CARL THOMAS

CARL THOMAS

BandR&BWorld

Chicago native and platinum-selling R&B star, Carl Thomas gave us R&B music that was reminiscent of the golden days of Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding

Biography

Carl Thomas Bio

For a soul singer coming from the midwestern city of Chicago, there is grand heritage that already exists. From the gutbucket blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf to the buttery soul of Curtis Mayfield and Donny Hathaway, the musical metropolis has long been a foundation of genius. Yet, instead of being intimidated into submission, R&B sensation Carl Thomas has used his vocal and songwriting skills to scale the wailing walls of the city’s considerable rhythmic legacy.

While not much was known about the suave singer when he first signed to Bad Boy Records in the late 90’s, Carl Thomas was without a doubt as cool as the winds blowing in his native city. Standing tall as a basketball player and always impeccably dressed, he brought an acute understanding of old soul to his new music. From the dazzling 2000 debut Emotional (released on former label Bad Boy Records) to his latest disc So Much Better, the talented singer/songwriter has proven himself as an artist in the truest sense of the word.

“My only real responsibility is to the music,” Carl confesses. “I’m aware that I have to uphold a certain tradition and integrity in the music, but I also have to stay sincere to myself. I believe people who love soul music can feel when you’re not being real.” In the wrong hands, “realness” can become cliché of booty songs and artificial toughness, but one listen to Carl Thomas’ sexy singing and one realizes he isn’t having any of that.

“What comes from the heart reaches the heart,” Carl says poetically. “In other words, when I’m writing songs I try to capture scenarios that are true. There is a complexity to relationships that many songwriters miss that I try to relate; we all have a lot of drama in our lives and that is what I’m attempting to express on So Much Better.”

Opening the disc with the melodic hypnotic of “Something About You,” a laidback groove infused track that sways like a summer wind, it is obvious that Carl Thomas is back with a winner. Produced by Mike City, who has been one of Carl’s boys since his debut, “Something About You” is a blissful song of infatuation that sounds like nothing else currently blaring from the radio. Featuring vocals from Brandy, “Something About You” is a timeless song that embraces the best of pop and soul in a seamless song.

“My style has always been like a pot of gumbo,” Carl jokes. “From gospel and soul to Steely Dan and early ‘80s MTV music, it’s all a part of who I am.” Recording in Los Angeles, the former Bad Boy soul man was also pleased that Brandy was in the studio that same afternoon. Though the song should not be perceived as a duet in the traditional sense, Brandy’s sensual sound adds a layer of femininity to the song that enhances its beauty. “I’ve usually shied away from doing duets, because being an artist who performs live so much, I never wanted to have to depend on others. But, when Brandy got on this song, I just knew it was going to be amazing.”

Keeping it sweet, but with an edge of street, the single “Another You” serves as an aural testimonial to the object of his desire. With mackadelic lyrics (“I’d much rather be all by myself if I couldn’t be with you”) that would make any sexy mama respond, Carl has no problem spreading charm like butter. “Before I give the audience something different, I needed to remind them why they loved me in the first place,” Carl says.

Although Carl Thomas’ masterwork Emotional was a critical and sales success, life has not always been a simple path for the thirty-four-year old singer. After releasing the follow-up Lets Talk About It in 2004, tragedy struck home when Carl’s oldest brother was killed the same year. The youngest of five children, Carl remembers, “With the death of my brother Randy, I kind of lost my voice. I had found the truth in my brother, and now he was gone. After that, my feelings towards the world changed.”

Murdered randomly on Halloween night (2004) by gang members joy riding though the windy city, Carl’s brother was a respected correction officer and minister. Slumping into a depression that blocked him as a writer and performer, Carl says, “I knew that I had no control over the death of my brother, but I wanted to be able to at least control my own career. I love Bad Boy and Puffy, but it became more about how I want to be perceived as an artist. I didn’t know how long it would take for me to reemerge, but when it happened I wanted the situation to be different.”

Citing Mike City as the catalyst for his comeback, the producer proved himself to be a true friend when the singer needed one. Like a beacon of blazing light during Carl’s time of darkness, Thomas remembers, “Mike would call my mother and make sure everything was going all right. I was really low, but he and I would have long conversations about music, about the things that we loved to listen to; he also encouraged me to go back into the studio if only for myself. I didn’t really trust many

Discography

2007 So Much Better
2004 Let's Talk About It [Bonus Track]
2004 Let's Talk About It
2000 Emotional

BOOKINGS:
Knockout Entertainment
MIKE B (AGENT)
Ph: 704-778-0088
Fax: 704-676-4833
Email: knockout_entertainment@yahoo.com
Blackberry: mikebee@mycingular.blackberry.net

Set List

BOOKINGS:
Knockout Entertainment
MIKE B (AGENT)
Ph: 704-778-0088
Fax: 704-937-0104
Email: knockout_entertainment@yahoo.com
Blackberry: mikebee@mycingular.blackberry.net

Derwin Howell (Business Manager)
BYGMAK PRODUCTION, INC.
Email: Big Mack ,
AOL IM: derwinhowell

Noble Coban (Road Manager)
Email: nobleone1@hotmail.com