Merry Choppins, also known as Tony Esterly, is stepping out from helping curate other artists careers and turning a global pandemic into a solid single full of electro-pop goodness.
After gaining many major production and songwriting credits for the work of some more than notable acts, such as SIA and BTS, Esterly was pushed by isolation due to the oppressing lockdowns to start creating his own musical identity under the name Merry Choppins in 2020. Using the new platform to its full potential, Esterly combines notable genre tropes of pop, electronic, Hip-Hop, and so many more to produce a harmonious melting pot of modern musical culture. Aided by featured artist collabs with Hip-Hop artist Tim Gent, R&B powerhouse Jessy Wilson and Alternative act Island Police, both tracks crackle to life and warp around the listener, letting them sink into a deep soundscape that emulates a flooded neon scene that moves as if alive.
‘cloudin’ not only acts as the first track on the single but also a self-aware music video that injects surreal humour as well as a stark sense of realism (see above). The song, featuring Island Police, ebbs and flows effortlessly around the distorted vocals, with a layered instrumental that listeners will be able to feel in their chests. Accompanying ‘cloudin’ is the second track billed: ‘nananana’. Completely instrumental, ‘nananana’ highlights Esterly’s composition and production skills by demonstrating a catchy track void of vocal hooks. Fully embracing the influencing genres, Merry Choppins as an artistic identity elevates simple electronic into a fully realised piece of music with consciousness.
“This project serves a dual purpose – to have a platform to share my own unique sound as an artist after years of helping others define their sound and also challenge myself to take a couple steps past the norms into the weird zone. I’ve written so many great songs with artists that didn’t necessarily fit their lane. Some of what you’ll hear from merry choppins are songs that started with others but were re-produced and made into my own, while others have been merry choppins from day one” – Merry Choppins
Stream ‘cloudin/nananana’ on Spotify:
Or on various other streaming platforms here.
Keep tabs on Merry Choppins on Instagram.
Words by Ellen Oakley