tmdistant: Music Beyond Boundaries
tmdistant: Music Beyond Boundaries
Nov 30, 2023
tmdistant takes us on an expedition through sound with his new track “grow into the blossoms”.
Combustive—that's the first word that comes to mind when contemplating the musical stylings of tmdistant. As a young twenty-something British black man, what you see isn't what you get … or what you expect. And that's precisely what he aims to deliver to his listeners: the unexpected. With his newest track, “grow into the blossoms”, tmdistant soars well past delivering the unexpected.
In taking a first listen to "grow into the blossoms", I'd like to declare: Mission accomplished! This shoegaze track exudes not only alt-rock and electronica vibes but also manages to incorporate subtle R&B influences. For those unfamiliar with the genre of shoegaze, it's a fusion of obscured vocals, guitar distortion, effects, feedback, and overwhelming volume.
The convergence of deeply emotional lyrics and vocals, coupled with genre-bending tones and stylings, beckons the listener to close their eyes and absorb the song's message. With lyrics like "Finally, I'll leave" and "Did I make a big difference", listeners quickly realize "grow into blossoms" isn't as sublime as assumed. This listen undoubtedly evokes curiosity and emotion throughout the journey.
An artist recognized for seamlessly blending indie, pop, alternative, hyperpop, electronic, and rock, tmdistant has earned praise from outlets and tastemakers like AFROPUNK, Wonderland, EARMILK, and more. He has also received editorial support on various Spotify playlists, showcasing the expansiveness of his musical influence.
Releasing today, November 30, 2023, tmdistant's newest single marks the beginning of a new era for him as he delves into the realms of shoegaze. After exploring the interview of the mind behind the music, you won't want to miss the fantastic aural experience that is "grow into blossoms."
MaM: Thanks so much for talking with me today! Give us a brief intro and tell us how you came to be known as tmdistant.
t: Hey, my name is tmdistant, I am an artist from Essex UK, but I originally grew up just outside of North West London. Growing up in London, a lot of people had code names. Mine was T for a long time. Then I added the M, because that’s also a part of my first name. It stands for “trust minimal”, which says a lot about me and my music. The distant came over time, because I started to realize that's who and what I am.
MaM: Your music has been described as a unique blend of genres, including indie, pop, alternative, hyperpop, electronic, and rock. Can you take us back to the beginning of your journey and share what initially drew you to explore such a diverse range of sounds?
t: When I first started releasing music in 2020, my manager created playlists to inspire my music. He would show me so much music that I’ve never heard of and so many different genres that I never listened to or even tried to learn from. So, that, in turn, made me think of music differently and start to try different things. Then, it made me take pieces from different genres and styles and mesh them together, therefore creating my own genre of music. I used melodies from slower folk music and R&B music, putting them on indie, indie-pop, folk, rock, indie-rock, alternative rock, hyperpop, and all sorts of shoegaze beats.
MaM: "grow into the blossoms" is the first single from your upcoming EP, "vivid memories of dreams I've never had". It seems like a departure from your previous work, with a shift towards shoegaze and alternative music. What inspired this evolution in your sound, and how has the process been for you?
t: ‘grow into the blossoms’ is the start of a new era for me, and it wasn’t even a move that I made purposely. I wanted to try something new and step into a new realm, and then that song came out amazing. So, I decided to make more music geared in that lane, and that’s when the EP was born.
I’ve always loved alternative music, and I’ve been on it for a second. So, I thought … why not delve deeper, dig deeper, and go for something darker and more interesting for a black man like me, who also looks the way I do. I like shocking people. Being who I am, I get judged before they even see or know what I am about. So, I wanted to give people something they don’t think I can do.
MaM: Your single "I don't need a therapist" spent an impressive nine months on the Apple Music playlist “Glitch”. Can you share some insights into how that track came together and on the significance of it finding a home in such a notable playlist for such an extended period?
t: ‘I don’t need a therapist’ was such a different song for me at the time, and I loved it. That song made me go into the rock side of music more, and it is beautiful. The song connected with so many people, and the editors at Apple seemed to connect with it as well, so it stayed in their playlist, Glitch, for such a long period of time. It was a perfect fit.
It was such a big moment for me to even be added there, because it was still so early in my career. I still think about it 'til this day. It was written in a difficult time in my life, where I needed to talk to someone about what I had going on, but I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone. I just wrote all my thoughts into a song talking about how “I don’t need a therapist to save me, I'll put my heart in a song”. That’s how I coped with most of my problems, and people felt that too and related to that.
MaM: You've gained support from various Spotify playlists, including “Our Generation”, “New Music Friday UK”, and “Alt. Pop”. How does it feel to receive such recognition, and do you think these placements have played a role in shaping your audience and musical direction?
t: The recognition I have garnered over the last year has been so surreal, and I can’t even explain how much it has made me and the team feel appreciated for all the hard work we’ve been putting in, grinding to make things work, and they did very well, and they continue to. I wouldn’t say these placements changed anything for me other than realizing who my audience is. So, I have to keep that in mind, which is super important. It has let me and my team know what we’ve been doing is working. It gives us hope for the future and helps us plan ahead.
MaM: It's fascinating that you're actively involved in the London club scene and perform live weekly. How does your interaction with a live audience influence your music, and what kind of energy or experience do you aim to create for your listeners during your performances?
t: Performing is my second favorite part about being an artist, other than creating the music. I am trying to perform at every chance I can, whether it's weekly or monthly. This year, it was a couple of times. Sometimes when I’m making a song, I'll be thinking about how it will make people feel when I perform it or how well it will sound when I perform the song. So, I tailor it to fit that on some occasions. I want to make people feel something when they’re in the room with me. In life, we all are so desensitized to everything. When I am singing, I want people to feel more than they usually do in their day-to-day life. That’s the experience I tend to create in my performances.
MaM: Planning a small tour in Ireland and London early next year and making it free to reach new potential fans is a bold and interesting move. Can you tell us more about your decision to take this approach and what you hope to achieve by connecting with your audience in this way?
t: My manager had the brilliant idea to do this tour as a way of meeting new people and making new fans. So, it is perfect as I step into a new lane, creating a new fan base to add to the one I already have. As well, this being my first tour, we wanted to take advantage of gaining experience and venturing to places we haven't been before.
MaM: Your upcoming music video for "grow into the blossoms" has us intrigued. Without giving away too much, can you share any insights into the creative process behind the video and how it complements the overall theme of the song and the EP?
t: This video was meant to be DIY and homegrown, just like the song. I shot and edited everything myself, just like the song. I mixed the song myself. So, I wanted to try and do everything else to the best of my ability. I shot it in an abandoned train station. The song needed a video that would match the vibe. The train station got the vibe perfectly because it gave me a sense of loneliness and solitude.
MaM: What is next on the horizon for you? What should we look for soon?
t: The next thing is to keep working on my craft and getting better in every aspect of the meaning: more shows, better music, improved performances, and a bigger presence on social media. I want to make friends with all of my fans and supporters. I want everyone to feel welcome when they come to my shows and listen to my music. I want my music to be a safe space for everyone that relates to it or finds comfort in the words and instruments.
Don’t forget, “grow into blossoms” is out today. Go ahead and check it out in its entirety. We promise you won't be disappointed. Stay up to date on all things tmdistant by visiting any of his below-listed links.
*all photos courtesy of tmdistant
Erica Machen is a beast when it comes to consuming, writing about, and reviewing music. Got something for her? Reach out to email@example.com.