Using music to tie back to the “agony and ecstasy of heartache,” Toronto born and bred artist, Julian Thomas has been releasing track after track to navigate his “roller coaster life“. Kickstarting 2018 with Need U Hear Close 2 Me, Thomas is in for a breakthrough year with his latest works coming together for what is sure to be, a very memorable release.
Produced by FrancisGotHeat, Thomas’ new track Too Perceptive, combines introspective lyrics and a sound that leaves you emotionally connected. In a recent interview, Thomas spoke on his music, his inspirations and goals for the future.
For someone who hasn’t listened to your music how would you describe your sound?
Growing up I used to listen to a lot of different music, a lot of different genres, but I always used to pick off the slower, sadder sounding songs. My playlist was always the one with the saddest music. That heavily influenced the music that I created later on.
When did you first get started in writing?
Writing started for me as a way to vent and a way for me to get all my ideas out. Everyone, when they are younger, see their parents fight. My parents did too, until one day they just stopped fighting and started writing notes to each other. I saw that and thought, maybe that can be my form of communication. Not to someone else, but to myself.
So, I started writing it all down and it naturally started to rhyme and that was the beginning for me. I was writing to vent to a couple sheets of paper, and I started reading it out loud and was like “wow, that’s a rap.” From then on I was in my room working on music, downloading instrumentals and writing, and to this day nothing has really changed.
What has been your favorite part of creating your tracks?
It’s being able to come to terms with what I’m writing about, and being able to re-live those moments. It’s really a form of therapy for me to listen back. People think it’s weird to listen to your own music, I personally don’t. I’ve already sat through this movie for my entire life, so I enjoy listening to my music now more so than ever.
What artists were the most influential and inspirational for you?
I’d have to give you a group of different artists. Pink Floyd and Mos Def, they are on opposite ends of the spectrum and that’s what is in line with my music. They are different sounds that are still relevant to each other, and I feel like I am the connective piece.
Did you have a lot of support from your friends and family?
I kept it kind of a secret until high school, when I started free styling. I was doing work in class and people asked “have you been writing,” and I told them “yeah I’ve been writing, free styling, working on music, I just haven’t really told anyone.”
That’s where the whole ‘you’ll never make it’ idea comes from; someone will tell you you’ll never make it, and it’s on you to be like “well yeah, I will” or “no I wont, you’re right.”
Who out of everyone has been the most supportive?
After they saw that I really took it seriously, and that I can actually rap and sing, then everyone was like “oh it makes sense, he was actually working hard.”
My family, they recognize the talent for sure and that has been a driving force for me. I have two older brothers that had me on different styles of hip hop since I was young, so that was a part of my growth. My friends, my family and my manager who I have been with for 6 years; we’ve always hunkered down, made sure the work gets done, and made sure the right people get the recognition.
How does it feel to have people listen to your music?
Honestly, I am still so taken aback when someone tells me they have seen the video, or when they tell me that they have heard the song. I’ve had a couple people who have come up to me and said “oh, I’ve seen your video,” and I had no idea who these people are. It’s kind of cool and I just hope that the connectivity is there for the right reasons. I hope people get the right things from the music and not the negative because there is a silver lining within it.
Is it difficult to share your story with people that you don’t know, especially when it may not be perceived as you intended?
No, I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, I only care what I think about me.
Where do you see your music taking you? What’s next for your current and future fans?
I’m going to change the world.
I think a year ago I would have been scared to say something like that, but I think I’m in a position right now that I can really push towards some type of connectivity, and hopefully, make this world a little bit smoother for humanity.
I know I’ll be touring within a year. I’ll be searching for higher connectivity within a year because I’ve been spending my entire life doing that. I just hope to have more love, more family, and more friends. Hopefully with all that, the paychecks come too.
You use the word connectivity, can you talk about that a little more?
In this day and age, we are a lot more connected than we want to even believe ourselves. It’s a grey area, because we are also more disconnected than we have ever been. We’re connected, but we are further away than we have ever been from actually understanding each other. That’s a scary thing for me. So, I always search for connectivity. I feel like once you’re on that level then you can gain understanding.
What’s one thing that you believe, that other people disagree with you on?
I think a lot of people won’t agree with me on this, and not to sound misogynistic, but from a man’s standpoint, I think we need to take care of our women a little bit more. At the end of the day I feel like we have the ability to be a demon or an angel, but I’m at a point in my life where I’m not going to sit, or stand by, while people demonize women. 99% of the time, it’s our own doing.
What is one self-imposed rule that you live by?
Watch how my energy affects the energies around me.