Tommie Brewster [tommie]
What do you do? What is your musical specialty?
I am a musician - I create in many different genre. However, I am predominantly known for my own style of blues.
Do you work alone or in a group? If in a group, who are the others you work with?
I work alone. I play many instruments and also produce my own music. However, I engage a drummer and bass player to record those parts and also for live
Is there a web address where one can listen, see, or read some of your work?
You can find me at http://www.tommiebrewster.com
Also at http://www.tommietalking.com which is my spoken word site
Also at http://www.reverbnation.com/tommiesingah where I have been
number one blues for nz for almost 4 years now.
Also I have my own radio shows which are syndicated in the US/UK/New Zealand -
this can be found at
Please list any awards, competitions, or other acknowledgments you would like to mention.
Very proud indeed to have been inducted into the USA Blues Hall of Fame two years ago. I am the Blues Ambassador for New Zealand where I currently live.
Also very proud to have been the number one blues artist on Reverbnation since my
first release four years ago.
Four of my songs made it into the Song Vault permanent directory - after
being at number on in the chart there - and to be a Certified Artist there.
I was Network Star of the Month for TWO months on the International film and music site
and now am honored to have a special page created for me there :
MY self produced first album 'In The Making' charted at #4 in the huge
USA Blues & Roots chart 2011.
Please list discography in which you have participated.
'In The Making' released 2011
'Only Words' released 2011
Various singles on iTunes
'From Our Hearts For The World' ( charity compilation which I produced)
How did you begin making music? Who introduced you?
I began before aged four, playing piano.
No one introduced me - I simply reached up to the piano
keys and knew that I was home.
What was your musical education?
Studied piano from aged four - classical training all the way
to attending the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Obtained a doctorate.
I also play several other instruments.
When did you realise that making music could be a way of life for you?
Can't remember when I didn't know this.........it was always so.
What is your creative process?
Songs introduce themselves to me, complete with lyrics, arrangement etc.
They happen every day and will not be silenced until I sit at the piano
and let them come to life.
I then work to achieve the sound I first heard in my head, recording
instruments and finally singing the track.
I write all my music down on manuscript in the old fashioned way.
When do you have your most lucid moments, in the morning or night?
Lucid? Mmmmmm this can happen any time, but certainly the most
creative times are at night.
I usually work through the night.
Have you ever awoken with a melody created from your dreams?
Oh yes. Certainly.
How do you know when a song is finished or needs no more changes?
Because I heard it first as a finished product in my head, so I know when it
sounds just right. The song tells me when it is ready to be heard.
How did you discover your creative territory? How would you describe it?
I discovered my creative territory quite early in life, with very juvenile compositions which were very classical in form, but it was not until my twenties that I connected
with the passion within me that released itself in my own style of blues.
My territory now is really whatever the music dictates to me, day upon day.
What part of your job is your least favourite?
I love all of it but would willingly hand over to someone else
the marketing and promotion as that is very time consuming.......
How often do you practice?
About 4 hours a day, every day.
How do you feel right before going out on stage?
Immediately before going on stage, I'm breathless.
Not nervous, just kind of excited.
As soon as I start to play and sing, I am in a different world.
Which musicians or groups have been inspiring to your career?
Frederic Chopin, Gershwin, Billie Holliday, Edith Piaf, Memphis Minnie,
Lena Horne, Joe Cocker, Alexis Korner.
List three songs that are key to your life.
I cannot; there are just too many.
What should be done to stop piracy?
Piracy is a product of a public psyche that has come to regard
music as 'free'. So there is no real thought or perception of
the work involved or the creativity used by the artist/musician.
Therefore the whole concept of piracy being theft which of course
it is, does not arise in the minds of most people.
So.....legislation certainly to underline the fact that this IS theft,
but a very extensive PR campaign is needed to realign the thinking
about music and that it has a value!!!
What type of music do you detest?
oooooohhhhhhhhh......not very keen on Brass bands or Mariachi bands but I don't
really detest them. Some rap is extremely irritating and quite boring in its
repetitiveness and predictable beat.
I think 'detest' only applies to my hearing 'auto tune' applied to the voice
and I really do NOT like double tracking of voices. Or drum machines.
What time did you get up this morning?
I got up yesterday morning actually and am now into my second day........
I don't really pay a lot of attention to clocks :-))
How do you sell yourself? What has been your experience with record companies and representatives?
I had no option other than to promote myself. It is not easy, but if you do not
'sell' yourself out there, then no one knows you're even making music!
I have never sought a deal with a record company. I do my own thing
in my own way and so far it's working!!
What other things have you done to make a living?
Writing; selling; finance.
Have you ever played on the street or in the subway? How much did you collect each day?
Who would you play with, without a doubt?
Steve Winwood; Henry Gross; Nils Lofgren; Joe Cocker.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
You have to be prepared to get hurt, disillusioned, let down, betrayed,
disappointed, and hungry.
Believe in your dream and believe in your music.
Keep it real so that you are proud of every single thing you release.
Help others; promoting other Indies is important.
Auckland, New Zealand