Tori Boltwood – Con Artist | Is it love or a game?
Con Artist is the last song from American musician Tori Boltwood. It is a grungy rock number about an artist who is also a con at the game of love. The song opens with a piano and violin which are ominous of the tragedy of the song. As the chorus comes in the sonic aura is completely transformed with the Rock kick. The indie alt-rock song has an almost burlesque quality between its 80’s style beats with the distorted electric guitar, and the artist’s vocals that remind me of the iconic Cher.
Tori Boltwood is an indie rock and soul artist based out of Fort Worth, Texas. She debuted only last year, and 2021 has been packed with releases for her. In this short time, she has already carved her niche identity with her booming, thunderous vocals, as well as a distinct, experiential kind of sound.
Tori describes herself as an old soul in a young body – and her music embodies this with honesty. She creates a true rock atmosphere with the use of echoey backing and secondary vocals. In the song Con Artist, she recalls her tryst with an artist who seemed very caring and understanding at the start. However, with time his true personality became clear: he was a thief and a deceitful liar.
In conversation with Tori Boltwood
Ques. There’s not a lot about you on the internet, so up close and intimate – who is Tori Boltwood? What are the experiences that have made you the artist you are?
Tori: “I honestly struggle with this question because I think it’s extremely difficult to step back and see who we are subjective. Who is Tori Boltwood? Tori Boltwood is a Florida-born 25-year-old indie Artist currently living in Texas.”
“I was lucky enough to be born as a twin with my best friend and brother Nick. We were both born with heart diseases. With the help and love of our parents, we both rose above the limitations. We have lived a life filled with not only beating the odds but flourishing despite them.
“I was about 13 and I knew my voice was different than what people expected of a young girl. I had grown up listening to Elvis music and had always had a love for the voices of the world that carried such soul and depth. Henceforth my own voice reflected that love. I had a voice that was soulful and darker toned than most and it was something I struggled not to dislike as I grew older and people began to be unkind about my differences. Some people just can’t handle things that go against the norm.
“In late 2019, I started to seriously write music for the first time. By February 20th, 2020 my team and I released my first ever single “Breakup Call”. Since then I have fallen in love with the connection and community there is around music and even more so with the amazing group of human beings that are the independent music artist of the world.
“I am part of writing music that in my opinion helps show that there is no wrong or right way to make it. That you don’t ever have to limit to what people think pop music sounds like. Even that you don’t have to be restricted by music genre. That you can take inspiration from all the music types you love and make your own sound.
“So yeah, who is Tori Boltwood? She’s a survivor; she’s different.; she’s complex; she’s proud to be perfectly imperfect. Tori is someone who chose to be true to her own sound no matter what the world or others say. She’s just a person with a deep love for music, who feels so very thankful to be a part of the amazing world of creatives and artists.”
What makes an artist
Ques. What are the experiences that have made you the artist you are?
Tori: “I truly think my brother and my own health struggles have made me more connected with the deeper meaning of life. When you’re not meant to be alive I think your view of existence naturally becomes more vivid. It has opened my eyes to the world and the people around me. It has given me a sense of thankfulness and compassion that makes my writing and performing connect naturally with others.”
Ques. What are some artists who’ve impacted your sound? Who are your biggest influences?
Tori: “I grew up on Elvis Presley music so he for sure is one of my top idols, vocally speaking. Because of this, I love Rock And Roll music and voices that are different and stand out. As Elvis said ” I don’t sound like no one” I want to revel in my differences and take influences from other artists that do the same. Adele was another artist that spoke to the inner soul of my voice. I make music that is very Heavy in storytelling because of my musical theater background. Hence my version of indie-pop is saturated with Theatrical vibes.
“I am also always being moved musically by the Artists of today that stand in their originality. Artists make the choice to be true to their individuality even if it separates themselves from “mainstream music”. Such as Swedish artist Isak Danielson, Billy Raffoul, Spencer Sutherland, Sasha Sloan, Forest Blakk, Alec Benjamin, and the band We Three. All of them have outstanding skills with lyric writing which is very important to me. Yet most importantly is their original sound that continues to influence and inspire me daily. They influence me to hopefully one day be able to help others believe in their own ability to be an original.”
Behind Con Artist by Tori Boltwood
Ques. Can you explain the meaning and intent behind the song Con Artist?
Tori: “Con Artist musically speaking is meant to be a song that sweeps you up into a dramatic world of art and twisted romance with its deep lyrics and soulful performance. It lovingly melts the sweet elements of classical music with the soulful grit of classic rock.
“Personally, my own intent behind Con Artist is much more intense and self-empowering. It’s about me crafting a world through the song where I have the ability to make my character do what I have dreamed of doing in many cases while being underestimated and manipulated. To use their own ego and underestimation of me to beat them at their own game. To see the delicious shift in their eyes as you transform from a victim of their charms to the one who did the con far better than they ever could. Those moments where you just wish to show them how they never had a chance to take your power away from you. To laugh in the faces of those that could never see your strength. To show that while they may be a piece of work, that you have always been a work of art – a masterpiece.
“A masterpiece they never even stood a chance to steal. That the twisted gallery they once used to fake a sense of self-worth would lay empty at the hands of someone they should have never thought less of, underestimated.”
The tides of artists’ tides
Ques. How has life changed since your debut last year? You’ve been releasing song after song this year, how has this time been for you as an artist?
Tori: “A lot has happened since my debut last year. Just like many people during 2020 my life changed pretty drastically and then seemed to be put on a form of pause after the big shift the global pandemic caused. I had my idea of my future be destroyed by the unknown and the fear COVID 19 created. Music in many ways saved me during that time and continues to do so today. My mental health suffered drastically during the first few months of Covid. I felt lost and like all my dreams and goals had been destroyed and replaced with only one thought and concern. To stay Safe.”
“However, writing and creating pieces of music became my lifeboat in the waves of depression and anxiety the pandemic personally caused me. This time has not been easy for anyone. But music helped me find myself again. It helped me have hope. It gave me new friends in the form of fellow indie creators that I hold so dear to my heart today. Sharing and releasing my music socially has made me feel connected to others even when the world felt shut down. My time as an artist has had its challenges but it has given me purpose and direction I am so thankful for.”
What comes next?
Ques. Since your career is young right now I may ask, how do you see yourself growing in the years to come? How do you think your sound and style will evolve?Tori: “I believe in organic growth and quality over quantity. Many people in my industry chase viral fame as if it’s the only way to be successful. While I would never bash that concept or suggest anyone avoids that goal I do think there is value in knowing the importance of making real connections that last. For my creative and mental health, I choose to concentrate on just continuing to better myself and reaching out to make deeper connections to a more focused audience. As long as I see growth continue to happen I call it a success.”
“My big picture goal is simply to work hard to obtain the ability to make music my career. To be able to never stop making music. Short term I hope to start doing live performances to make more in-person connections with listeners. I also want to start moving on to bigger projects like albums and collaborations with other artists. Dreaming big is my favourite, but also appreciate the journey to my desired destination. I don’t want to be so hungry for viral fame that I miss the whole point of making music. Which is to help and speak to others in a real and meaningful way.”