Tommy Genesis on Her Self-Titled and Sometimes ‘Bipolar’ Album
This week, TIDAL had the pleasure of showcasing Tommy Genesis as our TIDAL Rising Artist of the Week. Today, the singer-writer-rapper releases her second full-length album, the self-titled Tommy Genesis.
While Tommy is known for her “fetish rap,” she shows both naughty and nice on this new project. “I feel like the this album is a little bit bipolar,” she says. “This is sort of my good girl project before I go bad.”
In the below Q&A, Genesis talks about how the project came together, getting in a studio with producers after years making bedroom music and experimenting with singing.
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You’ve talked in previous interviews about how this project represents two sides of you. Can you talk about putting this together and how you were showcasing both of those sides?
I didn’t really mean to make it like that, but what happened was, this past year when I was making music, I found myself swinging between making turn-up music and getting back into this vulnerable state where I was writing a lot.
It’s really been a process for me. I get really into the mood swing in the project, and I feel like this album is a little bit bipolar in how it turned out. In a way, it’s two sides of me, but it’s also not. It’s just me. These were songs I created throughout the year, what I was going through or feeling that day.
As a writer, you can’t force things. The song will behave how you’re behaving inside. This is sort of my good girl project before I go bad. It was almost like I got all the prettiness out of my system. It definitely has a dark side, but after that, I was like, oh, I’m ready to experiment again. It’s like my baby, the first born. Like, let’s go.
When you’ve been playing some of the softer music for people who’ve known you more as a rapper, what sort of responses have you been getting?
I think people who knew my music before are a niche fan base. I make a lot of instrumental fetish rap. People who’ve known my music from before will be like, ‘This is a softer side of you,’ but I think you could definitely say the writing style is different. But I needed to do it because it helped me become stronger as a writer. Before this, I was pretty self-made.
I operated on my own in my bedroom, making these songs over email, making the beat and recording myself. That’s where I come from. It was so foreign to me because I’d never done it. I wasn’t that experienced being in the studio with a producer. I think the project really blossomed in its own way because of that. Just having input made a huge difference.
Who are some of the producers you worked with?
I think there’s seven songs on the project by Charlie Heat. Those are my fun tracks. We come up with a lot of turn-up songs. There’s two songs, “Drive” and “Naughty,” who are by a producer named Jeff Skittleman. He was the first producer to encourage me to sing.
That’s great to have someone champion you like that and push you in a direction you didn’t know you could go in.
For sure. I have a really amazing engineer too, Nick, who helped me rerecord everything. There was a lot of people really spending time with me and helping me get to the point I was happy with. I had so many people give their input, and I trusted it. In the end, I’m so OCD that I definitely made sure everything was how I wanted it.
You have Charli XCX and Empress Of on your project as well. What do these ladies represent on here?
I love Charli’s music, so I just wanted to put someone on the song if it made sense. She’s just so talented. I really fuck with her music and who she is as an artist. It just made sense.
Empress Of, I’ve just been a fan for so long, since I heard her on Blood Orange’s Freetown Sound. That’s one of my favorite albums. I just really fell in love with her voice. She’s a sweetheart. I really fuck with her. “Naughty” needed another voice on it, so I sent it to her, and she sent me back something right away. Once I heard her on the song, I couldn’t un-hear it.
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