San Diego-based artist, thomTide, is known to mix art, music and seasons.
His gripping tracks and innovative sound have made waves in the indie world and has captivated the ears and hearts of many. His music has been featured in multiple Spotify playlists, Apple Music’s New Music Daily, and i-D’s BEST NEW MUSIC.
We recently had the chance to catch up with him and ask him a few questions. This is what he had to say…
How have you been doing?
I’m well, thanks for asking. Always grateful. If you’re reading this I hope you’re doing the best you can!
What inspires you?
I try to be inspired by anything, wherever I am. I just want to keep my mind open to see things differently, or not take things for granted that I interact with every day. Family is a big one. Friends too. I feel like the people around me are what really matter so I always draw inspiration from them.
When you’re not creating, what do you get up to?
When I’m not creating I’m meeting up with friends just trying new things, travelling, cooking, coding, and probably simping.
What are your top albums of all time?
Ahh, I love so many albums. I’ll kinda flip this into projects I listen to front-to-back, no skips. I will definitely forget projects though haha. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick, Blond(e) by Frank, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye, Lemonade by Beyoncé, Telefone by Noname, Choose Your Weapon by Hiatus Kaiyote, Congratulations by MGMT, IGOR by Tyler, Unknown Memory by Yung Lean. In no order.
What’s your favourite toast topping?
Honestly, I’m kinda boujee with my tastes in food. I think a nice butter and some weird type of preserves. Recently I got some pomegranate preserves so that’s it right now.
If you could work with any artist, dead or alive, who are you choosing and why?
Hmm, I’ve thought about this. It changes all the time, but at this very moment, I absolutely love Hiatus Kaiyote. What they’ve done over the years always blows my mind. They heavily influenced my sound I realize. I’d choose them because they’re all super thoughtful about their musical decisions, on top of being amazing musicians. I remember on the commentary for Choose Your Weapon, the keyboardist was talking about the importance of the opening sound on a project, and that opened up my eyes to pay more attention to those little details of a project.
how do you come up with the visuals for each release?
Hmm, I can answer for both the cover art and for the music videos. The cover art and big picture is pretty much left up to Dom. I let him hear the seasons early and he kinda just paints what he sees. For the music videos I had a high-level idea of what I wanted to do. It was a little series of music videos basically. The directors Giles and Jacob had some dope ideas too so we kinda met halfway between their ideas and mine. Definitely a learning process for me in the visual area right now.
What’s the songwriting process like for you?
Ahh, this is very different every time. At the current moment, I think it’s similar to something Pharrell said on OTHERtone. I was actually doing it before I heard Pharrell say it but it was reaffirming to hear him say he does something similar.
On these last 2 instrumentals, I need to record over, I find it hard to write while listening to them. It feels restrictive. So I actually commit the instrumentals to memory and audition melodies and lyrics in my head, to silence. There’s just a lot of freedom in my head to slow things down or loop things when I commit them to memory.
What drew you to release music in Seasons?
There were a bunch of steps to get here. Basically, it was an early talk with Dom where we had a very raw idea about dropping songs regularly and it would slowly build a big picture cover art made up of all the single cover artworks. Just for his understanding of the release schedule, he said “oh like a tv show”. And after he said that, we came back and really doubled down on that idea. And since it would drop for a whole year, we had the “seasons” of the series coincide with the literal seasons’ Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.
I wanted to embrace streaming culture which is very single-driven but still, tell a story and have a concept around the project. It kinda challenges what we think of as a unified project. Like why can’t a series of 27 singles also be called a project?
How many more releases do we have for the current season?
Yeah, so 27 songs total. 6 left, the best to come in my opinion. So the project’s “cover art” will be a 3 x 9 mural of these 27 artworks. And there will be a visual for every season, so we’ll keep dropping music videos till 2022 actually, revisiting the Fall and Winter.