A Canberran musical wunderkind is proving to be an accomplished producer – and he’s yet to turn 15.
Rhys Toms, better known as Black Summer, is back with a luminescent new song titled Sadness, featuring Bahamian vocalist Chloe Campbell. The song is the perfect followup to 2017’s Young Like Me, which has racked up more than three million streams across multiple platforms.
Sadness is an exciting offering from the accomplished producer who is still yet to turn 15 years old. Black Summer has also dropped a truly spectacular video to accompany Sadness.
Sadness is perfectly crafted, undeniably hooky, with masterful production that sinks and swells around eighteen year old Campbell’s expressive vocal. The track is steeped in heavy emotion, something that Rhys has woven within the music with the skillset of someone beyond his years.
“Sadness is a track that I wanted to give a chilled but also energetic vibe to,” Rhys said.
“It’s about two people not quite connecting – one of them is in love with the drama of the relationship, but they can’t figure out how to make it work. I wanted to relay this feeling in the track so I used these dark muted synths.
“We recorded Chloe’s vocals in LA and then I took her vocals and further built the track around them. She brought this amazing life to the track with her awesome adlibs and harmonies.”
Rhys worked alongside Tim Maxx, who also directed the Young Like Me clip, and shot the video in Los Angeles.
“The story of the video is two people who are trying to connect but they can’t get to the same place at the same time. Like in the song, they’re in two different mindframes,” Rhys said.
It’s been a wild ride for Rhys, since he was Unearthed by triple j at the tender age of 11 as one of the country’s most exciting young producers.
Young Like Me, his most successful release to date, was debuted on national television across Channel 9’s Children’s Hospital Telethon, and attracted international attention after being added to high rotation on triple j. In its wake, Black Summer also appeared at Groovin’ The Moo.
Now still only 14-years-old, Rhys has a fantastic attitude towards the industry and is thrilled to be working towards some live performances for 2018.
“I still can’t believe that I’m doing what I’m doing now – it is literally a dream come true,” he said.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity triple j gave me to get my music out there, they really gave me the confidence to do what I love! Over the years I have learnt so much about music theory and the industry… I love anything to do with computers, from programming video games to making my own music. I love to travel and see new parts of the world and performing live is one of my favourite things to do.”