Timothy Bloom has already written and produced songs for both contemporary (Ne-Yo and Chris Brown) and classic hitmakers (Motown legend Smokey Robinson). Now with geyser-like force, Bloom's pure, natural talents as a singer/musician are gushing to the surface by way of The Budding Rose EP. It's the dynamic precursor to the multi-talented artist's forthcoming debut album In Full Bloom on Mosley/Zone 4/Interscope.
"Music has always been a part of me," says Bloom, who as a child played the drums and piano for the choir at his pastor father's non-denominational church in Fayetteville, NC. "I was always singing and playing as a youngster. When everyone else was asleep, I would play in the dark with my headphones on; practicing all the time."
"Classify me as diverse," says Bloom. "I have the gospel background, which is where I get a lot of my soul; the emotion in my playing. But my music is ultimately a fusion of many influences. I could never see myself doing one type of music. When anyone asks me who I'd like to work or tour with, I answer everybody."
The route Bloom has traveled to this career turning point has been just as diverse. Born in El Paso, Texas and raised primarily in Fayetteville, the artist is the third of five children born to pastor parents. Bloom was introduced to various cultures and lifestyles when his father's stint in the army stationed the family in such varied locales as Germany, Alaska and Oklahoma.
Because secular music wasn't allowed in the house, a teenaged Bloom—the self-described "rebel" of the family—began taking his parents' keys and sneaking into the car to scan the radio dial. He'd also discovered girls. "I wanted to write love letters and poems and sing to the girls I had crushes on," he recalls with a laugh.
Straight out of high school, Bloom relocated to Germany in 1999 as a member of a boy band called Intrigue. After touring Europe for a year with the quartet, he left the group and relocated to Atlanta, starting a production company with a friend. That led to a trip to Los Angeles, where Bloom met Motown A&R legend Mickey Stephenson and began honing his writing and production skills. Bloom's first major placement: one of two original songs on Smokey Robinson's 2005 My World compilation.
A chance call brought Bloom back to Atlanta to write and record for another producer, resulting in an eventual deal with Capitol Records. While an album was never released, the singer/songwriter's Atlanta sojourn did have a silver lining. He collaborated with Ne-Yo on "Say It," featured on the latter's Grammy Award-winning 2007 album Because of You.
After returning to Los Angeles, however, Bloom's fortunes took a turn for the worse. Homeless and living in his car for two months, Bloom suffered a minor heart attack in 2010. "That pinnacle moment was an awakening," he remembers. "I told myself 'All right, here I am. It's time to get focused on my craft and get it right.'" Separate submissions of Bloom's music to award-winning producers Timbaland and Polow Da Don prompted the pair to jointly sign the fledgling artist to their respective labels, Mosley Music and Zone 4.
As he finishes recording his full-length debut, Bloom is ready to welcome the light at the end of his tunnel and share it with others. "That's what inspires me," he says. "People are yearning for stories and songs that will fill their hearts and souls. That's what we escape to when we can't outwardly express ourselves. If you want to be happy, dance, cry or even be angry, it's all in the music."