Heart & Soul: Kerry Thomas
Music has always been an important part of singer, songwriter, and acoustic guitarist Kerry Thomas' life.
It was his first few times performing on stage, though, that solidified his love of the craft.
"Performing in front of people took a while. Naturally, I'm an introverted person. Coming out of my shell, music helped me to do that," Thomas said.
Known as “KT” by fans, Thomas has built a dedicated following with his diverse sound of pop, R&B, and neo-soul. He first started entertaining crowds around the city on karaoke nights with familiar favorites. One day on a whim, he purchased a guitar out of a pawn shop and began teaching himself how to play from YouTube videos. "I guess I've been rocking and rolling ever since," Thomas said.
Thomas is now a regular performer at multiple local dives, including Hal & Mal's, La Cour, and The Weekend. He's also written several tracks, with two self-titled albums available for purchase and streaming.
"I love Marvin Gaye, Stevie [Wonder], John Legend, Usher, to name a few," Thomas said. "I actually picked up a guitar because of John Mayer. That R&B sound heavily influences my songwriting, I use a lot of jazz chords in my work. I get to take these songs that I grew up with and love, and I put my own little spin on them."
Waxing nostalgic is what Thomas does best, naming music as one of his favorite stress relievers and ways to reminisce. "This is therapeutic for me," Thomas said. "A lot of people throw it around and say they 'love' music, but I truly do love it. The art of it, and being able to sing to folks and share the gift. It's also a way to time travel. You can immediately go to different, pivotal parts of your life in the past, just by hearing a song. That's one of my inspirations, to create music that could do that for someone."
Circling his passions back to the state of Mississippi, and giving back to the place he's called home for almost twenty years now, is at the heart of his enduring musical journey.
"I remember when I was first started, I would go to places and I wouldn't charge anything, I just wanted to go in and play," Thomas said. "Fast forward to today, and I'm trying to keep my calendar together. There's a need for the type of service that I provide, and it's very humbling to know that the work that I've put in, it's being noticed and received by the city. I'm very grateful and appreciative of that."
To keep up with Kerry's performances and listen to his original music, check out his social media and streaming platforms.