by Samantha Plotkin

TiiDA, the sexy and dynamic, black and white R&B duo, composed of Booker and Grant, is quickly gaining attention in the US. The duo started out together in Europe, where their underground status brought them touring from London to Italy. Grant born and raised in England, met Booker while he was there doing some modeling. (Many of you will recognize Booker as one of Melt's very own models as well.)

TiiDA's sound is one of its own. Booker's hard soulful vocals crossed with Grant's smooth soothing overlay is what gives body to the sound of this unconventional team.

Currently, The two are working on several projects in the music industry and are also developing a couple of TV shows.

TiiDA hooked up with Melt to give us some background on the band and the inside on what lies ahead.

Melt: How did the two of you meet?

Booker: We met in London. He (Grant) was working on his solo career, and I was working on my solo career, and doing gigs in London. We pretty much felt that we were strong as solo artists, but we would be even stronger together.

Melt (to Grant): What did you do before you ended up in London, and you and Booker met?

Grant: I went to University in Coventry -- to do graphic design and communication. ...That was really for my parents.

With me... I always knew what I wanted to do as a kid. But no one's going to take you seriously -- especially where I come from.

Melt: Where are you from?

Grant: I'm from England. I live near Leeds... it's a little village called Appleby. It's in the middle of nowhere, it's really isolated. Nothing goes on there, unless you want to be a farmer or something.

So if I say I want to be a movie star, I want to be a singer... everybody's going to be like, "Right, Grant, of course, you do."

So my mom and dad were like, okay, you've got to pursue your education. Get your degree. Once you've got your degree, you've got something to fall back on... then you can do anything you want.

So I got my degree, and then I decided to go for my dreams.

Melt: What was your dream?

Grant: My true aspiration was music, first and foremost. I got into a band, but decided to decline the offer, because I wasn't happy with the situation. So then, I thought, I'd pursue a solo career.

But, obviously, it's always good when you've got somebody by your side as well, to give you that support. You can help each other really kind of push and strive forth, and succeed.

Melt: And... how did you two end up meeting?

Grant: I went down to London to pursue my dreams and aspirations.

We met up as I was trying to get into a building (in London, Trafalgar Square), I was trying to get in the door, and it wouldn't open... I'm trying to pull it open, so I could walk through it... and then next thing, he (Booker) comes up behind me, and says, "Look, maybe you should try the entrance, around the other side, where the open door is."

So, we decided to walk around to the entrance with the open door. As we were doing that, we were talking... we got to know each other a little better, we both were in the music industry, doing solo projects, and we just decided to take it from there.

Melt (to Booker): What made you want to help Grant out?

Booker (laughing): He was looking pretty lost, and I've been known to help out a lost soul.

Grant: I always had the idea -- that the concept of a mixed racial band (black and white) would be a good idea.... ever since I was young. Booker and I were on the same wavelength.

Melt: How did you work together on that first song?

Grant: The first song was written by Booker. It was called, "The New Booty Thang." We basically laced and integrated our voices together, on the hook. My voice is kind of soft and soothing. His voice is soulful.

Booker would start it off... so you would get straight into the song... and you would be absorbed into his voice. Then, I'd flow over his voice... to give it a soothing, kind of sensual feel... and then we went into the hook... and then we'd just both combine our efforts in a big... animated way... and that's basically what it consisted from... from the beginning to the end.

I had a solo in the "New Booty Thang," which consisted of me in a falsetto...

Melt: Do you both write the songs?

Grant: I write... but, for this project, it's really down to Booker. I want this album to be totally consistent. If I let him do all the writing, then there's that consistency throughout the whole album.

I can write on the second album, or when we do solo albums.

I've got songs. I write in my spare time, just to get material down on paper, so in the future, I've got something to work with.

Melt (to Booker) : What makes you want to write music?

Booker: I've always written poetry since I was a little kid... And (poetry) is the foundation of music.

Grant: He has a very creative and expressive mind... and he utilizes through writing down on to paper, and through his lyrics... as you will find when you listen to the music.

Melt: What is up next for TiiDA?

Booker: We're preparing to tour throughout Europe in the summer and we will be shooting our first video before we start the tour. We're also scheduled to perform for the Glitter Awards on Feb, 27th and have a exclusive Garage track single being released in the U.K.

To contact TiiDA, and find out more about them -- check out their webpage:


© Melt Magazine 2004