Interview: Tommy Richman on How His Sound Has Evolved Since Moving to LA | Miami New Times


Tommy Richman Hasn't Forgotten His DMV Roots

Moving to Los Angeles has only made Tommy Richman appreciate where he's come from.
Tommy Richman will open for Brent Faiyaz at the James L. Knight Center on August 12 and 13.
Tommy Richman will open for Brent Faiyaz at the James L. Knight Center on August 12 and 13. Photo by Bobby Banks
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Though his days of making tracks in his mother's basement are long behind him, Tommy Richman refuses to forget his roots.

Growing up just outside Washington, D.C., Richman's early years were marked by a deep connection to the Washington metropolitan area (colloquially known as the DMV) music scene. His beginnings were spent honing his craft and learning from those around him.

"There's a lot of passion through the scene back home, and I feel like it's because a lot of people don't get a fair shake," Richman tells New Times. "It's really hard to have your voice heard there. That's probably why a lot of people from Virginia left, like Pharrell and Timbaland. It's kind of key for an artist to leave their nest. That way, you can appreciate where you come from."

When he moved to Los Angeles last year, he approached the change of scenery with a refreshing perspective.

"I feel like a lot of artists, once they move to LA, they try to forget where they're from," Richman explains. "They try to do the whole LA thing, and I see that being played out a lot. I feel you need to really stay true to yourself and make sure you're still in tune with those who came up with you and were always there for you when you had nothing. A lot of people want to forget that."
Since the move, Richman's music has amassed millions of streams thanks to his signature production style and refusal to be confined by genre labels. He cites an eclectic range of artists, from Mötley Crüe and Kss to Lil Wayne and 50 Cent, as his sources of inspiration. His approach is also heavily guided by emotional intuition, allowing him to shift between alternative vibes and R&B tones seamlessly. Tracks like "Electrify Tonight," with its warm and lush melody, the infectious energy of "Games," and the enthralling glitchiness of "Chrono Trigger" are all evidence of his raw authenticity.

Richman's ability to effortlessly traverse various musical styles stood out, and it wasn't long before multi-platinum artist Brent Faiyaz took notice. On the road currently opening for Faiyaz on his F*ck the World, It's a Wasteland Tour, Richman is excited to work with the R&B prodigy and connect with audiences across the country.

"We're just having fun singing our songs in front of people," he says, emphasizing his genuine and lighthearted approach to live performances. "Nobody really has a clue what to expect or what they're seeing. If the people vibe with it, that's great. And if they don't, it's okay. We're still having fun."
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"I'm very grateful to be recognized by a great team of people and to know that all the work I put in is paying off," Richman says.
Photo by Bobby Banks
With his upcoming EP, The Rush, Richman is poised to make an even greater impact on listeners. He describes the project as a collection of his favorite tracks designed to satisfy longtime fans while showcasing his artistic evolution. His second larger project, Coyote, aims to envision a deeply personal and cohesive body of work that tells his story and growth as an artist.

Despite the evolving music landscape, Richman remains grounded and focused. His unwavering commitment to the artistic process sets him apart in a music industry often driven by trends and conformity.

"I'm very grateful to be recognized by a great team of people and to know that all the work I put in is paying off," Richman says. "When I would work in my mother's basement for hours on tracks, and she'd be telling me to get a real job like most moms, I'd be like, 'No, no, no, it's gonna work out.' And now, to be recognized by other hardworking people, I'm just very grateful, and it definitely inspires me to keep going."

Brent Faiyaz. With Tommy Richman. 8 p.m. Saturday, August 12, and Sunday, August 13, at the James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami; 305-416-5978; Tickets cost $53.50 to $85.50 via
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