- For many artists, they cite a defining moment for themselves when they knew they wanted to be a singer. For many it was the appearance of Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show, to another generation it was the Beatles’ appearance on Sullivan half a decade later. Is there such a defining moment for you
TOMAS: when I was 12 years old, I was watching a concert program on television late one Saturday night. Larry Graham and Graham Central Station were performing on the show. I went into my parent’s bedroom, woke my mother up, and dragged her into the living room to watch the show with me. It was at that moment that I realized that I wanted to be a musician.
2. When you’re not creating music what are you listening to? Who are some of your favorites?
TOMAS:The Idan Raichel Project,Method of Defiance,Steel Pulse,Tcheka,Fela,of course
There’s always the classics-Marvin Gaye,James Brown,Albert King.Chris Whitley has been a huge influence on me.I also happen to love Marla Mase and Rod Clemmons-
Both of whom I have the pleasure of working closely with.
3. What would you say is your greatest moment so far as an artist, either on record or live?
TOMAS:There have been so many magical moments,and I feel very blessed to be able to say that.Last fall we performed in China for 8 days in front of about 100,000 people.That
Was an amazing experience,As far as making records goes my new CD “Power of the trinity” was a dream come true.I got to work with a few of my heroes including Bill Laswell(Grammy Award winning producer/Bassist),Yusef Komunyakaa(Pulitzer Prize winning poet),and Ethiopian R & B legend Selam Woldermariam.I was in heaven the whole time!
4. Do you believe music can change the world or is just something to listen to? How much can music influence current events?
TOMAS:Well,remember the song “I love music” by the O’jays(written by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff)? It says-“Music is the healing force of the world”,and FELA
Said-“Music is the weapon of the future”.That pretty much sums up how I feel about
The power of music.”You may say I’m a dreamer,but I’m not the only one”
5. How has technology affected the music industry? How has technology affected your career as a musician?
TOMAS:My creative process is still the same.It all starts with a great song.All I need to
Start that process is an acoustic guitar and my voice.If it doesn’t sound cool then,the
Technology won’t make any difference in the final analysis.Perhaps that’s a bit “old school” but remember-The Beatles made Sgt. Pepper on an 8 track machine.
It still sounds good to me.Of course the internet has made it possible to reach a lot
People and expand your fan base,but it still starts with a song.
- Now for my Barbara Walters question: If you were a pair of shoes what type of shoes would you be?
TOMAS:A nice pair of Italian leather dress shoes.Always comfortable,but always in style.