|LIFE IN JAPAN
Time in Japan:
Growing up in Poland, I always enjoyed watching Western movies. When I was seven, I got
my first harmonica for Christmas and started learning Western movie themes. Back then,
music was just a hobby while I studied auto mechanics. I would have probably worked in
that field, however, I entered a national talent contest and won. I never expected to do
as well as I did, and the next thing I knew, I was 18 years old and signing a contract
with a major promotion agency. The song I wrote for that event was called "Locomotive? which became a
hit and was chosen as Song of the Year in Poland. That talent contest and the events that
followed forever changed my life.
After that, I toured in Poland for four years, recording and performing country and
rock and roll music, while doing some radio and television shows. Then, I spent a few
months working as a singer on cruise ships touring northern Europe. This led me to
Montreal. I enjoyed Canada very much, and decided to stay. During my time there, many
things changed in my homeland, so I decided to stay in Canada working as a musician,
learning English and experiencing life on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. When I
wasn?t perforning, I worked in a factory and as a baker.
It was during this time that I met my future wife, who led me to Japan where my life
took another turn. After we arrived here, I worked as a chef in a Japanese club because I
felt that my music career had come to an end. But I began going out and seeing the foreign
performers around Tokyo.
This inspired me to start singing again. I decided to resume my music career and landed
a solo job singing in a Roppongi club. I wasn?t sure if I could make it in the Tokyo music scene
singing country and western music, but I had to try. A Polish cowboy in Tokyo? Why not?
Now I perform all over town, and I am very satisfied with the way things turned out here.
I enjoy life as much as possible, never letting my work consume me. A basic knowledge of
English really helped me along in my adventurous, yet not always colorful life. After ten
years away from Poland, people ask me: "So Tom, do you dream in Polish or
English?" I answer, "In English with Polish subtitles."
Tom spoke with Anne Bouyssounouse.
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