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Tom Sands - Interview

1. Tell us your rap name and where are you from?

Well, Since I don’t rap I don’t have one. My artist name though is Tom Sands. I’m from Sweden, living in the countryside, having a very inspirational view of fields and woods outside my window.

2. What made you start making music?

Well, I played guitar in a band in my teens but left when it was time for my military service. I moved away to start my first job and almost never touched the guitar for many years. Sold my gear, I did some amateur theater, wrote some songs for a couple of comedy shows, and that was that.

I reconnected with my music teacher some six or seven years ago, and he triggered me to get back in the saddle again. Bought myself an electric guitar and some studio gear.

3. Who are your influences in rap?

I don’t listen to rap music. My music influences leans more in the direction of brit funk of the 80:s, some big band jazz, some blues, some Earth, wind & Fire, some George Duke, al lot of more jazzy, melodic kind of music, heavy on the slap bass and with great horn sections.

Right now I would say my favorites are Cory Wong and Dirty Loops.

4. What is your take on the underground rap scene right now?

I have no clue. Don’t do rap, not for me…

5. As an artist who has to compete with thousands of others for streams/plays, what makes your music worth people clicking on?

I think it would be the authenticy. Every song I write stems from my own experiences, good and bad. I’ve also tried to find my own unique sound, and I think that’s also something that should catch the listener.

6. You have 1 person to thank, who would it be?

My music teacher. Not only did he teach me how to play the guitar, he helped me a lot when I was a bullied teenager.

7. What is your process for recording music ?

I often have a feeling I need to express or an event that I need to process. 80% of the time I start with a lyrics idea and then try to find a suitable background for that. I’m genre fluent, so one day I might opt for a pop song, the next day a country ballad, and sometimes some funky disco. All depends on the mode of the lyrics.

Since I’m a guitarist by training I usually start with some chords, then go on laying down some drums and a bass line, trying to find a proper song structure. When I have the song set up right I track the vocals and then starts producing.

I’ve just recently started mixing on headphones and find it a blessing. I have some problems with my hearing, some tinnitus and stuff, and my studio/home office isn’t the perfect sounding room in the world either. When I have done all the sound shaping (sorting out bad frequencies, getting the sound from individual instruments I want) I usually go on using the top-down mixing technique.

I’m a great fan of analog emulation so I use a lot of those kinds of plugins for compression and EQ and what not to get the sound I like. When the mix is done I do a master, but I have found that if I have done my job right using top-down mixing there isn’t much I need to fix other than adding some more analog compression at that stage.

8. Any upcoming projects or singles fans should be getting ready for this year?

I’ve got a couple of tunes I’m fiddling with as we speak, an odd 7/4 tempo song, a funk tune and a country ballad, but since I’m a weekend producer, I really don’t have a timeline.

9. What keeps you motivated and on path towards your goals for music?

I use my music as a vent, releasing some steam, be it from annoying situations at work or the need to express my love to my grandkids. Besides, it’s so much fun just noodling around and all of a sudden there is a song to be published!

10. What impact do you want to have on the world?

I’ve always said that I don’t really care about the number of streams I get. The best reward would be when someone approaches me and says ‘hey, I listened to that song of yours, and I totally get what you are saying. It helped me alot to hear you sing about that’.

11. What's your best collaboration experience with another artist or producer?

Haven’t done any collaborations, and I’m a bit reluctant towards it. I’m lazy and I don’t like to feel the pressure to deliver. I’ll just keep to my studio and do things at my own pace and in my way.

12. Who does all of your cover art or do you make your own?

I do it all by myself. I’ve worked a lot with graphical design through the years. I think I have found a consistent style for my covers with some punchy ‘says it all illustrations’ in black and white.

13. Who makes most of your beats or production?

I’m a one man band! I play all the instruments, it’s the beauty of today with the availability of virtual instruments. You still need to have a feel for what and how things work but you don’t need to be an expert.

14. What can we expect next from you in 2022?

Perhaps 3-4 nicely themed singles ranging from sadness through love of my wife and to sheer happiness over life!

15. Link the fans to your Twitter & Instagram @ Below so they can follow you!

Sure, I only do Twitter, and the handle is @TomSand85362543

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