Exceptionally talented London-based singer and songwriter Drew Thomas has captured the essence of writing tracks that resonate in one way or another with listeners. Since establishing himself as a solo artist in early 2018, he has truly grown as an artist, with the release of singles including 'Just Getting By' and 'Soho.'
He has most recently released his new single 'Somebody You Needed.' With fantastic vocals, heartbreakingly beautiful lyrics and an incredible production, his new single inevitably marks a fresh new chapter in his career, whereby he feels that he has truly found his own unique sound.
"Sometimes you write a song which ends up having a much greater and more important meaning than ever originally expected when first putting pen to paper. 'Somebody You Needed' was a song about feeling isolated after the honeymoon stage of a relationship and now has connected with people at my live shows and who watch my live streams as a reflection of being secluded and missing loved ones."
With his new single out and an upcoming EP scheduled for release in the coming months, The Lowdown caught up with Drew Thomas to talk about 'Somebody You Needed,' what can be expected from his EP, how he's found lockdown and much more.
Keep reading to check out our interview!
You have recently released your brand new single 'Somebody You Needed.' How does it feel to have a new single out?
"I actually always feel a little bit nervous when I decide to put music out! I think there's a part of me which is really excited to show the world what I've been doing and another which is a perfectionist and I know that when it's out, I can't change it any more! 'Somebody You Needed' is definitely one of my favourite songs I've ever written, so I'm really glad that listeners will get to see how my style has developed over the past year."
What is the meaning behind the new single?
"'Somebody You Needed' is about the end of the 'honeymoon' period of a relationship, where things can go either way. You either work through the issues or you end up fading away into someone's past. Since being in lockdown, I feel that the song has found a greater meaning of being isolate and away from loved ones that you are used to seeing all the time. It's very hard to stay in touch with everyone in your life when you can't interact with them in the ways you are used to."
Was it a long process from originally writing the single to getting it released?
"I usually find that during songwriting, the songs which are written in an intensely short amount of time end up being the most special. I have this idea that creative ideas are like clouds passing by. You either grab them as they pass and make the most of them, or you let them go, never to find them again. 'Somebody You Needed' was actually written and demoed in one afternoon. I took it to the studio a couple of weeks later. It felt like all the musical ideas were there in my head already and developed the more I put pen to paper with the lyrics."
Do you have a favourite lyric from the song?
"The verses in 'Somebody You Needed' are probably my favourites, because they're so simple, but captured exactly how I felt at the time of writing. I think the lyric 'The songs all sound the same, the notes just rearranged' really summed up my frustration with writer's block. This song helped me to experiment with new musical ideas and develop the 'Drew Thomas' sound to what it is now."
For anyone who hasn't yet heard the single, can you sum it up in three words?
"Reflective, honest and wistful."
'Somebody You Needed' comes off your upcoming debut EP, which is set to be released later this year. What can listeners expect from the EP?
"I've been wanting to release an EP for a while, but I wanted to make sure that the songs felt right together and summed up what I wanted 'Drew Thomas' to sound like to a listener. The songs feel gritty but polished and sad but uplifting. Hopefully, people will love it like I do. I'm planning to release another song from it during the summer, which I can't wait for people to hear. 'Somebody You Needed' is just the start!"
Have you found that the lockdown period has given you the opportunity to write more than normal? If so, will we get to hear what you've been working on?
"I have a bad habit of comparing what I do and my creativity to other people and worrying that I'm not working hard enough or not being creative enough. I think everyone has felt a little bit like that during lockdown, because it's almost like the world has hit the 'pause' button' and everyone is figuring out their 'new normal.' I'm really proud of the music I've created during this time though. It's given me a great opportunity to re-evaluate the kind of artist I want to be and realise what things are most important in life. I've definitely recently hit my stride with variating the music I'm writing. One day, I'll write a sombre acoustic ballad and the next I'll write a summery pop song that my housemates create TikTok-style dances to! It's been different to say the least!"
Who would you say are your musical influences?
How did you first get into music? Is it something you knew you always wanted to be involved in?
"I always loved music as a kid. My Mum always played me older bands like T. Rex, The Monkees and Fleetwood Mac when we were in the car and then I ended up being really obsessed with the charts and who was Number One each week.
At high school, I ended up starting a band when I was thirteen and honestly, I loved the songs we were playing, but we weren't very good. However, I threw myself in head-first into making sure we played loads of shows and I'm pretty sure I contacted every promoter in the area we lived to try and get gigs for us to play.
From there, instead of going to university, I ended up touring the country with another band and just working really hard writing songs. A lot of people think that artists get big overnight, but honestly, most musicians in the world have spent the majority of their lives honing their creative skills in smaller settings until they get a break."
It's very clear that you've gone from strength to strength since establishing yourself on the music scene back in 2018. Do you have a personal stand-out moment so far?
"My journey as a solo artist has been a big learning curve and I've met, played alongside and written with some incredible people and artists. I think, though, that my highlight so far would be my London headline show at the end of last year. The friends and fans who came to that show really connected with my performance. Seeing a whole room of people singing along with songs you've written in your bedroom is the best feeling in the world."
Is there anything in particular you would like to achieve during your career?
"I think all artists would love Number One albums and sold-out tours (obviously the dream), but for now, I'm really enjoying creating a 'Drew Thomas' world of music for people to enjoy. I think touring other countries and continents with my music is definitely on my bucket list though. The idea of playing your music to people around the world would be really humbling and a career-defining moment for me."
Last but not least, do you have a message for your supporters?
"Just a big thank you for taking the time to check me out, whether that be simply listening to my music and adding it to your playlists, or spreading the word to your friends. It honestly really helps. It's so lovely to know that people are connecting with my music. If I can create something that means something to someone, then my work as an artist is done."
'Somebody You Needed' is out now.
By Rachel Dempster