Interview – Tori Boltwood

Tori Boltwood is quite a unique artist, creating cinematic pop songs with a hint of jazz, as her latest release, Stay On The Moon shows. Her music is fantastic for those wanting something a little different, so make sure you listen to the song at the end of this interview if that sounds intriguing!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a song titled Stay On The Moon, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about this song and where can it be purchased?

Stay On The Moon was written as a cinematic music piece that takes you into a different dimension of sound and imagery. A journey into its own universe of metaphoric lyrics. At the heart of its creation, Stay On The Moon is about how we must acknowledge that loving someone isn’t always enough to keep them in your life . That there are important moments where life requires you to make the difficult choice for what’s best for not only your mental/emotional health, but the health of both people involved.

It’s a song that takes a difficult situation and strives to take a step back and tell a story through music that not only helps the writer of the song, but aims to bring aid to anyone that connects with its message. It’s a song that reaches out as if to say ‘you are not alone in this universe.’ I think it’s fair to say we have all carried the weight of the realisation that a relationship must come to an end, even though you’re not sure how to live a life without that person in your world. Sometimes we have to learn to put distance between us and toxic connections, even if it pains us to do it . Sometimes the most difficult choice is the right decision for everyone involved.

Stay On The Moon can be purchased and streamed on almost any music platform. Just search up my artist name ‘Tori Boltwood’ and you should be able to find it .

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

I believe the pandemic hindered all work in some way, either physically or emotionally. For me, the pandemic was more a feeling of disconnect with other people (be it listeners or other artists) as well as the music industry itself, every interaction felt almost fake or surface level because of the distance we had to physically have from each other. But not all of the feelings or experiences were bad during this time.

I think one empowering thing I learned from the Covid times was that even when the world faces drastic changes and extreme loss, that the music world is able to adjust to help bring people comfort through all the hardships we faced during 2020. 2020 took a toll on my mental health, but it gave me the opportunity to write so much music in a way and fashion I had never been able to do before. I used music as a therapeutic outlet for all the struggles 2020 created, and I think I learned much more about myself and my music through that process

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

I recorded Stay On The Moon at Sound Machine Studios in South Texas with my producer Mason Shirley.

Depending on the song, I usually take between 2-3 hours to record vocals. We tend to take a day for the main vocal tracks. For Fame, we recorded its following release Drown on the same studio day. Then we scheduled another day for backing vocals and any add-on elements or corrections we needed to make. There’s also collectively a few hours scheduled for instrumental recording per song when we book projects.

I have only been writing music for 3 years now. Before that, my love of writing was focused on poems and fictional short stories. Hence when I opened my mind and paired my enjoyment of the written word to my love of music and singing, I found that poem writing and lyric writing were not very different at all. Many times my lyrics come from free form writing where I just let my mind wander through the process I wrote poems in. I usually then choose lines from that free form and construct around them.

With every song I try to choose a plot or message that is important to me. Where before I loved fictional stories, I now pour my heart out into crafting lyrics that empower important messages and truths . Authenticity is the fuel for my creative process. If you look at any of my songs, they all have messages and beliefs that they are expressing in their lyrics. I strive for my music to be something that anyone can listen and connect to in some way. Truthfully the best thing I can say to anyone looking to write music is to do so with no rules in mind. Good lyrics can come from anything.

I personally believe the future of music is shaped by those that blend and experiment with their creations. Artist of the past had the courage to forge what we now consider the pillars of music – if they simply stayed in the comfort zone of what had been created before, music would be a mere shell of what it is today. Music writing should never become restrictive to artists. Creativity is personal and unlimited and should be respected as such. My writing, like life. changes with every passing day.

Have you started writing for a future EP/album yet?

I am always writing with the idea of larger projects in mind. Yet I also like each song to feel like it can stand on its own as a solo work of music. Releasing singles has allowed me to grow and understand who I am in a way that has been vital to my development as a musical artist. I have chosen not to create larger works yet, because I have found a healthy balance of creative freedom and focus through singles. But an album is something I want to create when I am meant to create one.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

Yes! We already have completed pieces to release and are currently also in the process of writing more music that I see myself releasing as singles.

Whereabouts are you based and what is the local music scene like?

I am originally from Florida where I was mainly part of the musical theatre and jazz band performance scene. I have been based in Fort Worth, Texas for the past four years.

The Fort Worth music scene is still somewhat a mystery to me. I started making indie music right as Covid hit in 2020, so most of my musical experiences have been focused on social media based platforms. I am looking forward to venturing out and discovering the Texas/Fort Worth music scene. I have missed performing dearly and I can’t wait to lean back into my roots of performance.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

I have been listening to two new albums more then anything else as of late – We Three’s new album Happy and Alec Benjamins new album (un) commentary.

I am greatly influenced by artists that focus on deep lyrics and telling stories through their music. Also, any artist that invests the time to be different in an industry that can sometimes pressure us to format our art in a certain way is inspirational to me.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

I am currently brainstorming on the concept of tours and live performances, but as of right now, I do not have anything set up yet.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

When I begin performing live again, I am excited to show people my love for live performance and to really add an element of depth and connection to my songs by living through their meaning on stage . You can always expect me to pour my entire heart and being into a performance, so if live performances packed with authenticity and positive energy are your thing, then I think you would enjoy a live show with me performing.

Any last words for the fans?

No matter what the world or society tries to tell you, remember you are worthy of achieving your dreams and being happy. So make sure to dream big. Love yah!