We have been so eager to share this interview as the final one of the year. We’re so grateful to have been able to receive this amazing artwork from Tamar Black Rotchin (@Tbrmfs) as a response to the questions we had for her. Tamar is an absolutely amazing artist whose work is vulnerable, genuine and leaves you feeling like there’s someone who’s going through it too. From pen and paper, to painting, and digital illustration she creates art in various forms. She’s worked in collaboration with local brands like Grimey Mtl and has recently had her work showcased in a virtual exhibition called NICE. Read more to find out about Tamar’s sources of inspiration, her thoughts about formal art education, and more.
Make sure to go check out Tamar’s Instagram to see all her amazing artwork. Also, go check out the NICE. exhibition , Tamar, and many other amazing artists are showcased in that as well. Much love again to Tamar for sharing this amazing work with us we’re so very grateful.
There’s some people you meet whose positive energy has you thinking you’ve known them forever, or at least that you wish you had. Singer-songwriter Montrealways is one of those rare people and we were lucky enough to vibe,smoke a spliff and get to know more about her. She’s an independent R&B artist who makes melodic bops like Got It All and GPS that you can’t help but relate to. She’s young but has an unquestionable dedication to her craft along with a voice of a siren. Montrealways is definitely on her way to the top. Read below to know the reason behind her name, how she stays creative and more!
Why’d you originally name yourself Montrealways?
I used to take long walks everywhere ever since I was like 10-11 years old. My city has always inspired me to write poems and write in my journal about how I feel and it was kind of a way to say that I would go everywhere. Kinda like I’m going in my own direction,no gps, no nothing. Just walking around and just letting my city inspire me to make art. So I decided on Montrealways, it’s kind of wordplay. It gave me confidence in a way, at first it was just an instagram name, a twitter username, you know nothing serious but then I decided to use it for music.
What first got you into music?
So I’ve been singing since I was three years old and ever since there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t sung. Like I’m always singing. I really started taking it seriously, well not that seriously, but I really started singing when I was 16. I’d sing off my apple earphone and use this app called offtop and I received like 12 emails of people telling me that I helped them make decisions about their heartbreak or the person who cheated on them, or whatever. I thought that was crazy that I had an impact on people from something I just freestyle on my earphones and I thought about what I could do if I actually took it seriously.
I’ve been working on myself a lot from 2016 to now and I feel like I’m finally ready to take the steps that I need to take in order to make my career boom. I’ve really built up my confidence and I’ve allowed myself to not focus on what other people say. People would hate on me like “oh you’re only dropping one minute songs”. But I just kept it pushing and see where it brings me. I’ve gained a good following of people who actually care about what I post and can relate to it. Sometimes when I feel like I don’t want to create or there’s no reason behind it I remind myself quickly that I do have a reason and a purpose behind doing what I do.. I do it for myself to heal but also for those who can’t necessarily voice the issues and traumas they’ve been through.
Who’s an artist that you’d love to get a feature from? Why?
Whenever I tell people this they’re often like “huh?” They wouldn’t expect it but Kid Cudi. He has inspired me to be the most authentic version of myself. I feel like growing up listening to his music definitely made me know that there was someone else on earth struggling with who they were and where they fit in. You know being a loner, not really being understood. I used to dream of being on stage with him performing. I feel like the way he has inspired me I’d want to make something that would have as much of on impact on others.
How do you keep yourself inspired and creative?
I’m a very emotional person. So everything I go through I’ve mastered a way to turn it into art. If it’s a good thing or a bad thing, whatever it is that I’m going through gets put in a song,or I just sing and create a melody. I really stay creative by allowing my feelings to just flow. And when I don’t feel like creating I don’t force myself to. There’s no reason to and the music just doesn’t come out nice you know. Yes I’m staying in the rhythm but my mind’s not there and my soul isn’t in it. So I feel like it’s important for me to work on my own time but I’m really working on making a lot of content when I am feeling it so that when I feel like I can’t really create I’ll have backup content to put out.
What are some of your musical influences?
I have so many, too many to count actually. But some of the main ones are Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Erykah Badu. I really love Jhene Aiko, Kehlani and Tori Kelly. Who else… There’s a lot. I grew up to a lot of old school hip hop. People usually think I listened to R&B when I was younger but not a lot, Ciara I would though. I really love Nas and Tupac so they’re definitely inspiration as well.
Do you face any challenges as an anglophone artist in Montreal?
Definitely. From experience, the post on instagram that I have the most likes and shares on is a post where i’m singing a song in both french and english. I know that If I were to go towards the french side I would rise quicker but that’s not my goal, my goal is to stay myself. I’m giving the city a couple of years to give anglophone artists the recognition that we deserve. It’s only a matter of time because there’s a lot of us that are really really talented and for the work we put in we deserve to be recognized.
What’s next for you and your music career?
I’m working on an EP at the moment. It’s not going to be a long EP, I want it to be short and sweet. I’m going to be very vulnerable on it. I mostly sing about love cause I feel like I base everything that I do off of love. So I love singing about that. The music that I’m making recently I’d say it reflects more of who I am now than the music I used to make. I feel like I’ve grown into the music as well. This EP hopefully I’m going to drop it before the end of the year if everything falls into place.
That’s it! Oh I also I plan to be consistent with the releases and the content. After all these years of being so reluctant and scared I’m just going to allow myself to be free and be open to what life has to offer with this beautiful career that I chose.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned in 2020?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in 2020 is that in order to show up for others you must be able to show up for yourself first by the doing inner work and setting healthy boundaries. It’s the only way good things can come to me!
You can keep up with Montrealways on her Instagram so you won’t miss any new music releases from her. Also make sure to check out the amazing bops she’s already gave us. Her songs are available on all platforms, click here for more.