Victoria G Interviews Tommy Atkins

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Victoria G: What inspired you to become a singer?

Tommy Atkins: As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I didn't see myself represented in country music. And I figured there were a lot of other country fans who didn't hear themselves in the songs either. So now I sing these stories and do my small part to represent.

VG: What is your favorite thing about singing?

TA: How physical it is. It's a workout! When I'm singing in full voice everyday for a few hours, I feel such a change in my lungs and diaphragm. I've had vocals problems for the last 12-18 months though, so I miss being able to sing like that everyday.

VG: Who are your musical inspirations?

TA: The Chicks have always inspired me with their ballsy attitude and musicality. I've always admired the fun and personality Shania Twain injects into her music. And I've always been inspired by the songs GeorgeStrait and Alan Jackson choose to record.

VG: What is your songwriting process?

TA: I tend to either start with a lyrical idea then match the feel of it to a chord progression, or I take a wordless melody that I've hummed into my voice notes and try to match a lyrical idea to it.

VG: What messages are important for you to express through your music?

TA: In the music itself, I think it's less about messages for me and more about conveying emotion - be that love, joy, grief, nostalgia. I want people to feel things when they listen to my songs. My message of inclusion lives in singing it, as a northern, working class, openly gay man, and taking up space in my genre.

VG: Do you play any instruments?

TA: I do! I play the guitar, piano and a little bit of banjo.

VG: How would you describe yourself in three words?

TA: Ain't. Ever. Satisfied!

VG: Do you have any hidden talents?

TA: Turns out I'm quite a good baker. It was a talent hidden so well that I didn't even know it until recently!

VG: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

TA: Happy in my writing career and only working on projects that bring me joy.

VG: What are your social media handles?

TA: Insta: @tommyatkinsmusic Twitter: @_Tommy_Atkins_ FB: /tommyatkinsmusic

VG: What advice do you have for an aspiring singer?

TA: Try covering songs by an artist who has a totally different vocal range to you. Because when you have to change the key, you quickly learn where songs best sit in your range, and you also learn how to style a song vocally without imitating the original singer.

VG: What advice do you have for an aspiring songwriter?

TA: Write what you know, and write a lot.

VG: What's next for you?

TA: I'm very proud of what I've achieved over the last few years, but there hasn't been much time for writing. It's been very business-oriented. I'm looking forward to working on projects I want to work on and finding joy again in music.

VG: RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS What's your favorite genre of music?

TA: Country!

VG: What is your favorite pastime?

TA: Hiking... or eating. They balance out!

VG: Who's your favorite superhero?

TA: Oh no, I don't know superheroes! Let's say Catwoman, because I like cats!

VG: What's your favorite candy?

TA: Kinder Buenos. Could eat them by the case.

VG: What's your favorite movie?

TA: Skeleton Twins

VG: What is your biggest fear?

TA: Dying young.

VG: Do you have any pets?

TA: A cat called Bob. He's my bestie.

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