Tommy Down is a lyricist and frontman to Harker Moon. His band blends rock, soca, funk and roots, and now he’s launch a solo project starting with single ‘Superficial’. We spoke to Tommy about his music and first solo single.
‘Superficial’ tries to show how our generation is fully aware of how narcissistic and unhealthy it can be.
First up, tell us bit about yourself - led you to start making music?
Hi, I’m Tommy and I’m the front man of the band Harker Moon, but have recently started a solo project as well. I started making music from quite a young age because I love music and can’t really imagine ever stopping; even if it ended up as a hobby.
Who do you take inspiration from?
Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Al Green, Frank Sinatra, Le Chic, Michael Jacksons, The Arctic Monkeys, Queen, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin and many other sources really.
How would you describe your musical style?
I wouldn’t really like to pigeon whole it into one style as I do enjoy many genres and wouldn’t want to close any doors. The track I’ve released is pretty funk driven, but with an emphasis on lyrics. In terms of the rest of my music; I would say soul/blues wouldn’t be a bad way of describing it.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would you chose and why?
Probably HONNE; because I’ve been listening to a lot of their music, really enjoy the sentiment to a lot of their songs and don’t think we’d clash too much.
Can you remember your first live gig? How did it go?
I do yeah; it was at my school around the age of eight. I think there may even be a video online, but I don’t think I’ll share where to find it (haha).
It went pretty well actually; the music teacher didn’t know I was going to sing so that was a surprise. I sang ‘Mad World’ by Gary Jules and was asked to perform it in assembly in front of the whole school the next day, which was a bit nerve racking.
Tell us about your new single ‘Superficial’. What’s it about?
The track tries to act as an analogy. It tries to show how our generation is fully aware of how narcissistic and unhealthy it can be. Yet in spite of knowing this; we don’t seem to care and almost revel in being like this
When did you write it and where did you record it?
I wrote it with Rhys Lewis around seven months ago I think and we recorded it at his flat in Finsbury.
‘Superficial’ is produced by Decca Records’ Rhys Lewis. What did they bring to the single?
Rhys was great to work with, he encouraged me to sing with a laid back air. He wrote a funky bass line over my chords and I enjoyed working on the lyrics with him.
What did you learn from Rhys?
He showed me some cool production tips and probably helped me cement my ideas about how less can often be more.
How does ‘Superficial’ build on your style?
It’s made me appreciate the power of the bass and encouraged me to write funkier songs.
What are your hopes for ‘Superficial’?
I hope people enjoy listening to it and and maybe use it as an ironic drinking game some day.
Where can we see you live in 2018?
I actually have a gig on Tuesday, April 24th at the Camden Assembly under the banner Harker Moon. Please come along and invite all your friends. It’s for the Isle of Wight competition so we need votes!
Finally, if you could wish for one thing to happen to for you this year, what would it be?
To have lots of festival slots to play at and release some music I am proud of.
Listen to ‘Superficial’ on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates visit the Tommy Down Facebook page.