27 Jan 2022
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Tommy Ill - Tommy Ill Newsletter Interview

13 Sep 2010 // An interview by Shade

How do you come up with your lyrics?

I tend to make a lot of instrumentals first before I write the words. I have trouble writing the words without hearing the music. I'll make about 10 beats and out of those 10 I'll probably write to maybe one or two of them if I'm lucky. Once I've found a piece of music that works I try to write the lyrics really fast so I've got the whole song laid out, then I go back and change things here and there until it works.

How do you believe Tommy Ill fits into the NZ music industry?

I haven't really figured that out yet. Live I think I fit in better with the indie/alternative scene than I do with the rap crowd though. I kind of hope that people who don't usually like rap music might like my music maybe.

What can you never leave home without?

A sense of humour.

What is the best part of being a musician?

Hearing a finished song for the first time and being happy with it. It's a weird feeling. That, and also getting off stage after a really good show, meeting new people and things like that.

What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?

I broke my tooth at a show in Auckland. I jumped into the crowd and the guy in front of me spun around, I had the microphone up to my face and he bumped it into my mouth. A big chunk of one of my front teeth came off. I kept going though and finished the show, and ACC paid for my tooth to get fixed so it was all good.

What is your favourite place in NZ to be?

Anywhere that my friends are! As long as there is friends and drinks and music it's all good with me. Wellington's good though, seeing as that's where my bed is, and I can walk home from where ever.

What inspired you to become a musician?

I think it kind of happened by accident. I didn't really know I was one until recently. I've just kind of been mucking about in my bedroom making weird music on my computer for such a long time, I didn't really think "hey I should do this" I think I was just a bit bored and didn't have much to do. I think maybe I thought if I made some music people would think I was a cool guy or something, haha.

What rumour would you like to start about yourself?

I can leap across buildings in a single bound and I never sleep. I once saved one thousand orphans from a house fire.

 

About Tommy Ill

Tommy Ill is many things - including prolific. He's released three EPs - Toast & Tea Kettles (Empathy) in 2007, Matchsticks (Loop) in 2008, Come Home Mr. Ill (Loop) in 2009 - an eponymous debut LP Tommy Ill (Loop) in 2010. Plus in 2012, he entered into a semi-sexy marriage of convenience with EMI New Zealand and released his sophomore album New Hat And A Haircut - bringing Loop along for the ride as some type of proverbial mistress.

Hailing from Wellington, Tommy Ill has earned a reputation for haphazard live sets and great party tunes that blend traditional rap, vintage soul and fun indie rock samples with playful beats. With his debut release came two bNet award nominations (Best Hip Hop Track and RadioActive song of the year) and his song Bill Cosby made it into the top 10 on almost every bNet radio station in the country. Likewise, tracks from his follow up releases have received similar privileges.

Never far from mischief, Tommy Ill, has also lent his wayward talents to others over the years, making a number of guest appearances on other artists’ tracks - including Bandicoot’s single Pretention Blast Gold, 47 Diamantes and Armageddon.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tommy Ill

Releases

Fearless Bueller
Year: 2013
Type: Album
New Hat And A Haircut
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Iron Gosling
Year: 2012
Type: EP
Tommy Ill
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Come Home Mr. Ill
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Matchsticks
Year: 2008
Type: Album

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