Stefan ‘T.Wong’ Thomas is a young up and coming artist from Columbus, Ohio. In the Spring of 2015 he recorded his new album ‘Journey’ with VMS’ Chief Engineer and Studio Manager Mark Abrams, and released it May 24th, 2015. The album is 16 tracks that show Thomas span R&B, rock, blues and more in a very impressive display of musicality. VMS guitar instructor Brandon Chapman produced the album, and is a regular collaborator with T.Wong. ‘Journey is already seeing tons of critical acclaim: The first single “Journey” was featured on The Source Magazine’s website, and the song’s video premiered on TheSingersroom.com We talked with Thomas about his music and the creation of “Journey”.
How would you describe your music? Who are some of your influences?
“Urban Rustic.” It’s a blend of Soul and Contemporary Rock. It has that R&B progression coupled with soulful vocals and lyricism and blended with Soul, Rock, and Gospel, overtones. I think the new album, Journey, exhibits this well.
I have a wide range of influences. Vocally, I enjoy the big band clean stylings of Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra as well as modern standout styles like Coldplay, Fantasia, and John Legend. Symphonically, Mali Music, One Republic, and Otis Redding, are favorites and influential.
What is your songwriting process like? Do you write alone or with others?
The songwriting process is just that—a process. I do write alone, so I have the ability to write spontaneously or in a more premeditated fashion. But, what I notice happen more often than not is I’ll begin writing spontaneously then polish the writing after a period of time with a more deliberate eye. Sometimes I’m inspired to write based off the day, a conversation, or a word; it just depends. And, sometimes a song comes in a few minutes, others a few weeks.
What is your favorite part of the recording process?
My favorite part of the recording process is receiving the final edit from the sound engineer. When I’m recording, it’s like performing anything else, where you don’t get to experience what you’re creating because you’re the one creating. So, after getting the listening to, and no longer reviewing, the last cut, it’s always a euphoric and nostalgic feeling to experience your creation from and observant vantage point.
Right: T.Wong and his band performing at the Mconnell Performing Arts Center for the ‘Journey’ release show (Photo by Sheri Neale). Left: T.Wong recording in the VMS performance space in an April session
Where do you like to perform live? Any shows coming up?
I like performing a lot of places. I enjoy when I get the opportunity to perform in intimate settings with 25-50 people with acoustic sounds and vibe. And then, I love hitting the big stage with 100+ seating, lighting tech, sound tech, the whole nine. Both types of places I get to create an environment, a different world, and that’s the beauty in performing.
Right now, we are in the process of solidifying possible performances, so nothing to report, officially. But, people can always get updated about events and performances by subscribing on the website: www.twongcreates.com.
Do you plan to release any more music soon?
I’m always creating…whether in my car, in my home, or on stage; so, I’m sure there’ll be something coming in the near future!