TEN TALKS TO TOMMY GENESIS
Tommy Genesis is in her own lane, full throttle, full speed ahead. The Canadian artist is back with her third album Goldilocks X. It's tough, empowering, hypnotic. “There are no rules to art,” says Genesis. “There are no rules to creation, and there are so many exemptions to every rule. I feel so confident about this project that it could literally drop at any time.” Inviting new collaborators into her world (regular collaborator Charlie Heat makes an appearance) this album is the most decisive Tommy has sounded, fired up and ready to challenge anyone who questions her. Which, naturally, we love. “This album isn’t me growing. It’s just me in a different phase,” she says. “It’s a new iteration. It’s honestly like I’m growing without trying... As long as I keep creating, and get things to the point where I think they are perfect, that’s what matters to me. This album is me finding that experimental sweet spot.” We spoke to Tommy about her evolution and breaking down barriers:
You have created such a strong album. What did you want to convey on this album? How do you want people to feel listening to Goldilocks X?
"Thank you. I've really made something that I'd want to listen to, but also something I felt down to every blood vessel and pore. I really just cut myself open and poured my guts, memories, joy and pain into an mp3. I just hope that it reaches the people it reaches with overwhelming power and energy. I just want everyone who listens to it to feel like the most powerful version of themselves. The most loved. And the most worthy."
Why the ‘X’?
"The 'X' is the experimental element. When the waves crash on the sand and retract back into itself- all the seashells and creatures left behind- that's the X. What you don't account for but what's there present pulsating through the entire core of the project. The factor you can't put your finger on but don't want to anyways. The element of shock, whatever shock looks like to you- you'll find it somewhere in there. It's me channeling the unknown into sound."
On Manifesto you say ‘don’t fuck with my mantra’ - what is the Tommy mantra for this season of life?
"Be yourself and always go to bed good with yourself. Never put someone else's opinion or happiness before your own because if you don't have happiness and love to share, you're just sharing baggage. Love yourself. Whole heartedly, love yourself the way you love other people. Show yourself the same love and compassion you show your friends. Do it now, I promise it's the best feeling in the entire fucking world."
You worked with Charlie Heat again on this record - what does he bring out of you that you love?
"Charlie Heat is a genius. You can quote me on this. He's a real creator, he can make something out of nothing. When we make music we make something out of something so it always pops off. I love that we both just give each other open-ended creative spaces, there's no rules to what we can make sonically and because of that we always take it somewhere new."
Who did you work with on this record that was new to the Tommy universe? What did you learn from them?
"Lil Rich executive produced this album and I learned so much. He really has the best ear, he can tell me when I'm on pitch or not. He can hear when a beat needs something- or needs something taken away. We're always in the studio coming up with the same idea at the same time. We work really well creatively together and I value his opinion the most, he's really been the reason the album was finished in the way it was. He's such a true artist, too talented to even describe. Can do anything, rap, sing, produce, edits/directs his videos, everything. He does it all and I respect him the most."
You have said that this was an “experimental sweet spot”. What did you experiment with on this album that you haven’t done before?
"I think everyday we are new. Everyday we are a new person. And for me it's always different than what I've done before because I am constantly being reborn. I loved playing with all my emotions on this project and giving everything that I had inside me at the time that I made it. And now I've moved on to other things and feelings and I can't wait to be reborn again with what comes next."
Can you pinpoint any influences on this album? Were you reading/watching/listening to anything while creating?
"I don't listen to anything while I create because I just create for myself with myself, I am influenced self-reflexively. I wasn't reading anything but I have been writing a book during the time that I've been making this project."
There’s can be a stigma around women singing/rapping about sex etc. When it comes to men, it’s championed. With women, it can be seen as confronting. Woman to woman, your lyrics are really raw, empowering and boundary-breaking. Do you think about this when you’re writing?
"Thank you! I'm so happy that my lyrics make you feel that way because that's all I want. I don't think about it when I'm writing, I just focus on me, what I'm feeling and going through, through the lens of my own identity and sexuality, I write. It's my own take, my lyrics and my music. It's how I experienced and how I experience life, so for me I just don't think about all the opinions surrounding it, I try to just be myself the closest I can be. Whether it's shocking or not, it's me."
You have said you're "growing without trying". If you look back on the process of this album, how have you grown? What did you learn about yourself from the start to finish of Goldilocks X?
"I feel like my sound has grown, definitely. I've gotten more comfortable trying different things. I've been less critical of myself, even when I want to be. It's like pouring honey into tea, why not make everything sweeter by choosing self love and acceptance. Whatever I was feeling I let myself feel and I made a song about it."
What’s currently inspiring you? What are you passionate about right now?
"I'm always inspired by my dog. I'm super passionate about my dog too. I'm laughing but no really, he really is my inspiration. He reminds me every day to look at the world with pure love and excitement. He saved my life."