Australian singer/guitarist Tommy Rando has written songs for Australian artists, including Vanessa Amorosi, Anthony Callea, Taxi Ride and Lee Harding including the 6-week #1 ARIA chart hit ‘Wasabi’. Tommy continues to write music for artists and his songs can be heard regularly on film and television from Neighbours to adverts for Anaconda and Spotlight.

Tommy has just become the Department head at Collarts (the Australian College of Arts) and will deliver the first of its kind Bachelor of Arts in Music Production.

Tomatrax caught up with Tommy to talk about his various projects.

What inspired you to become a musician?

Music has always been a part of my life. I started singing and playing the guitar from the age of seven. My brother learnt the guitar and I looked up at him, so I wanted to follow suit. Music was always in our home. Dad was passionate about several genres of music including gospel, jazz and classical.

When did you write your first song?​

My brother and I wrote a song called “Hey little girl”, I was 11. It was a terrible song!

You’ve written songs for various artists, what’s it like to hear other
musicians perform your work?

I love it! I feel inspired when I hear a song I’ve created come to life. It’s great to hear how artists interpret my work.

You’ve also written music for TV shows such as Neighbours, has this
changed the way you view TV shows?

Yeah, I always pay attention to film and TV soundtracks and in particular the music. I love how music can shape the story and add to the emotion playing out on screen; it can really reinforce a narrative. I work with the great music producer Chris Pettifer, responsible for most of the music composition on Neighbours.

You make music out of your own studio, what’s it like to have your
own space?

It’s great, it’s like having my own my creative cave where I feel inspired to create.
I have many tools: instruments, microphones, software and amplification. I’m like a painter with a blank canvas, I just feel like creating when I’m in the studio.

You’ve recently become the Department head at Collarts (the
Australian College of Arts), how does teaching music compare with
making music?

Making music is a process. Teaching involves breaking down that process and communicating it to my students. When I’m teaching, I am also learning from my students. I do find that both teaching and making music is a creative process.

You’re also working on a Phd in digital music production, how has that been going?

Great, I have learnt so much from doing it. I never thought that this something I might be able to achieve; however, I have a very supportive supervisor Roger Alsop who has helped me with my academic journey and has helped me define my thesis.

Is there any new material you have been working on?

I’ve actually just written and produced some new songs for an EP which is currently being mastered in LA and will be ready for release in the next month.

Do you ever listen to your own music?

I often listen to some of the music I’ve written a while ago and some of the more recent works. It’s good to check in now and again and gain a perspective of where I’m at.

What other music do you listen to?

I listen to everything from Pop, R&B, Soul, Reggae, EDM, film scores and much more.
I also love to listen to new emerging artists and production; it helps to keep my ears fresh.

Check out the Australian College of the Arts website to find out more about the new courses. You can also check out Tommy Rando’s facebook page.