Tino Coury is one of the newest additions to the charts, but he’s not even close to being new to music. This humble 21-year-old from Pittsburgh has been singing acoustically since early high school, and wrote in his first song in the 7th grade. In this exclusive interview, Tino talks about keeping in shape, his music, and whether or not he’s single!
Do you like to keep in shape while on tour?
Tino: It’s tough being on the road. You’re always hungry, but you’re on the move so you never really eat healthy. *laughs* It’s a tough thing. But when I get the chance to hit the gym, I really hit the gym. When it comes to athletics, that’s always going to be in me. If I get the time to do it, I’ll do it. Sometimes I just do push-ups in the hotel room.
Let’s talk about your music, there has to be a situation that caused your single “Diary”…
Tino: I’ve been through that situation a couple times, and I know my friends and people that have been through that situation. When the concept came in my head, “I read your diary”, I was like, oh man, and I went right to the piano and started writing the piano loop and into. From there I just said “I read your diary and it said that you weren’t in love with me and you’re leaving”, and from there I wrote the whole thing in 30 seconds and made the track. The song just kind of came out of me.
So you knew exactly where you were going with that when you started writing it?
Tino: Yeah. Like you said, you had to have gone through that situation to have that kind of emotion with it. When that concept came into my head, that’s how the song came out.
You’re currently working on your album. Are all of your songs inspired by personal experiences, or all different types of things?
Tino: I definitely have to feel it to write it. I don’t try to force anything. It can personal experience, or things I see people go through, anything sparks me. It can be a saying or a movie, but I have to feel it or I won’t write it. I try to put a story with every song. As you can see with “Diary”, one of my songs tells the story and I want people to relate to it and take people to the situations I’ve been through, and that’s home run.
For that album, are you throwing around any titles? Will it be a self-titled album?
Tino: I’m still brainstorming. I haven’t found one yet. I would like to make it more than just a self title.
When did you first know that you wanted to be an artist?
Tino: I got my first guitar in the 7th grade and I started teaching myself how to play. Music was always a part of me. I learned how to play guitar, piano, bass, drums throughout high school. But sports was my number one passion. It wasn’t until I got injured breaking my wrist that I really got a chance to work towards music, and that’s when I really decided to become an artist. I had to make that decision; songwriter, producer or artist. For me, I love performing, I love singing my own songs, I love to write. I would rather do that first. I can always be a producer later. My senior year when I got heart, I decided I wanted to be an artist.
So you were the jock that was also in the plays?
Tino: Yeah. Sports was really my thing, and I was going to go on and play college ball, but I was always bringing my guitar to parties and singing acoustically and stuff. Everyone knew I did it, but sports was the main thing.
When did you write your first song?
Tino: When I learned how to play the guitar, that’s when melodies started coming to me and that’s when I start jotting down lyrics and putting chord progressions together. I wrote my first song in the 7th grade.
Who are some of your favorite artists right now?
Tino: I’m glad Usher is coming back now, he’s my all time favorite. I love Justin Timberlake. I really really liked Chris Brown until all that stuff happened. I really look up to JT and Usher as an artist. As a producer I’m so versatile. Growing up I was listening to Blink 182 and Green Day, those were my favorite bands. I love U2 and Coldplay.I think Bono is a great performer. For rap, I love Jay Z’s stuff. When it comes to music, I’m very versatile.
A lot of the girls want to know, are you currently single?
Tino: Yes, I am single right now. *laughs*
What is your ultimate goal?
Tino: My ultimate goal is to sell out an arena one day. Like Madison Square Garden or Staples Center. I love the big, arena shows. As an artist, if I can sell those out one day, that’s my ultimate dream. I really want to tour, that’s where it’s at. I want to perform.
Have you had any life-changing experiences?
Tino: I get a lot of messages on Facebook and Twitter saying that they can relate to my song because they’ve been through that situation and it helped them get through it. That’s what really moves me and keeps me motivated. Knowing that people relate to my music, that’s big. That’s life-changing itself.
So you are big into social networking?
Tino: I’m getting better and better at it, I can say that. *laughs* I’m definitely into it. I try to upload my stuff, and I respond to as many people as I can. I like to interact with everything, I think that’s key. I started my accounts myself.
Would you like to send a personal message to your fans?
Tino: Thanks for showing all of the support on my first single, “Diary”, it’s honestly incredible. Please hit me up. I just put a new song out called “Leave Me My Pen”, so definitely hit me up and let me know what you think. Just a big thanks.
Get in touch with Tino via Twitter or Facebook.