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INTERVIEW: Todd Lewis Kramer

Hi Todd, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Howdy, folks! I’ve been good.  Gearing up for the release of this album that I’ve been working on for almost two years – so I’m excited to get it out there.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I Want Your Love”?

Sure.  “I Want Your Love” is basically a straightforward, upbeat song I wrote about the general idea of just being crazy about someone.  The beauty of that song for me was that I wrote it in such a short amount of time — maybe 20-30 minutes and I had all the bones of the song ready to go.  That is a great feeling (though rare, unfortunately).

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Actually, part of the reason/impetus for writing this song was that I made a conscious decision to veer away from writing the sad, breakup-style songs and focus on a more upbeat vibe.  I remember being in a great mood that day, just sitting down in my apartment, and it came pouring out. I do think I may have been head over heels for someone at the time, though.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Actually, yes! The video is available now on my YouTube channel.  We had a great time making this video – it was filmed over the course of a few hours in the studio and supplemented with some footage from my apartment.   Like most things in the city, we had to make use of the space we had, and I think it came out great!  

The single comes off your new album Fairground – what’s the story behind the title?

So, Fairground is actually named after the street I grew up on.  It took me a while to come up with an album title that I was really satisfied with, and I’m still not sure exactly what made the idea come to my mind, but it had to be a moment of self-reflection, and when I thought of Fairgroundit was just perfect.  Really sums up the vibe of the record, in my opinion, and also serves as a “shout-out” to where I come from.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process definitely varies. Some of these songs I wrote in no time, and some of them took a bit longer.  But the songs actually span like five years of writing, so it’s a good mix of older and newer and hopefully shows my growth as a writer. 

I definitely learned a lot through the recording process.  A lot of management of time, money and scheduling, for starters.  But just hearing these songs come to life in the studio is really somethin’ and I’m legitimately very proud of the final product. I’m fortunate to have a lot of super talented friends who lent their skills to the making of the record, and my regular band of guys is great.  Without them, and specifically my producers Jeremy Siegel and Sam Merrick, the songs would not have come together as strongly as they did.

Does NYC play a role in your music?

Definitely.  Few places are as inspiring as NYC – it’s romantic, it’s overwhelming, it’s overflowing with artistic talent, so many reasons.  And I’ve been very lucky to be part of a really great music community that’s constantly keeping me inspired and motivated. 

How would this album showcase a more matured side of you as an artist?

Good question.  I think for me, probably the artist and the person go hand in hand. My writing is always just a reflection of my thoughts and I suppose I’ve naturally matured as a guy who’s just kind of navigating his 20’s.  So I do think that’s reflected in these songs. For me, since like I said these songs span about a five-year period, I think there’s some noticeable growth in there.  I’d be curious to hear what other people think.

Did any particular elements of love and sorrow get to inspire the songs and lyrics?

A lot of my writing comes from a nostalgic, almost reflective place, and so I think love and sorrow are naturally going to be a part of the inspiration for songs like that.  I try not to only have the downbeat, brooding songs about love, but it’s pretty unavoidable, haha.  So yes, I think there’s an element of love in all my songs, and an element of sorrow in most.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yup! Right now we have three shows planned to celebrate the release of Fairground: NYC on May 14th, Boston on May 15th and New Haven, CT on June 2nd.  Lining up others shows right now as well, so stay tuned for those!

What else is happening next in Todd Lewis Kramer’s world?

Right now it’s basically all about gearing up for and supporting the release, so we’ll be playing and booking a lot of shows.  But I’ve been writing as well, so I’m already looking forward to getting started on recording next batch of songs for folks to hear!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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