More than just a musical duo, Carlos Parks and Niall Martin who make up 2Tone are also best friends, having met as teenagers playing football for a local team. 2010 see the boys releasing their first single ‘I wanna be your boyfriend’ and they are working on the EP.
With 2Tone about to release their first single ‘I wanna be your boyfriend’, due out early 2010, they are set to work on their EP alongside talented producers/writers from both London and L.A. producers and writers from around the globe. Flavour’s Tolu Akinysa caught up with them to see how their musical journey is going so far.
Who are 2Tone?
Carlos: Niall…. over to you then [LAUGHS]
Niall: We’re two artists that have been patient and waited for our moment so the rest of the world can hear us and know what were about
Carlos: We’re also best friends [LAUGHS] don’t you forget that either
How old are you?
Carlos: I’m 18, going to be 19 in July
Niall: I’m 20. I was born on St. Patrick day which is a blessing as I’m Irish [LAUGHS]
What do 2Tone represent?
Carlos: We represent positive music and the youth of today
Niall: We also represent the UK and people that are working towards their dream.
How did you guys meet?
Niall: We played for the same football team
Carlos: And we actually lived 2 minutes from each other, so we were always together
What type of music do 2Tone make?
Niall: We don’t categorize our music because we want as much people to hear it as possible. It’s better not to pigeon-hole ourselves
Carlos: Yeah, we don’t want to say its any type of genre because then it puts ourselves in a box so hopefully people feel and think the same way as we do
What type of music do you both listen to?
Both: It varies
Carlos: Yeah, like from rock to dance to hip-hop to R&B to pop and so on
Niall: Yeah, people such as Kings of Leon, La Roux, James Blunt, U2, Take That, Oasis, Fabolous, Jada kiss and Styles P, etc. We literally listen to everything really
Which artists have inspired you?
Niall: No one has really inspired us because were mainly inspired by every day life
Carlos: We obviously inspire each other and then we have the obvious, like our parents family and friends
Where would we have seen you guys before?
Carlos: We have performed at several anti-gun campaigns throughout the country, where we were first discovered by our current label 89 Arrogance Recordings.
What are your next plans for the future?
Niall: We just want to keep putting the work in and take each day as it comes
Carlos: No rest [LAUGHS]
Describe your upbringing?
Carlos: We have always been taught to have manners and keep our head in our books, but to tell the truth, we do get a little bit distracted at times but then again who doesn’t [LAUGHS] No-ones perfect.
Niall: The area we were brought up in was not the same way we was getting brought up in our homes, so we was street wise but used it to our advantage to keep away from crime, etc. We have always had our heads screwed on… Plus we would of got put in line real quick by our mums [LAUGHS]
Would you say that music provided you with an ‘escape’?
Both: YEAH! 100%!!!
Niall: Any time we felt we was being side tracked, music was our getaway path
What else do you think you would be doing if you were not making music?
Niall: Hopefully football but you can’t really say
Carlos: Yeah, either that or a 9 to 5. The money’s got to come from some were [LAUGHS]
What do you think of the UK music industry at the moment?
Niall: Everyone is doing their thing and we respect that
Carlos: From the underground to the mainstream
Niall: The UK is flooded with talent
How do you think the UK music scene has changed from 10 years ago?
Niall: There are a lot more opportunities for the UK Urban scene to break through due to artists like Dizzie Rascal and Wiley paving the way.
Who are your favorite UK artists?
Carlos: I don’t really have a favorite artist in particular… I listen to all different types of music and respect what everyone is doing. One day I might be listening to someone like La Roux and the next day it might be someone totally different like Wretch 32.
Niall: Yeah, what he said [LAUGHS]. Great minds think alike
Who do you think the industry would compare you to?
Niall: We couldn’t comment on that yet we will have to wait and see but people are going to say Carlos looks like Chris Brown [LAUGHS]
Carlos: [LAUGHS] Shut up
What do you do in your spare time?
Niall: Listen to music, play football… loads of things
Carlos: And he bakes cookies [LAUGHS] He’s got an apron and all sorts [LAUGHS]
Niall: They’re nice though! You got to give me that
Carlos: [LAUGHS] Yeah yeah, you bake a good cookie man
You music shuns away from the glamourisation of guns, drugs and violence, why is that?
Niall: Because we don’t promote that kind of life style as we would like to be positive role models.
What is your music about?
Carlos: It’s about things we have gone through or going through
How was it to perform at O2 Bubble?
Carlos: It was an experience but we believe there will be a lot more things to come.
Where else have you performed?
Carlos: Mini festivals, college performances mainly [LAUGHS]
Where do you dream of performing one day?
Carlos: The super-bowl in America.
Niall: Chances are I’ll be there with him, so see you there! [LAUGHS]
You guys would appeal to the younger ladies, how would you feel about all the attention?
Niall: Well, first of all … thanks for that! [LAUGHS]
Carlos: Ahh, this guy what’s he like, aye [LAUGHS]
You were both involved in a car accident. Can you explain what happened?
Niall: We were caught up in a collision with a very very bad driver. Our car was flipped on its side and we had to be cut out by the emergency services. It was a very traumatic time … but the financial compensation saw to the trauma [LAUGHS].
Has the accident changed your perception about life?
Carlos: They say any near death experience can change a person’s perception of life, so I will agree with that. I now feel the will to succeed and achieve my dreams at the highest level.
Niall, I’ve heard rumors that you’ve had trials with a few high profile football clubs, would you give up music if you were scouted?
Niall: Well I already had an opportunity to go on trials for Reading and Luton but decided not to go and continue with my music career, alongside Carlos, as I feel that we’re in this together until the end
You both had quite promising careers at Long Lane FC – What happened?
Niall: Well, Carlos done a good job keeping the bench warm [LAUGHS] but the passion for music took over
Carlos: [LAUGHS] I’ll have you know that I have a pretty good left foot. But on a serious note music was what we wanted to do from as young as we can remember.
If you could one choose, would you choose football or music?
Carlos and Niall: Music
Carlos: That simple really
What football team do you support?
Niall: West Ham [LAUGHS]. IM FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES!! [LAUGHS]
Carlos: PRETTY BUBBLES IN THE AIR
both: THEY FLY SO HIGH, THEY REACH THE SKY AND LIKE MY DREAMS THEY FADE AND DIE, UNITED UNITED UNITED [LAUGHS]
Carlos: [LAUGHS] I support Manchester United by the way, in case you couldn’t tell. I know that song because of him and that film Green Street
And what do you think of footballers? Do you think they are athletes and should be paid millions and allowed to endorse products to young influential children, whilst behaving badly? Or do you think they should not be paid so much, or ranked over doctors and scientists as they only provide entertainment and should be treated like every other citizen?
Niall: Well, on one hand I respect their hustle, because they have to deal with constant lime light, no privacy in their private life and meeting the demands of the game. But on the other hand they should realise that they are in the lime light and role models to young kids and behave a certain way because of that.
Carlos: I can understand why people would criticize on how much they get paid due to the fact that doctors, scientist and teachers are needed more in everyday life and are earning a lot less.
What are you guys up to? Where can we see you next?
Niall: We just shot our video for the first single called “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and that should be hitting T.V very soon, so look out for that
Carlos: It will also be on radio as well. We just want to be every were we can really
Naughty or nice?
Niall: Nice with a naughty side [LAUGHS]
Would you consider yourself to be naughty boys or nice boys? Why?
Carlos: To be honest I’m a bit of both. A bit 50/50 but it depends on the circumstances [LAUGHS] I’m trying to figure out were this is going [LAUGHS]
Niall: I’m a nice boy but I believe everyone has a naughty side [LAUGHS]
What category would the band fall under? Naughty or Nice?
Both: NICE! [LAUGHS]
Niall: Definitely nice [LAUGHS]
Whats the nicest thing you have ever done?
Carlos: I’m guilty of doing a couple nice things so I can’t put a finger on it
Niall: When I was younger I was going Ireland with my brother and I found £3,000 in a wallet on the plane and handed it in. Pretty honest lad I am
Carlos: He wouldn’t do the same now though. He’s nothing but a scoundrel this kid [LAUGHS]
What is the naughtiest thing you have ever done? And would you do it again?
Carlos: No comment [LAUGHS]
Niall: We want a lawyer [LAUGHS]
Are you attracted to anyone on in the UK music industry?
Carlos: Rochelle and Frankie from the Saturdays are both lookers and Pixie Lott is very pretty.
Niall: I’ve got to say Amelle from Sugababes, Alexandra Burke, Tulisa, Alesha Dixon and I’ll stop there before I name the whole industry [LAUGHS]
Do you tend to go for naughty or nice girls?
Carlos: I go for nice girls but I always end up with a naughty girl [LAUGHS] I don’t know why how that always happens, so don’t ask [LAUGHS]
Niall: Yeah, same. Don’t know how that happens [LAUGHS].
Which one of you is the naughty one? And which is the nicer one?
Both: He’s the naughty one [LAUGHS]
Niall: [LAUGHS] We both have our moments, I guess
Words by Tolu Akisanya