Since embarking upon his creative voyage in September of 2020, San Diego creator thomTide has seen the Fall of a relationship, the cold isolation of his Winter, and the bloom of outward connection in his Spring. Each collection pantomimes the rise and fall of our seasons with the natural ebbing and flowing of life.
Known for his gripping tracks, thomTide’s innovative sound has already made waves in the indie world and has captivated the ears and hearts of many. thomTide now returns with captivating single soJaded, which is the latest offering from the Summer chapter of his seasonal project spanning a full year.
Describe your sound in no more than 5 words.
Based on a true feeling.
Where did your journey begin, and could you bring us up to your current position within your creative journey?
Hmm this is a perfect setup for one of my long-winded answers. I want to say musically, I just started in middle school when I saw someone in my brother’s band compose a song and the band played it at one of their concerts. When I saw that I just wanted to come up with the chords and arrangements myself. I felt like I could do the same in a super dope way.
Since then, it’s evolved to be a personal thing. It’s become cathartic. It’s a way to channel real feelings and really be present in those feelings. Lately I wonder if that’s the healthiest way to process feelings but I’m still growing. It certainly makes for some interesting and beautiful music. That’s where I’m at right now creatively.
Turning to soJaded, what is the message behind the track?
I think this song was just supposed to be super chill. I don’t think it was supposed to be super meaningful. The imagery behind it was just hanging out with someone special on a mild summer day. Like one of those days where you’re taking it slow, not doing too much. It could be sunbathing at the beach or lounging at the park. Those days might not be traditionally “exciting” but I think they’re super dope.
Whilst creating your music, is there a specific approach you take?
Hmm, not just one approach. I try to examine the creative process itself and just try things fundamentally different each time. The starting point is always a feeling though. I try to be present in a feeling. Then the method for searching for the right melodies and words is unique to that song and feeling at the time.
In regards to writing and producing soJaded, what was that like as a process?
I recorded the acoustic guitar sometime ago and my boy Spence played the keyboard flute sound on the verses during that same session. Then about a year ago when I decided to do this project, I took those sounds and slowed them down and repitched them, and added the lofi drums to it. Then that flute-sounding solo in the middle is just my voice under some distortion. I made 3 instrumentals around that time: soJaded, spiderLily and mySakura,
Then I wrote the words much more recently, maybe a month or two ago. I just thought the song was so groovy I wanted it to capture that laid back feeling and “loving is over-hated, hating is overrated” was one of the first lines to be written. I tried not to overthink the rest, just stay true to that carefree feeling and paint this picture of hanging out with that special someone.
What is your favourite lyric within the song and what is the meaning behind it?
I love this question! I don’t have an obvious answer. I would probably say
“Kick it witchu where it's shaded / I don't need to be persuaded”.
It’s like just another way of saying, “you don’t gotta tell me twice” or “don’t mind if I do” and I just think those are hilarious replies to say you’re glad to do something.
What is the process like when conveying your sound into a visual, specifically with your artwork and brand?
I think I’m still in the early stages of learning this. Today, I make the music and let the visual artists listen and come up with ideas from there. I think it is beautiful how this project has a different story in each medium, but in an abstract sense they are still connected in their cyclical nature.
If you wasn’t to do music would you still be venturing down a creative path? What would you see yourself doing?
I think so many things are creative acts. Yes, I absolutely see myself being creative no matter what. I will make something creative even if it isn’t haha. Honestly I do want to incorporate more technology in everything I’m doing. I want to design my synth sounds, I want to develop plug-ins for Pro Tools and guitar pedals. I honestly want to treat every project like a research project. I want to innovate in really weird ways from the rollout, packaging, the music itself, the sounds, the visuals. And I think technology is behind all of that in the era we live in.
When writing and creating a song do you always have performing it live in mind?
No I don’t think about live enough, to a fault. I really go all out on some songs and that’s sometimes not sustainable for a 20-30 minute set. I’m figuring out how to translate this now since I’m thinking about a show this year.
Photo: Dominique Mills
Is there a message you always aim to convey in your music? And why is it important to you?
Ahh sure yeah. I guess I just want to expose people to different ways of thinking. My cousin once told me a longer anecdote but I remember the quote he said at the end: “if the hood is the only thing you’ve ever seen, it’s easy to think the hood is the world”. I just took this as a lesson of exposure. I’m a work in progress. I want all my music to be a glimpse into that process. If anyone is thinking that deep about my music that means the world to me. I want my music/writing to start a conversation, as opposed to end it.
Even the format that I’m releasing in, I want to challenge this discrete way of thinking, that a project or genre should have these hard borders and packaging, and think more along the lines of a spectrum. Where my series is still a connected project even though it is a bunch of singles. Where these singles of arguably different “genres” communicate feelings that make sense next to one another and this paints a very real progression of thoughts and emotions.
This is important to me because I think the mind is powerful. I don’t think I have all the answers but I want my experiences to inspire someone to take everything further than I could have ever taken things.
Top 10 songs that inspired the track soJaded.