nice to meet you

Tommy Newport Hates Clean Shoes But Loves The Killers

Tommy Newport. Photos by Matty Nykamp.

This is “Nice to Meet You,” for all your need-to-know information on the need-to-get-to-know new voices in pop culture. Think of it as a blind date, if the date were cooler than anyone you’ll probably ever go out with. Allow us to break the ice; we promise you’ll fall in love.

Tommy Newport, a musician born in Manchester and now living in Kansas, grew up moving frequently. First, he left the U.K at a young age for the U.S., then he went to Texas, and eventually landed in the Midwest. It was in Kansas where he honed his musical proclivities, learning to play guitar and create songs using a computer he saved up to buy for himself. Now, at 21, he has released Ultra Mango, the juicy and groovy follow-up to his cult-following worthy debut album Just to Be Ironic. He describes the EP as an exploration of youth and the growing pains of being a 20-something—and the music sounds and makes the body move just like that. It only makes sense that Newport’s music has appeared in a handful of edgy shows like The Sinner, Search Party, and Expecting Amy. Below, Newport spoke with Interview about the inspiration for his new EP, why he loves beat-up shoes over clean ones, and why it is important to moisturize.


On youth and mangos:  The themes for the EP are youth, love and war, and your inner conscience. So titling the EP Ultra Mango, I had this concept of fruit ripening and rotting quickly. I associated a fruit with your mind, really, so easily ripened and so easily rotten.

On being 21: I feel like everything as a kid is just amplified, until you’re in your 20s, and you’re kind of really figuring things out. The things that you don’t like are amplified, and the things that you do like are amplified, you’re very passionate about things, and there’s a lot of naiveté there.

On getting your feet dirty:  I have these Adidas. God, I forgot what they were. They made already beat-up shoes, I guess. The white on them were like faded yellow, and the soles are yellow, they’re a little beat-up, they looked so cool. I hate fresh shoes. I want to just throw them down the stairs and put mud on them because there’s just no life to them.

On skincare: My girlfriend really got me into the routine, just for my face really. Lately, I’ve gotten into doing oils. This really good brand, The Cure, they sent me a bunch of stuff the other day, and I just love them. It’s so refreshing. Keep the face washed and moisturized.

On his 2000s mood board: I was listening to Phoenix and MGMT. Foster the People. The Strokes, The Arctic Monkeys, and The Killers are huge inspirations of mine.

On film: I’ve loved films growing up, because I felt like as well, listening to music as a kid, I was always trying to envision a movie scene in my head. Whenever I was listening to music, I could just picture what the video for this would be. I like watching short films on YouTube. I like Wes AndersonGrand Budapest Hotel or Fantastic Mr. Fox. Or Isle of Dogs, honestly. I love his stop motion ones.

On his blonde ambition: I think I dyed my hair for the first time when I was 17—just because I was bored, and I saw people doing it. It’s a lot to keep up with. Sometimes the roots come out, and I just don’t care, and it looks bad.  I think I’ll probably go back to my natural hair pretty soon.