Back in December, we introduced you to the wonderful and talented Tima Montemayor. At the time, she was busy at work on her latest album, In This Trance, when she gave us the opportunity to get to know her. We learned about her background, both personal and musical, and got a little bit of insight into her creative process and her love of music. After getting a taste of what Tima had to offer back around the holidays, readers wanted to know more about Tima and what makes her tick. Once again, Tima was gracious enough to take some time out from her busy schedule—now that In This Trance has been released she’s working on building up a tour schedule to support the album—to answer a few more questions for our readers!
TFW: How would you describe your musical style?
Tima: Wow, let me see…I feel my music is an eclectic mix of styles. There’s a little bit of rock, pop, jazz, country, world, and everything in between. Sometimes they are subtle and at times, they are all fused together. I have had die-hard Metal fans write to me and say they typically like real hard, edgy music, but there’s something about mine that they really like. And often there are people who tell me that my songs have a flare of R&B, or country, but done totally in the style of Tima.
When did you realize you had a passion for music?
Tima: I can remember seeing my dad perform when I was very young. I didn’t go too often, though because it was usually late at night. Although I’ve always enjoyed singing, I think my real connection with music was when my family immigrated to the U.S. I was 9 at the time, and aside from the language barrier, I also had no friends, but I had a radio *laughs.* Let me tell you, the songs that poured out of that radio really helped me through some rough times.
You’ve just released your 2nd full length CD. What inspired you? How long did it take you to create this album and what is next?
Tima: It’s kind of funny, but I actually started writing the second CD during the promotional tour of Until Now, my first release. There were a lot of hours spent on the road thinking, reflecting, and catching up with myself *laughs* and many of the songs came from that. This CD took a little longer than I wanted to, through no fault of anyone but myself. There are a lot of personal feelings in each song and I really wanted both the lyrics and music to translate what was in my mind and in my heart. To tell you the truth, I was, and still am so proud of Until Now, but I have to say, I am so in love with In This Trance. What next? Would you believe it if I told you I’ve already started thinking about the next CD?
What made you choose to pursue music professionally?
Tima: Many of my close friends have heard me say, “In my next life, I swear I am going to pursue music.” It sounds so funny and irrational to me now. I mean, after all, why would I deprive myself from the one thing that I’ve always loved, not to mention, what makes me think I would have another lifetime? Well, that’s a whole other story.
I woke up one day after months of watching someone I loved so dearly slowly dying. That morning was the beginning of my next life. I just simply decided that I wanted to write songs, record songs, perform, and live and breathe music. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.
What inspires you?
Tima: I love the process of making things happen, and the concept of endless possibilities always inspires and intrigues me. You know it’s kind of strange, but candles and mood lighting helps a lot, too!
What message do you want your music to send to others?
Tima: I don’t know if this answers your question, but this is what I feel. I can think of so many songs that moved me and that I will always connect to a particular time or event in my life. The feeling of that is so powerful and so endearing to me, still. I can remember the first time I read from a fan how she loved one of my songs. She felt as if I had written the song about her and for her. As you can imagine, my heart skipped a beat, as I have many times in my life felt this way about a song written by someone else. Now, for the first time, I had felt what it was like for someone to have a connection with one of my songs. I think that’s one of the profound effects of music, for both the listener and the writer.
What words of advice do you have for women who aspire to have a musical career?
Tima: I don’t know if I am qualified to give advice, but I’d say, “JUST DO IT! Follow your bliss!” I think it’s especially important to surround yourself with positive people and stay positive… always!
I grew up surrounded by music and art and I can’t imagine growing up any other way. What career do you think you’d be in when you were small?
Tima: I wanted to be a teacher when I was younger…and I wanted to sing.
Tell me about your favorite recording that you’ve made to date. What inspired it?
Tima: Oh gosh, I have so many fond memories of each recording and everything that went into it. It’s hard to pick just one. “Raining” was one of my favorites because it was the very first song I co-wrote and recorded.
The whole thing started out with me asking my producer, Rick McComas to work with me on some music. He asked if I had any songs that he could listen to. Well of course I didn’t…that’s why I needed his help! He told me if I was serious about it, to go and write a song first because he didn’t work with artists who didn’t write their own songs. Well, a few months later, I went into the studio with a rough version of “Raining” and the rest is history.
Rick has been an instrumental part of my music. We’ve co-written every song I’ve recorded ever since.
What was your first job? Did you love it or was it just a job?
Tima: *giggles* I worked at a restaurant. I was 13, and I loved it because I always had extra money to spend.
What makes you laugh?
Tima: Borat, Saturday Night Live, Ninja Warrior, and, most often, really strange thoughts in my head. I need to get out and socialize.
You’re busy planning a tour right now. What is your favorite thing about touring, and what is the most difficult thing about being on the road?
Tima: Aside from performing, I love the excitement of seeing new places. The world is a big place and I would love to explore more of it. As for the most difficult thing, I’d have to say, food. Living in L.A., we have so many ethnic foods here and very tasty, too! Some times on the road, you don’t get too much variety. Having said that, I always enjoy a good and very consistent meal at Cracker Barrel, which we do not have here in Los Angeles.
You said your other career choice when you were young was a teacher. What drew you to that profession?
Tima: Well, it was actually a childhood fantasy. I thought teachers were cool *LOL*.
In This Trance seems to have a much more intimate feel to it than Until Now. Was it a more personal album for you, as far as song-writing was concerned?
Tima: Oh Definitely! With In This Trance, I reflected and pulled things from many periods of my life, some even go way back in to my childhood. So yes, in that way, it’s much more intimate.
What was the biggest difference in your creative process between your first and second albums?
Tima: Actually, we worked in a similar fashion as in the first album. I guess the main difference is that we recorded “In This Trance” in many different places, including, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Maryland. I feel like I’m missing some places… It was an amazing journey.
What makes you a fabulous woman?
Tima: *giggles* Still working on being fabulous…
(This is a reprint from an interview with The Fabulous Magazine)