Star of our Issue One 'What's New' Section Tomi Saario has released his new single 'Don't Hurt Yourself' on Four Music, already amassing half a million streams and gaining support from various outlets.
The single follows his debut 'Just A Little' which has amassed over 1.5million streams since its release earlier this year. Tomi told us at the time that he chose this track to showcase his music to the world first because:
'I felt like it represents who I am quite well. Scandinavian pop melodies driven by a bit of groove and lyrics that have enough depth to be interesting but simple enough to sing along to. It's a tall order but to me 'Just A Little' fulfilled a lot of it"
New single ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ deals with the moment of knowing when someone’s right for you. The first of its kind DIY video for 'Don't Hurt Yourself' was shot in isolation with Tomi in his bedroom in Helsinki and the videographer in Berlin, using Skype, an iPhone, the morning sunlight and spotlights made from toilet roll tubes and paper towels.
Keep reading to read our interview from when we spoke to Tomi for Issue One a little earlier this year!
Please introduce yourself and tell us something interesting about you!
"Okay here goes! My name is Tomi Saario and I’m a singer/songwriter/guitarist and an artist. I’m signed to Sony Germany (Four Music) but I sing and write in English! Before I started making music I played football on a pretty high level and served in the military as part of the urban warfare squad."
Where are you from?
"I’m from a small town in southern Finland called Tuusula. It has about 40 thousand people."
What 5 words would you use to describe your musical style?
"Melodic pop stuffed with soul."
Who influences you the most?
"The amazing songwriters and artists that I’ve managed to surround myself with over the years. No need to go much further than that to get inspired!"
Who are you listening to at the minute?
"Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of old school music from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Billy Holiday. I feel like the future of music can often be found in the past cause the younger audience has often never heard any of it."
You moved to London to further your music career, playing over 1000 shows in 4 years and showing up to open mic nights. How would you say this has helped you to get to this point in your career?
"I’d say it has helped me massively! Open mics can be very uncomfortable at first and that is what’s so great about them. They are filled with people who are aspiring songwriters and artists and who are there to really listen. It’s not so much a performance as it is a conversation. Most of the gigs that any new comer artist will have to do at first are showcases in offices etc. and those are also more like conversations. Show your songs, show who you really are and get out haha!"
How does it feel to finally be releasing your own music?
"Honestly it feels like a mixture of relief and excitement. After releasing my debut single and seeing how incredibly well it has been received, I realized how long it took to get here and how hard I had to work. I felt like “damn. About time!” And now I get to work even harder and put out more music?!?! I’m one lucky guy!"
Your debut EP is coming this year, what was the process behind getting that ready to release?
"Well I’m still in that process actually. I’m pretty much flying around promoting the current single, finishing off the next ones and writing more music for other people and myself. It’s really funny to me how in the end the audience only sees a new song being released with a neat cover and perhaps a music video but they have no idea of the amount of work and dedication it takes to get to that point. The World is full of 10 years in the making over night successes haha!"
What can we expect from you in 2020?
"Much more music! Playing live is what I’ve always loved to do the most and now getting to play this new catalogue of music to everyone is an absolute thrill!!!"
The future sure looks bright for this rising star with an EP release coming soon to further showcase what he can do. We hope that we will be able to see him play live soon after the world resumes to 'Just A Little' bit of normality.