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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Tomemitsu

Martin Tomemitsu Roark grew up in the Bay Area, but currently resides in Los Angeles. As a child, his father “force fed” him piano books. However, his younger sister played better, so he quickly picked up the cello, bass and then guitar, because “pop music can be a lot more fun to show off with than classical music,” he says.

Under the name Tomemitsu, Roark recently released three songs that can be streamed or purchased for $1 each on Bandcamp. Maybe it’s just me, but when I listen to “Can’t Avoid You” I picture myself riding a bike on a rainy cobblestone street. It’s easy to zone out to his voice and the music.

See below to read more about Tomemitsu and listen to some tunes…

How long have you been making music?
They say I was humming a tune when I came out of my mother.

Who/what are your influences?
I grew up hearing a lot of jazz from my father, I remember hearing Thelonious Monk and thinking, “what the hell, this guy is doing something waaay different.” But I also really love Brian Eno and some other little bands like this one called The Beatles. I think they are getting more popular, but they’re a little older now.

How did you come up with your name?
My name is my middle name which was also the name of my mother’s father, or my grandfather. I use it to please momma.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
There is a secret planning of an EP in the works. Portals music blog was kind enough to accept my submission of “In Dreams (Bedroom Version)” for their summer mixtape, which is up for download and you can pre-order a limited edition (of 100) cassette version with other great artists.  ChillMegaChill is the label co-releasing it and I’m in the works of figuring out a future release with them– hopefully by the end of summer.

What inspires your music?
You know those little boomerangs you see when you stare at the sky on a clear summer day?

Why do you make music?
When you listen to the radio and you don’t hear enough of your songs, then one has to do something about it, so mostly it’s for my own personal entertainment, but it always feels pretty amazing when someone else tells you they like your music or that it did something for them. My friend Andy told me that he made out with this girl he really liked for the first time, and that he had “Thinkin‘” off my Bandcamp playing. Yeah, that kinda stuff is pretty cool.

Anything you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
I also play bass in a noise-pop outfit called Basement Babies and I play cello in an ambient-drone outfit named Eagle Scouts.

Thank you, for your interest and for listening, and for showing support for music. I’d love to be able to do music all day and make a miserable living, rather than make a decent living with a decent job, but not get to play music all day.

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