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“Love is the only thing to live for - it's one of the main reasons I'm inspired to write songs,” declares singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, TOMI. “I feel it's the medicine for everyone's pain. And you can hear a lot of love and pain in these songs.”

The songs in question are the buttery R&B jams on his debut album, “Love Is What I Found” (Rosehip Records), a collection of deeply felt, sensual tunes reflecting this versatile Chicago-based artist's determination and struggle. TOMI, who played all the instruments and composed and produced the tracks, considers the album the distillation of his odyssey, driven by love and fueled by pain, to find his own sound.

Witness the yearning, grooving lead single “You Can Tell Me,” infused by TOMI's supple falsetto; the salacious, bouncing funk of “BabyGetDown”; the intimate “Magic Happens”; the muscular, wiry syncopations of “You Got To,” with its message of fighting through all obstacles; the jazzy, sun-dappled “Love Is What I Found”; and the bittersweet closer “Waiting,” which punctuates a heartbreaking memory of loss with elegant strings and passionate bursts of fiery guitar. “No matter what kind of music you like,” TOMI insists, “there's something for you on this album.”

TOMI left his hometown on Bratislava, Slovakia at the tender age of 18 to come to Chicago to pursue his dream of being a musician.

TOMI had a few conversations with Goran Rajsic, CEO of Chicago-based label Rosehip Records; despite his initial reservations about hooking up with an indie label, he ultimately realized that it was a remarkably good fit.

“Goran is from Eastern Europe and really gets where I'm coming from, and he offered me the artistic freedom I'd been looking for,” TOMI explains. The decision began paying off even before “Love Is What I Found” hit stores, with airplay for “You Can Tell Me” on local stations Power 92 and WGCI, accolades in the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Image, and a performance and interview segment on the local ABC affiliate. Meanwhile, his fan base, on MySpace and elsewhere, has grown exponentially.

It's been a long, magical, often trying path for TOMI, but he believes that even the most challenging parts of his journey were essential. “It's about following your heart and soul without compromise - that's the pinnacle of success,” the artist proclaims. “I'm already internally successful. I've made a record that reflects the sound I'd been hearing in my head. And I've accomplished things that people from my part of the world have never conquered.”

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