Tammy London...she is the sweeter, longer haired, bright tights wearing and stunningly beautiful (Sorry Simon, but you married her so you should know that already!) half of the South Coast Western Australian based - Simon and Tammy London.
In trying to think of an intro to this interview one word kept popping up and that word was LOVE!
Simon and Tammy London sing from a place of Love and when you watch them perform you are swept up in the energy of Love in all it's incarnations.
I spoke with the 'Tammy' half of Simon and Tammy London about creativity, life, the challenges of being a creative mumma bear doing her thing and Fat Paul :)
Tammy also embodies Love in all that she does, she is super talented, crazy generous and an all round kind - kinda girl!
Tammy London is just beautiful...to the core!
This Playful People Profile has an extra little something for you...a vid of Simon and Tammy London strutting their stuff in their little ol' local hall with their hauntingly beautiful song 'Mama'.
Now go make yourself a cuppa and settle in for a read and a listen...prepare to feel loved up people!
Can you tell me a bit about where you are right now, where do you call home?
Where I’m at exactly now hahahah! Well, I’m currently living at my folks place, Simon and I are waiting for our house to be built so this is temporary hahahha. It’s kind of weird though coming back to your family home when your married with kids of your own, It’s different but it's also is kind of like I never left - your trying to balance being an adult women and a mother yourself - with a mum who still treats you like your 8 years old, it’s funny feeling like your being watched and listened to, it’s good too, but yeh a bit strange.
Our house, our new house is actually, well it’s a shed that is getting converted into a home, we are embracing the small house movement, like really really small house hahahah! The property is surrounded by Karri Trees, 1200 olive trees and there's a dam.
And although our living space will be small we are compensating for a small house with a huge outside area. I’m focusing on trying to make it extremely warm and comfortable for our family. With the move to my folks place and getting ready for our small house living, Ive been de-cluttering, I’ve gone from being the kind of girl who usually has one and a half wardrobes for my clothes to having just one shelf!
But I have to say that living minimally feels so free…it feels really nice and clean.
What about your creative space? Do you have a place or space where you get your creativity on?
I have bought a new keyboard called Fat Paul, I called it Paul and Sime called it Fat Paul because it’s as big as a piano, so Fat Paul it is.
My creative space is in front of that keyboard.
It can be pretty much anywhere… I’ve got recordings of me driving home at night or just sitting in my car… if I’m inspired by something or have an idea for a song, I’ll record myself singing it, wherever I am. It’s not necessarily a physical space for me. If I sit in front of a piano or Fat Paul it’s likely that probably...something will come out of that.
What does your creative process look like?
I think it’s like - when my spirit needs to say something, for me, it’s through a song, It’s like emotions come up or lyrics come up and a song kind of presents itself. So I’ll grab my phone and a bit of paper then sit at piano and start playing with words and lyrics.
When Sime and I are creating together there’s no solid process as such we just, well Sime and I have written songs in many different places, all over the world.
How do you like to play?
I love being able to hang out with really good friends who make me laugh. Being an idiot with a friend…I love doing that! I really enjoy my horse too. I have a horse who’s just had a foul, being able to be in the paddock with my horses and getting to know them, it’s playful and this might sound odd but I think its a spiritual thing too. Its really important for me.
I feel like the whole fun aspect of myself though - I need to get better at. You can sometimes get caught up in all the ‘work’ of having a family, working getting to gigs and forget to just enjoy it all. But yeh I think having a good laugh with a person you care about is the best.
How did you get to be here now? What’s your back story?
Well, my roots - where I come from is a childhood of being taken around to churches singing, so country music and singing in the church was a big part of where I came from.
I remember this one church we went to, it was a stoic Anglican church and the songs we sang were just soooo terrible, what was crazy was that there was this church over the other side of the road. I could here them singing solo gospel songs and would think to myself ‘I want to sing what they are singing’ I wanted to sing like that but in the church I went to, the Anglican church, I was told not to sing because my voice too loud! hahahahahaha!
When I was a teenager I started to find my own music Aretha Franklin, Billy Halliday and Stevie Wonder, finding theses artists felt like ‘yeh this is so me’. From my late teens onwards I experimented a lot more. I had learned trombone, piano and other instruments but probably couldn’t play them any more hahaha! When I met Sime I’d gone through a funny stage where I’d cut myself off from creativity and was a more of a cerebral kind of girl. I didn't know how to play guitar! Early in our relationship, a lot of what we created was based around me saying I’ve got this idea for a song and him creating it then it was a couple of months before I came into the place to be able to sing and before I could really just trust it in me. It’s only now I have found the freedom to create in my own right. It’s a liberating feeling to have that freedom.
Who are you loving right now? Who inspires you?
To be honest I really, really admire women who go out musically by themselves and adjust themselves. I think women who just are who they are like Kathleen Edwards, I really like her and she has decided to quit music and got up and created a cafe called Quitters…
you can read her story here: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2014/11/29/kathleen_edwards_calls_it_quits_opens_quitters_coffee.htmlshes
I think she is an amazing women because she just said ‘Hey, this is me, this is where I am at’ and she was completely herself. The people who put it out there that ‘This is who I am if you like it great, but if not oh well, I’m happy for you to take it or leave it’. Those are the people I’m inspired by. What’s the point in trying to go out and be like some one else?
The essence you've got isn’t already out there, so I think when you see people do their thing, completely as who they are that a chain reaction happens. You see people doing it and you think ‘Oh I don’t have to do what she’s doing. I can do what I do and be ok…she’s getting away with just being herself, why can't I do that too?’
What are the challenges for you?
With my music… ahhh it's more the lifestyle you build around doing your music. Like having kids, and trying to balance it all, sometimes you think it could be easier but the cool thing that has come out of performances now that we do have a kids is that when we gig, we make it count. We don’t waste our time doing gigs we think will get us somewhere...maybe. We just, do what we think is important and yeh - make it count.
Sometimes living regionally might be a challenge the isolation might be an issue, but somehow we have always made it work for us, we’ve always used it as best we can and to be honest the reality for us is having kids, and living regionally can sometimes be logistically tricky - but we wouldn’t change it.
Can you tell me about one of your favourite gigs?
One of the coolest experiences was supporting for The Stray Sisters. (Vicki and Donna from the Waifs) I’ve always listened to The Waifs and always loved their music. They’re from the here (South Coast of Western Australia) and playing in front of your home town…sharing the stage with them...It was a real sense of achievement for us. I kinda felt like if that was it for me at that moment, I would have been happy!
It was an honour to play with them.
Words of Wisdom for other aspiring muso gals?
When you first start out, particularly with music so many people are self conscious and second guess themselves. I think musically getting ‘good’ is a process, you might start with dodgy songs, singing a bit off key but the more you do it the more strength you give it. The more life you breath into it the more it grows…I would say you are always changing so accept that that is part of the process and where that takes you. I’d say to just watch and see what journey your creativity takes you on rather than trying to be like someone else or do things that don’t feel like you… otherwise you could feel like you are suffocating.
I wish someone had said to me ‘Gee you sound good, you should keep doing this’. So that’s what I would say, I’d tell someone I believed in them!
It’s nice to have someone believe in you…someone cheering you on.
And we will be cheering you on Tammy, you and your spunky husband!
Simon and Tammy London's debut Album is available for you to get your mits on via the links below.
Don't forget to have a little sneaky peak at their youtube vids too and check them out on their Facebook page - link below.
Have fun - Get Happy