“I’ll write out my fucked up fantasies, sometimes it’s stream of consciousness other times it has some more structure…”
Every month we interview an artist from across the Atlantic who we feel will be the next big thing. Last time is was Chicago-born singer Khallee.
For the next installment we caught up with the rapidly ascending Vancouver musician, and one of Awful Records’ newest additions, Tommy Genesis.
Where did you grow up and what was it like musically there?
I grew up on the west coast of Canada – mostly in Vancouver. My mom taught me to play piano when I was really young, music was always around. I’d listen to whatever I could get my hands on; reggae, jazz, blues, rap and even some folk.
Artists like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, Prince and Michael Jackson influenced me at a very young age.
Why did you get into making music?
The first rap I ever wrote was called ‘Blued’ when I was 9 I think. I joined my first “band” was when I was 10 and it was called ‘God’s Girls’.
I would always play synth and sing backup in random high school shows. I got into writing a lot of poetry and that morphed into straight rap. Which led to me creating a rap group with a girl named Sammy when we were about 17 years old. Our group was called ‘(moan)’, and we used to play in various parking lots.
The first track we ever made was called ‘I’m Tight’.
What’s the main subject matter on your mind when writing a song?
I usually try to write a track for a certain person, you know if someone fucks with me, I’ll think ok what would really make them see the other side of it. Or if someone I love is going through a tough time, what would they want to hear, or how do I want to come at the world today, what am I going through.
I’ll write out my fucked up fantasies, sometimes it’s stream of consciousness other times it has some more structure… just whatever is on my mind.
I’ve seen some interesting comparisons to your sound online, what musical parallels have you been most pleased with?
I’ve seen someone comment “if MIA and Kanye had a baby“. (She laughs) I wasn’t mad at that.
How did your relationship with Awful Records come about?
Fat (Father) has been an online friend for a while, really just through the internet. Then we kept in touch and in Febuary/March around then, he asked me to join Awful Records. Then I went to Atlanta in June, met the entire team, it all happened very organically.
Who do you admire most on the label?
I think that’s a tricky question because I can’t single out a certain artist, I really do fuck with everyone on an individual level. But recently I was in LA and spent a lot of time with Abra and in my opinion what she’s up to, nobody else in the game is doing.
Making new waves in such a used up industry is something a lot of the Awful artists do naturally.
How did you feel the release of ‘World Vision’ went?
It was a cool experience, I put so much of myself into it, so when people started fucking with it, it made me feel like it was ok to be my weird and honest self.
Where do you see yourself in 12 months time?
I see myself touring more and getting more music out… ‘World Vision‘ is part 1 of a trilogy, ‘World Vision 2′ is coming soon.