Being an artist is often a very confusing and winding road. Weaker people can let these obstacles get in the way and cause them to pull away from their dreams. On the other hand is someone like our recent discovery Taoma Moon who challenges himself to push through and find the music within himself that he needs to share with the World.
We caught up with the in-tune artist for a chat about how he reached where he is and his latest cover of “Old Town Road”. Enjoy:
First off, tell us the story behind the name Taoma Moon.
My first given name is Tommaso, (Italian for Thomas) which comes from the ancient Aramaic word “Ta’Oma” meaning “the twin”. That was the original name of Thomas the Apostle, apparently earned it by his resemblance with Jesus himself. I am not trying to be like Jesus, I’m just giving you the explanation of the name my parents gave me. However I always found it too normal and ordinary to define me, so I decided to go back to the roots and find its meaning.
As far as the Moon, I love her more than I can explain. There was a big fat Moon when I was born, and SHE was always the one to light my path in the dark, never the stars.
Also the moon regulates the tides, and I have a really deep connection with the oceans.
The relationship between Moon and Earth is an unbreakable bond, I always was inspired by that magnetic force that keeps them together. One could say that Earth is the artist, the Moon is the world of feelings and emotions, the gravitational field is inspiration, which results in Music being the tides moving.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s always a tricky question to answer. Each artist sounds like himself. My songs sound like my story. My own sound is unique, just like anyone else’s is. Yes, you can hear a lot of the artists I was influenced by, but it’s always in my own key, with my own unique flavor. My sound is a mix of film scoring, pop and melodic rock with strong eastern world vibes. It’s the sound of a Human being from Earth.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on Taoma Moon?
There are way too many. Anywhere from famous artists to street musicians i’ve seen only once.
Jeff Buckley is definitely there, Queen, Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, The Beatles, Claude Debussy, Chopin, Puccini, Beethoven, even modern artists like Adele, John Legend, the latest Lady Gaga, composers like John Williams, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore, Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer and of course a bunch of Italian artists and bands that you probably wouldn’t know. I have to say that devotional music like Buddhist mantras, sacred Hindu ragas, Pakistani Qawwali, Native American chants and meditation music in general have also marked me very deeply and shaped me into the person i am now. And of course Mother Nature, the greatest teacher of all, and best musician! Just listen to the birds, the waves, the trees swinging their branches in the wind, the deep ocean. They all sound like God to me.
How was the culture shock of moving to Los Angeles from Rome and how have you acclimated over the past 5 years?
It took me a while to realize the differences, at first I was just focused on going to college, finding the right classrooms and getting my English rolling so I could participate better in the classes. After a couple months i started to really understand the differences, some big ones and some smaller details. What happened at first is that I started feeling very small and alone and misunderstood, especially this last one went on for several years. My jokes, my talking, my ways in general were always taken the wrong way, so as a reaction I developed a strong Italian patriotism and I just kept on defending myself holding on the greatness of our Italian culture. After many struggles I realized that I was just being afraid of change, so I decided to open up and let this place take me. That was the best decision I’ve made so far. Not only it allowed me to grow as a musician, but I started to learn more about myself, and of course about Los Angeles and the U.S. in general. I was able to connect with people, that was a really big lesson for me.
I learned to see how we let our culture define us, because it’s just so easy, it’s all pre made, ready for us to wear it and call it “ours”. But if you start taking out what you don’t like, one piece at a time, you can shed all the layers of conditioning that no longer serve you, and find out who you really are, not who your parents, family, friends or even country expected you to be.
It is also why I decided to become Taoma Moon, because I was always more than just another Tommaso, from Rome. We all are finite bodies who carry around infinite souls, how can we be only one thing for an entire life? It’s too limiting for me, i think this is what really leads to death eventually. However, I still don’t believe in putting pineapple on pizza, you can’t force certain relationships, just let them go on their own path.
You took a turn at covering the current hit “Old Town Road” by Lil’ Nas X. Tell us about that decision.
It was a joke at first, when I heard this song and learned the story behind it I was really amazed, it felt like it was carrying a good vibe overall so I started playing it on guitar, next thing I know is that I was laying down 4 part harmonies and a string section into the mix. It started to sound pretty neat, so I showed it to my girlfriend, she started laughing and found it amazing, so we decided to shoot a music video. I didn’t want to invest a lot of money into making a video for a cover, so we went with what we had, our phones, our gimbal and of course our 2 big doggos!
Your video for it is quite entertaining. Are those your dogs?
Of course they are my dogs! The Husky is Loba, she is an amazing girl, and the Husky-PitbulI is Chae’, he’s the best boy ever! We all certainly had a lot of fun shooting it, especially the dogs. They got to run free for a long time at the beach, they were really happy! It’s so inspiring to see them run and be themselves, free and pure. I think that’s why I chose to have them run in the video, to resemble this level of freedom that after all is the message the song itself is aiming to deliver, at least that’s how I see it.
Share some advice for other artists finding their own musical journey?
Are you happy to be where you are now? Have your usual ways taken you where you want to be? If your answer is no, then you probably need to change a few things around. I know it’s hard and painful to change, but if you let go of concepts that haven’t served you lately, you can really find the strength to walk to where your heart wants to take you. Try new approaches, maybe a different genre, or different mindset. Be open to what your inner guide is trying to teach you. If you have to make a decision between something you are used to and comfortable with and something that bothers you, try do what bothers you first! there’s a reason why it makes you feel this friction inside, explore it and see where it leads. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll expand your comfort zone and grow. Pretty sweet deal to me.
Let go of the expectations others have implanted in your brain for you, be who your heart wants to be, don’t follow the mind blindly or you’ll damage your heart.
You’ll suffer, but you’ll also have a lot of fun along the way.
Ultimately it goes down to this, if a road doesn’t have a heart, it’s not worth walking it.
What is coming up next for Taoma Moon?
A lot of great things! Most importantly is that I am producing my first single, this time an original song, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. Release date is yet to be decided but for sure in the next couple of months. After that there will be a few more songs and hopefully a whole Album by the end of the year!! You can keep up with all this on my social media pages, were you can also find my next live shows around LA to come have the live experience, that’s really where the magic happens!
Keep up with more from Taoma Moon on his FACEBOOK.