England native Neil Thomas is out with new track “Home,” a sweet pop electro whirlwind, quite a departure from his previous work. Here’s hoping for more servings!
Get the track HOME here:
Thanks to Neil Thomas
Interview Patricia Tavares De Oliveira
I’m very well thanks! The sun is shining in London and I just started my third margarita. Just kidding – it’s grey, windy and wet and I’m on coffee!
Tell us about your newest track « Home. » How long did it take to make?
I wrote the song after watching a bond movie and wanting to create something dark and foreboding. I messed around with some chords on guitar and the words sort of fell out of my face. That often happens; you make some noises that sound a bit like words, then you try and make sense of what it sounded like you were saying. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, it inspires a whole story and you’re off and running. Sometimes it’s just nonsense! I think I had the song written in about two hours, with lots of tea breaks, pacing up and down in my living room! Once it was written, I lived with a simple demo for a few weeks, then started producing it, which was quite a slow process, because I had to learn to be a producer as I went along – I’m still learning!
« Home » is a love song, or one dedicated to a special someone. Can you tell us more about that?
It’s kind of about the idea that when you’re very attached to someone and you’re no longer around them, there’s a sort of discombobulation which can leave you feeling quite lost and confused. I’ve only had my heart broken once and I think the moment it happened I went slightly mad. You have these kind of reflexes to call that person when something good or bad happens and it’s hard not to still feel centred in the world that you created together. In the song, I escape the city to be alone and collect my thoughts, but I start to go mad and return to the city still very much attached to the relationship that doesn’t exist any more. I realise some of this isn’t very evident on first listen, and it can legitimately be interpreted as a simple romantic sentiment, but that was my thought process nonetheless!
If you could describe your music in a few words, what would those be?
Blue, crunchy, reflective, heartfelt, dark (sometimes).
How different is « Home » from your previous work?
I released an EP before this one and it was a real collection of styles. It had tracks that were heavily influenced by Lewis Taylor (a largely ignored British soul genius!), more acoustic traditional moments, electronics, huge orchestrations, quirky instrumentation… I was having fun and experimenting, and it was a great process that helped me get to where I am now, creatively. Writing-wise, I think I have the same approach and I found my writer’s ‘voice’ long ago.
Can you name your one greatest influence, musical or otherwise?
I think my greatest influence was my friends at school. We used to share mix-tapes and, because I lived an hour away from school by tube, I had plenty of time to lose myself in music on headphones every day. I listened to the same records over and over and got to know every song inside out. I think listening deeply like that, before there was Spotify and endless free content, influenced how I think about music.
Where do you find your inspiration and how is your creative process like? Does it all come naturally to you, is it laborious at times?
The biggest inspiration for songs has been wanting to get a feeling out that’s been driving you crazy. Whether it’s happiness, anger, frustration, sadness, energy, whatever… once you’ve finished the song and it exists as this little moment, it feels like you’ve put to rest whatever thought had been spinning around in your head. Sometimes I just have an idea that keeps popping into my head and I don’t know where it comes from, and sometimes it’s just from sitting down with a guitar or my computer and trying to find something that works. The writing process can be quite taxing – it’s like putting a puzzle together sometimes – but the hardest part is staring at the blank page. Once you get into the flow, it can feel like you’re just watching it happen.
A shortlist of artists you would literally die to collaborate with?
Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Jamie Lidell, Lewis Taylor, Q-Tip, Erik Truffaz, William Shatner (not kidding – check out his 2004 record with Ben Folds called « Has Been ». It’s amazing!)
Any word of advice for aspiring musicians out there?
It’s hard to say really, as the music industry has changed beyond recognition in the past few years. I don’t know if someone starting out now should listen to any of my advice! I would say, however, that if you make music that feels good to make, then other people might feel good about it too.