tom kafafian
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tom kafafian

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The best kept secret in music


"music news 2002"

Here's something really cool. Concept Zero, a West Milford, NJ unsigned band of four high schoolers, have done a tribute for drummer Drew DePalma's mother (and honorary "band mom") who was among those lost in the WTC on 9-11. He asked their singer/bassist Tom Kafafian to "write a song for her, that will remember her." Tom did just that and wrote "In Loving Memory." The band sent their 4-track demo to the local radio station, which began playing it. The song became a local hit. - dan's music news

"NJ Rockin' and Rollin'"

NEW YORK - Tom Kafafian rocks out Z-100 Zootopia All Access Lounge at the Hammerstein Ballroom with a first time ever feat of an unknown artist performing who is not on Z100’s play list.

Tom Kafafian is a 19 year old New Jersey native who is a self taught musician/singer/songwriter. Kafafian is signed to independent record label, Great Escape Records of Parsippany , NJ.

Z100, along with Great Escape Records has accomplished a ground-breaking event that no other record label has been able to do in the past. Tom Kafafian opened up for artist ROONEY at their Z100 Zootopia All Access Lounge. His single. “Can’t Change Me, echoed throughout screaming fans and afterwards Tom had a heartfelt meet &greet where fans flocked for autographs and photo opportunities, as well as a Free CD sampler for this quickly rising rockstar.

The CD, “In Through the Outside” will be available in stores Summer of 2004. Visit Tom at his website:

- Parsippany Life

"Local Artist Makes Fox Network - OC CUT"

Parsippany - With a lot of applicants, local New Jersey recording artist, made the cut for Fox Network OC - Enter the Mix Competition for the chance of getting his major break with one of his songs being featured on an upcoming episode of Fox's OC second season. Listen to Kafafian's song, "At the Station," on Viewers select the winner from Aug.1 -15.
Kafafian is a 19-year-old New Jersey native who is a self taught musician/singer/songwriter. Kafafian is signed to independent record label. Great Escape Records in Parsippany.
Kafafian's CD, "In Though the Outside" will be available in stores summer of 2004. Visit kafafian at his Web site
- Prsippany News

"Tom Kafafian"

Tom Kafafian plays and sings In Through The Outside and he does it all in a convincing, ballsy, gritty and determined way on his rockin’ new release. The cover of this CD suggests that the man is bearing his heart and soul for the world to see in his music, but the heart has become scattered as it spills upon the ground. The interesting cover is food for thought and some reflection to be sure.

What amazes me about this steady album is that this 19-year-old kid sounds like a rock veteran, someone that has been in the studio and honed their skills over the release of several albums rather than a debut. With all of the heavy-duty competition out there amongst indie acts trying to catch your ear this youngster stands tall in the crowd.

I appreciate the way he used all of his talents vocally and with his six-string, he can play loud and boisterous or soft and tasteful, then match it with the appropriate vocal style, which is not a particularly easy thing to accomplish on an album that has pretty much the same theme and atmosphere throughout. He is able to mix it up and keep it fresh regardless of that fact, again a major accomplishment by anyone’s standards in this day of fabricated studio wizardry.

I found “Nebula,” the high-octane lead off track, and “Breath You In” to be the best songs on the album. They both had all of the qualities that I mentioned previously and I think they highlight Kafafian attitude and sound perfectly. It sounds like this young buck listened to his share of groups like The Clash, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, all of the great punk rocks bands that set the tone for what was to come in the following decades. Listen to “Can't Change Me” and you will hear the angst and the attitude come through loud and clear. It reminded me of how I felt when I was 19. If you are a nonconformist at heart you will really get off on this music, I did.

Feel like your “Stuck in a Hole” that you can’t get out of, let the music give you an escape route, check out In Through The Outside and rock yer ass off!

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-

July 29, 2004


"Tom Kafafian, In Through The Outside (© 2004 Great Escape Records)"

Tom Kafafian, In Through The Outside (© 2004 Great Escape Records)

You open up the CD and see a few pics of a kid that looks like he's 15 (he's actually 19), and you think, oh boy, here comes another disc to suffer through. Yet the opener, "Nebula," starts off brusquely, and you think maybe there is something here. Yeah, sure, his voice seems young, because it is, but cut the kid some slack. Then the chorus comes crashing in, and I do mean crashing, and there's a hoarseness and rage in his voice that comes from who knows where, and as the song fades back to the verse, I begin to think I might like this disc. The third track, "Geronimo," has a real Weezer lilt to it, and now he's playful with his vocals, and now I envy this kid, and wonder if he keeps writing songs like this what he'll sound like with a bit of the road behind him. By the disc's end, I've put aside my preconceived notions about youth (though it is wasted on the young), and realize that this disc is quite an accomplishment -- good production, great songs, a toe-tapping ride from start to finish. - NY Rock Street Beat

"In Through the Outside"

Review by Jonathan Widran

If it's still not too much of a cliché to use the term “old soul" to describe a young rock performer wise and talented beyond his chronological years, Tom Kafafian is it. At the tender age of 19, he writes and sings (and often plays every instrument himself) with equal doses of wit, insight and a splendid sense of the need for pop hookiness. To cope with a lack of true life experience, he draws from a swirl of cutting edge influences like Nirvana, The Cure, Led Zeppelin and blends those with the melodic magic of others like The Beach Boys and Weezer (the urgency of his voice reminds some of Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo). Complementing the darker depths of songs like “Stuck In A Hole" and “Breathe You In" is a lighthearted energy on others that comes from a unique fact from his official bio—he writes nearly all of his material while driving! And he's not afraid to show a more restrained, heartfelt side on later tracks like the piano driven “The Station." Kafafian is clearly out to take charge and gain a vast indie following by following his own muse rather than the commercial dictations of the music business. And have a helluva lot of fun doing it. -


First CD release "In Through the Outside". You can hear some songs on the radioairplay in commercial alternative/specialty
impacting college radio NOW


Feeling a bit camera shy


Tom Kafafian is not what you have probably come to expect from a young male singer-songwriter. You aren’t going to hear him churning out nauseatingly sappy love songs or mindlessly sugar-sweet pop treats, and you aren’t going to find him looking down at you from a poster on your little sister’s wall. What you will find him doing, whether he knows it or not, is making other people wonder why they didn’t possess this sort of talent at the tender age of nineteen.

In Through The Outside, Tom’s latest offering, isn’t going to do anything to curb that sense of envy. Citing influences that range from The Cure to Nirvana to Led Zeppelin, Tom’s approach to songwriting is truly unique. To begin with, he writes nearly all of his material while driving. In addition, he refuses to be pinned down by any single style or sound, crafting rock songs that don’t sound like your average rock songs.

For example, “Nebula,” the opening track on the new album, begins as a quirky but quiet pop-rock blast that uses a snare drum roll and hushed guitar plucking as the background for fast-paced vocals that sound more like talking than singing. But after a moment or so, the song erupts into a grunge-tinged fury, complete with heavily distorted guitars and vocals, backed up by furiously pummeling rhythms. It may sound peculiar on paper, but somehow, Tom makes it work. How does one follow up on a song like that? It’s actually quite simple. You write an even better one. And that is exactly what Tom does with the melodic rock aggression of “Great Escape,” a song more interesting and mature than many of those currently being written by people twice Tom’s age.

Not only is Tom blessed with the ability to craft a diverse batch of songs such as those that make up his latest, In Through The Outside, but he also plays every instrument at one point or another, with many of the songs being completed without any outside assistance.
You might expect the songwriting capabilities of a guy this young to be immature and underdeveloped. You might expect songs about teenage love and parents that just don’t understand. You might expect mediocre musicianship and instruments that sound as though they are still being learned and built upon. But that simply isn’t the case, and Tom is happy to prove your expectations wrong with every song on this album.

Though he might not even be old enough to drink legally, Tom has already been referred to as “more than a one-song wonder” by Rolling Stone, a magazine that recently included a story on “In Loving Memory,” a “bitter and uplifting” song about the September 11th tragedy that Tom wrote, recorded on his four-track, and sent to a local radio station, resulting in a considerable amount of well-deserved airtime.