Interviews

INTERVIEW: Neil Thomas

British Indie/Soul-Pop singer, songwriter Neil Thomas recently dropped his latest EP, ‘Home’. The first single, also called ‘Home’ has done extremely well and so has its official remix done by Jonas Vincent. We asked Neil a few questions recently as we wanted to get to know him better. He tells us how he got involved in music, what he enjoys most about songwriting and what we can expect from him this year.

Read on to learn more about this great artist.

How long have you been involved with music?

I’ve been playing drums since I was 10, guitar since I was 16, making beats since I was 18 and singing (and beatboxing) since I was 23. I could always hold a tune, but I never thought of myself as a singer before I began writing songs and people said they liked my vocals on the demos.

What would you say inspires you when you are writing?

It’s usually the urge to work on something new, but sometimes there’s a specific feeling or something you wish you could say to someone. I think the biggest inspiration is hearing great music and trying to figure out how it was conceived. You try to apply the same principles to one of your own ideas and usually can’t do it exactly the same, so it comes out as its own thing. That exploration factor keeps it stimulating for me. The same applies to new instruments (or old ones). When you find you can make a sound you’ve never made before, it’s like having a new colour you can paint with.

What do you love about songwriting?

I love having written more than I love writing. When I listen to an old song and can’t remember how I wrote it, it’s like hearing someone else’s work. That’s a nice feeling because you’ve lost all the insecurity about whether it’s any good. You can step back and really hear it without focusing on all the detail that you obsess over while you’re making it. During the writing process, I find it really satisfying when you happen upon little neat and tidy moments of rhyme or sentiment. Writing is tough sometimes, so when it goes well you feel like you’ve been lucky.

I love Home, what is it about?

I suppose it’s about the confusion that arises when you’re no longer with someone. I often think of a line from the Joni Mitchell song My Old Man:

“But when he’s gone

Me and them lonesome blues collide

The bed’s too big

The frying pan’s too wide”

I love that. It’s put very simply but it says a lot about the habits you create when you make a life with another person. Home is my attempt to say something about the madness you can feel when you don’t know how to exist without that person any more. In the song, I escape the city to collect my thoughts but I start to lose my mind and head back again, under the misapprehension that the relationship isn’t over. Obviously, this isn’t immediately apparent on first listen, but I think you can get away with slightly less literal lyrics in a song with a driving rhythm section.

How did the Jonas remix come about?

Jonas and I got in touch through Soundcloud. He’s a really talented young producer and plays a few instruments, a bit like me. His mum even sent me a message to thank me for letting her son remix the song. I should be thanking him! He really did a great job!

What has the response been like?

I was really taken aback by the amount of support and positive feedback I’ve received after Home and its remix came out. It’s been pretty amazing actually. One Republic tweeted that they “dig” my music, which sent my twitter account crazy. I’m pretty new to twitter, so that was kind of mad!

Would you work with Jonas in the future?

Absolutely! I can’t wait to send him another song to play around with! I know it’ll come back completely different and great in its own way.

What can we expect from you in 2016?

After the EP comes out, I hope to be recording some more material and also writing a lot, with a view to releasing my next record later in the year. I’m also excited to play some shows, either on my own with a guitar or with some of my amazing musical friends from London.

Finally, what one word would you use to describe yourself?

Lucky.

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Check out Neil’s EP here

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