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Artist Spotlight

Exclusive Interview with Thoma$, a Canadian Singer, Songwriter and Producer Who Is Making Wave Now In The Industry

If you are not familiar with Thoma$ read more.

Thoma$ is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and producer. He started the music software FL Studio in 2018 and quickly discovered his passion for music. And then he started producing his songs in 2019, and only decided to release them in 2021 with one of his friends at the time. Thoma$ was greatly inspired by the work of several great producers and mixing engineers such as Mike Dean, Metro Boomin, Southside, and many others.

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In 2021, Thoma$ started teaching other producers how to mix and master their beats through in-person personal coaching and YouTube videos. His first studio album called ”All In Or Nothing” is released on Christmas, 25th of December 2021.

Hey, Thoma$ thanks for taking out time to respond to us. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

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Thoma$ – I started listening to rap music when I was 8-years-old, and I always liked the energy of this specific genre. When I was a teenager, I remember telling myself that I could see myself making music that sounded as good as the artists I was listening to. In 2018, my sister showed a beat that one his friend made, and I told myself that I could easily make a beat that is better than that even if I had no prior experience in doing that. The day following that event, I downloaded FL Studio and I fell in love with the process of making a beat and this eventually led to me making and rapping on my beats.

 

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Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Thoma$ – The most interesting story that happened to me was when I chose to pursue a music career instead of finishing my bachelor’s degree in education. At this point, I was 3 years into my degree, and I was close with some people in my cohort, and they all supported my music. When I decided to drop out, the reaction of the people of my cohort was so positive and motivating; they all say that I had what it takes to make it, and they wished me the best of luck and were convinced that I would succeed.

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Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? 

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Thoma$ –  Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that? The funniest thing that I used to do when I started making music is that I used to think the beats that I made were so hard and different from anything that was out there. Once I compared my beats to the beats of the biggest producers, I realized that I wasn’t there yet and that I had to work my *ss off to get there; I couldn’t mix properly and most of the time my 808s (the bass) was not even in key. This being said, I’m happy with the progress I made over time, but I’m still looking forward to progressing even more.

 

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What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Thoma$ – I just finished recording my first solo album called ”All In Or Nothing” which will release on Christmas (25/12/2021) on all platforms. This 11 track project was made in 2 months and was entirely produced, mixed, and mastered by myself. Although this is my first solo album, this is not my first project since I previously was part of a group called Top Dogs with one of my friends at the time, and we released 2 albums. All In Or Nothing has a deep meaning to it and represents who I am as an artist more than anything I’ve previously released, I’m very excited to share this project!

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Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

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Thoma$ – Being a very deep thinker, the most interesting people I’ve ever spoken to would have to be my philosophy teachers in college (CEGEP). These people have a way of living their life that is simple yet very interesting, and they could incorporate some of the concepts we saw in their classes in their everyday lives (ex: weighing various decisions, understanding points of view, etc.) The most important life lesson that I gained from interacting with some of them is that the search for happiness never ends and once you understand that you can enjoy the little things in life a lot more, you usually tend to also the deeper meaning of things more easily.

 

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Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Thoma$ – Establish a schedule and respect that schedule, I know that it can be tempting to put in more hours than the schedule allows, but this could lead to burnout for a lot of people; you have to know your limits and work according to your limits.

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You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure? 

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Thoma$ – Do not have any expectations, the worst thing that can happen is that you give up, not that you don’t succeed; believe in yourself, work on your craft and never quit.

 

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Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices, or treatments that you do to help your body, mind, or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

Thoma$ – The thing that has benefited my mental health and my physical health the most is working out very frequently. I started lifting weight 3x per week or more since when I was 15 years old, and I can say that nothing else has helped to develop my discipline more than that since to have a good workout you have to plan it, and you have to plan and calculate your rate of progression; this is crucial in any aspect of your life. Another routine that helps me significantly is to make a ”to-do list” every single day right when I wake up, this allows me to know exactly what I will do throughout the day. Other than that, I make sure I drink at least 3 liters of water per day and that I read for at least 30 minutes per day (news, books, etc.)

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What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

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1- Be yourself

A lot of people are living fake lives and are not being themselves, you must get to know yourself to be your true self, you learn by trial and error, and you never stop learning about yourself.

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2- Nothing worth doing comes easy 

You need to be ready to put in an insane amount of hours before you reach your final goal, there are multiple steps along the way, start by deconstructing how you will progress.

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3- Bring something else to the table 

In the music industry, especially in hip-hop, the vast majority of artists sound the same. Be unique

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4- Remember why you are doing it 

You are the only one that can give meaning to your life, remember that when you feel discouraged

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5- Never give up 

The moment you fail is the moment you give up.

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Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

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Thoma$ – “People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.” – Elon Musk

 

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This is so significant to me because I noticed so many people are not doing their dream job or are not chasing their dream and that is why they lack motivation and tend to be depressed. When you are doing something very important to you, you will feel motivated to wake up every single day to do that thing whatever it is.

 

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None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Thoma$ –  My mom is the person that helped me the most in my life, she’s always been extremely supportive and always believed in my potential. I could openly talk about any problem with my mom, and she always tried to help fix that problem. For example, I always had a hard time fitting in when I was younger and my mom would bring me to therapy, she would give me tips on how to make friends, and she would congratulate me on my progress toward that and various other aspects of my life.

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You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

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Thoma$ – That’s a very good question, I think about it every day. I am someone who cares about the environment, and seeing what society did in terms of damage to our planet is quite depressing. This said I believe that the source of the issue is the big industries that heavily pollute, the oil industry that controls the market, and the society that makes us inclined to consume a lot. To solve the problem, I would start a movement where people are invited to boycott the big industries that make our lives worse. To do that, many awareness campaigns would be necessary to make the population realize that this is more serious than what they think. I believe in collective goodwill.

 

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We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Thoma$ – Elon Musk, since he’s the smartest person on earth, in my opinion. I would like to ask him about the future of humanity and various other topics. I pay attention to everything he does.

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How can our readers follow you online?

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Thoma$ – You can follow me on Instagram :

 

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https://www.instagram.com/ddoubleecupp/

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Artist Spotlight

Richard Lynch Sticks to Tradition on Biographical “Right Where He Ought to Be”

“Right Where He Ought to Be”, like much of Richard Lynch’s work, is deeply rooted in traditional country music, often celebrating the simplicity of rural life, hard work, and strong family values. “Right Where He Ought to Be” continues this tradition, with its narrative (about Hollywood stuntman, Kim Kahana) focusing on finding contentment and a sense of belonging in one’s life choices and circumstances. The title itself suggests a story of realization and acceptance, reflecting on the journey of an individual who has discovered their place in the world—whether it be through returning to their roots, embracing their current life stage, or finding peace in their personal or professional life.

The song narrates the life of Kim Kahana, who, from a young age, walked across the country alone to make California his home. With only a third-grade education and having survived the Great Depression, he joins the military to fight in Korea, where he is captured and nearly killed. Displaying remarkable courage, he escapes death by faking his death and escaping. After the war, he returns to California, aspiring to work in the film industry. Starting as a stuntman, he eventually becomes a revered figure in Hollywood, teaching others for over 70 years.

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Key messages include the power of belief in oneself, the importance of perseverance, and the idea that it’s never too late to find where you belong.

Richard Lynch stands out in the country music scene for his steadfast dedication to the traditional country sound, characterized by its storytelling, emotional honesty, and connection to rural life and blue-collar experiences. “Right Where He Ought to Be” is a reflection of these core themes, encapsulating the essence of what Lynch’s music represents.

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Comparing “Right Where He Ought to Be” to the rest of Lynch’s discography, several key similarities and distinctions emerge:

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  1. Thematic Continuity: Lynch’s songs frequently explore themes of love, loyalty, hard work, and the importance of roots and heritage. “Right Where He Ought to Be” aligns with these themes, likely offering a narrative that celebrates finding one’s place and peace in life, a recurring motif in his work.
  2. Musical Style: Lynch is known for his commitment to traditional country instrumentation and arrangements, shying away from the pop-influenced sounds that dominate modern country. This song, like much of his work, features classic country instruments such as steel guitar, fiddle, and acoustic guitar, creating a sound that is both nostalgic and timeless.
  3. Authenticity and Personal Connection: One of Lynch’s strengths is his ability to draw from his own life experiences, giving his music an authentic and relatable quality. Whether “Right Where He Ought to Be” is autobiographical or inspired by the stories of others, it maintains this personal touch, connecting with listeners through shared experiences and emotions.
  4. Evolution and Consistency: While maintaining a consistent sound, Lynch also shows evolution in his music, exploring various facets of country life and personal introspection. This song represents a deeper, more reflective side of Lynch, offering insights into his personal philosophy or life journey while still fitting comfortably within his established musical identity.

Overall, “Right Where He Ought to Be” serves as both a continuation of and a unique entry in Richard Lynch’s discography. It showcases his strengths as a traditional country artist while offering listeners a potentially new perspective on finding one’s place in the world. As with all of Lynch’s music, the song  resonates with those who appreciate country music’s ability to tell stories that are deeply human and profoundly relatable.

Other suggestions for similar themes and exploration would include Johnny Cash, for his storytelling in songs like “A Boy Named Sue,” which also explores themes of identity and destiny. and films about Hollywood’s golden era, such as “La La Land,” for its exploration of dreams, success, and the allure of the silver screen.

–Roger Newsome

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Artist Spotlight

Bill Abernathy Shines on Personal Journey of Growth on “More” (Single Review)

Bill Abernathy’s work often delves into themes of personal growth, the passage of time, and the quest for meaning beyond the material world. His storytelling approach gives voice to the universal human experience, using personal anecdotes to touch on larger truths.

The title of his latest single release, “More” suggests a yearning for something beyond the present, perhaps a deeper connection, understanding, or a sense of fulfillment that material possessions or societal achievements cannot provide. Abernathy’s music typically encourages listeners to reflect on their own lives, questioning what truly matters and urging an exploration of one’s values and desires.

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“More” invites listeners on a reflective journey, prompting them to consider what they are seeking more of in their own lives. The song explores themes of love, connection, freedom, or personal fulfillment, all wrapped in Abernathy’s signature folk-infused sound.

The lyrics delve deeply into themes of longing, connection, and the quest for something profound beyond the superficial layers of relationships and self-perception. The repetition of “more than” throughout the song serves as a powerful literary device, emphasizing the singer’s deep yearning for a connection that transcends the ordinary—seeking a love and understanding that goes beyond the physical and the fleeting moments to touch something eternal and true.

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The lyrics explore the internal conflict and vulnerability of opening up to such a profound level of connection. The mention of “facing these feelings I fear to explore” and “exposing my weakness” speaks to the courage it takes to confront one’s own vulnerabilities and the fear of rejection or loss that often accompanies such openness. This vulnerability is juxtaposed with a longing for a connection that is “more than just friends, more than just lovers,” suggesting a desire for a deep, soulful bond that surpasses conventional relationship labels and experiences.

The repeated references to “searching,” “journey,” and “exploring the shadows” illustrate the internal and external quests for meaning, understanding, and connection in life. These themes resonate with the universal human experience of seeking something greater than ourselves, something that gives life depth and meaning beyond the surface level.

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“More” also touches on the idea of loss and healing, with lines like “more than the bridges I burned as I crossed” and “more than the scars disguising my heart,” indicating a history of pain and the struggle to move beyond past hurts towards a more meaningful and fulfilling connection.

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The song’s exploration of these themes invites listeners to reflect on their own lives, relationships, and inner desires. It challenges the notion of what love can be and encourages a deeper, more introspective look at how we connect with others and what we truly seek in those connections.

The emotional depth and lyrical complexity of “More” make it a poignant meditation on love, vulnerability, and the human condition’s eternal search for something greater than ourselves. It’s a call to explore the depths of our hearts and to dare to imagine and strive for a connection that transcends the ordinary.

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In the realm of music, the song “More” is a delightful celebration of the quintessential elements of folk and Americana genres. It’s expertly adorned with the charming notes of an acoustic guitar, the rhythmic beats of drums, and the melodic tones of a piano, all coming together in a harmonious blend. The guitar is gently strummed, creating a soothing hum that is both comforting and inviting.

This musical symphony is further accentuated by the subtle touches of percussive elements that play in the background, providing an enchanting canvas for Abernathy’s vocals to shine. His voice is warm, intimate, and drenched in sincerity, perfectly capturing the essence of the song’s introspective nature.

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“More” is a song that takes you on an emotional journey, evoking feelings of nostalgia and introspection. It’s a reflective piece that prompts a melancholic mood, bringing forth a sense of depth and thoughtfulness. However, despite its somber undertones, there’s an undeniable charm and cheerfulness to it, making it a joy to listen to. It’s a true testament to the beauty of folk and Americana music, a delightful auditory experience that’s sure to leave listeners feeling touched and moved.

-Jason Spezza

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