it?
Tresor Interview: When I arrived in South Africa, I really had nothing because the little cash I had was stolen. I had to make a hard choice, between taking the short cut and be criminal to survive or sticking to the core of who I am by starting from the bottom and build from there. I chose the latter. I realised that my passion for my music was deeper than I ever thought and that I was even willing to to die for my vision. I worked as a car guard, gardener, and security guard around Durban and all these jobs taught me to always remain humble, kind, focused, and grateful for life because we do not know what’s ahead of us. I learnt to respect even the lowest jobs. Do not under estimate a job that puts a roof over your head and food on your plate because if well exploited it could set a good foundation for your greatness. I believe that everything I went through has moulded me into the man and artist I am today and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my lowest moments in life. When you are working as a car guard often people don’t respect you or treat you with dignity; but I also met some really amazing selfless people along the way who changed my life. In all, I learnt that an act of kindness makes a big difference in one’s life. Be kind always because it’s a free beautiful thing.
You are fluent in English, French, and Swahili. This is impressive! Which of these languages do you find most comfortable to write in, and do you feel any kind of pressure to put out English tracks?
Tresor Interview: Amazingly I write comfortably in all three languages but I find it so easy to write in Swahili because I connect with my roots, childhood and past. As a child, I was fascinated by English songs even though I didn’t understand them and I used to tell my friends when I grow up I want to write songs in English because that way my music will be easily shared with the world.
In the music business it’s a tried and tested fact that entering and winning a talent contest alone won’t be the only tool that’ll help get your career on the path of success. You’ve entered two competitively fierce contests. Congratulations on making top thirty on Idols Season six and winning the 2012 Holiday Inn Express Songwriting Challenge by Rolling Stone Magazine. What did you find surprised you the most about these contests and what did they help offer you career wise?
Tresor Interview: Thank you very much. I was surprised by the amount of talent out there, it’s massive and amazing!Being in the Idols top thirty in season six and winning the Holiday Inn and Rolling Stone Magazine Songwriting Challenge was a total honour! I got to meet amazing musicians. In fact, I shared a room with Elvis Blue and hung out with Llyod Cele while in Sun City in 2010 and that year Elvis Blue won.
In talent contests you can only have one winner and most of the times artists that don’t make it to the top go on to build amazing music careers if they work hard. ‘Idols’ made me hungrier, I wanted the music and dream much more. Winning the Holiday Inn and Rolling Stone Magazine Songwriting Challenge raised my profile as a songwriter, gave me great publicity nationally and for two years I got to stay in the Holiday Inn Group Hotels while on tour, business trips, or holiday around South Africa.
Word is, you are currently working on some new stuff in the studio. What can we be looking forward to from Tresor this year?
Tresor Interview: Yes I’m currently doing the last bit of my début album titled ‘VII’.It’s a very personal album that I started producing in my apartment in 2014 and contains songs I’ve written in the last seven years. The album is a fusion of pop, soul, alternative, and African music. Most songs on this album were inspired by personal experiences. It’s a bitter sweet album with a few tribute tracks dedicated to my late parents and my lost loved ones. You’ll also find some uplifting songs about Africa and our journey as a continent. With love, being the greatest thing that ever happened to humanity, you’ll find a few love songs I’m very excited about on my upcoming album VII.
My brother and amazing producer Heavy K just released his new single #Givemeluv. I co-wrote it with him and I’m featured on it. I’m super excited about that song cause the buzz around it is mad.
Tresor plans to go on tour locally and internationally after the record release, to promote his début album ‘VII’.