Cry me a River. Whew! Renee your voice takes us back to a day when it was just as much about the delivery as it was about the message.
Let’s just start at the beginning. Where did you grow up?
"Wow, thank you. I've gotten some really great feedback from that song. Even super producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins (I thought I was dreaming) heard it, he tweeted me and told me my voice was "dope" and asked did I do R&B, then he said "Don't ever let no one tell ur voice is crazy! Ur voice is so sick its SWINE FLU sick! Love the raspiness in it. Use that more", something I will never forget, what an honor. And I grew up in Akron, Ohio :)
Was music an important part of your childhood?
Very. Especially loved listening to Whitney Houston and Anita Baker as a young child. Music took me to other places.
How long have you been singing?
Since a young child, started off in the 'Sunshine Band' at my church, we were a lil group of kids singing our little hearts out for God. I remember actually singing my very first solo at around age 10, it was 'His Eye Is On The Sparrow', the way I felt, the reaction from the congregation, I knew singing was something I was blessed to do and I HAD to do :)
Is this something you always wanted to do?
Yes, most definitely. Feeling I can't even fully describe, when I sing.
You sing with intense passion. Where do you draw that from?
From the depths of my soul. I am in love with music, and maybe music is in love with me as well, emotions totally take over, it's a great experience.
Do you write your own songs and do you play any instruments?
Yes I do. Lyrics, melodies, all of that. I love it as well as interpreting others' songs. I can play piano, my Mom put me in lessons early. I used to do piano recitals twice a year, my teacher had lots of students, she put one together in spring, the other in winter and we'd play Christmas carols. My passion doesn't lie as much in piano as writing and singing, so I really don't play anymore.
Many of the tunes I’ve heard are Gospel. Is that where your musical love is?
Gospel is where it all began, in the church, and gospel has been heavily requested & something I love to do. I'd say jazz is where my musical love is the heaviest, although I love many genres.
Who are some of the major influences in your life?
Stevie Wonder, he was another one I listened to a lot along with Whitney, Anita, Mary J. Blige, El Debarge, all great artists with tons of SOUL. It doesn't end there, there are soooo many artists I love and respect, far too many to name, but these are the biggest influences in my life.
What else would you like to do in life as far as your career is concerned?
I'd love to become an established songwriter, as well as singer, for myself and other artists.
If you could duet with anyone who would it be?
Mary J. Blige, but then again, I may not make it to the end of the song, I'd probably pass out on the stage hehe.
Are there other Artistic endeavors for you?
Most definetly, like I mentioned above, writing, and I'll add arranging to that, piecing the songs together, structuring, layers, harmonies, I love it. So, writing/arranging for others, something else I'd love to achieve.
What types of things do you do for fun?
I don't do too much besides the norm, but whatever I do, I try to have as much fun as possible, even if that's going to the park, roller skating, writing, out to dinner. I love acting silly, that's fun lol. I've had some family and friends say I should be a singing comedian lol.
What keeps you going on this path Renee?
My love and passion for music, and the overwhelming feeling that my gifts were not gifted in vain, I am to use them. As long as I have them, I'm writing and singing for life, no matter what.
Are there any inspirational words you would care to share with our reader friends?
Yes, about life. It's not who you've been. who are you being? It's not about what you've done. what are you doing? Right NOW? We can't change the past, our perception maybe, that's it, but it's plenty, because we grow from what we now know, all our experiences, good or bad, right or wrong, up or down. Some thing I've learned, & I hope, at the very least, ONE person finds inspiration in that. Forward progress.
We will you much success and colorful dreams! Where can readers hear more of your music and learn more about you?
"My social networking sites. I have a myspace: myspace.com/reneethomasmusic, youtube: youtube.com/reneethomasmusic, facebook: facebook.com/reneethomasmusic, twitter: twitter.com/reneemusic and reverbnation: reverbnation.com/reneethomas"
Have a colorful day. I think I have to go listen to Cry Me A River one more time.