Under a Contagious Spell

by Maryann Pisano on April 3, 2011


Fafinski's 2006 Album Cover

Up- and- coming rapper Tom “Contagious” Fafinski sits down with emme and talks about his music, career, and plans for the future.


emme:  When did you first become interested in music?

I was in fifth grade and I heard Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”.   Haha!  My interest grew from there and I started following other artists who really knew how to paint a picture.

emme:  What/ When was your first concert?

My first concert was Rock The Bells in 2008.  It was the same day I released my debut album “The Element Of Surprise”.  The date was  July19.

emme:  What was the first CD that you purchased?

The first album I ever owned was Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP” on cassette tape.  Yes, that’s right, I said cassette tape!  The first album I bought was Cam’Ron’s “Come Home With Me”.

emme:  What bands most inspire you?

My inspiration stems from the life I’ve led.  I’ve latched onto music as a source to express my emotions and to come to terms with all that’s broken me or brought me happiness.  My top five original influences are NaS, Eminem, 2pac, DMX and the group Atmosphere.

emme:  Describe the experience of writing and making a CD.

Typically when it comes time for me to start working on a new project I like to have all my instrumentals picked out and I try to create a solid outline for the album.  I usually start by coming up with concepts & different topics I would like to touch on for each individual song.  From there, I start writing the material and when I have a song or two ready to go that I feel confident in, I will start recording it.

emme:  Do your songs come from real life experiences?

Many of my songs stem from my personal life and experiences.  I feel that if I let the world hear my story they’ll have a better understanding about who I am and respect my reasons for why I [make music].   It gives people who may be going through the same issues a chance to connect with me and draws them closer to my music.

emme:  What is your favorite song to sing/ perform?

I haven’t been consistent when it comes to performing lately but I would have to say my favorite song right now is called “What I’m Sayin'” off my current solo CD I am working on now.  It is called Contagious “Average Man” (The Plan Is..) album.

emme: Are you working or have contacts to get signed with a major label?

Well that’s the goal!  I eventually want to be signed to an indie or major record label.  I have no immediate contacts with any labels, however I know what I need to do to reach that level.

emme:  Will you be coming out with new material soon?

Absolutely! It’s been long over due.  I’ve got a lot in progress starting with a quick collaboration, experimental project called “Flashback 2” with my good friend D-Train. Then what I consider my real debut album “Average Man” (The Plan Is..) will be released shortly after that.  Followed by that album will be a group effort with my team D-Train & Supremo. We call ourselves Soul Alliance… so be sure to stay tuned!

emme: What is your dream career and your goal as a musician?

My dream is to simply be able to support my family with my music. Whether that means being signed to a major label or making it on my own, whatever it takes to live comfortably off my music I want to do!  My goal as a musician is to reach people who may be struggling and try to inspire them.  All I can really do is be myself. Like Sam Cooke says, “a change is gonna come”.

emme:  Do you ever get stage fright? If you do, what do you do to calm down?

Definitely!  I get nervous before I step on a stage because I want to be accepted.  I know people are going to judge me every time I’m performing. However, like I said before, all I can do is be myself.  If people like what I have to say, they will like it.  If they don’t, then oh well. Everyone has their own opinion and I just have to show confidence and be me regardless of the situation.

emme:  What is your song writing process like?

Whenever I hear an instrumental that I like a lot it makes the writing process easier.  This is because I get more into the song.

emme:  How do you feel as a song writer that so many artists are “manufactured” when there is so many talented musicians out there?

I’ve always believed you’re not a true artist if you can’t write your own material.  The saddest part about that is how mainstream media exploits it.

emme:  Have you ever thought about auditioning for a talent reality show such as ‘American Idol’?

No way!  I can’t sing.  I’m a rapper. A rapper has never made it on ‘American Idol’.  I’ll stick to the open mics in Chicago and Milwaukee and try making things happen!

To listen and learn more about Fafinski’s music, visit his official website: www.myspace.com/fpcontagious

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