theaussieword.com catches up with Tom Lee-Richards.
Tell us how it all started. What had you first interested in music?
I probably don’t know what first drew me to music. I do remember a 4 year old fascination with the Beatles as typical as that sounds. I didn’t consciously want to sound like them though. I also remember enjoying making mouth noises which was my first experimentation with rhythm. Then I wanted to be Michael Jackson at about age 7.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Wanting to say something about the odd world we live in usually turns into the bones of a song. I’m always making up melodies and percussion ideas as I go about my day though which is fun. Then it feels good to turn it all into a complete arrangement.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
I want to immerse myself in a few totally different styles of music and collaborate with and learn from some of my favourite artists in each of those areas of music. I think that is a great challenge especially as it means letting go of the idea that one musical style defines me. Oh also more world touring.
Success, what is the secret to it?
I don’t know. Perhaps realising when you’re happy and letting that sink in for a minute before getting back to work.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
I’ve had a few music competition highlights and cool international features but really, just finding myself on the streets of Brighton after booking my first UK/EU tour was pretty cool.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Bjork. James Blake. Moses Sumney is doing cool things. Cat Stevens for those still refreshingly genuine messages. Kendrick for his boldness. I could go on.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
I would like to have a few key hubs for touring – different countries that I can do a string of well promoted shows in with local artists I love. I’m also interested in writing music for film.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
Social media has provided me with a convenient and consistent way to present my style to my audience. It’s also challenging however as that convenience results in news feeds being flooded with musical branding from all corners.
Streaming has made music accessible which is handy but it has also increased the challenge of making a living from releasing music. People in teams do well. That hasn’t changed.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Ainslie Wills. Matt Corby. Monique Shelford. Big Scary. D D Dumbo. Grim Fawkner. Lots more.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
Well I’m touring the UK and EU right now after 20 shows in Australia all in support of the ‘Beside You’ single. I’m also currently brain storming how I release my final single from the upcoming Mini-LP. I’ll tour that in Aus soon too 😊
Tell us a bit about your latest record, how would you best describe your music?
I’m yet to release my first record for this project, that’s coming but I can tell you about it. Alternative-pop folk seems like the simplest description. I layer vocal harmony and rhythms but there is a lyrical focus. The upcoming record also uses a lot of synth textures and is quite cinematic at times. My influences range from Latin Folk and Soul to experimental pop.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
I’d like to produce a more stripped back record with some of the vocal layering I do live but a really limited range of instruments. That would be cool.
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today?
Edinburgh where I am now is an insanely beautiful city. Aside from that if you’re into dystopia, cowboys, mannequins and teenage motocross check out my new video for Beside You > http://bit.ly/2sctpZO