He’s a southern gentleman with a dream. A man with a talent for putting emotions down on paper and sounding off those words with the musical instrument he’s been given…his voice. And he knows how to use it. LeVar Thomas is a name you must take note of…write it down…take a picture of it…because let me tell you, this down-to-earth, determined, handsome and talented individual is about to take the music industry by storm one way or another. I had the pleasure of asking LeVar a few questions about his background, his dream celebrity date and his love for Stevie Wonder. Peep out the full interview below!
Danity: Let’s get to you know a little bit LeVar because when you reach fame and fortune we want to know that we have all the real details about ya straight from your mouth, dahling. So, how long have you been singing?
LeVar: I started singing on the youth choir at Silver Bluff Baptist Church at age 7.
When I was 13, I joined a group with 3 cousins and a friend from school. We sang, wrote music and performed together for about 10 years and leading up to now that makes 20 + years.
Danity: So in a few statements, how would you describe your music?
LeVar: I usually ask the listener to decide. I just grab my pen and let it flow. The two words I hear in response most are smooth and soulful. Old school soul meets positive new school vibe.
Danity: Nice, so when you say old school there must be a few legends that inspire you. Can you fill us in on who your musical influences are?
LeVar: Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder are two that rank up top. Both of them have voices that blow you away. They both have a special attention to their musical content, lyrically and vocally. Stevie Wonder I admire especially for his philanthropic approach to writing.
Danity: Love both of those men. So, LeVar, give me your story. What does your musical background consist of?
LeVar: In 2002, I found myself unhappy with my job I’d been working at for 6 years and I wasn’t singing much and I really missed it. I quit that job, took my 401K and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. I figured I’d get successful in the mecca of music. I met some great musicians there who worked with and encouraged me.
After awhile, I knew I had to make some recordings to demo. I didn’t have money for studios, so I sold my first car and bought a home studio.
I started by posting cover songs on Myspace and I started getting tracks from budding producers who liked what I was doing. I also started doing videos on Youtube that went on to get Editor’s Picks and other awards. My account got shut down due to vigorous promotion..lol. Some call it spam. What can I say, I was eager.
From then on everything just snowballed. I won $10,000 in an internet talent contest called Clipstar and met my first manager who encouraged me to write, write, write. His advice paid off because my songwriting skills have grown. I’ve now been in New York for a year and the sky is the limit. I’ve already met some very interesting and interested people, have near tripled my catalog of songs and can’t wait to see what happens next!
Click after the jump for more with the fabulous LeVar Thomas. Do It!
Danity: You mentioned that you packed up and moved from Atlanta. What made you choose to move to New York over soulful Atlanta?
LeVar: I sang at benefit concerts, open mics and showcases and sent out demo packages that came back unopened sometimes. Hip-Hop was coming to the forefront and there were male R&B acts like Raheem DeVaughn, Bobby V, Musiq Soulchild and Usher with recent projects out. I thought the market might be too saturated so I shifted my focus and took time to work on my craft. I took vocal lessons at Jan Smith Studios, and practiced my writing more. I started doing more online networking and worked with local and foreign producers on their way up too.
After trying hard to get a deal in ATL for 6 years with no luck, I figured the Big Apple would be the next place to try.
Danity: NYC is such a big, big place, LeVar! So, how do you decide what your immediate music career goal is?
LeVar: My immediate goal is to score a publishing deal. A publishing deal would allow me time, connections and finances to give my all to music. I would like to share my songs with other vocal talents and in the meantime work on a professional studio album for myself.
Danity: So when you score yourself a publishing deal, are you most interested in producing songs for other artists, sort of a behind-the-scenes artist or are you wanting to be a stage performer, singing your own jams?
LeVar: That’s changed for me a few times over the years. My manager at the time, who is an industry insider told me it’s hard making it as an artist but songwriters are highly sought after. After watching some other R&B artists branching out after being songwriters first, I thought this might be the way to go for me. I’m open for whichever happens first. I would love to rock intimate venues or collaborate and write for artists on their projects. I just love being a part of anything musical.
Danity: What about your long-term career goals…where do you see yourself 5, 10 or even 15 years from now?
LeVar: My long term goals consist of heading my own music label. I would like to work with a small group of artists with a strong love for music who wish for longevity in the industry. I’ve always wanted to start some community outreach for kids too. The world is moving fast and kids don’t get to be kids for long.
Danity: Sounds like a fantabulous plan, LeVar. So, I’m dying to know here, what exactly does a day in the life of LeVar Thomas consist of?
LeVar: That all depends! Each morning I stumble over to the coffee maker and besides hygiene, it’s anybody’s guess. Last week I viewed the filming of a daytime talk show pilot and went to an NBA game that night. Some days I get out into New York and just walk around to learn where things are. Most of my time though is spent behind my computer promoting, making new music or meeting contacts with similar interests.
Danity: Good to know that you also keep yourself sane by keeping yourself looking fine and going with the flow. I like that. Okay so hands down, my favorite song of yours thus far is “Missing You”. I can’t get enough of it. What inspired you to write that song?
LeVar: I had been working with a group of brother producers by the name of Delicate Beats from Canada. I asked them if they work on a step record for me. When they sent it, I loved it the moment I heard it and knew I had to bring the goods on the track. At the time I hadn’t visited home in awhile and I had family and friends being deployed overseas. I wanted to touch on what I was feeling but felt it would be stronger as a love song. I started writing it in Atlanta and finished it two weeks after moving to NY.
Danity: Love, love, love that song. Alright, let’s break it down a bit here with some funtasticular Danified questions if you don’t mind. If you could duet with ANY musician who would it be and why?
LeVar: That’s a tough question because there are so many artists that I like. It would probably have to be Stevie Wonder on a “That Girl” kinda vibe, a socially aware song with Erykah Badu or a deep love ballad with Beyonce. These artists have top notch vocals, are great performers and have proven themselves sucessful in the industry. I think I would learn a lot from a recording session with them as well.
Danity: All very talented artists indeed. If you could go on a date or hang out with any celebrity, who would it be and why?
LeVar: That could change weekly.
Danity: A HA HA!
LeVar: I think I would have most to talk about with Jazmine Sullivan. She’s a great singer and songwriter herself. In her interviews she’s down to earth and cares about the quality of work she releases. Love her vocals too!
Danity: Yes, and she’s gorgeous too, I might add. I’m sure you were thinking the same thing, right? Now the Danified question of the hour, do you consider yourself classy, sassy or trashy?
LeVar: Classy! I am a gentleman. I pull out chairs and open doors for the ladies. I try my best to be there for my friends when they need me. I present myself the way I am and believe drama is best left to daytime soaps. I have a huge family and I like to share all of my music with them. If I can’t play it for my small cousins or my grandparents, why sing it.
Danity: Fabulous! Wow, LeVar it has been great speaking with you and getting to know more about you. I wish you all the luck out there in the industry and I certainly will not be surprised to hear one of your songs blasting out on the airwaves. You freakin’ rock!
*You can check out some of LeVar Thomas’ jams at his website
LeVar’s Music Here!