Repping Brooklyn to the max and opening us his heart to guide us inside the emotions within the debut Here With Me, Thomas from Foreign Saints kindly took time out and answered our questions all about the exciting 1st release, the local music scene, and his songwriting process.
Llewelyn: Hello there Thomas from Foreign Saints. Thank you for joining us here on our A&R Factory interview platform. Firstly, we love the name. Please explain to our readers how did it come about on your pursuit and what was the inspiration behind it.
Thomas: Thanks for having me, Lu. The project name is a nod to when I hiked the Camino de Santiago, where the pull of completing a journey named after an arbitrary foreign saint showed me the beauty in the pursuit of something in and of itself. It’s how I hope to approach making music — to make art in a similar pursuit of something outside myself.
Llewelyn: Brooklyn is the city you represent. What does it mean to live there and what is the vibe currently like? Are there lots of new music venues and where would you recommend we check out?
Thomas: I moved to Brooklyn two years ago from my hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, and have loved it ever since. Obviously, it’s got one of the best music scenes in the world, but beyond that, there’s just so many people here doing cool things in every niche imaginable that it makes any creative endeavor all that more possible. Conversely, it’s easy to feel small when surrounded by the sheer talent of the musicians here, but what an incredible privilege to be a tiny part of it all.
Llewelyn: Please tell us all about your 1st single Here With Me and the upcoming EP?
Thomas: Here With Me is the first song I wrote off the upcoming EP. I wrote it in an afternoon based on a small idea I had at 3am the night before, which (unfortunately for my sleep schedule) is pretty typical of how I start songs. Part of me prefers to keep the meanings of songs a little bit undefined, that way they can exist independent of me and mean different and completely valid things to different people. But what was going through my head when I was writing it was the feeling you get when you first start seeing someone where you’re simultaneously relieved and anxious to have found them. Where you can feel part of yourself becoming wrapped up in someone outside of you, but the irony of them being the relief from that feeling.
Llewelyn: Who is your rock in life and someone who has really pushed you to reach your goals & dreams?
Thomas: I’m immensely grateful to my parents for their l encouragement of my creative pursuits. We spent a good portion of my childhood moving around several countries, and I think them expanding our horizons helped me appreciate more of the world than I ever could have. My dad was my first-ever producer, pushing me to write and track songs in his home studio set up from a young age, and introducing me to many of my strongest musical influences.
Llewelyn: Who do you make music for and what is the process like? Do you sit down and make it quite quickly or do you prefer to stew on the creation and let it flow naturally?
Thomas: I’ve always found the process of songwriting difficult to summon on command. Most of my songs start as 3am voice notes of little ideas, that I then quickly try to flesh out while in the right headspace for that song. It’s really difficult for me to let something sit for weeks on end and revisit it later. I’ve found my better songs tend to come out of alternating bursts of frantic writing and overwhelming frustration. It sort of balances out in a weird way.
Llewelyn: What are some perks about being a local musician and the challenges too?
Thomas: I’m just starting to release music, so I haven’t ventured much into the local music scene as a performer. Once I have more of my songs out I’d love to start doing some of the small venues in New York, but one thing at a time!
Listen up to his music come to life via Spotify.
Follow more on his website.
Interview by Llewelyn Screen