Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned London based singer Drew Thomas to find out more…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I grew up in a small town called Grantham but spent most of my time around Nottingham which is where I first started going to live shows and playing gigs myself. My mum had a pretty great taste in music so introduced me to the likes of Marc Bolan, The Monkees and Fleetwood Mac through literally just playing them around the house. It wasn't long until I started piano lessons and began singing along to everything that was played on the radio.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
I spent a lot of my teenage years in various bands and projects so I naturally gravitated towards people I wanted us to sound like including artists like the Killers and the All American Rejects. I started my first band when emo music was at its biggest so I was naturally a huge fan of all the bands in Kerrang and NME during that time; they all had so much energy and every gig I went to was so exciting for me at the time.
I take influence nowadays by a whole range of artists in different genres: The Maine have been my favourite band for a number of years and kill it with every album they release. The 1975 are taking over the world track by track and there are so many new artists that are pushing boundaries and really making me push myself as well. It's a really exciting time for new music because it's more accessible to create and discover than ever before.
How would you describe your sound?
I think I make soulful piano rock music however somebody described my music as 'Morning After Pop' the other day and I really liked that. Everything I write comes from a real place and music creation to me is such a cathartic process which I try and portray in all of my songs. If you imagine The Fray, James Blake and Snow Patrol mixed together, you might be close.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
My latest release is Just Getting By which I originally wrote after one of my old projects fell apart. I was really gutted because I couldn't see a way forward for myself musically at the time and it seemed so unfair that the people I was working with had just moved on with their lives and I couldn't.
It's difficult when you're a struggling artist in the music industry to always keep your head above the water and keep a positive attitude so Just Getting By was created in the middle of that which comes out a lot in the lyrics.
What's your local music scene like?
I moved to London a couple of years ago and honestly, it's buzzing. I grew up in a town when there was a gig maybe once a month at a nearby pub which I would go with my friends to but in London there's literally hundreds of venues with live acts playing every night. Everything is so busy so you always have to be top of your game; there are so many incredibly musicians around you all the time who all want the same thing.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I'm playing a few festivals this summer which is really exciting. It's the first time I'll be properly playing as a solo artist so it'll be great to see how my set goes down with bigger audiences. In terms of releases, I'll be putting out a couple more tracks before the end of the year and I'm trying to write as many songs as possible for my debut album so I can cherry pick the ones that mean the most to me and fit together best.
Is there anyone you'd love to collaborate with?
This is such as hard one! I'd love to write with some of my musical heroes like Brandon Flowers (The Killers) and Lyndsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac) but realistically it'd be awesome to collaborate with some awesome new female artists who are killing it right now like Alice Merton or Maggie Rogers - their debut albums have been on repeat for months.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
I'm naturally quite a dopey person and I've done a few embarrassing things on stage before. The worst was probably when I played a huge show in Liverpool a few years ago and tried to throw our setlist into the crowd... It flew right back and hit me in the face and the whole venue laughed. Not my finest hour!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
There's no big label or big money helping me out; just a whole lot of feelings and late night writing sessions. I hope you all enjoy my sound and hopefully I'll see you at a show soon x