Following the release of his single ‘Show Off’ upcoming R&B singer Thomas Gerard sat down with IndustryMe to discuss his journey so far.
New name, new music, the most obvious question is why the change?
I’ve figured out a lot over the past year about the type of music I want to create and also the message I want to convey. Overall I’d say that I just have a much stronger sense of direction that now allows me to confidently pursue a solo career!
What lessons did you learn from being in a group that you’ll take into your solo career?
I would say that working in a group setting has helped me to refrain from acting on impulse. I think that I can be well impulsive at times, however when there is someone else playing devils advocate, you learn how to think more and justify the reasons for making certain decisions – which then cultivates the patience.
I guess this single is almost like a reintroduction to you as a solo artist. How would you describe your sound?
Absolutely! At this point, my music is at a place where I think it can cater to a whole range of people. Like its RnB that could be played in a club for the boys n girls to have a boogie to, but then could also be played while your sat on the couch having a cup of tea with your mum. We just got a brand new kettle too.
What is the story behind the new single?
Okay so I’ve had the hook written for literally about two years and I remember thinking ‘oft that hook is damage.’ I had the chords down but no idea of the direction that I wanted to take the song in terms of the production. So I ended up leaving it for ages but never I forgot about it. Then, last year I revisited it and made this little guitar and E-piano loop that I knew was going to be the used for the instrumental. I still was kind of struggling, but thankfully my close friend from my hometown Jay Del Esté came to my aid and created the crazy drum pattern that gives the track its bounce and is present throughout. So that, combined with the magic that McKay worked within the mix has hopefully created the soundtrack to the summers of many!
How did you know this was the track you wanted to use to reintroduce yourself to the world?
I performed it at a show I was part of in my home town and it got a better response than I ever expected. RnB is certainly not a genre that Dundee is very familiar with at the moment and so if my city can bounce to it then I know it’ll be received well elsewhere – hence why I’m introducing myself with it.
Do you have a favourite line from the song?
Not a line no! However I do feel like the hook is one of the strongest I’ve written to date. I personally just really enjoy it which is a nice feeling to have.
There is a very clear 90s influence in your music, who would would you say your biggest inspirations from that era are?
100%. If we’re talking 90’s/early 00’s I would say some of my influences are Usher, Lauryn Hill, Donell Jones, Musiq Soulchild and D’angelo to name a few!
What do you think you of the state of UK R&B right now?
I think there are a lot of amazing artists bringing heat from the UK right now such as Kaleem Taylor, Sam Tompkins, Kadeem Tyrell and Mahalia as well as my boys Tyrell Trey and Corey Sharp who will do great things. However RnB in the UK overall hasn’t flourished yet, I think personally in maybe 2/3 years time RnB as a scene will pop fully in the UK especially with people like Nadia Jae and the whole CRNB platform championing both the genre and it’s artists alike.
What’s the most challenging thing about being an upcoming artist?
For me, I would say overthinking and all the ‘what ifs’ that creep in to your head when you’re tying to persevere in making a career out of doing something you love. But nothing worth having ever comes easy so I wouldn’t change it! The harder the labour, the sweeter the fruits and I’m tryna be on that 5 a day Udig lol.
Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your musical career?
I think God’s timing is perfect and that things are revealed to you when you’re ready to understand them and I believe that has definitely been the case for me over the past couple of years. However, I do wonder where I’d be if back then I had the same reasons for doing music as I do now. I wish I knew to always be genuine with my intentions instead of doing things for a temporary buzz if that makes sense.
What’s next for you?
So, I have two new singles coming out after ‘Show Off’ this summer and I also have a music video coming out with Southampton’s Lovemade as well as a few collaborations with my boy Corey Sharp. I can’t wait to showcase all of what we’ve been working on!
Any final shoutouts or plugs?
Shouts to my family, to my love Eden and to Paul Smernicki and Gary Clark for supporting me and helping me out when I’ve needed it! And to you Ray for having me back here and always showing love to aspiring artists. I cannot thank you enough!