“You can either fall back from fear or you face it.” Wise words from new up and coming musician Tamir who has a big year ahead of him. Managed by the agency Steel Wool Entertainment, the team behind Anderson .Paak’s rise to fame, Tamir is a passionate artist who manages to combine a distinctively soulful voice with a modern sound. As part of our Live Nation Ones to Watch profiles, we sat down with Tamir to discuss his last EP and what he’s looking forward to.
DSTLD: Let's start off with where you're from and how you got into music.
TG: I was born and raised in Israel and moved to LA about four months ago. For the last year and a half, I've been back and forth between Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, and New York. When I was 12, I really wanted to play an instrument because all of my friends were, so I started with piano. I always knew I could sing so my friends and I started a band together, and that's how my transition into music really began. I studied visual arts in school, but slowly music became my passion.
DSTLD: Your sound is very soulful. Can you tell us what singers or bands have influenced your music?
TG: My original influence is the blues. Eric Clapton is probably the first musician that really spoke to me. From Clapton to ZZ Top to Hubert Samlin to BB King to Jimmie Vaughan - these were the guys who really got me into my sound and how I fell in love with the blues. For three or four years, that's all I listened to. Then, slowly, I gained more music education and started listening to R&B, funk, soul. I became influenced by Prince and D'Angelo, and Michael Jackson obviously, and now I'm into Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, and James Blake. But the original influence will always be the blues.
DSTLD: Your first EP Inwaters came out last October. What's the story behind it?
TG: For me, the EP was the first attempt at a new sound. I have a lot of knowledge of arranging music for live performances coming from a jazz background, so I felt I needed to evolve and try more of a modern sound. I got a MacBook and taught myself music production. Now I have a better understanding of the whole process. The EP is a journal of my last two years with my family and my parent's divorce. I combined the soul I had in my heart with new sounds. I got to a point where I felt the music represented what I wanted to say. It's really about a moment in time when so much was changing, and all together it felt right.
"I got to a point where I felt the music represented what I wanted to say. It's really about a moment in time when so much was changing, and all together it felt right."
DSTLD: How has Los Angeles influenced you since your permanent move here?
TG: Being in Los Angeles has made things different. I'm influenced by everything around me here. I feel like I should be doing what I'm supposed to be doing at this point in time. I'm working writing a lot more for my music and working with people I would never have had the chance to before. Being here is everything I wanted.
DSTLD: You've accomplished a lot so far in your career with talent, hard work, and drive. For those who are interested in following your path, do you have any advice?
TG: It's important to focus on the good things and be positive. It sounds cliche, but it helps to recognize how exciting the opportunities you have are. You can either fall back from fear or you face it. It's all about the energy you put out and the mindset you have.
"You can either fall back from fear or you face it. It's all about the energy you put out and the mindset you have."
DSTLD: How would you describe yourself and your style?
TG: I don't define myself just as a musician. I have multiple projects in mind - for a play, for artwork, for clothing. Everything, literally everything, has to do with art and music for me. For my style, it's classic. What I like about DSTLD and the black, white and grey palette is that when you wear it, you feel confident. While it's basic, that doesn't mean it's boring or bad. It's actually quite the opposite because of its precision and confidence you feel.
Watch Tamir's Ones to Watch live performance
Listen to Inwaters below, or on Spotify.