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Johnson: St. Louis artist WhoisTimothy aims to make himself known with new album

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Who is Timothy McGimpsey?

For starters, he’s no longer known as T¿M?THY. That name made it tricky for fans trying to Google him.

Now he goes by WhoisTimothy, a name that should gain more familiarity for the North County-based singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and music teacher.

He releases his new album, “Experiment 21,” on Jan. 21 with a concert at Pop’s in Sauget. It’s his first headlining show since the pandemic; his last concert before March 2020 was also at Pop’s.

“I’m working on being more visible,” he says. “I’m not just a best-kept secret. Now I’m working on not just being the best, but not being a secret anymore, either.”

WhoisTimothy releases his new album, “Experiment 21,” on Jan. 21 with a release concert at Pop’s in Sauget. It’s his first headlining show since the pandemic. Video by Kevin C. Johnson

“Experiment 21” is a collaborative R&B-pop effort featuring 21 St. Louis singers and rappers including Rebel Waters, Retro Champ, Gthesinger, Cream the Model, Jay Alzier, Logan Khole and Frost Money. Mookie Tolliver, Justice Larue, Brylean, Gregatron and Branden Michael Lewis are also featured and will open the Pop’s show.

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He likens his approach to the album to the way superproducer DJ Khaled brings together artists to perform over his beats.

The guest artists are spread across 10 tracks, each of which is accompanied by an instrumental version, plus a bonus track. The album totals 21 tracks.

WhoisTimothy included the instrumental versions because he wanted listeners to hear what guest artists originally heard. Fans who purchase the album can license any of the instrumental versions for their own use.

WhoisTimothy produced, mixed and engineered “Experiment 21” and co-wrote throughout. The album was recorded at the WhoisTimothy.com Studio at Medici MediaSpace in Overland.

“I kept the production on this very simple,” he says. “I wanted to keep it simple to fit today’s sound as far as music goes. These were unintentionally and intentionally new sounds. There were no guidelines. I just made what I felt.”

In one instance, on “Off the Top,” that even includes his rapping.

The upbeat calypso-feeling “Stars Align” is his favorite song on the album. He says it shows optimism amid some dips into darkness caused by the pandemic shaking up his world.

“This one has a more hopeful message, saying with time stars can align,” he says, noting that St. Louis stars aligned to make the album.

The track “Bags Under My Eyes” is about sleepless nights spent worrying about money during the pandemic. “It’s about hustling, at the expense of your health,” he says.

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“Hollow” isn’t his own personal story, but it deals with substance abuse and suicide. Despite the dark subject matter, “it’s still a bop,” he says. “It’s catchy.”

“Pretty Petty” is about women who are just that — pretty and petty — while “Motivated” speaks for itself. He calls “Close to Me” a Chris Brown type of love song.

“Experiment 21” grew out of Whois-

Timothy’s need to keep momentum going for St. Louis artists during the pandemic.

“This is me trying to get my passion back,” he says.

A year ago, he made a Facebook post to gauge interest in the project.

“Nobody told me no,” he says. “Everybody was excited because they knew I hadn’t been doing collaborations. People jumped on it.”

WhoisTimothy

WhoisTimothy

When he started working on the project, it was a challenge. The first artist collaboration was unsuccessful, and he thought, “‘Uh-oh, this is going to be rough.’ But everyone else came and nailed it. They know who I am, and they came in with their best. The project is about pushing each other, making sure we’re staying sharp.”

The concert will feature all of the guest artists performing with a live band, and songs will be accompanied by video.

In keeping with the 21 theme, the album is available for $21 at whoistimothy.us and at the concert. A pre-order includes access to the Pop’s concert.

WhoisTimothy, who is also lead singer and keyboardist for cover band Fresh Rain, spent 2019 recording and releasing a song each month. He may follow “Experiment 21” by pulling those songs together into a compilation album.

A native of Kokomo, Indiana, WhoisTimothy got into music after moving to Austin, Texas, around 2005. He started with drums before adding keyboards and bass, eventually taking up singing. His biggest musical influence is Michael Jackson.

He has lived in St. Louis about 10 years, originally moving here to work for a church.

Since coming to St. Louis, he says he sees the music scene as one where “you can throw a rock anywhere and find talent here. It’s easy to find people who are really gifted but don’t have the large platform you’d think they have. You can really appreciate the different people here, and the scene is really open.”

What WhoisTimonthy, Mookie Tolliver, Justice Larue, Brylean, Gregatron, Branden Michael Lewis • When 8 p.m. Jan. 21 • Where Pop’s, 1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget • How much $10-$15 or album preorder • More info ticketweb.com

Friday, January 21st, 2022 GMT-0600

Friday, January 21st, 2022 GMT-0600

Thursday, January 20th, 2022 GMT-0600

Friday, January 21st, 2022 GMT-0600

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