Introducing Interview: Tina Boonstra

Having previously charmed our ears with her heartwarming 2020 EP, City Of Doubt, and received acclaim from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson and BBC Introducing, alt-pop artist Tina Boonstra has now returned with a beautiful new single. A stirring reflection on female friendships and how life rarely meets your expectations, ‘Martha’ flows with lilting melodies and a shimmering, heartfelt lyricism, showcasing the raw, immersive emotion of Boonstra’s vocals.

We caught up with Tina Boonstra to find out more about what inspires her and her experience of the industry… Have a read, and listen to ‘Martha‘ now!

Hi Tina, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m an artist based just outside of London. I’m really interested in songs that tell stories, and I’ve been trying to write them since I was a kid.

How did you initially start creating music?
I think I was eleven or twelve when I wrote my first song. My sister played guitar at the time so I tried to get her to work out the chords to play along, but she couldn’t figure them out. That’s when I started playing guitar. After that I just kept on writing new songs, and that fuelled me to practice playing. I was never really very interested in playing covers – it was the writing that really excited me and still does now

Your new single ‘Martha’ is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about?
It’s a story about getting to know someone. And how first impressions aren’t always that accurate., When you meet someone for the first time, you almost never start at the beginning. You start somewhere in the middle and travel simultaneously forwards and backwards together as you begin to build a picture of who they are, where they’ve been and where they’re going. The way this song developed, it took me by surprise; it takes a pretty dark turn when Martha starts telling her story. But I suppose that’s true for a lot of us – there’s the self we show when we meet someone, but then over time we share more of the things that have shaped us, the good stuff and the hard stuff. 

You’ve been compared to the likes of Regina Spektor and Sam Fender, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
I love songs that tell a story. So artists like Sheryl Crow and Fleetwood Mac have really had a big influence on me over the past few years. 

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
It’s been difficult over the past few years, but it’s exciting to see things start to happen again. There’s this incredible record store not far from where I live called LP Cafe. It’s a tiny place, but they host some great events, they do a lot to support the local scene and they make a mean flat white too.

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
I love playing these songs live – there’s nothing like the energy of a room full of people singing songs you wrote in your bedroom. Expect all the emotion, joy, pain, heartache that you hear on the record times a hundred. Expect to dance, sing, cry and maybe even make some new friends. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
I’m really looking forward to hearing Nadine Yomi‘s new EP – she’s just released a new single, ‘Bloom’. I love her songwriting and her voice. Definitely go and check her out.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
The times when I’ve focused on making music instead of ‘making it’ in music have always been a lot more fun for me. As an artist I have an amazing opportunity to introduce fans of my music to other great artists. I love curating nights, sharing great music with people I love and giving other artists the opportunity to share their story. I think if we could do more of that as artists, the better the world would be. 

Finally, what does the rest of 2022 have in store for Tina Boonstra?
I’m working on an album at the moment. It’s my first one, and I’m very excited about it. There are a lot of stories to tell. Mostly stories of older women, which kind of surprised me in the writing process, but I hope it will connect people. Also, me and my band are playing at Between the Trees Festival later this month!

Massive thanks to Tina for answering our questions!

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