'Language was never a barrier'

'Language was never a barrier'

Bollywood singer

'Language was never a barrier'
Thomson Andrews is a man of many talents. He is a singer, songwriter, performer, recording artiste, actor and one of the popular Indian playback singers. He is capable of singing in almost 14 Indian languages and even foreign languages like Spanish and Turkish.

Bollywood movies like ‘Dhoom 3’, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, ‘Bang Bang’, ‘Bombay Velvet’ and more are testimony to his prowess in singing and vocal arrangements. He recently released his latest debut single with his band ‘SPUNQX’ and a mashup cover of A R Rahman’s songs.

In a chat with Anila Kurian, Thomson talks about his inspirations and work ethics.

Where do you draw your inspiration from and how is your working style?

I can compose melodies at any time of the day. If I think up a tune while travelling, I record the melody on my phone and improve on it when I get home. I try to focus on the emotions that I want to portray in the lyrics. I draw my inspiration from the type of music I hear as well.

Was it difficult to make people in the industry understand your type of music?

When I started my career in 2010, R‘n’B and hip-hop weren’t too popular in the country. Over the years, the industry has realised that minimalistic music is better received. It became a lot easier for me to explain my taste.

Your future projects.

I can’t say much but I have a few things lined up. There are a few singles and collaborations that will be released soon.

You sing in multiple languages. Which one do you prefer the most? 

I’ve travelled around the world, so language was never a barrier. I listen to music from around the world and that has influenced my music as well. Apart from the Indian languages, I find Turkish and Spanish interesting. And I want to sing in Arabic and French in the future.

How has your personal style influenced your music? 

I’ve always been someone who likes to take risks. My music is versatile and my clothing style is also different — people know me because of that. I find that very liberating. This attitude has given me the confidence to take risks and keep things exciting.

What’s the one advice from A R Rahman that you have carried forward?

This was during one of the practice sessions I had when I joined the industry. After the recording, we were just hanging out on the couch and I was amazed as to how a legend like him could be like any other normal person I know. So I asked him how it is possible to be casual around people. His reply was, “As you grow and the more you work, you’ll realise that you’re like a tree. With the number of fruits your bear, you have to learn to stoop down and be humble.”

Any artistes you want to work with?

I would love to work with Pharrell Williams and Skrillex. Maybe get to meet Beyonce and Stevie Wonder and have a chat with them. Among the Indian artistes Sunidhi Chauhan, Anirudh Ravichander and Badshah. And it would be cool to have a Boys II Men kind of collaboration with Benny Dayal and Ash King.

Your advice to upcoming artistes.

Listen to independent artistes and learn from there. There are so many in the country right now and they are going undiscovered. It’ll be great if you give them the boost and help yourself in the process.