Although he was born in Manchester, England, Tommy Newport has been hopping around the U.S. since he was six years old. The rising musician lived in Dallas and Seattle, before eventually settling in Wichita, Kansas, where he escaped midwestern boredom as a teenager by playing guitar. His new six track EP, Ultra Mango — which follows 2018's Just To Be Ironic — is a reflection of his life story, leaning into youthful nostalgia with a classic pop Americana sheen.
Lifted off Ultra Mango is its EP closer, "Shooting Star," a bright, retro track and music video that sees Newport attempting to better understand himself by stepping outside his own body. The visual, premiering today on PAPER, is a modern-day oddball interpretation of the classic Frankenstein story, with Newport creating an ideal version of himself — mad scientist goggles, white lab coat and all.
"The 'Shooting Star' video is a depiction of someone desperately trying to work on themselves by having to step outside of their body to truly see themselves," Newport tells PAPER. "The video shows a mad man in a garage building the perfect fake of himself — his very own Frankenstein. The duality can be seen as someone working to better themselves or, alternatively, creating a facade of one's self to present to the world."
Newport says he filmed and directed the "Shooting Star" video alone in his hometown before sending it off only for some special effects support. "The shoot was very remote and isolated, and allowed me to truly get into character to experience some of the metaphors I was looking to convey in the video," he says of the production process.
The Ultra Mango EP in its entirety aims to look at early 2000s anthems and twist them with more contemporary finishes. Producer 4th Pyramid, who collaborated with Newport on the project, says "the idea here was to take that DIY basement nostalgia feel and make records that knock as hard as today's biggest smashes. We've been able to carve out our own planet with Ultra Mango."
Stream Tommy Newport's Ultra Mango, featuring "Shooting Star," below.
Photo courtesy of Tommy Newport