The best part of living through the evolution of Rap is experiencing the birth of a new sound that is unbridled in its scope for creativity. TOMMY REVENGE is not just the evolution, but also an amalgamation of artistry that is not inhibited by the New York he was raised in. With influences ranging from Jay Z to Nirvana, and Blink 182 his sound holds the melancholy feel of rock in one hand and in the other the trap melodies of this time. I was lucky enough to catch up with the man himself.
How did you start developing your talent for music?
I started playing drums when I was 6 and guitar & keys when I was like 9. Then I started rapping when I was like 15. I was apart of this rap group and they always picked these wack type beats off youtube so I taught myself how to make beats.
Sounds like music was always apart of your life, what was your name before Tommy Revenge and how did you decide on the name?
Before TOMMY REVENGE I was just my real name which is Amari, but I wasn’t feeling that. I like TOMMY REVENGE. I thought of it because I always liked the name Tommy from Tommy Pickles and the guy from Vice City haha.
Your visuals are artistic anarchy that do a great job at catching people’s attention? Who and what inspires them?
Thanks man. I get inspired by a lot. My manager, Fatherphantom, is really the mastermind behind my visuals. Besides that, I listen to a lot of Cudi, Nirvana, and Smashing Pumpkins. I study George Condo’s work pretty heavily. But everything is inspiration Words, moments, weather, everything.
Fatherphantom & Tommy Revenge are the coolest names I have heard in a while. Your mash up of visuals and mashup of sounds keeps your music interesting and unexpected. How do you see your sound developing over time?
I feel I want to just make my production a huge part of who I am. Like my production is good but I want to be like amazing. Like I want to produce more than anything.
What projects do you have out and what should we be expecting?
I actually do have a mixtape out on all streaming platforms. Revenge Forever. I’m working on the next one it’s called THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT. It’s gonna be brazy.
What can we expect from THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT?
You can expect harder bigger production, a few cool features from my homies, and visuals.
When is it dropping?
As far as dates, I can just say this year lol
Where you from and how does your home town influence you?
I’m originally from Queens, NY but I live in Brooklyn. I think NY definitely influences my music but not how most think. I’m not influenced by NY rap besides Jay-Z and Dipset who’re some of the greatest rappers to come out of here. I’m inspired by my surrounding as a whole. Like I look at my homies Brenn and Jules from @theskatekitchen and that’s what I feel more in tune with. Keith Haring and Basquiat. That skate and art culture- that’s what I want to show in my music. New York has this stigma that everyone has to be mad lyrical from here but that’s BS. I just wanna make great art.
As an artist what drives you to keep creating and how do you see your art evolving overtime?
I think what drives me to keep creating is that this is the thing I always wanted to do. I can’t work a 9-5 for the rest of my life. Music is all I have. Like I could probably get a degree in marketing but I would hate myself if I wasn’t doing this. Also what keeps me going is the people I look up to. Kanye and Cudi. Those are my markers. I always think “What if Cudi heard this song? Do you think you did your absolute best on it?”
I see my stuff just getting more and more killer as time goes. I see my production becoming the best anyone’s seen because that’s what i work the hardest at. I’m always trying new theories and stuff when I’m producing. I see maybe more rock influences coming out because that's what I grew up on.
Where do your rock influences come from?
My favorite bands of all time are Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and The Strokes. Kurt Cobain is a huge influence of mine. I also grew up listening to like Green Day, Blink 182, Simple Plan, then like Black Sabbath and The Rolling Stones. I was always so fascinated with the general spirit and attitude of rock and punk.
With the Grammy's just gone, which award would mean the most to you if you won?
To be honest I don’t really care about the Grammy's because Travis didn’t win a Grammy for "Birds" and Future never won a Grammy for "March Madness" or "DS2" so something’s off. But speaking objectively, record of the year.
Last question, it's a zombie apocalypse. Pick 2 people and 1 weapon to try and survive with?
Zombie apocalypse, I want Dwight K. Schrute and Ron U. Swanson because they know the hell out of wilderness and survival. As a weapon I want Sharingan (Naruto)
idk if that counts but yeah.
Listen to TOMMY REVENGE debut project Revenge Forever now below and on all major streaming platforms.