With over a million streams on Spotify, support from BBC introducing and a successful UK tour, indie artist Tina Boonstra releases her brand new single "Out of My Depths" today. This new single is from her new EP.
As a songwriter in a missionary family, Tina expected her songs to find their home in the church halls she grew up in. But it wasn't until she began performing on the London open mic circuit that she cut her teeth as a performer and honed her craft into a treasure trove of songs with a depthand emotional intensity reminiscent of PJ Harvey, Wolf Alice and John Mark McMillan.
Featured on Spotify's New Music Friday and Mellow Pop playlists, BBC Introducing London, Hoxton Radio and Sounds Magazine, her last EP is described as 'a collection of moving, honest, brave songs that will school its listeners in empathy and introspection.' (Get In Her Ears)
Q: Tina, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself: you grew up with missionary parents. Where did you your parents serve? What was it like growing up in a missionary family?
I grew up in a big family, my mum and dad worked in churches in the Netherlands, South Africa and the U.K, as a result we moved around a lot. We experienced so many amazing places and met so many people. But it also meant that my siblings and I had to go to a lot different schools. I never really felt like fitted in anywhere growing up, and it bothered me that I didn't really know where home was. That's something I struggled with for a while. But I suppose the good stuff and the hard stuff shaped me into who I am now, so I'm grateful for that.
Q: Tell us a little about your journey into music.
I always thought I would write songs for church, but in the end it was only when I started performing at open mic nights that people really started connecting with the songs I was writing.
It didn't feel like my natural habitat. I'd spent so long singing in church bands growing up, that it felt strange to be singing in bars and clubs. But the more I did it, the more I loved it.
Q: How would you describe your style of music?
I think I'd describe my music as having a bit of an indie/alternative vibe. I'm really influenced by artists like John Mark McMillan and Regina Spektor.
Q: You have recently worked with 7Core Music, how did that happen?
I met Trevor Michael, the owner of 7Core, at a songwriters meet-up a few years ago. We got on really well. Afterwards I sent him some songs I'd been working on, and he immediately understood the direction I wanted to take them in. He was the first person to really get it. When he offered to produce the EP I was thrilled. Recording My Concrete Heart, was an amazing experience, and we've been working together ever since.
Q: You have just released a new single "Out of My Depth". What's the song about? And tell us a little about how the song came about.
"Out of My Depth" is about a period in my life when just getting out of the house felt like a challenge. I was in a set of circumstances that I didn't know how to deal with, and worst of all, it felt like I was dealing with them completely on my own.
It's kind of a dark song. A lot of songs I've written about being in difficult situations, come to a place of light, or hope or some kind of resolution at the end. But this one didn't. And when I tried to add one in, the song just wouldn't let me. I guess sometimes it takes longer than three minutes to come out of a dark place. Sometimes it's okay to be confused or angry at God and the universe. Sometimes that's just the most honest thing.
Q: Tell us about the new EP you are working on right now. What can we expect from this new record?
"Out of my depth" is the first single from my new EP. I see it as the opening chapter of a story about coming out of a dark place with help of God and a few good friends. I wrote it for me and the community I'm in right now. It's our story.
Q: Who have you worked with in terms of songwriters and producers for this new record?
I loved making this record. I spent a lot more time than I have previously on producing my own demos before sharing it with others. I learnt so in that process. Then when it come making it, I had the wonderful privilege of working with the same group of people I've been working with for the past two projects; Trevor Michael, Barnabas Shaw and Alex Iddin. We had the most fun making this EP, I can't wait to share it.
Q: How do you wish your music would impact the lives of your listeners and their faith journeys?
I hope that my music connects with people. I hope that my songs help to articulate things that others have been feeling, but have struggled to frame with words. For me that's the biggest privilege of being an artist.