An Interview With Toby TomTom
A smooth single release from Toby TomTom brings a series of gorgeously performed instruments and sounds together to form a unique and colorful pop style that is pulled off near perfectly.
"Tomorrow Yesterday" is completely fun as guitars and organs give a great funk undertone and swelling sounds peak in and create a new feel for the song's atmosphere all together.
Vocals have a great rhythm to them and attitude as well. You can hear the love for his craft TomTom has with every second of this track.
There is a ton of heart that goes into his music and it's got a sound that has a way of pushing the envelope just enough to grab you and keep you there.
This was danceable and outside the box pop music that incorporated an array of outstanding instruments and genres that melted into each other to build something quite special really.
Toby TomTom is known for this sort of thing. The artist thinks outside the box a bit and creates songs that have less boundaries than most.
This isn't easy to come by at all and it's done pretty damn well here.
This came through with killer character and presence.
With the release of such a great single, we wanted to have a chat with the artist to find out where this came from and what may be next for him.
Here's what happened.
TSWS: Okay so let's start with "Tomorrow Yesterday". The single has such a colorful pop sound to it! Where did this track come from?
Thank you so much! Tomorrow Yesterday began on guitar as like a reggae riff. Then I switched it over to organ to make it feel more authentic when I played it. I began riffing vocally and the lyric and melody came about. I then incorporated a trip hoppy kinda’ beat under it to give it more movement and modernize it. The topper was the vocal effect, the horns, and finding the sample of the ethereal female voice leading into the hook. Then I brought in the brilliant guitarist Frank Ferrara to bless the track with his blues/rock guitar. Funny thing is, when I flew his guitar track in, I mistimed it. But it came out perfect so it was meant to be! Playing and producing this song was a joy cause I really let go creatively and didn’t worry about genre or anything like that. So it’s got some pop, funk, rock, lofi, hip-hop, edm and, trip-hop influences.
TSWS: I'm hearing several styles on this release. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
My influences are all over the place depending on where I was in my life musically. I attended college on a trumpet scholarship for classical music then switched over to jazz. Funk horn was always a constant though. Then I learned funk guitar and bass. Took singing lessons and learned to sing. Switched over to acoustic folk which made my writing more authentic. Always played drums. All that to say, my influences include Tower of Power, Miles Davis, Debussy, Tupac, Migos, Drake, Marvin Gaye, and Prince.
TSWS: So how did this all begin for you really? When did you fall in love with making music?
I began playing trumpet at 8 years old and loved the inner competitiveness of it. But I couldn’t write what I heard on trumpet since it’s monophonic. I fell in love with music for real when my brother moved from Ohio to join me in Harlem and we began working as a writing/production team. That’s when I began learning guitar and writing began making sense. I’ve been hooked ever since.
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist?
Just keep creating, giving glory to God. I’m already working on my next single.
TSWS: What inspires you to write a song?
Whenever my mind is clear, ideas come to me. It could be in my sleep, at the beach with my guitar, or quiet time in my studio. I always admire writers who can pick a time, sit, and write a song on demand. For me, ideas have to come to me through the universe. I can’t focus on it, it just happens. Like a mystical experience. Over the years, I’ve learned to trust this process. When it’s time to write, if I’m quiet, songs come.
TSWS: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I have a family. My wife and two sons, who are gifts from God. I give my youngest son trumpet lessons and help coach his football team. I also work a day job in business development. One day, I hope to switch to music full time.
TSWS: Who are you listening to right now?
Right now, I'm listening to alot of indie artists on various Spotify playlists, like yours! The music is so fresh and there are so many different styles. My oldest son listens to a lot of 80’s music so been digging that too. Bobby Brown, Doobies, Hall & Oates, Queen, Journey. 80’s was a hell of a decade!The songwriting was stellar.
TSWS: Are you putting any thought into live performances?
Studio has me all electronic’d up. But, def looking to get back to my Folk, Funk & Roll persona. On May 21, participating in the Rock For Love Sea Cliff Porchfest on Long Island, NY. Doing a set of acoustic songs which will be really cool! My son will play horn with me on one song. After that, see what the wind brings!
TSWS: Do you have a home studio where you track your stuff?
Yes I do. I generally play and sing everything. My brother hates me to mention it, but he lends me his ear as a producer. I also engineer everything. It’s a constant learning process and everytime I start creating again, seems the Maschine software changes and I have to learn to create anew. It’s cool though because it means I have to move on from what was! To me that’s what art is about - movement.
TSWS: This single seems like a big undertaking. What kind of advice might you have for other up and coming artists out there?
I”d tell them don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing, sing a song. That’s from the Carpenters and that says it all. Create for love, the love of yourself, the love of your art. This way you can’t get mad at whatever the result will be because you can’t control all that. But what you can control is your love for the process and creating something beautiful to give to the world.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for following me on Instagram, Facebook, Spotify and all streaming platforms. Thanks for visiting TobyTomTom.com. Thank you for inspiring me with your journeys. God bless you all and God bless our world. Love, peace and soul!