Bio: In every generation there are the trendsetters, and there are the rest who follow. Let’s just say DJ, producer, remixer, and songwriter Tommie Sunshine has never been one to ... (more)
Bio: In every generation there are the trendsetters, and there are the rest who follow. Let’s just say DJ, producer, remixer, and songwriter Tommie Sunshine has never been one to follow or duck from controversy. He is at the same time a visionary and historian, having been personal witness to the bleeding-edge of popular culture and music for nearly 3 decades.
“I’ve constantly been in the chrysalis of so many different movements of music,” says Tommie. “I’ve always found that exciting and inspiring. I love the evolution of music, it never gets boring.”
Ever since he was old enough to remember, Chicago-native Thomas Lorello has had a never-ending thirst for being on the forefront on emerging music. “You had to wrestle the radio out of my hand at 3 years old!” he laughs. Born to a large family with a deep appreciation for music, the influence of his older siblings introduced him to the multi-faceted sounds of the 70s and 80s—punk, new wave, metal, and disco.
Tommie was blazing his own trail by the time he was in high school, traveling to downtown Chicago and acquainting himself with the burgeoning Chicago house and industrial scenes. He became a staple character in the Midwest rave scene, known to dance all night and well into the morning. This, and his irrepressible optimism ultimately solidified his moniker, “Tommie Sunshine”.
After running the Atlanta location of one of the first online music stores, Satellite Records, from 1995-2000, Tommie was tapped by Chicago house legend Felix Da Housecat to collaborate on the critically acclaimed LP, Kittenz and Thee Glitz. Tommie’s deep knowledge of dance music, new wave, and punk earned him songwriting credits on two pioneering tracks of the electroclash movement, “Happy Hour” and “Silver Screen (Shower Scene).”
His work on this influential album led him to new remix projects. To date he has over 120 commissioned works from everyone from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santana, Yoko Ono, Good Charlotte, Scissor Sisters, Fall Out Boy, The Killers, Junkie XL, Panic At The Disco, Shiny Toy Guns and Avril Lavigne.
These days, Tommie Sunshine continues to be an influential tastemaker and encyclopedic source of all things music and pop culture. Between his stream of remix projects and high-profile DJ gigs at exclusive clubs, charity events for entrepreneur Richard Branson, or at galas at the Guggenheim and Chicago Art Institute, he is scouring the social and musical landscape for the next big thing.
Outspoken, opinionated, passionate, forward-thinking, Tommie Sunshine is characterized by all who know him as a “one man think tank”, constantly up on the latest trends in music, fashion, politics, and all things popular culture. His passion for knowledge ultimately benefits all who follow him on outlets such as Twitter, where he shares links on the newest music and social issues of the day.
“I feel very strongly about many of the things that are happening today,” says Tommie. “I’m waiting patiently for the next musical revolution. There’s no one like Rage Against the Machine, everyone’s really playing it really safe right now. We’re living in a weird time to not have that, with everything that’s going on in the world. Now is the time where we need that the most.”
“Social media has blown the lid off everything. Music is now more accessible than it’s ever been, but what’s really interesting is that a lot of these younger kids don’t understand how today’s music and trends are a direct lineage of the zeitgeist of the 80s and 90s. I feel very fortunate to have been personally exposed to so many different cultures of music in my life. I love connecting the dots, seeing how the past fits into the now.”
Putting the “riot” back in “patriot,” Tommie Sunshine can be trusted to tell you how we got here, what’s happening now, and what’s going to happen next.