“I was going to perform in a Tel-Avivian nightclub, but it was actually in Las Vegas, which is now the largest city in the world according to my dream. Before I went on, some scary-looking guy poured gasoline inside the club and lit a match. I tried to make my friend leave with me but he wouldn’t, so I had an episode of hysterical strength and I carried him away by his hoodie.”
Perhaps the most important characteristic of Totemo is that she is an artist who can vividly remember her dreams.The Israel-based singer-songwriter’s relationship with her own imagination is certainly reflected her ability to create worlds within her music that feel as if she exists on a more ethereal plane. “When we feel something in a dream – we still feel it all the same. and that’s just another opportunity to experience life in all its emotional range.” This is why Heavy As My Dreams is one of the most wondrous EPs you’re likely to hear this year, as Totemo understands both the power of the human mind and its complex emotions.
This emotional resonance with music is what enticed her in the first place, as she recalls “I remember putting on my parents’ vinyls on and just sliding into a world of happiness.” Her background in Israel is also a place she draws her inspirations from, as she describes the “amazing musicians and scenes in Jerusalem,” and offers an insight into the mentality of musicians in the country. “I think it probably has something to do with the complex situation in which we are all in – living in the Middle East. And as we know, musicians use music to express themselves and their frustrations.”
Huffington Post recently described her as an artist who “broke all of pop’s rules,” but she doesn’t necessarily focus on breaking rules when creating music – “if anything, when I revisit my work, I would actually try to make it more accessible.” However, it’s an easy claim to believe. Totemo is an artist whose work defies pop norms. It’s imaginative, it’s deep and it’s motivated by progression. She says “you have to always keep moving. This is almost a cliché. It could be very difficult, but it’s always a necessity.” The biggest pop rule that she’s broken is that her future is an incredibly intriguing prospect.
This feature is taken from the December 2014 issue of Audio Addict. View it on Issuu here, or pick it up along the South Coast.