Special Interview: TORA

Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music?
When I was 10 years old, I idolised my older sisters boyfriend who was a blues guitarist. He taught me guitar until I was 13, then he died in a car accident which got me really inspired to take music more seriously. I played in a rock band with Shaun and Toby for about 6 years, before we changed our sound and started Tora with Jai and Thorne about 18 months ago.

What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
It’s more of an addiction than anything else, but I often just hear things in my head and then I want to be able to listen to them, so that motivates me to make it.

What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
When we write songs, the biggest goal is to make something that sounds different, and something with depth that surprises the listener so that they can listen over and over again.
We hope that our music can take people away from their daily problems and bring them to a calm relaxed state of mind.

What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
We are touring Australia in November, which includes shows at Mullumbimby Music Festival and FOTsun, which we’re really excited about.
We’ve got overseas plans in the works for next year, but it’s too early to say too much there.
We also plan to continue releasing lots of music, so you can expect something new in the first quarter of next year.

Tell us a bit about your latest album and how would you best describe your music?
Eat The Sun was basically a representation of how we felt over the last 6 months. It has a lot broader spectrum of sounds, because we experimented with all kinds of samples recorded in different places, for instance in the title track we used temple bells recorded in the Himalayas.
Our music is Chillwave, I think that’s the best word for it. I struggle when trying to describe our music, but it’s quite spacious, relaxing and hopefully easy to listen to.

Success, what is the secret to it?
I think first and foremost, to successfully build a fan base of people that actually care about you, you have treat every person you come across with respect, everyone deserves at least a small portion of your time. Regarding the music itself, success is just a matter of opinion, so just make music that sounds good to you.

What has been your biggest career highlight?
It seems that every month, more and more good news keeps coming. But the two highlights  for me were, our show on new years eve at Falls Festival, and our show on the Amphitheatre stage at Splendour in the Grass.

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
I always come back to the same conclusion when I’m asked this question. James Blake is the most inspiring for me. His music is so inventive, original and it somehow he’s broken into the pop market with a very experimental sound.

Any new projects in the pipeline?
We are always making new tunes, I think soon we start creating our debut LP sometime in the not too distant future. We have a couple of collaborations and remixes in the works too. We also have plans to help Merryn Jeann with her own stuff. 
Aside from Tora, I have my own solo project called Pele, at the moment I’m still developing my sound but there are a few covers on my Soundcloud.
Toby has a project called Alfalfa with his cousin, they released an EP about a year ago. 

The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
Eventually I think we will be producing albums with lots of artists, this will allow us to make all kinds of new sounds. I think ultimately we just love producing music, so we plan to do a whole lot more of it.

Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
There’s so much good music coming out of Australia at the moment, but to name a few.
Hiatus Kayote,  Meals, Merryn Jeann, Saffia, Kyle Lionheart, Willow Beats and La Mar.

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?
I think now more than ever, the music industry is becoming more about good music rather than just a money game. People are searching for music now by themselves now, more than they ever have. So far, we have done absolutely everything without the help of a record label, that would never have been possible 5 or 10 years ago.
Personally, I love the way the industry is going because it gives power back to the artist and the fans. It’s astounding that you can reach such large amounts of people with the click of a button, but it is also a challenge to stand out among all the great music we a blessed with each day.

Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today? 
Thank you for asking such good questions. Just want to say that as a band, we love nothing more than connecting with fans and hearing what people think of our music, so anyone who wants to talk, just message us on Facebook 🙂

Twitter: @toramusicart

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