Composer, producer and multi instrumentalist and producer Tommy Antonio has had one of the most colourful journeys through music of any new artist. From jamming with Mumford and Sons on a barge supporting them on tour, playing keys with the Kooks, touring the world with Golden Silvers to singing BVs for Florence and the Machine. His first EP Summer is no less colourful and eclectic channeling Rufus Wainwright and Animal Collective in a dreamscape that evokes The Beach Boys. Inspired as much by the minimalist sounds of Steve Reich as jazz greats such as Charles Mingus and Herbie Hancock, slam poetry and hip hop, it is a sound world that defies categorisation.
“I wanted the Summer EP to sound like a city, a jungle, and a good dream. The music is an illustration for the poems that lie at the heart of each song.. Bound 2 and Summer are basically stream of consciousness raps about the colour and magic in everyday stuff. They’re really tributes to Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. They’re about where romance lies, in the small things, in the stuff you overlook, and about falling in love. The lyric to Buried Alive however was culled from 86 pages of lyrics to try and encapsulate what it feels like to lose love and takes a lot from early Rufus Wainwright. Come Home To Her is back to desire again, the cycle continues. I wanted to get a bit of Jeff Buckley live at the Siné and John Martyn here with a live take of scat vocals, on my own, lonely with the reverb.”
A self taught songwriter, composer and arranger studied jazz and classical double bass at the Guildhall School of Music but it wasn’t until he toured Europe with the New Orleans outfit The Dixie Ticklers in 2015 that he started laying down the rhythm tracks for a new solo EP with guitarist and college mate Nick Costley White, drummer Dave Hamblett and percussionist Zands Duggan (Lady Gaga). Following live collaborations and a long relationship beginning at music college, progressive classical string group Twelve Ensemble (Max Richter) were the obvious choice for the soaring string arrangements that bring to mind New York composer and Bjork collaborator Nico Muhly. Mixing and mastering were handled by the sensitive ears of Sam Wheat (Rihanna, Elton John, Lionel Ritchie). Tommy is currently writing an immersive musical based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, his second EP, a short film soundtrack for Hong Kong based filmmaker Mo Lai, and Creation the Musical due for performance in 2018.
Artwork by Rachel Antonio, Female Vocal on Bound 2 by Fini Bearman, Photograph by Mattias Bjorklund, extra guitars by Rob Lamont.