May and October 2018, Berlin.
Rootless and extravagant dreamers, opinionated and unprejudiced, sharply-witted, independent and faintly narcissistic. These are the Berlin kids in all their beautiful contradictions.
Australian, music producer in Berlin, tall and fit, dressed mostly in black, handsome in a very objective way. Tom is the kind of guy that can really make your -average late 20s-early 30s man’s -confidence shaky and that, on paper, would have enough reasons to act as an arrogant prick. However, you can’t be more wrong. And it really doesn’t take long to find that out. You just notice it in the warm way he introduces himself and shakes your hand, in his genuine smile, or in the self-irony that characterises his jokes and stories. And the more you get to know him and the more his humbleness and humour force you to deal with the fact that Tom is way more than a pretty face.
Listen to Tom’s music on SoundCloud
TOM BY TOM
Name: Tom Watt
In Berlin since: Mid 2014
Where did you live before moving to Berlin: Alice Springs, Australia
Dream profession: Music Producer
How would you describe yourself: An outgoing person once I’m forced to go out
Biggest inspirations: My older brother (but don’t tell him)
Favourite activities in Berlin: The novelty of getting Späti beers and walking around will never wear off for me. Definitely not allowed back home.
The place to be in Berlin: Does Not Alexandeplatz count?
Your best Berlin story: The other day I was about to go for a run so had on my bright yellow running shoes. A guy was walking towards me also in bright yellow shoes. We both noticed that we were looking at each other’s shoes so we pointed and made that super fake surprised face then laughed and kept walking past like like nothing happened. I don’t know…it was nice.
Picture yourself in 10 years: I honestly have no fucking clue.
“I had spent my teenage years listening to mostly punk rock or heavy metal, and I had a general hatred towards all electronic music/night clubs.
Then I moved to Berlin… It felt like every shop or bar I went into was playing some sort of techno or house, I couldn’t escape it. So it was either keep being closed minded and hating on the sound around me or open myself up to it. After a few trips to clubs like Ritter Butzke and Panorama Bar, I was hooked. It wasn’t just the music that was growing on me, but the whole scene that I found in Berlin. Clubs like Sisyphos and Berghain just don’t exist where I come from! The next logical step of course was to start producing my own music. It’s a long process, and it certainly has it’s ups and downs, but there’s something inspiring about working on it in Berlin, when you can go out on any given weekend and hear people who are at the top of the game play their music.”
“The thing that I love most about producing is that moment when you know you’ve just found it. Something that’s going to unravel the rest of the song. Maybe it’s a certain chord change or just a new sound that you’ve thrown in, but suddenly it takes you in an entirely new direction.
I’ve found this tends to be the cycle that I’m always in. I spend days or weeks feeling like nothing I’m making comes out right, and I start to get really hard on my self and full of doubts. Then I’ll have one of those moments and everything just falls into place. I ride that wave of confidence and positivity until the song is finished and mixed down…then I try to write another and go through it all again.”
“There was a time where I really hated this city. Everyone around me seemed to be in love with it and talk it up all the time and seem to be getting the most out of the place but I just couldn’t feel it. I felt like an outsider. It didn’t help that I couldn’t speak the language and was constantly broke. Eventually I started blaming Berlin for all of my problems and started becoming really negative and shut off to everything and everyone here. It’s funny that it wasn’t until I finally reached the point of being honest about the fact that I didn’t like it here and I wanted to go home that things finally started to turn around.
I still wouldn’t say that I’m in love with Berlin, not like when I first got here, but I certainly enjoy living here a lot more now. I just had to learn how to make the place work for me.”
Nikon N55, Petzval 58 Bokeh Control, Fujicolor 200 (35)
Miranda Sensomat RE, Fujicolor 200 / Kodak Portra (35)