Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: SLEEPY TOM

The “Be Right There” hitmaker talks stepping into his disco shoes on upcoming EP.

Sleepy Tom
Sleepy Tom

It’s seven years since Sleepy Tom and Diplo scaled charts around the word with platinum juggernaut single “Be Right There.” Vancouver’s Cam Tatham, aka Sleepy Tom, has since amassed over 200 million streams across his Top 10 Spotify tracks, a figure that looks set only to rise with the release of upcoming disco-drenched EP “This Thing Called Life”, coming later this year.

The favouring of mirror-ball-illuminated sonics reflect Tom’s own musical consumption in recent years, led by the likes of The Avalanches, The Weeknd, and Jungle. And, of course, those of yesteryear too – he got the inspiration for the magnetic string section of recent track “Call My Name” when watching a BeeGees documentary. “The string line came to me then,” he tells us below. “Disco gets me going. It satisfies my craving for melody and uplifting chord progressions, while also being club friendly.”

Head below to read our chat with Tom about “This Thing Called Life”, matching the success of “Be Right There”, and how his Vancouver roots have impacted his artistry…

Hi Sleepy Tom! How are you doing? What are you most looking forward to today?
Good thanks. I am excited to take my dog for a walk—his name is Nelson and he is a good boy.

We love your name! Tell us more! Are you sleepy a lot?
Yes, I enjoy a sleep-in like everyone else. My middle name is Thomas—I wish there was a cooler story but I was just in my university dorm room throwing words in front of Tom…

Congratulations on “This Thing Called Life”! How do you think this record sums up where you are just now in your journey?
Good question! I am just trying to take each day as it comes, which is kind of what the song is about. Musically, this is part of my journey where I feel I’ve needed to branch out the most.

You’ve really leaned into those disco sonics on your new work! What made you dream of those Studio 54 vibes?
It satisfies my craving for melody and uplifting chord progressions, while also being club friendly. I was watching this BeeGees doc while I was working on “Call My Name” and the string line came to me then—disco gets me going.

You’ve cited amazing artists like Jungle, The Avalanches and The Weeknd as being influential for you! Can you tell us about a moment in your musical consumption that proved really impactful?
I suppose these are pretty recent references, but The Avalanches newest record was a really big influence for my new music. The way they use noise is particularly fascinating to me. I’m trying to do this more.

Many people will know you from “Be Right There” with Diplo! Has the success of that track shaped the way you work today? Do you feel pressure to match its success?
Without a doubt. It’s success has come with great opportunities as well as some frustration. Life right?

With this project, you’re truly inviting us to the club. What are the fundamentals of your ideal club space?
Clean bathrooms. Good music. No jerks.

How have your Vancouver roots influenced your identity as an electronic music artist?
I like hiking—not sure if that applies but it’s probably made me less inclined to spend a day in the studio if it’s nice outside. The people here have informed my workflow—not the most collaborative cities, but I’m working to change that.

What’s your ultimate idea of success?
Just being happy.

NEW NOISE: SLEEPY TOM

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