INTERVIEW: Only Takes A Day



Only Takes A Day


THE chaps of Only Takes A Day

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let me into their world and explain the origin of their new song, Reach. They tell me whether modern Hip-Hop needs a bit of a shake-up – the guys highlight a new artist we need to get behind.

Fabien and Shaanvir talk about their love of The Streets and Hip-Hop; whether they each have a favourite memory from their time in music; which artist, if they could choose any, they would support – I ask how they both unwind away from music.


Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?

Our week has been great, thanks! Always busy trying to balance music and a job at the same time, but somehow make it work…

For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?

For sure. So. We are Only Takes A Day; a disastrous duo from North London who is trying to scrape a living by mixing Folk and Hip-Hop like oil and water. Fabien is the talent and Shaanvir is the eye-candy (obviously). Best way to get an idea of what we do is to listen to some of our tracks (or come and see us live!).

When did Only Takes A Day get together? What is the meaning behind that name?

O.T.A.D. started at a party about four years ago now. I played his version of Reach to Fabien and that was it. We arranged a jam session and worked on more songs. Back then, we were going under a different name and realised we were so hard to find online so we needed something new. I was going through a bit of a rough patch when a friend invited him out to Glastonbury.

Anyone who has been to Glastonbury knows how nuts it is but, while I was there, I played at the open mic on the Croissant Neuf stage. It was strange but, after that day, everything looked and felt better. I told my friend and he turned around and said: “Only takes a day”.

Can you reveal what inspired the song, Reach? Is it a representation of the contrasts we see in modern-day life?

The whole song was written as a sort of stream-of-consciousness. I was basically pissing around on my guitar and just started coming up with the lyrics. I really liked what was coming up, so I quickly called my brother to the room and got him to write down what I was saying. A lot of it is just what I think and believe on a day to day basis.

A lot of people would like to think they can provide definitive answers but, actually, the world is riddled with insecurity and it is important to acknowledge that but not lose sight of your core values.


Fabien. What was it about the track that compelled you? Do you think it is the finest thing Only Takes A Day have created?

I think it was how lyrically-charged the song was. When Shaanvir first played it to me, I had never really heard anything like it. It was really creative and something I wanted to get on board with. It is definitely one of our favourite songs to perform but would not say it the finest thing we have created.

There is still plenty more to come from Only Takes A Day!


You are influenced by Hip-Hop – it goes against the Americanised strain we see in music now. Do you think Hip-Hop needs a shake-up?

Not really. There will always be subjectively good and bad music. A lot of the music today allows us to carve the little niche we are making for ourselves. Plus, music will always change. That is the nature of it: if you’re not a fan of what is happening now then just be patient.

In many ways, you remind me of The Streets and British Hip-Hop of the early-'00s. Is that a period of music you are influenced by?

Oh, absolutely. I got Original Pirate Material when I was in secondary-school. I saw The Streets at ‘Ally Pally’ when I was sixteen with Mitchell. I suppose, like all musicians, we are hoping to build up our fanbase; write some more music and play more gigs. Basically, do all the things we find fun…


Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?

I would say for both of us, it was playing at Subsonic Festival a few years ago. There were about four-hundred people on a hill in Wales and we were playing in the woods. It was a great weekend.


If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?

That is an awesome question. I am not sure. On a global scale, supporting Childish Gambino would be incredible but I would say, as a childhood dream, it would be The Streets. That would be incredible. Neither of us is super-cool so our rider would probably just be a pizza each and some beers. Maybe some computer games. Oh, and some food for my dog…and someone who would deliberately lose at arm wrestles (to us) to boost our confidence.

What advice would you give to new artists coming through?

Just have fun. If you’re not having fun then what is the point?!


IN THIS PHOTO: Joel Bailey

Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

 Loads. I would recommend anyone to just go and check out their local open mics if they fancy a pint. But, we always enjoy performing with Joel Bailey and Urband Soul. They are awesome.

Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?

Music is generally how we unwind. We need full-time jobs to sustain us, so playing music is our respite.

Finally, and for being good sports; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - You Will See Me


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