Tony Wedral is a singer-songwriter who’s just released his debut EP called The Next Step. After spending the past year and a half connecting with his fans via YouTube videos, Tony has quietly been honing his musical craft and has finally unveiled his original music to the world.
We caught up with Tony to discuss his newly released EP, good advice and his musical inspirations!
Hi Tony! Congratulations on your EP release. For anyone who hasn’t heard your music before, can you describe it in three words?
Variety, soul and honesty.
A meeting with an autistic boy inspired ‘Unlocked’, what was the inspiration behind your other EP songs?
I guess every writer will find inspiration based on own experience and emotions. ‘I Don’t Need To Know’ was inspired by placing all bad friendships/relationships, anything of the sort, into a pot and finding the same common occurrence with them all, which is, once you’ve gone your separate ways, you still check up on them on social media or ask about them. So it’s about not needing to know how they are or what they’re doing, but you want to know. It’s a timeline from the break-off (first verse) to getting away and moving on (the bridge).
‘Moonlight Sky’ came about because I was in a situation in the summer of 2015 where I wanted someone/something so badly, but I didn’t think it would work out, maybe because the other party wasn’t feeling the same. So I started to imagine scenarios in my head of how I wanted it to look and that is what ‘Moonlight Sky’ is, a collection of my thoughts based on a perfect scenario with a particular person where I would find myself to be happiest.
Which is your favourite song from the EP?
I genuinely can’t pick a favourite, I’m happy with them all and each one means a specific thing to me. But I know you need an answer… so I’ll say ‘Brokenhearted’ because lyrically, it’s ruthlessly honest and I really didn’t hold anything back with that song. Plus, honesty is why I write songs.
You’re doing some shows in London in February, can you tell us more about that?
I will be doing stripped-down acoustic versions of all the songs on the EP including a couple of others. The shows will consist of 2 comedians and 2 singers including myself and I’ll close off the night! The shows will be from the 2nd February to the 7th, at Baron’s Court Theatre in London. They will be my first live shows as such so I’m excited and it will be a great experience for me! I also look forward to having however many people in a small venue, being able to hear the songs in their original format. I’ll be nervous, I’m expecting that, especially as this is new to the fans and therefore their opinion will be fresh for me, particularly with just my voice and mellow guitar, but I’m definitely excited.
Your fans are more used to you being a YouTuber than a singer – how has the reaction to your music been from them?
I guess an element of surprise was always inevitable. I kept this super quiet and a secretive extension of my personality, so for the fans to now see this side of me almost seem to appear overnight, must be a shock. But the reaction has been incredible, I’m humbled by all of the nice comments and responses.
I never really felt like a ‘YouTuber’, for one because I dislike the term itself, secondly because talking to a camera and sharing it was just my way of expressing my personality to a handful of teenagers, it wasn’t really ever a job or a commitment for me, hence I’m very irregular. Which is why when people used to say to me “you’re a bad YouTuber you’re not consistent’ I just used to think…”but I’m not a YouTuber, I’m just expressing my personality?”
But I’m excited for their response on the EP and I was always aware and conscious of the fact I had to make the transition as smoothly as possible from a YouTube figure to musician, but I know deep down people knew for a long time that I wanted to be a musician, but I just don’t think they were aware of the extent to which I worked to believe I was a good artist.
You’ve done a cover with singer Mary Desmond in the past, who recently auditioned for American Idol. Is a reality TV talent show something you’d consider auditioning for?
Who knows. I don’t say no to things, I like to take every opportunity I can. I want to be able to sustain a career from making music and the way to get there is to increase your exposure, which I try to do daily, but it’s hard. Mary, like millions of others including me, wants that chance and talent shows are a great way to gain that exposure nowadays. I think they’re too often negatively perceived by artists in the industry, but in reality there is no right or wrong. My main love is with song-writing and I want to see what I can do myself with my skills, determination and help from close friends and the fans because I do believe in myself and this dream. If it doesn’t work and my destiny isn’t to become successful in the industry this way, then of course maybe one day I would try, but it’s not something I’m thinking of doing any time soon for sure as I want to focus on creating the best songs I can and growing myself organically.
Who are your musical inspirations?
I think I’ve always been inspired by a variety of musicians hence my EP really has a variety on it and I’m really pushing the borders when it comes to genres, because I’m just a lover of music as a whole. I mean Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, The 1975 just to name a few, but in truth if the music is good and the lyrics touch me, then it inspires me.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
I’ve always dreamed of doing a collaboration with Justin Timberlake. It’s just the thought of being in the studio with him and coming up with the sexiest, body-moving, lyrically deep song with him has always been a crazy dream of mine.
What is the most played song on your iPod?
I don’t have an iPod!!! But on my iPhone I think it’s either 30 Seconds to Mars’s ‘Closer To The Edge’ or Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’.
What’s your go-to song to sing in the shower?
It always changes, but currently its ‘Youth’ by Troye Sivan…yes I take Troye into the shower with me…
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
To just remember if there’s other people in the world who can successfully do what you want to do, then you can do it even better.
Tell us something not many people know about you?
I can speak fluent Croatian.
What is your ultimate musical goal?
To be able to have a sustainable income writing and singing songs so I can pursue a long career in it and knowing that it brings pleasure to the people that listen.
Thank you for your time Tony!
What do you think of Tony’s EP? Let us know your thoughts @CelebMix or leave a comment below.