The first time I listened to Sean Thomas, I was on the beach in my hometown. His music played on my Bluetooth speakers, the ocean in the background. My constant worries melted from the sun, the sand, the sound and I found myself listening to song after song. Sean produces an addictive sound– a fresh, multileveled perspective on songs we’ve heard. He manipulates sound and rhythm, creating new meaning for the lyrics, a meaning you’d never find underneath radio fluff. Sean goes for the heart. Listen to Sean Thomas when you’re getting ready, cleaning, chilling or having a kickback at your place. Book him for a party and stay tuned for an upcoming collab album with Mario Bruno.
Her Campus (HC): What are some of the highlights of your background in music?
Sean Thomas (ST): I started playing piano at 7 years old, my grandma used to teach me. I think the first song I learned was chopsticks. Then, I moved up to playing trombone in elementary school in Canada and moved back to the US where I had a year head start so I could play in a lot of honor bands. Eventually, I started Florida State as a music major playing trombone.
HC: How would you describe the genre of your newest music?
ST: My specific genre that I’m doing professionally right now is electronic, but it focuses more on things that are a little bit more ambient. I take influences from pop, big house, electrohouse, trap and rap. I like to take a lot of influences and try to combine them into something that’s a little bit more personal to me. It combines all of the listening I do.
HC: What inspired you to go in this direction?
ST: The biggest inspiration I have is my brother. He inspired me to play trombone, listen to new music and took me to my first electronic show. My brother has been the biggest influence on what direction I’m heading. Some of my musical influences are Ekali, Zedd, Slow Magic, WNDR and Chon
HC: Any other genres you want to explore?
ST: It’s really exciting to explore more experimental genres. They’re not necessarily experimental in terms of music theory, but in popularity. It’s a little more underground, but it’s exciting to explore that and try to input that into music that can be a little more popular.
HC: What makes your sound unique?
ST: My sound is unique, but I think everyone’s sound is unique in its own little way. It’s personal, everyone’s music they make is sort of a combination of everything they listened to before. I’d like to explore these genres that are somewhat popular, but make music that everyone can enjoy.
HC: Walk us through your composition process.
ST: I enjoy doing remixes the most. You can take a song and change it into your own thing. You can change the tempo, style and chord progressions. You can make it something that is completely personal to you and I think that’s really cool. I normally do the remixes alone but my roommate knows a lot about percussion and recommends a lot of things. I’m working on a personal album with a singer from Tallahassee, Mario Bruno. That composition process is a little different. We start with an idea, he’ll sing a melody over it and we’ll just build from there, add more and make it interesting.
HC: Does your process change when collaborating with others?
ST: It becomes a little more interesting when collaborating. It’s always important to have feedback, you always need to be paying attention to what people are saying: not only your fans, but your critics. In collaboration, you can bounce ideas off one another, though it’s unfortunate when ideas clash. The collaboration allows for even more experiences to come together and more interesting music to be made.
HC: Have you performed live?
ST: I have performed live at friends’ parties for free, as you do when you first start. I want to practice and get better. Playing live as an electronic musician is really interesting because there are a lot of things that you can do that a lot of others can’t. The technology we have is so complex and a lot of times DJs and performers underutilize the massive amount of tools they have. That’s what I’d really like to expand more on and I’d like to perform more.
HC: Does performing live change your process?
ST: It’s definitely different than producing because you have to take a multitude of music for 2-3 hours and it’s difficult to make sure everything is right for that long. You’re always checking, listening to the crowd and making sure everything sounds good. At small parties, I take a lot of requests and there’s a way to be musical about it. You have to combine these songs and make a performance out of it even though you have specific requests on the spot, it’s a lot like improvising.
HC: What do you hope your listeners get from your songs?
ST: My songs are very much a reflection of myself and a lot of the times, the lyrics from the remixes aren’t necessarily what I’m trying to portray. I want everyone to have their own personal experience with my songs or anyone’s songs. With mine, I hope that people can perceive that these remixes have a personal aspect of me in there. I hope they can find something they can relate to as well.
HC: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
ST: For this genre, I would say take your time and really learn what you’re doing. There are so many tutorials on how to use specific software. Don’t put anything out that you’re not absolutely proud of. If you’re not proud of it, you’re going to show your music to others and be way too nervous. Show your music to people that are close to you and they’ll give you support. Always keep making music, that goes for any genre.