Today I’m privileged to host, once again, nineteen-year-old singer/song writer Thomas Mastin. Some of you may recognize the name from a previous interview we did back in December of 2018. Please click on the link, if you want to read that one. Please note, that some of the links on that post are no longer available or relevant. His current social links and some videos can be found at the end of this short interview.
Thomas and I go a few years back, I remember a time when he needed two hands to swing one drumstick. Ok, maybe not that long, but it’s been a pleasure watching him grow from a young kid playing his heart out at church, into the talented musician he is today.
I’m offering you a brief glimpse into his journey. A tale of struggles, perseverance, Faith, life detours, and lessons. Thomas’s ‘can do’ spirit is an inspiration!
Me: You’re not a shiny penny to the music industry. You’re young, but you’ve already had a significant amount of experiences. Can you share some of those?
Thomas: Two summers ago, I was a drummer in a band called Arbour Season. We played a lot of venues in Florida including Busch Gardens, Splitsville in Disney Springs, and Mother’s Restaurant in Tampa. We’ve also done House Shows, which are exactly what they sound like. The band would do their gig at a residence either indoors or out.
Me: There’s been some ‘bumps in the road’ since those sunny Florida days. Can you share what’s happened and how the course of your career has changed?
Thomas: Well, as things go, we parted ways and I charted a course for a solo career, however, I’m a social guy and decided it wasn’t for me. I met Nathan Hardy, an amazing guitar player and fellow song writer. We formed Hello July. The name came to us one day, when we were in Nashville. I saw a poster for a band called Goodbye June. I jokingly mentioned Hello July. The agency that signed us, Brave Enough Agencies, supported it.
We began singing Blues, but our genre has evolved into a mixed style of rock and pop. It almost sounds a bit like Cold Play, and U2.
Thomas Mastin & Nathan Hardy
I’ve gone through an issue with my voice. As it turns out, I was straining my vocals, making them inflamed and they bled at times. Someone who knows more about singing than me, said to be careful, or there could be permanent damage. I’m taking some lessons and going a bit easier. I’m also learning certain diets that can help or harm your voice.
Me: I hope coffee’s okay!
Thomas: (laughs) “Oh yeah. I couldn’t do without it. I also couldn’t do without the ton of people reaching out to me right now. I didn’t expect that. It’s incredible! People have offered free lessons, I’ll have to choose which offer to take.
Pastor Dusty (Parkway Church, Amherstview, Ontario) has also been a huge inspiration. When I was eight, he told me, “If you can’t sing for five people, you can’t sing for 5,000.”
I’ve never forgotten that saying, even put it in the notebook that I use to write music. Those words remind me to be humble and with the trials of the past year, I’ve lost an arrogance. I’m no longer that high schooler who expects everything to fall into place.
Me: I think people can relate to struggles. We all have them and there’s an appreciation for an artist who is open about their challenges. They realize they’re not alone. Listening to music is often an emotional experience for most people. It can soothe, recall distant memories, and bring joy. You’ve been given a special gift.
Thomas: Yes, and now I’m in a place where people can relate to me better. This past year has taught me who I really am and that I sing, not for fame, but for God and to inspire listeners. It’s been hard for some to wrap their heads around the fact that I’m not pursuing a Christian music career, exclusively. I understand that, really, because when you grow up in the church and you say that you’re pursuing a music career, they expect Christian only. But I want to reach those who are struggling, both Christian and non. The band, NeedToBreathe, does this. They play worship songs on Sunday mornings, but festivals throughout the week.
We are planning a tour of Canada first, before eventually heading to America. We’re hoping to start with a few local House Shows. I’m willing to travel to the Toronto to Ottawa areas, and beyond. We have one booked, a couple from our church, they want to be the first.
Thomas in action!
Me: Does Hello July have any videos?
Thomas: We’ve made four. Speaking of a humbling experience, one day I was in a line-up at the grocery store and a woman behind me recognized me from a video. I asked her how she liked it, expecting a positive answer.
“It’s a good thing you’re pretty!” she said.
(laughs) I was surprised but answered, “Well, I’m glad I’m pretty, at least.”
Me: We all get those. They’re great reminders that not everyone appreciates your work. Most of the time it’s a matter of personal tastes. Personally, I don’t pay much attention unless a particular issue is mentioned by several different people.
Check out Hello July singing Coldplay’s song, Yellow.
My name is Thomas Mastin, I’m a 19 year old singer song-writer from Roblin, Ontario! Here are some links to my social media and one of the videos my bandmate Nathan and I have put out.
Find out more about Thomas and Hello July
Welcome to the second day of Rave Review Book Club’s blog tour! A parade of very talented authors who are members of the Rave Writers – International Society Of Authors (RWISA). Today, I am privileged to host D.L. Finn. Please enjoy this wonderful poetry piece written by her. If she’s turned you into a fan, please click on the link at the bottom of this page to learn more about D.L.
POETRY by D. L. Finn
The icicles dangle downward
Reaching for the substantial snow
Each drop bringing them closer
As the landscape merges into itself
It is silent in its existence
Until a raven reveals itself
Wondering what’s in the trash
Yet, the moment remains peaceful
Sitting and surveying in the chill
An instant promising potential
When there is no celerity
When crackling fires call
When surroundings are concealed
Soon, the renewal will be revealed
But now it’s the stage of contemplation.
To live on our abundance of the past
This is the gift of the snow
When we can replenish our hearts
In the silence of the icicles.
FREEDOM (Musings from the back of a Harley)
The freedom of the blue skies
Welcome us warmly back
Our path is asphalt
Our vehicle a mechanical horse
Our guide is the wind
Lush green walls soar
The sun illuminates the way
Oaks are waking up after a long nap
I fill my soul
With nature’s flowering renewal
Bursting with beauty and abundance
In the freedom of spring.
WHERE THE RIVERS MEET
Roaring white, pounding the granite
Swirling, swelling, splendor
The air is heavy with anticipation
It blows over me like a lover’s touch
Filling my heart with sweet floral ecstasy
I relax into the experience
Each breath carries away my worries
My eyes fill with abandonment
As the rushing liquid serenades me
Singing the praise of this paradise
Until the different directions converge
After a brief resounding rumble
They combine and continue on their way
Leaving the moment where the rivers meet.
As I sit perched up high on our lanai
Comfortable on my recliner in the shade
The ocean draws my gaze
Its sapphire and emerald water calls me
While the blue pool floats in its space—uninviting
I hear the sea’s song as it smashes onto the shore
The surfers ride its motion
The snorkelers gaze into its depth
And the swimmers float on its perception
Our attraction is undeniable
Opposites: one of air, one of water
It beckons, and I must respond
Offering myself up to the hidden world
Under the cerulean summon
I answer, embracing the ocean completely.
Thank you for supporting this member, along with the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.
We also ask that you check out their books in the RWISA and RRBC catalogs. Thanks again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member during this amazing tour of talent! Please click on the link below to learn more about this author.
Welcome! Today I have the privilege of hosting RWISA Author, D.L. Finn!
She is a talented writer and supportive member of Rave Reviews Book Club, or RRBC.
Please feel free to comment or share.
Poetry by D. L. Finn
The air is thick as you breathe it in
Filling your lungs with its silence.
It unnerves you when you’re alone
Because in the darkness there are shadows.
They are filled with the unknown
While the quiet is lurking with danger.
It’s unseen, watching while your heart is racing
And your skin drenched in sweat, you scan the night.
You see nothing and hear nothing
Yet, you know it’s there.
You hurry back into the light where it’s safe
Shut the door and lock it with a sigh of relief.
You quickly forget the darkness
But, what you don’t know is…
It hasn’t forgotten you.
TO FLY (Musings from the Back of a Harley)
We fly by the ranches…
Cows, goats, and horses.
Grazing golden-grass untroubled…
As we rumble loudly past them.
The ponds are rain depleted…
Fall harvest signs invite us to stop.
But, today is a day to fly…
To fly past normalcy
To fly past worries
To fly past obligations.
They rush by us like the scenery…
Soaring past our leather-clad bodies.
They crash behind us like a boat’s wake…
Miraculously missing us in our frantic flight.
Yet, all is forgiven flying on our motorcycle…
As our souls chaperon our journey.
THE RIVER’S GIFTS
It’s smooth and gentle on a warm spring day…
The rocks and trees are mirrored in its purity.
The beach’s sandy-warmth caresses me…
As I skim a flat rock across the water’s surface.
Eight small splashes are my reward…
Expanding into rings that disappear into flow.
Fish swim with the current beneath…
Hawks soar above searching for their next meal.
I deeply breathe in the serenity shared by the river.
A delicate butterfly swoops down and rests in front of me…
I want to touch it, be a part of its splendor, as I watch it fly away.
It finds nectar on a purple flower at the water’s edge…
I inhale bliss as the butterfly’s hunger is satisfied.
Searching up river I find water cascading down a rocky ledge.
I pause to drink in the magnificence and wisdom…
The river can negotiate any obstacle and continue its journey.
Here next to the flowing wonder, I find peace, and beauty…
I absorb this into my being, with gratitude, for the river’s gifts.
Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.
We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:
How would you like to become a RWISA Member so that you’re able to receive this same awesome FREE support? Simply click HERE to make your application!
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