We had the good fortune of connecting with Tom Fong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tom, why did you pursue a creative career?
It all started as a hobby during high school. I played guitar in the band I found, and we just played covers. But one day, I saw a poster about an original music competition and wanted to participate as a band unit. So I wrote my first original song and tried to give it a shot. In the first year, the music got into the final 12 candidates. But in the second year, the song I co-wrote with my bandmates won the 1st prize and best live performance award. That has given me the idea to pursue music as my career. Because I’m a person that’s not so good at speaking and expressing myself, I found that music is the way for me to express my feelings. With my parents’ support and encouragement, that has given me more confidence to take part in my musical journey.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My music is a mixture of smooth jazz, contemporary R&B, and many other genres. It’s instrumental and improvisation music. My latest single “Passenger” is dedicated to my passion for classical and contemporary music which features a lot of nylon guitar. Writing, producing and mixing your own music is not easy. I spent all my summers learning how to record and use Pro Tools during my high school years. I would also write something every day, even just 8 bars of music. It takes a lot of hard work and time to accomplish.
My music is influenced by all genres as I listen to all kinds of music including Jazz, R&B, Punk and world music, etc.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Downtown LA, the Hollywood sign, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Griffth Observatory, Venice Beach, Melrose street, and LACMA will be the cool places to show them. Dinning at République, Bestia, Pizzeria Mozza, LA Cha Cha Chá, Lunasia, In & Out, JJ Hong Kong Cafe, Baccali Cafe & Rotisserie will be cool. Also Disneyland and Universal Studio, and Warner Bros studio tour will be exciting to check out.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this to my parents, younger brother, and younger sister for all their encouragement, support and love. My mentor Kim Kuok Ip, who introduced and taught me many things about becoming a professional musician. My classical guitar teacher, Bruce Pun, who taught me everything about the nylon guitar, and my teacher, Richard Smith, for being so encouraging and giving me lots of feedback on my music. Last but not least, my teachers, Andy Abad, Tim Kobza, Paul Jackson Jr., Frank Potenza, Bruce Forman, Adam Dal Monte, Dan Gibert, Ian Robbins, and Dean Brown for all their wisdom and knowledge that make me who I am.
Other: Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/tom-fong