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Interview mit Andy Tongren

Interviewdatum: 01. Juli 2008.

Andy Tongren wurde am 05. April 1987 in Columbus, OH, USA geboren. Heute lebt er in New York / Amerika.

News, Informationen, Musik, Clips und Pics:

Kommentar: Viel Jazz, einen kleinen Tick Pop, etwas Swing und Andy Tongrens einmalige Jazzstimme machen seine Musik zu einem echten Highlight für „New York“-Freunde und „Sex and the City“ Fans. Unterstützung bekommt der noch sehr junge Musikkünstler dabei von seiner großartigen Band. Er steht noch ganz am Anfang, aber er wird seinen Weg gehen. Top!

OBZ: Do you write your own songs?
TONGREN: Yes, I am constantly writing music in many different genres and styles. I also do jazz standards and covers of pop songs.

OBZ: What does your songs evolve from?
TONGREN: Instrumentally they come from all of my musical influences. I try to fuse different styles together quite frequently and see what happens, sort of like chemistry, so you never know what youre going to get. The lyrics I write are based off of everyday life experience. Although its sometimes difficult to vocalize a certain feeling, I try to put into words an emotion. In doing this, I do my best to make sure that it communicates with the listener to take them to a specific place.

OBZ: Why jazz and swing?
TONGREN: The first time I heard Sinatra with Count Basie and his Orchestra, I was hooked. Basies big bands could always swing and the fact that most of the tunes they did were blues gave it even more attitude. The natural movement of jazz and swing on the 2 and 4 in 4/4 time is something that just gets blood flowing.

OBZ: You also write for other artists. Is the collaboration important to you?
TONGREN: I havent done too much writing for other artists, however, collaboration is important. You can learn a great deal from working with others, and not all just about music. The difficulty of working with a group is having a vision of where youd like to take your music. If not everyone has the same goals, creating good music can be an arduous task.

OBZ: Is music for you a feeling of life? Do you think music should play an important role in peoples life?
TONGREN: Music has played an extremely important role in my life. To me, music is not just a job or a hobby, but a way of life. I believe there is a component in music that speaks in a way that words cannot. As far as being a significant part of others lives, thats up to them. However, I think in a way everyone develops their own personal connection to music.

OBZ: Do you always play your music live? Is that important to you?
TONGREN: Playing in front of a live audience is such a exhilarating feeling. You can feed off their energy and there is always something new. Somewhat like live theatre, you never know what could happen. Improvisation is something that can be taken to a new level and embellished in front of a live crowd.

OBZ: With whom would you like to work together?
TONGREN: There are so many brilliant minds in music that Id be honored to work with, although some have passed, Jamie Cullum, Harry Connick Jr, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock, among so many others who have helped shaped music.

OBZ: Do you have a dream project?
TONGREN: As long as I am able to live off music and share my passion for it with others I will be a happy man.

OBZ: What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you? Was it on a concert? Or was it on another event?
TONGREN: There isnt one instance that really stands out in my mind. Every once in a while Ill fib a lyric or just make something up, but I suppose thats part of jazz and improvising when youre in a bind. When I first started doing shows I always feared the moment would come when I froze and had to run off the stage. Luckily, that hasnt happened!

OBZ: People can buy your music here in the shops. Where else could people get your music from?
TONGREN: The easiest way to purchase a track or the CD in its entirety is digitally through CDbaby.com, iTunes, or directly through www.myspace.com/andytongren. There are 3 outlets in Germany where you can order the CD as well- Megaphon (in Berlin), JPC-Schallplatten (in Georgsmarienhutte), and TCS-World of Country Music (in Gevelsberg). You can also order the CD through CDbaby.com/atongren.

OBZ: Tell me about the greatest experience you had with your fans.
TONGREN: Every time you step on stage and strike the first chord there is a connection that you make with your audience. The journey you take with them throughout your performance is something that cant be put into words. Personally, every performance turns into the greatest experience with my fans. Making that connection with them, seeing them singing along, and reaching out to them is an incredible experience. By performing you put yourself in an incredibly vulnerable position, and when you see your fans take that journey with you, it’s the most fulfilling feeling in the world.

OBZ: Is it important to you to keep in contact with your fans?
TONGREN: Staying in touch with fans is as important to me as making music. Without my fans and friends, I wouldnt be where I am. I love getting to know them and hearing feedback.

OBZ: What is the most important thing in your life?
TONGREN: As corny as it sounds, music, happiness, and love amongst my family and friends.

OBZ: Imagine you had one free wish. What would you wish for?
TONGREN: In the words of Steve Martin, Id wish for all the children of the world to join hands and sing a song of peace and love...haha. To be honest, all Id like is to be able to live off of my music. If I can do that, I will be happy.

OBZ: Have you ever been to Germany before?
Unfortunately, no. The closest Ive come is Vienna, Austria. I absolutely love traveling, and Germany is definitely on my list of upcoming destinations!

OBZ: Imagine now you have the opportunity to thank all your friends and family. What would you say to them?
TONGREN: Wow...Without my family and my friends I have no idea where I would be. I think many parents discourage their kids from pursuing a field like this because there are no guarantees. However, my family has never strayed in their support of my endeavor into the field of music. So, from the bottom of my heart I thank them along with all my friends and fans, because without them none of this would be possible.

OBZ: What can we expect of you in the future?
TONGREN: Ive got a few upcoming projects which are all heading in different directions. I am starting an acoustic/pop band called Hop On The Trolley and am currently demoing a few songs. I am also continuing to pursue my jazz interests and am currently writing for a new album.

Kleiner Steckbrief von Andy Tongren:
- Name: Andy Tongren
- Date of birth: April 5, 1987
- Birthplace: Columbus, OH, USA
- Hobbies: Watching and playing sports, working out and staying in shape, spending time outdoors.
- Lieblingsfilme: Donnie Darko, American Beauty, Pans Labyrinth, Fight Club.
- Lieblingsmusik: I listen to just about everything- From Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles, and Jamie Cullum, to Hit the Lights, Cartel, Radiohead, and Seconhand Serenade to A Tribe Called Quest, Van Morrison, Sly and the Family Stone, The Doobie Brothers, Bob Marley, and occasionally some Techno/Electronic music.
- Lieblingsessen: I eat all the time and love all sorts of food, but my favorite has to be peanut butter. I eat it by the spoonful...
- Lieblingsbuch: The Interpretation of Murder, The Poe Shadow, anything by Chuck Palahniuk or Carl Hiaasen.
- Lieblingsstadt: London.
- Lieblingsland: France.
- Lebensmotto: Everything happens for a reason.

© Andy Tongren.
© Dewey Darko.



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