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Say what you will about Tom, whether you love him or hate him he makes you think. Some he may trigger, some he may inspire and some just downright don’t like him. As for us, we are loving the new track and even had a chat with Tom so he can tell us some interesting facts about himself . Scroll down to see video or head on over to our Youtube page.Behind the endless list of internet-breaking music videos, chart-topping songs (29 Billboard #1’s), hundred of thousands of albums sales, sold out shows and millions of die-hard fans – is independent artist, Tom MacDonald.Without a record label, management or industry support of any kind – Tom has captivated the world’s attention with his viral Hip-Hop and Pop songs, alike.Tom runs a D.I.Y industry alongside his collaborator and girlfriend, Canadian artist Nova Rockafeller. Tom writes and produces all of his music while Nova directs, shoots and edits all of his music video. Together, the power couple is responsible for merchandising, marketing, distribution – and literally every other aspect that his mega-successful career entails.Tom MacDonald is undoubtedly one of the largest – and most successful – truly independent artists in the world today.
As much as words trigger emotion, they really trigger thought. Beyond all of the internet-breaking videos, chart-busting songs, sold out shows, and terabytes of keyboard warrior outrage aimed his way, Tom MacDonald speaks his mind in an effort to make you think (about more than what to post online). He takes controversial positions without fear. He raps with clever clarity and sings with a wicked sense of melody. He runs a D.I.Y. industry alongside his collaborator, video director, and girlfriend Nova Rockafeller responsible for merchandising, marketing, distribution, and everything else his mega-successful brand entails. Most importantly, he doesn’t censor himself, compromise, or change for anybody, and that’s why he’s quietly become one of the biggest independent artists in the world.
That continues on his forthcoming 2021 album and much more heat in the chamber.
“If people walk away from the music thinking, that’s the point of it,” he affirms. “Great art creates discussion. I present a lot of the music on a surface level—whether it’s fleeting or deeply rooted. If you hear what I’m saying and it inspires you to engage in a deeper conversation with a few other people, that’s super important to me.”
To go back to the beginning, Tom grew up in Vancouver. His exposure to hip-hop came with Tupac’s All Eyez On Me, which he listened to front-to-back for two years straight. A classmate had stolen an Eminem CD from his older brother and shared his headphones with Tom on the bus one day. Everything changed. “The light bulb went off,” he recalls. “I was like, ‘Holy shit, I could actually do this!’”
As much as Tom devoured music, he actually launched his career in professional wrestling. He wrestled all over Canada and the United States in between dropping early releases. During 2014, he settled in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles. However, partying caught up to him. After “a huge mental breakdown,” his friends put him on a plane to Canada where he spent nine months at his mom’s house, attending therapy and working on himself. Returning to Crenshaw, he quit alcohol, weed, and caffeine. He endeavored “to make music that felt true and important,” but he and Nova stared down poverty. Often losing power, they resorted to running three extension cords through a neighbor’s window in order to keep the fridge on, so their food didn’t get ruined.
In a fit of inspiration one day, he penned “Drear Rappers.” He pooled $1,200 from friends and family, bought a Facebook ad, and clocked his first million views in three days. The floodgates had opened.
Over half-a-billion YouTube views and hundreds of millions of streams followed, but he also translated this success into “real life” by selling out multiple tours, moving merch in mammoth qualities, and occupying #1 on the iTunes Overall Top Songs Chart multiple times. Along the way, he logged six number ones on different Billboard charts in 2021 alone between “Fake Woke” and “No Good Bastards” with Nova and Brandon Hart. At the same time, he’s completely bucked the modern model by selling his last six full-length albums—Deathreats , Ghos
tories , Killing the Neighbors , Flowers for the Dead , Gravestones , and As Far As The Stars —only on CD. Within its first week, As Far As The Stars sold 35,000-plus units. He’s the rare outlier to be featured on Fox News and Daily Wire as well as Inked Magazine.
Once again, he sent shockwaves through the game in 2021. As soon as Eminem’s original beat “Stan’s Revenge” became available for auction as a NFT, Tom started bidding. He ultimately won by shelling out $100,000 to fulfill a lifelong dream. He didn’t just spit over the Eminem-produced beat though; he assumed the role of Eminem’s legendary character “Stan.” He pens the response to Slim that fans have been waiting for since 2000 with nimble flows and an incisive cadence. For the accompanying video directed by Nova, Tom raps in front of Stan’s Monte Carlo (formerly submerged from the original “Stan” music video).
“I turned the beat on in my headphones, and I wrote an homage to ‘Stan’,” he says. “What is a Stan? I’m sort of unclear on that myself. However, I wrote the song from the standpoint of being a fan of Eminem’s music, as a rapper who was inspired by that man to become a rapper, and someone who hears, ‘Man, you remind me of Eminem in the 2000s’ often. Subliminally or subconsciously, listening to him as a kid affected me on such a level that my path right now is parallel with his 15 years ago.”
Tom’s path is a little different though…
In many ways, he reflects what a Rockstar should be at the very core of its definition, because he’s fearless and free.
“A few years ago, my dad was like, ‘You might be a rapper, but what you’re doing right now is rock ‘n’ roll. Rock ‘n’ roll has always been about screaming the truth at the top of your longs. It’s always been more about the message and less about the music’. That’s where I’m at. I’m a rapper, but it’s the attitude of rock ‘n’ roll.”
That attitude carries over to everything he does. His choice to sell albums only on CD reflects a level of childhood nostalgia and incredible business acumen as he’s sold 100,000-plus physical units on his own.
“When I was a kid, I got the opportunity to wait outside of the chain record store until it opened, rush in, and grab that new 50 Cent or Slipknot drop,” he smiles. “That was really special to me. I’d hold the CD in my hands and flip through the booklet. The business is just as important as the music. I don’t have a manager, agent, label, or anybody to handle shit for me. You can’t be an independent artist without seriously investing and energy into understanding the business and how to get people’s attention.”
In the end, everything Tom does instigates discourse.
“Some music makes you want to fight, some makes you want to party, and some puts you to sleep,” he leaves off. “I want my music to make people feel empowered. I want it to incite revolutionary ideas, discussions, and conversations.”