We get to know BlackSummer, a teenager out of our nation’s capital who’s juggling a burgeoning pop career with his high school studies.
Just 14 years old, the producer is in year nine in school, but is already being added to festival dates across the country; such is the strength of his singles thus far ‘Young Like Me’ and ‘Sadness’.
A prodigious talent, then, with an incredibly bright future.
Join us as we Get To Know BlackSummer.
01. Name : Rhys Toms (AKA BlackSummer).
02. Where are you based? I am currently based in Canberra.
03. How did you get your start in music? My music first became more than a hobby when I uploaded a few of my tracks to Triple J in 2015 (at age 11). Since then I have met some amazing people such as my mentor and label (Chris ‘Tek’ O’Ryan) and things have grown from there.
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Fresh, young, hardworking, quirky and different.
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. I’ve always tried making different genres and going back and forth until I realised that I just like to make what I feel like making and I don’t have to stick to just one sound. Although I do gravitate toward making strong melodies and unique vocal chops, as that is what I really enjoy doing at the moment.
06. What’s your earliest musical memory? My earliest musical memory is pretending to play the drums when I was a toddler, hitting some metal bins with sticks and feeling like I was drumming. I remember shouting ‘I can drum’ over and over!!
07. Who have been your musical influences? Flume and Skillrex have been massive musical influences as they were the first electronic artists I ever heard. Diplo and Illenium influence me a lot as well. I love the synths they use.
08. What are your favourite songs of all time? ‘Ugly’ by Misogi is one of my favourites because it has a cool vibe to it and I used to listen to it a lot when I was down. Ironically it is a beautiful track even though it’s called ‘Ugly’ lol.
Another favourite would have to be a lil Peep track as I have been listening to him a lot lately ‘The song they played’ is great because it sounds really clean and I love the vocals in it.
09. Where’s your favourite place to listen to music? My favourite place to listen to music is when I am at home or school doing school work/homework it helps keep me going. I also like to listen to music in my studio as it inspires me to make new tracks.
10. Who are your go-to artists when you’re feeling : Happy? Sad? Introspective? Exhausted?
Happy – Porter Robinson (because he has a really up beat sound).
Sad – Lil Peep (because the overall vibe of his songs are grungy which is good to listen to when you aren’t feeling happy.
Introspective – Misogi (because his beats are very atmospheric and I can relax when I listen to his tracks).
Exhausted – I love listening to jazz, so when I am exhausted like to put a jazz mix on and chill out.
11. What was the first album you ever bought? ‘Bangarang EP’ was probably the first thing I ever bought for my iPod shuffle.
12. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I love to program video games and am always making video games at home in my spare time. I also love playing retro video games like Atari and Sega Genisis games.
13. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? If music wasn’t an option I would love to be a programmer and make video games for a living.
14. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? Flume gave me some great advice when I was first starting to make music. He said don’t be afraid to try new things and make mistakes, I think that’s why I like making all sorts of genres.
15. If you could trade places with any artist in the world right now, who would it be? I don’t think I would want to switch places with anyone right now as I am really loving watching myself grow as an artist and performer. I would love to play some of the gigs that Skrillex and DJ Snake play.
16. Tell us about your latest release. ‘Sadness’ is my new single featuring Chloe Campbell. It’s a chilled track but also has an energetic feel to it. I met Chloe through Tek and loved her voice and we got along really well in the studio. It was a lot of fun. I’m really proud of this track and love how it turned out.
17. What do your future plans involve? My future plans involve playing lots more live gigs. I am working on an EP which will feature many collaborations and some instrumentals. I’m also in year nine at the moment so my plans also involve finishing lots of assignments.
18. Where can our audience catch you live? I have a gig at The Wall, Kings Cross in Sydney on April 25. My set is 11.30pm – 12.30am I have played there before and loved it so really looking forward to that one.
I am also performing at Groovin The Moo Canberra on April 29 in The Plot at 12:25 PM. Can’t wait for that one!!
WEBSITE : www.blacksummer.com.au
INSTAGRAM : www.twitter.com/EDMBlacksummer
TWITTER : www.instagram.com/EDMBlacksummer
SOUNDCLOUD : www.soundcloud.com/blacksummer-1
YOUTUBE VEVO: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZZinZy0yG700RmioFdrpA