Written by: Jayme Face
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about your EP The Apartment Sessions?
Tamara Hansson: So I recorded it in my apartment in Harlem. It was in 2014 actually, so it was a while ago now. I came here to do music theatre, but decided I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to get back to writing my own stuff. So I spent a year writing in my apartment with my recording equipment and just decided I’m going to do this in my apartment. I tracked everything in there and I’d work on it every weekend outside of my job. Then I ended up sending it to a guy who mixed this album that I really liked, Jaques Jenkins, in the UK. He made this Keaton Henson album. So, I sent it to him to mix and got it all finished up and put it out in 2014 and I toured apartments to promote it instead of venues.
upfrontNY: That’s cool! So, you’ve played apartments and I noticed on your website its says you’ll play houses or art spaces, what is the most unique venue you have played at so far?
Tamara Hansson: I guess every apartment in NY is unique in a way. I played a backyard in Brooklyn, which was interesting, I wasn’t sure how that was going to go because I didn’t have a P.A., but it was quite intimate and very lovely. Yeah, when someone lets you into their house, you’re stepping into someone else’s space. I don’t know, I kind of found all of those experiences all really interesting and intimate. It’s nice to go into someone else’s house and see what kind of art they have on their walls or see how different their apartment is. And for people to open their home to you to play in, it’s really humbling and really sweet.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us what we can expect from your upcoming USA tour, is that going to be similar?
Tamara Hansson: It’s a little more flushed out. So I decided after the apartment sessions I wanted to make more music that was more produced and my sound has sort of matured a little more since then as well. I wanted to work with other producers in getting these songs that I’ve written up and I’ve been working with a producer in Brooklyn. This tour is going to be more venues, coffee houses and stuff like that. I’ve got a little more of a setup. It’s not just me, I’ve got my guitar, my keyboard, I’m using a voice looper now that I do base and stuff on so its going to be more intense with the sound without being a full band.
upfrontNY: What artist would you love to collaborate with?
Tamara Hansson: Honestly, I would love to write with Beyonce. I think she is really starting to get in touch with her vulnerability, not that she’s ever written really surface-y stuff, but Lemonade was such a vulnerable album. My music is really vulnerable and soulful and I think working with her would just be amazing to create really vulnerable work.
upfrontNY: That is really cool. I wouldn’t expect that from your sound.
Tamara Hansson: Oh, man I really loved that album. I thought it was brilliant.
upfrontNY: You made the move from Australia to New York how was that transition and did it have an impact on your music?
Tamara Hansson: Yeah because in New York it’s just so easy to be an introvert. In Australian culture is very gregarious and everybody is very social and if you’re not as someone’s house having dinner you’re having a barbecue or you’re at the pub. Everybody is very go with the flow and very social and I think in NY it’s a lot easier to have time for yourself and I think leaving Australia where I had lots of family and friends and lots of commitments and whatever else, coming here and having to rework all that and do what I wanted to do and have more time for myself and write a lot more and not feel so obligated to be out all the time. Although in NY can have that effect on you as well like you could be out every night if you wanted to in NY, but I think it’s also a city where you could go months without seeing your friends or months without catching up with someone who is special to you and it’s like so much time has passed because time in NY just runs faster. I went home at Christmas time and it was like that; I could get so much stuff done and then I was kind of, not bored, but a bit like alright well what’s next? Then I get back and I’m like no, I have so much stuff to do. It’s a little bit different.
upfrontNY: Is there someplace here in New York that reminds you of home?
Tamara Hansson: I mean anywhere that serves Australian type food, like anywhere that serves a flat white. There is Tuck Shop as well and they serve meat pies which is also the stuff that you grow up around. Then you come to a city where this stuff doesn’t really exist and then all of a sudden there’s a meat pie shop in New York and it’s like “Oh My God it’s just like home”. Anywhere you can get a good meat pie, flat white or sausage roll. I try to explain to American friends like what this kind of food is growing up and they’re just like oh okay there’s no relation to it whatsoever.
upfrontNY: What was something that surprised you the most when moving here to New York?
Tamara Hansson: I guess just how dense this city is, the density. I grew up in a beach town in Australia, you just forget there’s people living on top of people, living on top of people and there’s like 6 million people in Manhattan and like 8 million people or something in the surrounding boroughs so I guess the density just really blows your mind. And it’s so normal not to have a car here where back home, it’s like you’re such a bum if you don’t have a car. Yeah, that’s probably it.
upfrontNY: Besides music what are your other interests?
Tamara Hansson: I paint, it’s still related to art. I’m a voice teacher, I work with kids. I also really like traveling. I really enjoy that. I try to get away once a year if not a couple times a year. I think with going on tour I’m really excited to get out and see the rest of America. Because I kind of live in a bubble in New York so I’m really jazzed to get out and see different parts of America. I’m really pumped for that. Traveling, I’ve always had that itch, keep exploring get out there and keep meeting people.
upfrontNY: Oh, Yeah I’ve read you spent some time in London.
Tamara Hansson: Yeah, I did and I spent some time in Sweden and New York is where I landed and I was just like, “Yeah I’m going to stay here for a bit now. I’m going to make roots in this city. I like it here”.
upfrontNY: Well we are honored!
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