Welcome to “Six Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so we’re making this a permanent feature on the site. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay intact. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.
Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.
We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.
Next in the hot seat is San Francisco-based psych-folk singer Levi Thomas. We have not had the privilege of featuring Levi Thomas here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. If you’re not familiar with him, sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.
For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?
I was born and raised in the Ozarks, so roots music is something that was just kind of always around. My uncle used to make me bluegrass mixtapes and he’d sit around and play Dead songs at family gatherings so that was where my initial spark for music came from.
I was a weird kid in school, listening to Doc Watson and pre-war blues when all of my peers were into whatever was on the radio. I tried to keep up a couple of times but it never stuck. I didn’t really develop a love for louder music until high school was almost over. In my twenties I fell head-over-heals in love with psychedelic rock ‘n roll. This is my first real go as a solo artist and I feel like this album is like making a collage of every influence in my life up to this point.
As an artist, how do you define success?
I think “I got my name painted on my shirt, I ain’t no ordinary dude I don’t have to work” sums it up pretty well.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
I’m pretty green but so far it’s answering questions like these.
LOL, that’s fair. Baby steps, Levi! If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
The opening song on Billie is a sort of droning instrumental guitar mantra that I think I could play into oblivion and feel pretty peaceful.
Who do you consider your greatest influences?
There are always the obvious ones, but for me my biggest inspiration has always come from those closest to me.
My hometown heroes were my friend J.R. and his band Sweetwater Abilene, and through him I met Adam Faucett from Little Rock who is easily the greatest songwriter the world may never know.
Playing in Nashville I learned a lot from Promised Land Sound, Ranch Ghost, and Natural Child. Now living in Oakland I’ve already found a great group of friends to be inspired by; Tall Grass, B. Hamilton, Ryan Holzer, and Dick Stusso, are all brilliant artists everyone should be listening to.
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
Hitting the road and getting away from the realities of the city is the easiest way I’ve found to hit the reset button, but when all else fails nothing gets me like a nice mellow hangover.