tina boonstra | musician
we met tina on a beautiful sunny spring sunny afternoon. we grabbed a drink, a scone and sat for a chat. the barbican is perfect to interview, people watch and walk, and that's exactly what we did.
tina's spirit is quiet, yet confident with a touch of humour and wit. It's no surprise that her sound is so intriguing, raw and honest. her music is not happy but it's not sad either. it makes you feel something, and isn't that what music is all about?
Portrait 📷:corina esquivel
Hi Tina, tell us a bit about you.
I’m a songwriter based in Watford (which is basically London if you’re not from London, if you are from London it’s debatable.)
I’m not really from Watford though, I did most of my growing up on the outskirts of Liverpool, so that’s where I call home. But, I’m not really from there either. My parents were missionaries, so we travelled around a lot as a family... Oooh this isn’t going well, enough about my minor identity crisis...
I write songs. I play guitar. I like telling stories, I like hearing stories.
You recently released ‘My Concrete Heart (Will Beat Again)’ tell us a little bit about this EP.
Yes I did. It’s been really fun sharing the songs from the EP with others. It’s been amazing and crazy to hear about people connecting with this music from all over the world.
I suppose the EP is a collection of songs about what it’s like to feel numb, void of warmth and joy, and a search to find that warmth again.
You can check out the video to Prodigal, the first single here.
Which one of your songs do you feel most connected to?
It’s so hard to choose just one. Right now, maybe The Castle. It’s difficult to feel safe at a time when everything seems up in the air... so that one has been on my mind lately..
What’s your journey with God been so far?
False starts, u-turns, good intentions, epic fails, second chances.
How does your faith inspire or change your music?
A lot of my songwriting is a way for me to process what’s going on around me. Faith and doubt and the search for acceptance are a big part of my story, so they end up in my music quite frequently.
How would you define success?
I’d like to define success as being true. But to be honest, it’s very rare that I actually live like that. So often my picture of success is having creative freedom, money and lots of time to travel the world.
Those things are all amazing to have, but chasing after them makes me tired and cold-hearted. What’s more, the few moments I’ve experienced any of those things it’s never quite turned out how I expected...
Is there a cure? I hope so.
What is one thing you are looking forward to this year?
I’m really looking forward to playing at some festivals over the summer. After spending so much time writing and recording the EP, I just can’t wait to meet some new people, and share some songs with them.
Check out my website for details of where I’ll be playing.
On a lighter note
Describe a perfect day off
A perfect day off would probably begin at around 11am with some fresh coffee and a good book. It would end with some close friends and red wine al fresco
There would be food too. And maybe some cake. Yes definitely cake.
Who are you listening to right now? (music/podcast etc)
I really love John Mark McMillan’s latest album Mercury and Lightning. Also enjoying Everything Now by Arcade Fire and I can’t stop listening to this Manchester Orchestra album.