An Interview with Musician Thomas Mastin; A Tale of Trials, Resilience, and Faith

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.

Interview With Up And Coming Musician, Thomas Mastin

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.

ThomasandNathan1

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.

Thomassinging

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.

 

 

Hello July on YouTube

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 

Hello July on Facebook 

Hello July on Instagram

Thomas Mastin on Facebook

Thomas Mastin on Instagram

 

 

Heed The Wise

sharpcurve

That road ahead, the warning signs placed by those who’ve gone before,

I sense deception, they cannot be trusted, they guide to the mundane

A life of fun, adventure, my way, anything else is a bore

Ignore their words, their banal minds have grown far too lame

Steer my life away from stoicism, only frivolity satisfies my core

Nothing untoward shall happen to me, it’s all a silly game

ditchdive

Help! Your advice had merit, should have heeded, mired forever I’ll be

Shake your heads, when I open my eyes, that’s what I’ll see

No? Wait! With rope and chain you’re all coming back for me

fixedroad

You rescued me, despite my mockery, set me on a clear road

My family, friends, because of you, I will live each day, gratefully.

Sunshine Blogger Award

I came off a few long days of work to find a wonderful surprise when I checked the comments on my blogsite.

I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I was pleasantly surprised and honored!

The award is given out by members of the blogging community in recognition of their inspiring, creative, and motivational blogs.

I would like to thank Chris, whose informative and motivational blog Living Healthier  and Happier    is full of helpful articles that give great advice on diet, mental/physical health, financial issues, and everyday challenges. I highly recommend a visit, just click on the link above.

Chris has asked me to answer eleven personal question, so here goes:

typewriterold

1. How long have you been blogging?

Two years.

2. What inspired you to start a blog?

I’m working on my second novel, and novel writing is a marathon. I wanted a way to connect with people in a more consistent way. I also enjoy reading the works of other bloggers and have learned so much from them.

3. How  much time do you spend blogging each week?

It depends on the subject and blog length. In general, I devote around two hours.

5. It’s The Sunshine Blogger Award so how do you spread rays of sunshine on your blog?

I try to focus on the positive things in life. People need a break from the negativity in  media, such as the news. There are still so many good experiences, and people, in this world. For the most part, I write about those. If I can make someone smile, or brighten their day in even a small way, my blog has done its job.

6. If you were to impart some words of wisdom about blogging, what would they be?

I don’t mean this in a bad way, but people are busy.  Most readers are probably enjoying more than one blog. What I’ve found is that shorter blogs, with a few impactful  paragraphs and some interesting photos, receive the most positive feedback.

7. What has influenced your blog most?

Personal experiences and ideas that I want to share.

8. What do you like best about blogging?

The connection with readers and hosting guest bloggers. I enjoy giving a boost to others.

9. Describe your blog using five adjectives.  

fun/ unique/ emotional (at times)/ encouraging/ thought-provoking

10. What advice would you give a new blogger?

Read, read, read! Before you type the first words of your new blog, find and follow those of the experienced and successful. Learn from them, like and COMMENT  on their posts. It takes awhile, but if you give support, you will reap the benefits. Do not copy the voice of others, find your own and be consistent in your posts and loyal to your followers.

11. Which blog topics are your favorites to read?

Travel blogs . . . I would love to travel more, but time and resources do not allow for this. I enjoy living vicariously through those blogs!

Here are some inspirational bloggers that I nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I chose them because they are committed to blooging excellence!  

D.L Finn

Fiction Favorites with John W. Howell

Happiness Between The Tails, by DA-AL

Be Inspred . . . !! 

Daniel Kemp

Robbie’s Inspiration

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Fractured Faith Blog

Rest & Chaos

The Indie Spot!

This is My Truth Now

For accepting the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, there are a few rules:

• Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.

• Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.

• Nominate 11 new bloggers & their blogs. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11 new questions.

I love to know what makes people ‘tick’ so here are 11 questions for you. I promise, nothing embarrasing. If there are any questions you do not wish to answer, please feel free to give them a pass.

1. What is the most extreme “sport” you’ve done (if any)? 

2. Do you have a favorite travel destination? If so, where?

3. What is your favorite blog topic? 

4. Do you have a prefered time of day to blog? When?

5. Do you drink coffee while you blog?

6. Do you have pets?

7. If you were trying to fix a broken shovel handle and a 500 pound gorilla came up to you with a roll of tape, what would you do? 

8. Do you prefer to swim in a pool or a natural body of water? 

9. It’s Thanksgiving- turkey, some other type of meat, or no meat?

10. Given the choice, would you prefer a spider or a snake in your home? 

11. What type of music do you listen to? 

That’s it! All done! I wish you all the best in 2020! Keep writing those wonderful blogs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Photo Puzzle

Hello again! It’s been awhile since my last post, as I’ve been busy with work and then travelling for the holidays. It’s been a bit of a whirlwhind tour with two extended families to visit, as both are over an hour drive away.

I hope your Christmas was a merry one and that you were able to take some time to celebrate (if you do) in your own way.

Thank you for visiting my blog and being supportive in 2019! I wish you all the best for 2020!

My post today is a Where’s Waldo? puzzle, but with a cat named Charlie.

Can you find Charlie in the photo below?

Cat in tree