Interview | Landscapes, Longing and Love – The Musical World of Andrea Tomasi

andrea tomasi2Hello, please introduce yourself and your music to the uninitiated.

Hello, my name is Andrea Tomasi. Lately I have been thinking about my music as a reorientation of energy. I will feel a certain energy, and need a way to release it, to give it a place to live and move. Often the energy comes from discomfort or a lack of understanding of my emotions; creating the song clarifies this moment of disease, or wonderment, in order to return to inner peace. This is why I keep creating; as everything cycles, there is an inevitable return to turmoil. I feel lucky to have found a tool to transform the turmoil into something that I hope is beautiful and provides clarity not only for myself, but for others as well.

Tell us a bit about your latest release, Hurricane Dream.

I wrote most of Hurricane Dream when I was living in Hudson, NY. The songs are not intentionally connected, although inherently they are, because they came at a certain time in my life. Most of them revolve around longing, perhaps longing to heal heartbreaks. Some feel more apparently like love songs, but the kind in which you never quite reach what you’re searching for. This longing has been part of my story for a while now, but I’m relieved that my relationship to it is changing. I feel like I am beginning to arrive at the realization of the longing – the heartbreak is still there, but it moves, and isn’t as hungry to be voiced.

Your lyrics are vividly poetic and feel deeply thought through – any literary, filmic or visual influences you’d like to share with us?

I often use Pablo Neruda’s love poems as a prompt to get me in the mindset for more lyrical writing. Thinking about nature and how it can relate to human experience is my main influence.

You recorded Hurricane Dream outside; nature is a strong presence in that album. Do you have a favourite landscape?

Driving across the desert felt like a dream I didn’t know I had. Seeing the mountains in the distance was absolutely breathtaking. I grew up in Vermont, and have always loved the green mountains in the distance – there was something about the expanse of the desert and the sunsets over those massive pointy edges that is newly tugging at my heart.

Describe how you first got into music.

I don’t remember when I first got into music because I was always into it – I’ve always understood myself in relation to music and singing. I used to love listening to the radio in the car, and writing down the top 40 on Sundays. The first CDs I was really excited about were the soundtrack for The Bodyguard, The Score by The Fugees, because I was absolutely in love with Lauryn Hill, and The Fugees’ remake of ‘Killing Me Softly’. The Score was a bit racy for 4th grade ears, but thankfully I was only tunnel-listening for the timbre of Lauryn Hill’s voice.

What was your best ever gig?

I recently returned from a tour across the US, and a show that stands out was in Birmingham, Alabama, at a place called Sound & Page. We couldn’t have asked for better space, sound, reception, and hosts. I will definitely be returning there as soon as I get the chance.

What’s the worst thing about being a musician?andrea3

Having to self-promote, and spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen in order to make the necessary connections. The more in depth answer is the simple truth that people will have their own experience, and you will have yours; the hard acceptance that you must let go of what you hope they will think or receive because you will never really know or be able to control it. Ultimately, this is probably the best thing about being a musician as well.

What inspires you?

Other artists, whether musicians or dancers or storytellers, who have the ability to transport. When I feel stopped in my tracks, when a feeling is initiated or revealed through seeing a performance – or observing human experience, and coming to my own understanding.

If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?

I would stop working in a restaurant, most likely, and keep singing – keep doing what I’m doing, with a little more ease of mind. Travel all the time! Buy land and a house! Uh oh if I open this box I could go on forever….

Which of your songs is your favourite and why?

All of my songs have been my favourite at one point or another – but it never lasts long, so I keep making new ones.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m starting to add a few musicians to my new songs which I’m feeling really excited about. I’m thinking about recording in the near future, and I have the travel bug, so I’m dreaming up plans for more tours.

Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?

I have recently been very struck by Laura Marling and Sun Kil Moon. One you might not know is Eleanor Murray – I’ve been listening to her song “Virginia” on her bandcamp page on repeat….it’s so good.

words: Becky Varley-Winter