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Interview With Country Artist Tommy Karlas

How would you describe your music to any person who may have never heard it before? Tommy: I would say it’s commercial country music in the style of something between 90s and contemporary country. It's a mix of Blake Shelton, George Strait, and Lee Brice, with a touch of James Taylor.

Press shot for the American country artist Tommy Karlas.

What are your musical influences? Tommy: My biggest influences are a little more songwriters like Dean Dillon, Tom Douglas, and Bob McDill, which inevitably led to artists like George Strait, Garth Brooks, Don Williams, and from early on James Taylor and Tom Petty, and now Bill Withers. What are your musical inspirations? Tommy: Being a songwriter first, I’m actually most inspired by individual songs. There’s nothing Ike hearing a masterpiece of a song that makes me want to grab my guitar and attempt to create something as well written or that me you feel as much as that great song did. From “Fire & Rain” to “Ain’t No Sunshine” to “The House That Built Me” or “A Lot of Things Different.” If given the chance, what musician(s) would you like to collaborate with? Rather this is to either write a song or be featured on a track Tommy: I would say Dean Dillon or Tom Douglas. I’ve had the pleasure of writing a song with Tom, but it would be also incredible to write or record with James Taylor or Garth Brooks. What’s your new song about? Tommy: I would say the song “Living Room” does epitomize the album as a whole in a way. It’s about a guy that doesn’t absolutely have to have the fame and fortune that goes with being a huge star, but realizes he has everything he needs right here with her and his guitar and singing songs to and with the woman he loves and is his life… “Yeah, I’m fine if I’m only famous in this living room.” What’s something you hope people take away from the new song? Tommy: I hope people it reminds people of what’s really important in life. It’s not about the fame or making it big that matters nearly as much as just doing what you love purely for the love of it. In the end I think that’s what we all learn anyway whether successful or not. I hope it just reminds the listener that life is about the small moments, and appreciating what you have and to just being in those moments with the ones you love. Which songs on the album were the most fun to write and which were the most challenging to write? Tommy: Probably one of the most fun songs to write on the album was “Pretty Hungover.” It’s a fun song in general, but it’s also one of those hooks that pretty much tells you how to write it, you just have to not mess it up. It’s that point in writing a song that is the most fun to me. Do you have any favourite song(s) off the new album? Tommy: I would say “Ran Into You” or “Then There’s You.” I’m a sucker for a good old love song which they both are. We spent two years writing “Ran Into You” and Garth Brooks almost recorded it, which was awesome! But it’s also about all the things in life you run from, and what or who in life. You are probably running right into it ultimately. What’s the new album about? Tommy: I think the themes of this album are my favorite ones to write about as a songwriter; which are finding love, losing love, heartbreak, hard-earned lessons, and appreciating what you got. And just having fun with the one you love. Do you have any favourite songs to perform live? Could be your own music or even a cover. Any reason why? Tommy: One of my favorite songs to sing is the most popular song from my first album, “Lessons.” It’s one of the best songs I’ve ever written, and it never fails that it hits someone new in a completely different way every time. There’s few songs that I have that are guaranteed to have someone come up to me and tell me how much it meant to them or a certain line that made them think about their own life. That’s why we do this as songwriters. That’s what it’s all about. If you could perform a show this very second anywhere in the world, where would it be? Is there any particular venue(s) or city/cities that comes to mind? Tommy: I’ve had the privilege of performing one song on the stage of the Ryman in front of most of the country music industry, which was one of my favorite moments of my career, but if I could do a whole show anywhere, it would be there. What do you currently have planned for the remainder of the year? Tommy: We will be releasing one single a month until the whole album in October. We have a ton of shows coming up in September all culminating at the big hometown album release show and after-party we will be doing the weekend the whole album comes out, which is probably my favorite show I do besides my few times a year I play at the Bluebird Cafe. All while doing my main gig of writing songs for Sony Music/Droptine Publishing as my day gig. They just renewed my contract as a songwriter so I’m really excited to see what this next year brings. Thanks for the time today. Is there anything else you may want to add before you go? Tommy: Just my gratitude to Jayme Calhoun for helping me put out some music myself. There’s nothing I want to do as much as write and record songs for a living, but it’s been really cool to be able to put some of my own music out as an artist and has opened a whole other world to me. And if it weren’t for that, many of my most loved songs might have never been put out there into the world.

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