If you’re not already planning to attend the 9th Brookline Youth Awards on Wednesday, April 10, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, you’ll want to write it into your calendar immediately, because Brookline High’s hottest band, Tomtsu, will be kicking off the night. Earlier this week the group hit over 200,000 plays on Spotify, and their Brookline following grows daily.

Guitarist Zach Fischer and bassist Jackson Payne launched Tomtsu from the ashes of another, less committed band. The name comes from that experience; it’s an acronym for “The Only Members that Show Up.” They met drummer Max Grossman at a jam session and felt immediate musical chemistry with him, then rounded out the group with vocalist Chuka Stergios.

The Tomtsu artists may be juniors in high school, but they operate like music industry professionals. They play exclusively original music and compose their songs together in a very organic way. “Our songwriting process is a little unusual,” says Fischer. “Usually, Jackson or I will come up with a set of chords and bring them into practice. We’ll come in and jam on them, and from there we have a song.”

“Usually all of us write our own parts. We’re all contributing our own sound to the song,” Jackson adds.

The synergy between the musicians is clear from their smooth, cohesive sound. They hope to continue producing music together until they graduate and then pursuing it in one form or another post graduation.

Tomtsu will perform music off their newest album, as well as a new single titled “Can You Hear My Thoughts” at the Brookline Youth Awards. The group will kick off the evening followed by performances by Vishni Samaraweera and the Brookline High School Slam Poetry Team.

Tomtsu has put out one full album and two singles, of which “128” is their most popular on Spotify.  They held their release party for their self-titled album on March 1 at the Brookline Teen Center where they practice. Fischer says over 350 people came.

The Teen Center has been an anchor for the band since day one. It serves as a practice space, composing grounds and recording studio. “I think it’s probably one of the best things that has ever happened to Tomtsu,” says Fischer. “We consider the Teen Center to be our home. It’s a great venue. We love working with Les. Everything that goes on here is super amazing.”

The 9th Brookline Youth Awards will be held on April 10 at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.

Thanks to the generosity of the Coolidge Corner Theater, the event is free to the public

The Brookline Youth Awards are founded and produced by Brookline Hub. The event’s principal sponsors are the Town of Brookline, Brookline Community Foundation, ADW Video Productions, Foundation to be Named Later, Brookline Rotary, Brookline Booksmith, Chobee Hoy Group Compass, Brookline Bank, RTN Federal Credit Union, Little Children School House, Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty, Zaftigs Delicatessen, Brookline Courtyard Marriott, Rifrullo Café, Irving’s Toy & Card Shop, Elias Mobil, The Blakely Group, The Hamilton Company Charitable Foundation and the Coolidge Corner Theatre.

By Celina Colby