Tom Tikka and Nolen Chew Jr. spark musical charm with ‘California Smile’

"It’s a song about a guy from California, obviously, but it’s also a song about meeting that special person you settle down with. It’s a beautiful moment"
8 March 2024

A tribute to love and the Golden State

When Tom Tikka and Nolen Chew Jr. of The Star Prairie Project joined forces, they didn’t just make music – they sparked something special. Intending to craft two tracks each for their solo albums, destiny intervened, yielding not just one, but two singles from their collaborative endeavor.

The first fruit of their collaboration, California Smile, embodies the essence of Americana, capturing hearts with its poignant lyrics, dynamic guitars, and harmonious vocals. It’s a musical tribute to California and the profound experience of finding enduring love in its embrace.

Reflecting on the song, Tikka shares, “It’s a song about a guy from California, obviously, but it’s also a song about meeting that special person you settle down with. It’s a beautiful moment. You feel no need to roam around anymore, and other people become of no interest to you. Everyone should experience that feeling. Aside from that, I love California. I’ve spent a lot of time there. It’s a hard place to leave. I miss it.”

Both Tikka and The Star Prairie Project have been enjoying successful trajectories. Tikka’s previous album yielded two UK Top 10 iTunes hits, while The Star Prairie Project’s Old Dirt Road soared to #9 on the charts. With millions of Spotify streams and critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, their collaboration was a natural evolution, further fueled by their shared label, British One Media.

Yet, Tikka is quick to emphasize that their collaboration stemmed from genuine admiration and camaraderie rather than strategic planning. “We clicked musically and personally,” he explains. “It was a natural progression, driven by our mutual respect and love for music. This wasn’t in any way calculated. It just happened. I asked if Nolen wanted to do something together and he was all for it, so we gave it a go and ended up with these two beautiful tracks”

Tikka tantalizes with a teaser for their next release, promising another gem in their musical repertoire: “Just wait until you hear the one that’s coming up. It’s called Starting Over With You and it’s just absolutely fantastic.”

California Smile stands as an anthem to love and the sun-drenched charm of California, showcasing the remarkable synergy between Tom Tikka and Nolen Chew Jr., proving that when two musical talents collaborate, the outcome is truly extraordinary.

instagram.com/tom_tikka_official