TKTK Sessions: Combining Creative Clout

NYU juniors Antonio Jenez and Noah Davis transformed Washington Square News’ office into a concert venue this past Friday with their beautiful music and unparalleled chemistry. The producer, rocking slick white latex gloves, Davis (Dr. No) studies production in Tisch School  of the Arts under the Clive Davis program. Rapper, singer and producer Jenez (Halfy) studies psychology in CAS with a minor in music.

Together they explain their music as “the old school kind of music” that is composed of “hard hitting, straight forward, not too swung dirty sounds.” Jenez complements Davis’ role in their collaboration.

They heavily focus on deliberate nature with their production and lyrics. The duo wants to give listeners a fresh listening experience while people experience their purposeful music.

The two began their relationships with music early on in life. Jenez cited Bob Marley’s “Legend” and The Beatles’ top hits as the sounds that filled his childhood, while Davis recalled listening to the New York classic rock station 104.3 every day after school. Jenez’s passion for rapping blossomed during his first year of high school.

“I had a bunch of stuff going on in my life … then I met this dude whose name was Raul, and we became friends when I was friends with nobody else,” he said. “I was into rap, but not as much as he was, and then he taught me about it and we ended up writing lyrics together.”

Jenez and Davis met through a mutual friend during the first week of their freshman year. Davis said that their collective creative process begins with word flow.

“I’ll be writing as he’s producing and we’ll talk back and forth about what the sound would be like,” Jenez said.

“It starts with a vision,” Davis added.

“You’re not going to hear any other music that sounds like that,” Jenez said. “We want it to change your life. If it doesn’t do that, we just want you to listen to it and put it on a playlist that you listen to every day and have something exciting about it that you would want to show people that you’re friends with. Even if you’re not necessarily a music person, like it’s special enough to stand out to the average person — that’s the goal.”

When asked if they had advice for underclassmen trying to get into the music scene, Jenez and Davis replied with electric enthusiasm, bouncing responses off of each other.

“Collaboration,” Davis said. “Once you get a few really successful collaborations down you will learn how to collaborate with different kinds of people. Any collaboration can work if you just, no matter what combination, get on the same page first and then go … learning how to get on the same wavelength.”

“Collaborations are definitely the way to go,” Jenez said. “On our first EP there were all these people we met and it opens your eyes up to a lot of people’s creative processes … Then you can create such interesting sounds and types of music through combining your mind with somebody else. It’s kind of what happened here, where it doesn’t sound like his music and it doesn’t sound like mine, but when we put our heads together it doesn’t come out how my music would sound or how his music would sound.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 13 print edition. 

Email Avani Jurakhan at [email protected]