See what Denyse Tontz had to say about her music and watch the fun video for new single "Mr. Hipster".
How did you become interested in music
Denyse Tontz: I've actually always been interested in music and acting was more the thing that kind of happened. I've been playing piano since I was really young, probably four or five, and I started writing music when I was around eleven and didn't really, you know, do much with it; just had a notebook of songs and just let it sit. When I was fourteen or fifteen I decided I wanted to do something with it and I met my producer Suren and he's been working with me ever since.
Are there any artists whose music has inspired you?
I listen to a lot of genres and I think that's really changed my taste over the years. Even - not that I've been doing the music thing that long, per say, with my self-release - but even, like, every year, there's something a little different because of my new influences for that year. For "Use It" I was really into Katy Perry and I actually listen to a lot of indie rock, alternative music so I try to incorporate some minor melodies and stuff like that. For inspiration, I always like to listen to Lily Allen or Marina and the Diamonds or, you know, fun people like that who have really clever, witty lyrics.
What's the response been like for the "Mr. Hipster" video?
It's been really great actually. I don't think any of us really knew what to expect because it's like each video will get a very, very different response from very different people. This one, I've noticed, there's sort of a different audience than what I'm used to because I do Dog With A Blog on Disney and then before that I did Big Time Rush on Nickelodeon so my audience is usually, you know, kids and stuff like that, but I think, this time around, we're getting different results from the other times so it's really interesting to see that kind of evolve into a newer, older audience.
How do you balance your acting career with your singing one?
I don't know if there's any right way to balance any kind of career, but I try to do my best. I just don't get a free second, which is fine, because I'm kind of a workaholic anyway, but I do enjoy acting. I don't want people to think that I don't, you know, that I just do it as a day job; I definitely do enjoy it and would love to, you know, in the future, hopefully pursue them both and be able to juggle them and kind of join them together but, as of right now, just, whenever I'm not working, I'll just be in the studio with my producer or writing or, a lot of times, I'll bring my guitar into my dressing room - because we have a lot of down time on set - so it's just a great time to jot down some ideas and play with the melody.
Have you got any plans to release an EP or full length?
We're definitely planning on releasing an EP, hopefully early 2015. We've already released a couple songs, but they were only singles and they were all spaced out and they all had videos, but I think, this time around, we're trying to focus on releasing the songs themselves. I mean, we have so many, just in the arsenal, so I think it's time to just let them all out; release an EP.
Will the sound on the EP be similar to the sound on "Mr. Hipster"?
"Mr. Hipster" is probably one of the more bubbly ones. It's definitely, probably, the most 'novelty' of them, but I do have kind of that recurring theme of sort of novelty, like a little bit funny; I really like to, if I can, make people chuckle a little bit when they're listening to music. But, yeah, we have a variety of things going on; we have love, we have - I'm not going to give everything away - but it's a classic story of my life, put into the kind of words that I would use, which are usually a little bit different, being in the lyrics. So, I guess, musically we're keeping in that scene of "Mr. Hipster", but we definitely have some stuff that's a little darker and moodier, so something to look forward to.
Do you have any memorable fan interactions?
Ooh, that's fun. I've had some random ones. Most of the time, it's just like at the mall or, you know, just random places. I think the two most memorable ones was, one time I was at the beach and I didn't look like myself at all - most of the time these happen when I look really ugly I've noticed - so, I was at the beach and these girls recognized me from Big Time Rush actually and, instead of coming up to me, they kind of just kept walking past me and they ended up writing 'Jennifer' in the sand in front of me and then writing a little arrow and a question mark and it was just fun, but they were really sweet about it.
The other one was when I was driving once and I stopped at a red light and there was like a car full of young girls and they recognized me from Dog With A Blog and they started yelling out "Nikki" and so I waved and I had the flu or something so I was trying to not see anybody that day and so I thought it was done and then we ended up, after the light turns green, we ended up getting stopped at the next light again.
Any song you can't stop playing on repeat right now?
You know, I gotta say, I'm really into Taylor's new album. I was really curious as to what to expect but I started to hear a lot of it on Pandora and I realized that each song that was coming out was just a banger and, like, it was great. So, I'm really impressed with her new album; probably my current obsession.
Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
I hope they enjoy the ride. I'm still kind of making up things as I go so I hope that they stick around and, you know, bear with me and like what I have to say and sing and maybe don't get tired of me on social media when I'm posting photos of myself brushing my teeth or whatever [laughs] no, I'm just kidding. I really hope that they like it and there's definitely going to be something new around every corner so I will make it my goal to constantly surprise.