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Musical wunderkind Black Summer, otherwise known as Rhys Toms, is back with a luminescent new song Sadness, featuring Bahamian vocalist Chloe Campbell, which was released on March 23. The perfect followup to 2017’s Young Like Me, which has racked up over three million streams across multiple platforms, Sadness is an exciting offering from the accomplished producer who is still yet to turn 15 years old.

It’s been a wild ride for Rhys, since he was Unearthed by triple j at the tender age of 11 as one of the country’s most exciting young producers. Young Like Me, his most successful release to date, was debuted on national television across Channel 9’s Children’s Hospital Telethon, and attracted a lot of international attention after being added to high rotation on triple j, and in its wake Black Summer appeared at Groovin’ The Moo. Now still only 14 years old, he has a fantastic attitude towards the industry and is thrilled to be working towards some live performances for 2018, saying, “I still can’t believe that I’m doing what I’m doing now – it is literally a dream come true. I’m so grateful for the opportunity triple j gave me to get my music out there, they really gave me the confidence to do what I love! Over the years I have learnt so much about music theory and the industry… I love anything to do with computers, from programming video games to making my own music. I love to travel and see new parts of the world and performing live is one of my favourite things to do!”

Rhys took some time to go not only Six Quix with Australian Musician on video but also did a written Q&A for us


Rhys, what was the spark which lit your flame for music?
The spark that lit the flame for me was probably discovering all the different electronic music genres because it opened up my mind to exploring ways of making music.

What was your first band/artist t-shirt?
My first band shirt was a Pink Floyd shirt that my dad got me.

A record that changed your life?
Bangarang by Skrillex is a track that changed my life, it introduced me to electronic music and made me want to do what I am doing now with my music.

What other producers do you look to for inspiration?
Other producers that inspire me are; Flume, Skrillex, David Guetta and DJ Snake I also really love this artist called ‘Misogi’ because he has a really unique chilled style.

What’s your gear set up? Hardware and software
I use Ableton Live and have my own studio out back of my house to work in. I use a Novation Launch Key (midi controller), Roland Aria gear and I have Pioneer CDJs for practicing for my live gigs. I also have a stand alone vocal booth that I have using to experiment with my own vocals.

What’s your fave plug-in and why?
Serum is my fave plug in because you can make things from 80s synths to dub step growls with it. It has a very wide capability with it.

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
I have just brought out my second single called ‘Sadness’ feat Chloe Campbell, I have already started the process for my third single. I have also been making lots of remixes.

What would you consider to be your greatest musical achievement to date?
Probably putting out my very first single (Young Like Me) because it was my very first big project and was a huge learning experience.

What’s coming up for you in the next few months?
I have some gigs coming up including 25th April at The Wall, in The World Bar, in Sydney (Midnight to 1am set) and I will be performing at Canberra Groovin the Moo in The Plot. Can’t wait. I am also writing lots of new tracks for my ep as well as the next single.

A production tip for the kids?
Always experiment, don’t be afraid to make something weird because that’s usually where trends start, do what you want to do. Take people’s advice but also make sure to keep your own sound because that’s what make you unique.

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