Vagabon: Engineer Turned Musician

By Holly Vasic

New York native Indie rock soloist Vagabon performs at Kilby Court Sept. 22, bringing her debut album “Infinite Worlds” live.

Laetitia Tamko goes by the moniker Vagabon. She chose to go by a moniker because her given name was always mispronounced, and it was useful to have different names for her music and her private life. Vagabon doesn’t recall how she came up with the name, but it stuck.

Though she only began officially sharing music in 2014, she has always been interested in it. “I’ve always been, as far as I can remember, I’ve been into music. I was writing songs from a young age,” Vagabon explained.

Due to what she calls “a process of elimination,” she picked up the guitar to find music for her words. “The drums were too loud and my parents wouldn’t want it,” Vagabon laughed. She has never had a formal guitar lesson. “I used YouTube and taught myself how to play guitar.”

Vagabon graduated from the City College of New York in engineering and remembers not focusing on music until she was preparing to graduate. At that point, she discovered a unique community. “I kind of found this pocket of musicians in the New York music scene, I started going to shows, and making friends with these musicians, and becoming one, and performing live,” she said.

Unless her music and engineering can find a way to merge, Vagabon won’t necessarily do anything with her degree. She is happy with her current career. “I’ve kind of lived that life and spent five years in school studying it [engineering]. I think if it comes up in a way that kind of blends the two worlds, then sure. But this is definitely the best job that I’ve ever had, and I plan to have it for a long time,” Vagabon said.

Vagabon is looking forward to coming back to Utah and is now traveling with a live band (though she played all the instruments on the album). You can stream “Infinite Worlds” on soundcloud.com or check out the music video “Embers” via YouTube before heading to Kilby Court.

The show will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, at 748 W Kilby Ct, Salt Lake City. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Buy tickets online at http://www.kilbycourt.com.