This week vocal artist Vaneese Thomas joins me to talk about a wonderful singing career, faith and following your passion!
Highly regarded within the music industry, Vaneese’s talents as a singer, songwriter, producer, and actor have made her a sought-after solo performer as well as a first-call vocalist for projects by other top-name artists.
She has worked with the renowned recording producer Phil Ramone and has sung with an astonishing array of internationally known performers including Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Eric Clapton, Dr. John and numerous others.
Antonia greets her audience. She then reassures students who are returning to school to stay safe. Antonia introduces and greets Vanesse. The two recalled how they met in church. Vanesse gives some background about herself. She was born into a family of musicians in Memphis, Tennessee. She laughs when she remembers what her mother said when all three of her kids had an interest in music. Vanesse continues by talking about how her mother went to a different church than the rest of her family. Vanesse reminisces about participating in Aretha Franklin’s going home tribute and how her father would have BB King perform at The Palace Theatre. Antonia asks about the significance of Beale Street, Vanesse’s mother’s legacy as a civil rights activist, and her thoughts about the current fight for justice.
Vanesse reminisces about studying as an undergrad at Swarthmore University. According to her, this was the only school she applied to. Antonia wonders if Vanesse experienced a “culture shock” on her new campus so far away from home. Vanesse reveals the emotional difficulties she went through on campus. However, Vanesse recalls how much fun she had in the student choir she created. From the friends she made to the choir’s trip to South Africa, Vanesse recognizes the good times she had in college. Antonia goes on to ask Vanesse about her initial career goals and how she got started in the music business.
Antonia opens up by playing Vanesse’s song “I Got the Blues”. She follows up by asking Vanesse what her favorite type of music is. Vanesse says she “loves every genre if it’s done well”. Antonia asks where Vanesse has played. She says she’s played all over, even as far as Japan. She reminisces about playing with her sister at the Fuji Festival. Her favorite venue to play was at the Freedom Tower. Vanesse goes on to reveal her favorite project, her opinions on how streaming affects musical artists, how she writes her lyrics, and if she has been doing any new projects during the pandemic.
Antonia asks Vanesse what it was like doing voice work for Disney. Vanesse says she did jingles for commercials and voice acting. Antonia wonders if Vanesse plans to do any other type of acting and Vanesse says she’d prefer to do something other than Broadway. While Vanesse does not have any upcoming projects, she teases that something may be in the works for next summer. Vanesse also goes into depth about the process of making an album, her conversion from Baptist to Methodist, and new artists she and her husband are producing. Vanesse promotes her Gospel Choir’s music, her music, and her new album, “Down Yonder”. Vanesse thanks Antonia and the audience for listening. Antonia promotes Vanesse’s website, reminds her audience to wear a mask, socially distance themselves from others, and says goodbye.
00:00:44.160 --> 00:00:51.030 Antonia Thompson: Good afternoon, everyone. It's Thursday. It is so now you know with me Antonia I hope everyone had a great week.
00:00:52.050 --> 00:00:59.940 Antonia Thompson: You know it's school is a week away at least here where I live in Connecticut. So trying to get the kids already get their test on
00:01:00.300 --> 00:01:06.390 Antonia Thompson: Get their school shopping whatever that's going to look like, and just hope and pray that they can get through the next week or at least to the end of the month.
00:01:06.810 --> 00:01:19.980 Antonia Thompson: So I hope you had a great weekend that if you're going through the back to school. I know you're excited about getting that picture of the first day that they're back to school and you posted everywhere and might look a little different. If they're going to be virtual learning
00:01:21.240 --> 00:01:32.070 Antonia Thompson: But I saw cute one. I saw a folks that took their kids took their laptops and went to the front of the door and they're in flip flops and everything. So you just have to be very creative about it.
00:01:32.610 --> 00:01:44.580 Antonia Thompson: But we want to be safe. So as you know, every week. I say, right, wear that mask and sit in social distancing is really important. So much so, because it's flu season right we're about to
00:01:45.690 --> 00:01:52.770 Antonia Thompson: Get into the fall season when cold start, I just had my son take his flu shot today, which I probably have to get mine in a couple of weeks.
00:01:53.520 --> 00:01:59.040 Antonia Thompson: Just gotta take all the precautions, whether you're one of those people that says, I don't like the flu shot.
00:01:59.700 --> 00:02:13.650 Antonia Thompson: Go get it, go get it. So today we're going to be talking to the nice Thomas, she was going to be here a couple of weeks ago to talk about her music. So I'm very excited to have her today. So we're going to invite her to join us.
00:02:15.750 --> 00:02:17.820 Antonia Thompson: The nice, how are you
00:02:18.420 --> 00:02:19.860 Vaneese Thomas: Good, how are you
00:02:19.950 --> 00:02:31.230 Antonia Thompson: I'm so excited that you've got here. I know we had a little trouble. A couple of weeks ago, but you know, I try to tell people in our area lately. These rainstorms have just been not going to sell.
00:02:31.470 --> 00:02:35.940 Vaneese Thomas: They really have. Yeah. But thank you for inviting me back.
00:02:36.300 --> 00:02:41.190 Antonia Thompson: Absolutely. And you know that I first of all, I love your voice and you know that thing.
00:02:41.340 --> 00:02:47.160 Antonia Thompson: And I was sharing with those are listening. You know, we all think we can sing.
00:02:47.640 --> 00:02:47.940 And it
00:02:48.960 --> 00:03:00.990 Antonia Thompson: As we get older, there's the jet and you know as people know on the Show. The show is cool. So now you know and I try to bring guest to the show that I meet that are doing amazing and fantastic things that I'm really curious about
00:03:01.230 --> 00:03:05.640 Antonia Thompson: And I want to share that with others. So, you know, we met through church.
00:03:05.910 --> 00:03:15.810 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, you are phenomenal part of our choir and you sound beautiful in the choir sounds. Beautiful. And then there are times where I thought I could join the choir, but it didn't, it didn't work.
00:03:16.620 --> 00:03:25.140 Antonia Thompson: Well, but I appreciate you know, those of you who can sing, you know, always saying you can sing. And it's like, no you can't.
00:03:25.380 --> 00:03:25.950 Yeah.
00:03:27.600 --> 00:03:44.250 Antonia Thompson: So I am I am okay staying in my lane, but I just am excited that you're here because your voice is I've said, I can say it all day is just phenomenal. So I just want you to talk a little bit about where it all started where you're from and give it a give our listeners a little background.
00:03:44.730 --> 00:04:00.450 Vaneese Thomas: All right. Well, I was born in Memphis, and I tell people all the time that Memphis has per square foot more talent than I've been anywhere.
00:04:01.140 --> 00:04:19.950 Vaneese Thomas: Especially at every church along the way. Oh my goodness. So, um, I was born into a family of entertainers for your listeners who don't know my father was Rufus Thomas The r&b legend.
00:04:20.880 --> 00:04:44.460 Vaneese Thomas: And my sister Carla Thomas also still still kicking butt as the the queen of Memphis so and so I was in my brother was wonderful producer and keyboard player. So he said, allegedly to my mom when I was like Oh goody three part harmony.
00:04:46.620 --> 00:04:48.030 Antonia Thompson: Anyway, I, you know,
00:04:48.390 --> 00:05:00.300 Antonia Thompson: I think you look at your family and all of you are destined to be musicians, all of you were destined to be phenomenal. So that's, that's just amazing. So I'm going to assume that that was just a house a household of loving music growing up.
00:05:00.390 --> 00:05:03.420 Vaneese Thomas: It was a little chilly. It was loud.
00:05:07.560 --> 00:05:28.230 Vaneese Thomas: And sometimes, and I know it's hard for you to look at me now and and assume this but I was very shy and so I would go into my room and read a lot. Close the door and say, leave all that noise outside, but the radio was on my brother was playing the piano.
00:05:28.230 --> 00:05:34.830 Vaneese Thomas: My sister was saying in you know daddy was sometimes for her son with this bad it was just crazy.
00:05:35.850 --> 00:05:37.230 Antonia Thompson: But that must have been fun.
00:05:37.590 --> 00:05:44.370 Vaneese Thomas: It was a lot of fun and it was teaching me. I was absorbing it and I didn't even know it. You know,
00:05:44.700 --> 00:05:48.000 Antonia Thompson: That. And that's the resilience of children right that we just know that they
00:05:48.060 --> 00:05:50.100 Antonia Thompson: They just naturally absorb what is around them.
00:05:50.340 --> 00:05:52.020 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, so I could totally see
00:05:52.020 --> 00:05:54.210 Antonia Thompson: That just being a sponge of taking it all in.
00:05:56.460 --> 00:05:59.010 Antonia Thompson: Church must have been very important to the family because
00:06:00.360 --> 00:06:10.140 Vaneese Thomas: Um, it was, it was interesting. My father and the three kids belong to one church. My mother belong to another church.
00:06:10.170 --> 00:06:25.500 Vaneese Thomas: Really, it's because she was born into her church and she when she got married, she didn't want to leave her church and daddy started going to a church with some friends from their neighborhood.
00:06:26.130 --> 00:06:38.580 Vaneese Thomas: And when the kids were in elementary school they went with their friends. So the four of us wound up in one church your mommy was in another
00:06:38.910 --> 00:06:40.620 Antonia Thompson: But that must have been a hard in Memphis.
00:06:41.430 --> 00:06:41.820 Know,
00:06:44.310 --> 00:06:44.550 Vaneese Thomas: Like
00:06:44.970 --> 00:06:47.010 Antonia Thompson: I always think of community and church, you know,
00:06:47.280 --> 00:06:50.970 Vaneese Thomas: Yeah, it wasn't hard at all. You know, we meet up after
00:06:51.060 --> 00:06:51.690 After church.
00:06:53.880 --> 00:07:06.060 Vaneese Thomas: And I wanted to tell you that I have a real interesting link with a lot of singers from Memphis, but in particular, Miss Aretha Franklin.
00:07:07.800 --> 00:07:16.620 Vaneese Thomas: Because her dad. The Reverend CL Franklin was the pastor of my mother's church and he married my parents.
00:07:16.920 --> 00:07:18.120 Antonia Thompson: You progress in your heart.
00:07:18.840 --> 00:07:20.760 Antonia Thompson: Her her her going home tribute
00:07:21.330 --> 00:07:45.060 Vaneese Thomas: Yes, I was in fact that just came up today as a memory on on Facebook for for two years ago, I was a part of it for ongoing service, but I just, you know, there was this connection with us. We vac I wrote a song about it we breathe the same air walk the same or, you know, it's so real connection.
00:07:45.990 --> 00:07:53.160 Antonia Thompson: And so in addition to Aretha Franklin, there must have been so many others in that path with your dad and family that you met so
00:07:53.640 --> 00:07:55.500 Antonia Thompson: People that stick out in your mind at that at
00:07:55.500 --> 00:07:59.340 Antonia Thompson: That early age, because we know with early stage because I know we're going to go all through it.
00:07:59.760 --> 00:08:03.420 Vaneese Thomas: Um, yes. BB King was a
00:08:05.850 --> 00:08:11.670 Vaneese Thomas: Yeah, in fact, dad. He helped bring be into the music industry.
00:08:12.720 --> 00:08:23.970 Vaneese Thomas: Because my father. There was a really important place on Beale Street for those who know the importance of Beale Street to black culture and black history.
00:08:26.460 --> 00:08:38.370 Vaneese Thomas: There was a place called the Palace Theater and all of the traveling X Count Basie Duke Ellington Johnny ACE all those important
00:08:38.850 --> 00:08:50.340 Vaneese Thomas: Black performers would come there to perform because they couldn't perform elsewhere. So my dad was the host, sort of like yourself and
00:08:51.270 --> 00:09:05.220 Vaneese Thomas: He they had an amateur hour like they do at the Apollo and he could go out and shoot who he thought would be good for the for the show and every week BB came up from Indian old Mississippi
00:09:05.490 --> 00:09:10.620 Vaneese Thomas: Uh huh. And Daddy would choose him again. He was supposed to be on more than once a month.
00:09:11.130 --> 00:09:12.630 Antonia Thompson: But then you had a favorite
00:09:12.810 --> 00:09:22.170 Vaneese Thomas: Yeah, but also be needed the money, you know, so he would choose him. Of course, he and so they became lifelong friends.
00:09:22.680 --> 00:09:39.180 Antonia Thompson: So before we get into break. I just want to pause right here because as we go are going through the thing things in our community in our country. I think it's interesting for people who don't understand our history, like you said, people don't realize what what that place meant
00:09:39.360 --> 00:09:41.610 Vaneese Thomas: To black folks at the time. Yeah.
00:09:42.180 --> 00:09:53.310 Antonia Thompson: How did that affect you as a child, because I say like we just celebrated the March on Washington DC and other things. And I think a lot of times people want to be dismissive of our history, like, you know, we're over that. Oh, that happened.
00:09:53.370 --> 00:09:58.320 Vaneese Thomas: A long time ago. But yeah, the march was 57 years, I believe.
00:09:58.350 --> 00:09:58.650 Vaneese Thomas: And so
00:09:59.400 --> 00:10:00.240 Antonia Thompson: Our lifetime.
00:10:00.270 --> 00:10:01.290 Right, exactly.
00:10:02.490 --> 00:10:08.940 Antonia Thompson: Although it might be removed for our children who are, it's still part of us. So can you talk a little bit as a child going going
00:10:09.540 --> 00:10:21.180 Vaneese Thomas: I can. It's really a good that you asked that because my mother was a civil rights activists from the time I was born until she died and
00:10:21.960 --> 00:10:39.600 Vaneese Thomas: So whenever she went to a sit in, or if she was thinking or whatever she had me by the hand so I grew up in that activist mold you know state of mind and I
00:10:41.070 --> 00:10:48.240 Vaneese Thomas: I'm sad to say that we are still in that the necessity for the activist.
00:10:49.980 --> 00:11:07.530 Vaneese Thomas: And people are, but I love to see people demonstrating and standing up for what they believe is right so that that's a part of my history and unfortunately we're still in need of that today.
00:11:08.280 --> 00:11:14.610 Antonia Thompson: But I also feel that we look at these stages of our history music was just crucial.
00:11:15.240 --> 00:11:16.650 Antonia Thompson: And it's the same way now.
00:11:16.710 --> 00:11:23.430 Antonia Thompson: I feel like a lot of times when we talk about the protests that are happening in the community. You see the young generation that's coming up.
00:11:23.640 --> 00:11:24.090 Vaneese Thomas: Mm hmm.
00:11:24.120 --> 00:11:33.180 Antonia Thompson: You're still seeing that music is such a such an important part, I find it interesting that when we look at our older music, the music that was happening during those protests.
00:11:33.360 --> 00:11:37.020 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, they were singing about the exact same thing.
00:11:37.110 --> 00:11:37.890 Vaneese Thomas: Exact same
00:11:37.980 --> 00:11:41.850 Antonia Thompson: Right, you're still listening to Marvin Gaye, we're still living to Bob Marley was still
00:11:41.850 --> 00:11:44.490 Antonia Thompson: Listening to music about change.
00:11:44.550 --> 00:11:45.930 Antonia Thompson: Right. Yes, Justice
00:11:45.960 --> 00:11:48.210 Vaneese Thomas: Yes, the staple singers.
00:11:48.270 --> 00:11:48.810 Vaneese Thomas: Yeah.
00:11:49.380 --> 00:11:53.520 Antonia Thompson: And they were singing about it so long ago. And we're still seeing about it.
00:11:53.580 --> 00:11:58.350 Vaneese Thomas: About it today. It's like I said it's a double edged sword, isn't it, yeah.
00:11:58.800 --> 00:12:07.350 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, and I don't want to say you know history repeats itself. But I do think it is a way that we can show that we have been dealing with this for a very long time.
00:12:07.830 --> 00:12:13.650 Vaneese Thomas: Very long time and I suspect we will be dealing with it for a long time because
00:12:14.910 --> 00:12:28.200 Vaneese Thomas: You know one of Dr. King's quotes about the arc of justice and it does take time, but it does, you know, Lord willing, bed toward justice.
00:12:29.370 --> 00:12:40.740 Antonia Thompson: And I, and you know, so talking about the way you grew up in this phenomenal households. I just know a lot. And as we're talking about the music and the impact is is are just spiritual hymns.
00:12:41.400 --> 00:12:43.230 Antonia Thompson: Oh, I tried and true.
00:12:43.230 --> 00:12:45.120 Antonia Thompson: Hymns that are classics.
00:12:45.570 --> 00:12:53.160 Vaneese Thomas: That unfortunately a lot of churches, especially with I'd say with a
00:12:54.930 --> 00:13:09.870 Vaneese Thomas: musician's of color are we're losing a lot of those hands because the contemporary music seems more attractive you know it's more upbeat or whatever.
00:13:10.200 --> 00:13:22.140 Vaneese Thomas: But those hands that have been in the church for you know hundred years are still our foundation and our rock and we we really need them in times like
00:13:22.440 --> 00:13:24.000 Antonia Thompson: Say definitely tell the story.
00:13:24.210 --> 00:13:36.360 Antonia Thompson: Yes, even if because a lot of times it is were in church and they're a hymns that come up and my daughter and my son will say, Oh, wow. Everyone knows that like not even looking into him. I'm like, no, there are certain songs
00:13:36.480 --> 00:13:37.080 Vaneese Thomas: Yes, that
00:13:37.110 --> 00:13:37.740 Antonia Thompson: We know
00:13:37.770 --> 00:13:47.610 Antonia Thompson: Like we go up and we knew, but at the same time when they listen to, it's telling the story and you can you can even think of the context of when that him came right
00:13:48.240 --> 00:13:53.730 Vaneese Thomas: Yeah, and you when you learned it and and what was going on in your life at the time.
00:13:54.630 --> 00:13:59.160 Antonia Thompson: Yes. So we went to two different churches. So were you always singing in church.
00:14:00.510 --> 00:14:03.060 Vaneese Thomas: Yes, I was in the
00:14:04.170 --> 00:14:06.300 Vaneese Thomas: Little People squire, you know,
00:14:07.230 --> 00:14:08.880 Antonia Thompson: I had a little people that are big people
00:14:08.940 --> 00:14:09.300 Antonia Thompson: Yeah.
00:14:09.810 --> 00:14:12.480 Vaneese Thomas: Not at all, and between we
00:14:12.510 --> 00:14:12.960 Vaneese Thomas: Have a
00:14:13.380 --> 00:14:27.660 Vaneese Thomas: Little, little Children's Choir angel wire. And then we had a youth choir and then there was the mass choir. That was for adults. And I grew up all through that and because I played
00:14:28.290 --> 00:14:52.020 Vaneese Thomas: Keyboards. I learned a lot of songs that have stuck with me now. I was at the advent of the Edwin Hawkins singers and Andre crouch and all that stuff that's, you know, in his book now. Right. But I was learning all that stuff to teach to to the young people in our church.
00:14:52.500 --> 00:14:56.250 Antonia Thompson: And so I'm not going to say self taught like never lessons ever anything but
00:14:57.090 --> 00:14:59.280 Vaneese Thomas: My question piano for 10 years
00:14:59.340 --> 00:14:59.940 Antonia Thompson: I will. Okay.
00:15:00.720 --> 00:15:02.340 Antonia Thompson: What age did you start with the piano.
00:15:02.460 --> 00:15:08.730 Vaneese Thomas: I started at eight. Wow. And I stopped when I went off to college. That was it. Okay.
00:15:08.760 --> 00:15:12.690 Antonia Thompson: Because I can not only do you sing. But when you play the piano in church, it's
00:15:12.720 --> 00:15:14.310 Antonia Thompson: Just fantastic. It's wonderful.
00:15:15.540 --> 00:15:24.000 Antonia Thompson: So we're going to get ready to take a short break and then we're gonna continue the journey of an east west. We'll be right back. So you're listening to Antonio. So now you know
00:17:32.220 --> 00:17:37.620 Antonia Thompson: Hey, so I was playing around with you because I, I always like to put pictures up and share my screen. But there are
00:17:40.350 --> 00:17:47.940 Antonia Thompson: There are just so many image that I thought of you that I absolutely love so I thought it was funny that I would I would put that up there. But now it's not now back
00:17:49.740 --> 00:18:00.090 Antonia Thompson: Because I do, I want to show your, your website too because there's just so much good stuff that's happening so talks about like leaving Memphis. So you went to swath more as an undergrad.
00:18:00.300 --> 00:18:01.020 Vaneese Thomas: I did.
00:18:01.260 --> 00:18:06.000 Antonia Thompson: And I'm always interested on that choice coming because coming from Memphis or was there a stop in between there.
00:18:06.300 --> 00:18:16.470 Vaneese Thomas: No, there was no stop in between. Um, it's, it's an odd thing that I find really divinely inspired and
00:18:16.530 --> 00:18:20.070 Antonia Thompson: It's worthwhile for those that are listening right is outside of Philly.
00:18:20.280 --> 00:18:24.750 Vaneese Thomas: outside of Philadelphia and, you know, very prestigious
00:18:26.910 --> 00:18:41.790 Vaneese Thomas: Scholarly kind of place. And I didn't even until I watched, there was a TV show called G college bowl on Sunday Afternoons and they would have college students competing against one another.
00:18:42.360 --> 00:18:52.440 Vaneese Thomas: And the first time I ever heard the word Swarthmore was on the GE college bowl and I saw all these really smart people. I said to mommy.
00:18:53.220 --> 00:18:59.610 Vaneese Thomas: Wow, these people are really smart because they won five times in a row. They got a trophy and all that.
00:19:00.300 --> 00:19:03.060 Vaneese Thomas: Okay, so it was in the back of my mind, but
00:19:04.230 --> 00:19:21.630 Vaneese Thomas: Then I saw early in my senior year on my guidance counselor shelf. I had they have a bulletin that you could go in and check out the the colleges and I saw Swarthmore bulletin and
00:19:22.710 --> 00:19:30.600 Vaneese Thomas: Just out of the blue. I said, I'm gonna apply there, not knowing its reputation.
00:19:31.980 --> 00:19:46.740 Vaneese Thomas: You know it's scholastic reputation. I just, it looked like it would be a good fit. Yeah, I was a dummy in those days. I didn't know that he was supposed to apply to lots of colleges right I applied to one school
00:19:46.830 --> 00:19:47.910 Antonia Thompson: Wow.
00:19:48.060 --> 00:19:49.590 Antonia Thompson: Okay, so you did have you
00:19:49.620 --> 00:19:50.700 Vaneese Thomas: were smart, are you
00:19:51.060 --> 00:19:55.410 Antonia Thompson: Smart. If you look if you apply this to one school and got in. That's, that's fantastic.
00:19:55.470 --> 00:19:56.670 Vaneese Thomas: What a blessing.
00:19:57.000 --> 00:20:04.410 Antonia Thompson: Definitely a blessing. And it's interesting. I mean, like I said, to go from Memphis to that area was a shock, a culture shock, have some fun.
00:20:04.440 --> 00:20:14.130 Vaneese Thomas: Yes. Um, do you, the environment at the school was culture shock because these were the days of those all of those
00:20:16.260 --> 00:20:30.600 Vaneese Thomas: Demonstrations we were talking about and and message music like you say the Marvin Gaye, and all that stuff. And it was difficult to be on a campus where you didn't feel
00:20:31.740 --> 00:20:35.610 Vaneese Thomas: Relevant you didn't feel warm and invited
00:20:37.650 --> 00:20:50.790 Vaneese Thomas: And we would, of course, African American students would bind together, we would sit in the dining hall together and the majority population would like to know why we did like
00:20:51.030 --> 00:20:55.680 Vaneese Thomas: That right yeah and nothing's changed, they're still doing that to young people today.
00:20:56.970 --> 00:20:57.540 Vaneese Thomas: And
00:20:58.650 --> 00:21:05.430 Vaneese Thomas: It was, you know, like I said, was emotionally difficult. I was growing up. That was hard.
00:21:05.670 --> 00:21:19.740 Vaneese Thomas: I were on your way from all thousand miles away from wall man and going, you know, living on a campus that was not particularly welcoming. So I have a hard time it's worth
00:21:20.580 --> 00:21:23.400 Antonia Thompson: You had to think about that one, that one choice that one.
00:21:25.110 --> 00:21:29.370 Vaneese Thomas: But, you know, as it turns out it was once again.
00:21:31.230 --> 00:21:34.800 Vaneese Thomas: divinely inspired that I attend there because of
00:21:34.800 --> 00:21:35.430 Antonia Thompson: The path.
00:21:35.760 --> 00:21:43.980 Vaneese Thomas: That part of that. And the people who attended there I was one of the founders of the Swarthmore College gospel boy.
00:21:44.640 --> 00:21:55.590 Antonia Thompson: So I was just going to ask that. Next question. Because another intersection that I've had with the nice through our, our relationship through church was eventually your Swarthmore choir. Have you gone to the church.
00:21:55.650 --> 00:21:56.550 Antonia Thompson: Yes, and
00:21:56.790 --> 00:22:03.180 Antonia Thompson: What moved me about not only the phenomenal voices but the camaraderie.
00:22:03.450 --> 00:22:04.890 Antonia Thompson: Yes, thank you have a story.
00:22:04.890 --> 00:22:15.540 Antonia Thompson: After all of that time and to hear how you guys traveled and you saying, and just had story and you're going to share with us the traveling that this choir has done is just
00:22:16.110 --> 00:22:23.730 Vaneese Thomas: It's amazing that after all these years, we still number one love being together.
00:22:24.570 --> 00:22:25.860 Antonia Thompson: That way, then we part of it. Yeah.
00:22:26.220 --> 00:22:31.380 Vaneese Thomas: Love blending. In fact, I'm a dear friend.
00:22:32.580 --> 00:22:43.020 Vaneese Thomas: Who was in the choir. It was really been our first member to pass away a few weeks ago we did a virtual choir.
00:22:44.190 --> 00:23:03.630 Vaneese Thomas: recording video for her service and it was just like, going back to the beginning because she had I had been talking to live the whole time and she told me exactly what she wanted. This is the song I want you guys to do. And so we did we put it together and
00:23:04.890 --> 00:23:12.660 Vaneese Thomas: It turned out beautifully. And if we still realize how much we love each other and love singing
00:23:13.530 --> 00:23:18.060 Antonia Thompson: So what move to when you are on campus to start to be one of the founders.
00:23:18.390 --> 00:23:34.380 Vaneese Thomas: That's a also a very good question because I, as I said, we were not welcomed as a, as a culture on campus. I was, I joined the college chorus.
00:23:35.820 --> 00:23:49.260 Vaneese Thomas: And their director was not very welcoming but not very inviting and he even said a quote that I tell people now is that
00:23:50.310 --> 00:24:08.790 Vaneese Thomas: It was not me. If the music wasn't made in Western Europe, you know, European music and then it had no validity and when you said that out loud, I, I had to think about that and say, I can't be a part of.
00:24:09.870 --> 00:24:27.750 Vaneese Thomas: Yeah, I can't be a part of this. So sometimes in the dining hall. There was a piano sometimes in the different dorms. There were pianos, and we just gather around the piano and and sing gospel songs and that was the beginning of the Swarthmore College. So when
00:24:28.140 --> 00:24:30.480 Antonia Thompson: And how and tell us what what it's grown to
00:24:31.380 --> 00:24:32.280 Antonia Thompson: Are you still traveling
00:24:32.340 --> 00:24:33.180 Antonia Thompson: Actively with
00:24:33.690 --> 00:24:35.370 Vaneese Thomas: Well, we were until this
00:24:35.430 --> 00:24:43.230 Vaneese Thomas: Pandemic our last travel was January of 2018 we went to South Africa. Wow.
00:24:43.320 --> 00:24:55.740 Vaneese Thomas: That must have been amazing. Oh, it was an amazing because the parallels are just so stark. You know, you see, from whence we came and
00:24:56.790 --> 00:25:05.730 Vaneese Thomas: We sang in one of their Methodist churches over there and they also took us to places where we could hear
00:25:08.250 --> 00:25:18.240 Vaneese Thomas: You know, sort of Aboriginal music music that came from, from the earth, and it was just beautiful. This this camaraderie once again.
00:25:19.080 --> 00:25:22.140 Antonia Thompson: And as the choir still alive and well on campus.
00:25:22.680 --> 00:25:26.970 Vaneese Thomas: Yes, it is there still a student choir and we have the
00:25:28.260 --> 00:25:32.670 Vaneese Thomas: Other choir. The, the alumni acquire that we want them to come to when
00:25:33.450 --> 00:25:35.400 Antonia Thompson: You have it. You did not leave so now
00:25:35.400 --> 00:25:37.860 Antonia Thompson: Party. So as part of the traveling
00:25:39.090 --> 00:25:44.730 Antonia Thompson: Choir that you work with, is that all alumna that I've stuck together and people come in and out or
00:25:44.790 --> 00:25:54.210 Vaneese Thomas: People do come in and out and we consider anyone who has ever been to Swarthmore you know for a semester or for four years.
00:25:55.290 --> 00:26:06.990 Vaneese Thomas: And, you know, a part of the Alumni Association. So we got students who actually come to us. While they're still students and, you know, enrich our choir.
00:26:07.470 --> 00:26:09.990 Antonia Thompson: I don't know that that's some intimidating stuff like
00:26:10.560 --> 00:26:11.670 Antonia Thompson: I mean it's intimidating.
00:26:12.030 --> 00:26:21.630 Antonia Thompson: You know, to join the school choir, I would think that, you know, because you got these beautiful voices to join me alumni choir. I mean, wow. That is amazing.
00:26:21.750 --> 00:26:42.660 Vaneese Thomas: It really is amazing. And we've been so blessed to carry this on for so long. And this tradition and we want to we were having, believe it or not, our 50th anniversary next year. And we're, we need to preserve this organization.
00:26:43.980 --> 00:27:02.370 Vaneese Thomas: And so we're working towards that right now for next year, some kind of endowment so that those of you're listening. If you're interested in helping the Swarthmore gospel choir survive and thrive on Swarthmore campus, then you can contribute to that.
00:27:03.180 --> 00:27:09.930 Antonia Thompson: And so, what other countries have you been to, because I forget when they can I want to say at least maybe four or five years ago.
00:27:10.140 --> 00:27:11.850 Vaneese Thomas: Maybe, maybe longer
00:27:11.910 --> 00:27:14.610 Antonia Thompson: Because you guys had done a presentation for us to share
00:27:15.030 --> 00:27:15.630 Vaneese Thomas: That's right.
00:27:15.660 --> 00:27:26.250 Vaneese Thomas: That's right, your trip. I think we have just going to China. China. Okay. Yes. What it was because I leave swirling who was no member of our church with with us.
00:27:26.760 --> 00:27:27.960 Vaneese Thomas: Okay, yeah.
00:27:29.370 --> 00:27:29.970 Antonia Thompson: Did she say
00:27:30.540 --> 00:27:30.990 No.
00:27:32.220 --> 00:27:33.150 Antonia Thompson: I'm not saying I'm not
00:27:33.570 --> 00:27:37.050 Antonia Thompson: I'm not attracting. I'm just saying, I don't know if I've seen her up there.
00:27:37.350 --> 00:27:37.830 Vaneese Thomas: No.
00:27:38.460 --> 00:27:44.130 Vaneese Thomas: I am not a singer, but we have lots of spouses and friends. Yes.
00:27:45.390 --> 00:27:53.400 Antonia Thompson: So when you were at what as a as a college student, did you have the vision of becoming a recording artists like was that a goal that you would always have to see.
00:27:53.670 --> 00:28:01.980 Vaneese Thomas: Not at all, actually a dear friend of mine who's after all these many years is still a journalist.
00:28:03.870 --> 00:28:22.590 Vaneese Thomas: Was a writer journalist for the Memphis newspaper, she interviewed me as I was going away to Swarthmore she was very young at the time and she asked me the same question. Do you have this. Is this your goal and and I was like, Oh, no.
00:28:23.640 --> 00:28:36.180 Vaneese Thomas: I am not going into the recording business that I think I saw too much too young, the business is real and it's really hard.
00:28:37.140 --> 00:28:58.890 Vaneese Thomas: You know, you have to have a commitment that is full time and to make a living at it is really hard. It was easier than, than it is now. Really, I feel, yes. I really feel for young people starting now because there's no clear path. There's no clear way to make a living.
00:29:00.060 --> 00:29:04.350 Vaneese Thomas: Streaming has taken away all of the revenue.
00:29:05.460 --> 00:29:13.170 Vaneese Thomas: It's, it's very difficult right now for young people, but I didn't want to do it and but God knows
00:29:14.310 --> 00:29:18.660 Vaneese Thomas: He knows everything. And so eventually I took it back.
00:29:19.350 --> 00:29:24.780 Antonia Thompson: And so when you were just starting out. What were some that were you playing different gigs in different places, or I
00:29:24.810 --> 00:29:25.860 Antonia Thompson: Was I was loving it.
00:29:25.980 --> 00:29:30.840 Vaneese Thomas: I was living in Philadelphia. I taught school for a couple of years, which I really love.
00:29:32.700 --> 00:29:43.830 Vaneese Thomas: A Swarthmore is a Quaker institution. And so I wound up teaching at a Quaker school for a couple of years, and really loved it.
00:29:44.400 --> 00:30:03.990 Vaneese Thomas: But the music was calling and I joined a band with my best friend from college and a couple of other guys and we played in the Philadelphia area and that grew into Carolyn and me. That's my my girlfriend from school, getting a record of several record deals together.
00:30:05.430 --> 00:30:14.040 Vaneese Thomas: In fact, there are people in Germany in Eastern Europe who know very nice and Carolyn as an act. It's funny.
00:30:14.490 --> 00:30:15.600 Antonia Thompson: That is so cool.
00:30:15.750 --> 00:30:17.310 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, really is. It's such
00:30:17.310 --> 00:30:19.530 Antonia Thompson: A hot spot for that well.
00:30:20.280 --> 00:30:22.470 Antonia Thompson: When I was back down even a lot of r&b younger
00:30:23.520 --> 00:30:24.600 Antonia Thompson: Chill Scott's although
00:30:26.130 --> 00:30:28.380 Antonia Thompson: It's just a great area for
00:30:28.740 --> 00:30:40.230 Vaneese Thomas: Our alpha and sigma recording studios and you know all those guys parent relevant in the blue notes and the blue magic and Phyllis Hyman
00:30:41.220 --> 00:30:51.930 Antonia Thompson: Royalty hear you say listen we're gonna get ready to take our next break and then when we get back we're going to get into some of the nieces music and we're going to talk about some of her her projects that she's been on
00:30:52.230 --> 00:30:56.370 Antonia Thompson: And so you listen to Antonia. So now you know we're talking with a nice Thomas. We'll be right back.
00:33:54.210 --> 00:34:00.240 Antonia Thompson: A little taste of a nice Thomas, I put up here. If you're watching us on Facebook. I put up
00:34:01.110 --> 00:34:19.500 Antonia Thompson: Her web page. So please go visit and get lots of information about the nice and her music or tours and everything. So you have such a huge spectrum of music that you sing and I'm thinking blues. Oh, I'll let you I'll ask you what is your favorite or like
00:34:20.490 --> 00:34:22.020 Vaneese Thomas: You know I'm
00:34:23.820 --> 00:34:39.510 Vaneese Thomas: I don't have a real favorite. I know people won't believe that. But I don't. I'm a lover of good music and I love every genre, there is. If it's well done.
00:34:40.890 --> 00:34:44.340 Vaneese Thomas: I think probably
00:34:47.250 --> 00:35:06.900 Vaneese Thomas: Country slash blues, you know, might might be up there as number one. I grew up. I know this is once again hard to believe. I grew up listening to country music we listen to everything in my household. So it's just all there in me.
00:35:09.120 --> 00:35:14.580 Antonia Thompson: Yeah you know i i guess i'm spoiled because I hear most of music in church.
00:35:14.970 --> 00:35:15.450 Vaneese Thomas: Mm hmm.
00:35:15.510 --> 00:35:23.610 Antonia Thompson: And then it's like, it was so pleasantly surprised. Like when I think I've been in in our area, probably 15 years now.
00:35:24.090 --> 00:35:27.030 Antonia Thompson: And I know you've come out with a couple of things since then.
00:35:28.080 --> 00:35:41.190 Antonia Thompson: But I'm always just surprised and pleasantly surprised. Of all the different types of music that you're able to sing. So you're saying that you don't have a favorite. I let song that we just heard. I love the blues. I love when you think dads.
00:35:42.360 --> 00:35:44.490 Vaneese Thomas: Thank you. It's pretty amazing.
00:35:44.880 --> 00:35:46.860 Antonia Thompson: So can you tell us about different
00:35:47.460 --> 00:35:52.170 Antonia Thompson: gigs that you've done because I've also know that you have played a lot of different places you
00:35:52.560 --> 00:35:53.850 Vaneese Thomas: Let me. Let's talk about Disney
00:35:53.850 --> 00:35:55.860 Antonia Thompson: Right. You're everywhere.
00:35:56.310 --> 00:36:11.010 Vaneese Thomas: I have played all over the world. I'm blessed to have performed. You know my own music everywhere I've done festivals and Italy and France and Japan and
00:36:11.700 --> 00:36:33.120 Vaneese Thomas: Just kind of all over the place. And I've also performed with my, my sister Carla Thomas and we were in Japan. A couple of years ago at the Fuji festival. And actually, if your listeners are and watchers are on Facebook, looking at the
00:36:34.860 --> 00:36:41.550 Vaneese Thomas: Homepage there. The this picture taken with me in the pink and white in the black
00:36:42.690 --> 00:36:46.260 Vaneese Thomas: Freedom Tower in the back, taken right on.
00:36:47.430 --> 00:37:05.670 Vaneese Thomas: The Wharf downtown in New York City. It was a pier 23 they were having a blues and Jazz Festival. And I just, I really love that and I use that as the background for my Christmas single piece in goodwill.
00:37:07.860 --> 00:37:10.830 Antonia Thompson: Now, is there a favorite venue that you've ever been to.
00:37:13.980 --> 00:37:14.880 Vaneese Thomas: Venue
00:37:17.730 --> 00:37:27.480 Vaneese Thomas: That's certainly one of them because it was outside. There were thousands of people there on the pier.
00:37:27.810 --> 00:37:47.610 Vaneese Thomas: It was a beautiful summer evening I just have such in my family was there, my cousin was visiting me from Denver. I just have a lot of great memories of that evening, and my band was kick in. You can see my band up there on the on the website. Yeah, yeah.
00:37:48.300 --> 00:37:57.240 Antonia Thompson: And so out of it. And again, if people on I go to bunnies thompson.com. You can see all of the music that she's done
00:37:59.250 --> 00:38:03.900 Antonia Thompson: Okay, I'm not gonna say anything about this Anita Baker cover like the hair like I love your hair.
00:38:05.580 --> 00:38:07.200 Antonia Thompson: I didn't have to think I was like, wow.
00:38:08.610 --> 00:38:10.770 Antonia Thompson: This is this is you through your whole
00:38:12.210 --> 00:38:12.570 Vaneese Thomas: Lot to
00:38:15.810 --> 00:38:16.260 Vaneese Thomas: Cover
00:38:17.070 --> 00:38:19.050 Antonia Thompson: It's not, it's that was the time
00:38:21.150 --> 00:38:22.080 Antonia Thompson: That was the time
00:38:23.130 --> 00:38:27.810 Antonia Thompson: That's what everybody was doing. So can you talk a little bit about blues for your father for my father I
00:38:27.840 --> 00:38:29.220 Vaneese Thomas: Will um
00:38:30.600 --> 00:38:48.360 Vaneese Thomas: I'd say that record came out in 2012 and maybe two years before then I began to really feel this connection to Memphis and Memphis music that
00:38:49.440 --> 00:38:57.540 Vaneese Thomas: It was always in me bubbling, but I never really connected with blues as a as an artist myself.
00:38:58.470 --> 00:39:13.140 Vaneese Thomas: My father's entire career, people don't know. They know the Funky Chicken. They know walk in the door, they know all that stuff, but they don't know. He started out and ended his career as blue singer.
00:39:13.890 --> 00:39:32.820 Vaneese Thomas: So that began to bubble up in me and I began to write, write some blue songs and it was it just, it was like coming home literally and figuratively. So that was the beginning of my blues fan.
00:39:33.120 --> 00:39:35.820 Antonia Thompson: Had you had you both ever done to do it.
00:39:37.440 --> 00:39:44.040 Vaneese Thomas: Daddy and I had done a duet live but never
00:39:45.060 --> 00:39:53.460 Vaneese Thomas: On recorded until this record, he had already passed away. But we had the recordings
00:39:54.480 --> 00:39:59.310 Vaneese Thomas: That we digitized and then I was able to do it together.
00:40:00.900 --> 00:40:02.790 Antonia Thompson: Nice. That's beautiful.
00:40:02.850 --> 00:40:16.770 Vaneese Thomas: Yeah, really, really, really was and he he and people also know the novelty stuff and they don't know that he was really a fine singer is a great singer. So I feel honored to be in the same genre.
00:40:18.030 --> 00:40:20.460 Antonia Thompson: Well, you cut from a beautiful cloth.
00:40:21.750 --> 00:40:22.770 Antonia Thompson: From a beautiful cloth.
00:40:23.220 --> 00:40:29.670 Antonia Thompson: So I can you look at your work that you've done up until now. And was there a favorite a favorite project that you had
00:40:30.810 --> 00:40:31.710 Vaneese Thomas: Huh.
00:40:32.070 --> 00:40:33.540 Antonia Thompson: I know they're all your babies, but
00:40:33.660 --> 00:40:37.950 Vaneese Thomas: Yeah, you have my own or working with someone
00:40:38.430 --> 00:40:39.450 Antonia Thompson: Of your own
00:40:39.780 --> 00:40:41.940 Vaneese Thomas: Of my own um
00:40:41.970 --> 00:40:48.030 Antonia Thompson: I mean I think sometimes when you talk to artists, they'll say the hardest was the first you know album that they put out
00:40:48.060 --> 00:40:56.040 Antonia Thompson: Because it was a labor of love and not knowing. But then there's always one album that they felt they just had it right from the beginning. Like it just felt good and
00:40:58.050 --> 00:41:16.800 Vaneese Thomas: I think that was the case with my, my very first album. It was the easiest because I was writing so much at the time and I was with a production company hush productions that
00:41:17.370 --> 00:41:29.340 Vaneese Thomas: Managed and produced for Melba Moore for Jackson mo Williams. I mean, they had a an artist roster. That was huge and
00:41:30.780 --> 00:41:42.720 Vaneese Thomas: So they signed me and my production team, which is my husband and friend of ours at the time. Early on, Ernie OSHA
00:41:44.250 --> 00:42:05.490 Vaneese Thomas: We were left alone to our own devices, nobody was looking over our shoulder telling us how it ought to go and we produced it all on our own. And we wrote everything on the album. And I think that's probably my favorite project because of that right. Mm hmm.
00:42:06.720 --> 00:42:13.140 Antonia Thompson: And so, you know, I am as you were saying now with streaming and so forth, that's happening.
00:42:13.350 --> 00:42:16.350 Antonia Thompson: Yeah, you just had a new album that just came out right just
00:42:16.350 --> 00:42:17.010 Antonia Thompson: A while ago.
00:42:17.070 --> 00:42:17.430 Yeah.
00:42:18.570 --> 00:42:20.580 Antonia Thompson: I think I want to say right before bed or was it
00:42:20.790 --> 00:42:22.620 Vaneese Thomas: Yes, it was right, you're absolutely
00:42:23.640 --> 00:42:25.800 Vaneese Thomas: Right before go live it and
00:42:27.450 --> 00:42:44.640 Vaneese Thomas: It, it's called down yonder you showed the, the album cover and it's, I think my writing has gotten better and better and better, and as the more I connect to these Memphis roots.
00:42:45.750 --> 00:42:49.440 Vaneese Thomas: Then I think the writing gets more authentic.
00:42:50.670 --> 00:42:57.660 Antonia Thompson: And I've always wanted, and I can ask that now because now I know a writer and a singer. So it always amazes me how lyrics come about.
00:42:58.890 --> 00:43:01.470 Antonia Thompson: And so when you say the writing improves. Is it something that you're
00:43:01.500 --> 00:43:09.150 Antonia Thompson: Always doing or is it just something you think about, or do you get a theme in your, your mind about, oh, I think I'll write about love. I think I'll write about that.
00:43:09.510 --> 00:43:18.810 Antonia Thompson: Like, what is it that inspires because you know you hear the songs. You know, like, wow, how come I didn't think of that. That's a great lyric like I could see myself singing that all the time.
00:43:19.530 --> 00:43:26.370 Antonia Thompson: How does that, how does that come about outside of that you're ridiculously, you know, talented and artistic
00:43:26.850 --> 00:43:27.660 Well,
00:43:30.480 --> 00:43:40.740 Vaneese Thomas: I think most artists will tell you, no matter what art form that they're they're doing is that there's no clear answer to that.
00:43:42.720 --> 00:43:56.460 Vaneese Thomas: I because I'm a believer, I believe that I'm a vessel that God sends the talent through and I just come up with whatever it is.
00:43:56.970 --> 00:44:24.810 Vaneese Thomas: Of course, honing my my skills over all these years has really had oh yeah it's helped a lot. But the lyrics in particular are truly God sent. I can't tell you you know from whence they come and where the stories come from, because they're not all about me. They're just life experiences.
00:44:25.320 --> 00:44:29.310 Antonia Thompson: You say that, but I feel like you could sit there and just start singing a song like. So I'm sitting
00:44:29.760 --> 00:44:30.480 Antonia Thompson: On yeah
00:44:31.800 --> 00:44:32.580 Antonia Thompson: And I took a look
00:44:33.480 --> 00:44:34.560 Antonia Thompson: At your just come up with that.
00:44:36.240 --> 00:44:39.810 Vaneese Thomas: Look, I don't know. It just flows through me.
00:44:41.790 --> 00:44:47.520 Antonia Thompson: So on this last album. Well, do you think going forward some other projects you're going to work on like
00:44:48.570 --> 00:44:56.430 Antonia Thompson: A spiritual like that. Well, I guess I want to say with cove it happening. And then there's so much unrest that's going on the Community.
00:44:56.700 --> 00:45:02.790 Antonia Thompson: Just sometimes that create some, you know, just stare something in you to say, Oh, I think I want to write about this.
00:45:03.060 --> 00:45:03.540 Yeah.
00:45:05.490 --> 00:45:28.410 Vaneese Thomas: I think I'm going to continue on the the blues path I can always step off, which is really not stepping off the path, it's, it's all part of it, you listen to down yonder, you'll find a song called gone. I always try to put a spiritual on my albums and
00:45:29.580 --> 00:45:30.450 Vaneese Thomas: It's about
00:45:31.620 --> 00:45:35.910 Vaneese Thomas: You know, being prepared for the afterlife and
00:45:36.930 --> 00:45:48.360 Vaneese Thomas: So I don't think I'm going to change that. But I can always do a gospel album, and it's a part of the it's a part of me so oh yeah I don't feel like it's it's
00:45:48.750 --> 00:45:50.790 Vaneese Thomas: Still going to be a stretch. Yeah.
00:45:51.630 --> 00:45:52.770 Antonia Thompson: I would not be a stretch.
00:45:53.010 --> 00:45:56.010 Antonia Thompson: Right. So can you talk a little bit about Disney like
00:45:57.060 --> 00:46:00.690 Antonia Thompson: Because I and I didn't know about that. What is it, Disney that you want the soundtracks
00:46:00.750 --> 00:46:01.200 Vaneese Thomas: Yes.
00:46:01.230 --> 00:46:09.300 Antonia Thompson: And I didn't. I did not know that until I was doing, you know, a little bit of research. But let's take our last break and then we come back I told him on the answer that because I didn't know
00:46:09.570 --> 00:46:11.460 Antonia Thompson: And I was again pleasantly surprised.
00:46:12.780 --> 00:46:16.200 Antonia Thompson: To Antonia and so now you know we'll be right back with beneath Thomas
00:48:42.060 --> 00:48:48.930 Antonia Thompson: So I have to share with you i i have you in my Spotify like I put in different music and I add different stuff to
00:48:50.070 --> 00:48:56.160 Antonia Thompson: My playlist and I was sitting there as playing through the house and all sudden my son was sitting there. He's like,
00:48:57.690 --> 00:48:58.860 Antonia Thompson: That sounds familiar.
00:49:00.240 --> 00:49:01.740 Antonia Thompson: Familiar. And then he was saying to
00:49:01.740 --> 00:49:06.060 Antonia Thompson: Me. Hmm. Who is that, and I said, that's nice for church. He said, What
00:49:06.270 --> 00:49:07.650 Antonia Thompson: He not believe me.
00:49:07.890 --> 00:49:09.480 Antonia Thompson: And I said she sings in our
00:49:09.480 --> 00:49:11.880 Antonia Thompson: Choir, you know, like she's known use
00:49:13.980 --> 00:49:14.310 Antonia Thompson: Said,
00:49:14.400 --> 00:49:19.110 Antonia Thompson: Please try saying, which he could not and then he he was just like his mind was just blown
00:49:21.090 --> 00:49:32.220 Antonia Thompson: I know she could sing. But she's got an out. I was like, yes, yes. So he is a he's a very big fan. And it's funny how you talk to kids and they think like they have very tunnel vision like
00:49:32.520 --> 00:49:32.670 Vaneese Thomas: But
00:49:33.210 --> 00:49:34.620 Antonia Thompson: But she sings on the choir.
00:49:35.700 --> 00:49:36.390 Antonia Thompson: Things about God.
00:49:37.290 --> 00:49:38.910 Antonia Thompson: And I'm like, okay, um,
00:49:39.450 --> 00:49:40.380 Antonia Thompson: She can do a little more
00:49:42.630 --> 00:49:45.870 Vaneese Thomas: Well, thank you. I'm glad he's discovered my music
00:49:46.140 --> 00:49:51.600 Antonia Thompson: Yes, yes. So talk to talk about destiny, because I didn't know that about. I did not know the part of the
00:49:51.900 --> 00:49:55.320 Vaneese Thomas: Well I, I did a lot of
00:49:56.460 --> 00:50:01.950 Vaneese Thomas: Commercial work I did jingles. You know, TV and radio
00:50:03.240 --> 00:50:19.200 Vaneese Thomas: And one of the guys who was a producer became the music producer for Disney Animation. He moved from New York out to LA and
00:50:20.100 --> 00:50:28.290 Vaneese Thomas: When this idea for Hercules came up. He called me and asked, did I want to participate in it.
00:50:28.890 --> 00:50:44.640 Vaneese Thomas: Sure. At the time, I, I didn't really know what it was going to be, or being like, and so I was in the process from the very beginning. What the animators do is watch you as you sing.
00:50:45.030 --> 00:51:04.890 Vaneese Thomas: And the character sort of embodies who you are and your, your, you know, gestures and mannerisms. And so if you look at cloud, the goddess of history. You'll see somebody with a why mouth I had big air.
00:51:06.000 --> 00:51:11.760 Vaneese Thomas: And I was, I was the prim and proper proper one that said, oh, the balls.
00:51:13.590 --> 00:51:16.050 Vaneese Thomas: Really they caught the essence of me.
00:51:16.920 --> 00:51:26.040 Antonia Thompson: As a lot of the animation that you see it. Is that it, you know, you can see that you can hear an actor's voice or actresses voice, but then you see it in the in the image, you know,
00:51:26.640 --> 00:51:28.020 Not character, but the yeah
00:51:29.220 --> 00:51:33.090 Antonia Thompson: So is that a lot different than recording like I don't even know how they
00:51:33.090 --> 00:51:37.590 Vaneese Thomas: Start well it's happening. So it's, it's different.
00:51:38.820 --> 00:51:41.940 Vaneese Thomas: I had two other TV.
00:51:43.590 --> 00:51:46.620 Vaneese Thomas: Animation things that I was the voice of
00:51:48.330 --> 00:51:58.080 Vaneese Thomas: And it depends on what era, you hit. If I talk to kids and say Shining Time Station, they'll go, oh my god, you're
00:51:59.970 --> 00:52:01.590 Vaneese Thomas: A character in that
00:52:02.640 --> 00:52:03.510 Vaneese Thomas: So,
00:52:04.590 --> 00:52:12.390 Vaneese Thomas: You know I've done character acting per se, but just voice for voice characterizations
00:52:12.480 --> 00:52:17.760 Antonia Thompson: So is there any desire to do any other, you know, play on stage. Any other acting
00:52:18.030 --> 00:52:31.410 Vaneese Thomas: On stage. No, you know, I realized after I moved to New York. How hard Broadway is. Oh my god, I have so many friends who do that and I don't know how they do it.
00:52:31.830 --> 00:52:46.740 Vaneese Thomas: Eight shows a week. It's so hard on the voice and hard on the body. So I decided to go a different way something a little of easier that I could change, you know,
00:52:47.760 --> 00:52:52.050 Antonia Thompson: So you have any upcoming projects. What else that you're going to be working on.
00:52:52.530 --> 00:52:53.520 Vaneese Thomas: I'm I'm
00:52:53.610 --> 00:52:57.810 Vaneese Thomas: All the time writing during this coven crisis.
00:52:57.870 --> 00:53:05.670 Vaneese Thomas: As I've been writing I write on zoom with a couple of different people and
00:53:07.680 --> 00:53:27.180 Vaneese Thomas: So I think by next summer Lord willing, this thing has ended. We've all been vaccinated and we feel a little more comfortable. I probably have an albums worth of material that I'll be ready to release for the next lose out.
00:53:27.660 --> 00:53:32.460 Antonia Thompson: All right. And so how long does it take from beginning to end to to get an album out
00:53:33.690 --> 00:53:45.690 Vaneese Thomas: It can take you know as little as six day weeks if you're really kicking board can take all these months that I'm putting into it because I can right
00:53:46.050 --> 00:53:55.200 Antonia Thompson: Right. So have you always been Methodist when you talked about, you would go you know you had two different churches. Growing up, I mean that's how we know each other from from our Methodist Church.
00:53:55.290 --> 00:54:03.870 Vaneese Thomas: No, I grew up Baptist and I even played for a couple of churches. When I moved to New York area.
00:54:05.100 --> 00:54:13.740 Vaneese Thomas: But then I moved to to Upper West Chester, and I had a friend who was a member. Do you remember so loud.
00:54:15.090 --> 00:54:21.450 Vaneese Thomas: Sula is the reason I'm at first church because we got to be friends, and she invited me
00:54:22.380 --> 00:54:24.150 Antonia Thompson: She didn't say all we need you in the choir, but
00:54:25.860 --> 00:54:28.560 Vaneese Thomas: Actually what she said was, she invited me
00:54:29.940 --> 00:54:51.330 Vaneese Thomas: To do with a choir symposium, you know, like a workshop. Okay, so that was the first thing I did when I came here was do a workshop for the choir. And then I realized the pastor was. Oh, wonderful. I started to bring in on Sunday and yeah me then.
00:54:52.680 --> 00:54:58.560 Antonia Thompson: Have you ever worked are with new artists or or helped find a preview on us.
00:54:58.710 --> 00:54:59.580 Vaneese Thomas: I have
00:55:00.660 --> 00:55:18.720 Vaneese Thomas: There are a couple. I'd say three artists that my husband and I produced guy and two women and they're still young lady, I liked unvarying interested in when I hear a voice that I think it's special.
00:55:19.860 --> 00:55:23.880 Vaneese Thomas: I like to assist them, even if I don't do the final production.
00:55:24.900 --> 00:55:33.300 Vaneese Thomas: So I always hear voices, like that. And if I can give a young artist any assistance, either in the studio or
00:55:34.740 --> 00:55:44.520 Vaneese Thomas: In vocal training or anything like that. But they've got to be serious business. Just give voice lessons.
00:55:46.710 --> 00:55:46.950 Antonia Thompson: To
00:55:47.010 --> 00:55:49.410 Antonia Thompson: The swath my choir ever put out a recording
00:55:49.800 --> 00:55:52.740 Vaneese Thomas: We do. We have to record one is
00:55:53.850 --> 00:55:59.010 Vaneese Thomas: The first one we did was called Hallelujah. Amen. And the second one is called
00:56:00.330 --> 00:56:06.900 Vaneese Thomas: The it's a Swarthmore Christmas album, so you can find those online.
00:56:06.930 --> 00:56:10.950 Antonia Thompson: Yes, I was just gonna say can you share with us where people can access your music.
00:56:11.220 --> 00:56:26.610 Vaneese Thomas: You can access those particular things for Swarthmore on Amazon and that money actually goes into our fund to help young college students who are still there.
00:56:26.970 --> 00:56:37.800 Vaneese Thomas: And singing in the choir, or if they'd like to go on tour with us. It goes you know towards the students. So we'd be doing a good thing if you support it.
00:56:38.490 --> 00:56:49.590 Antonia Thompson: Absolutely, and people need to check out nice Thomas calm to learn more information about her upcoming projects. I know you just had their recent release of your album. So people
00:56:49.590 --> 00:56:51.270 Antonia Thompson: Can go get that out and listen to
00:56:51.270 --> 00:56:59.130 Vaneese Thomas: Somebody everywhere online. You know, you worked your puts out everything so online every year.
00:56:59.760 --> 00:57:04.140 Antonia Thompson: So I'm so excited to know you and I just, you look. I was like, I have to get her on the show because you
00:57:04.170 --> 00:57:06.750 Antonia Thompson: Are so talented. And there are just so many
00:57:06.810 --> 00:57:10.320 Antonia Thompson: Layers to you have the work that you've done over time. So I'm just
00:57:11.280 --> 00:57:13.470 Vaneese Thomas: In that regard, and so yeah really
00:57:14.730 --> 00:57:16.350 Antonia Thompson: bless everybody that comes into your path.
00:57:20.820 --> 00:57:35.310 Antonia Thompson: Thank you. Thank you. I mean, I mean it. So again, thank you so much. I know we had some troubles getting us together, but I'm so glad that I could share this share this with everyone that's out there and I will see you on Sunday virtual, of course.
00:57:35.550 --> 00:57:35.850 Vaneese Thomas: Yes.
00:57:36.150 --> 00:57:38.670 Antonia Thompson: Yes, yes. And we meet again and in person.
00:57:38.880 --> 00:57:46.410 Vaneese Thomas: And thank you for having me. And thanks, everybody, for listening and keep listening to Antonia
00:57:47.730 --> 00:57:50.310 Antonia Thompson: Yes. And as I you know I always say to them, keep six feet.
00:57:50.310 --> 00:57:51.540 Antonia Thompson: Away wear that mask.
00:57:51.540 --> 00:57:54.480 Antonia Thompson: And healthy as we go into this season and
00:57:56.070 --> 00:58:03.150 Antonia Thompson: So wishing everybody a great week and we'll see you next Thursday at five o'clock on. So, you know, you know, and I will fit you good night.
00:58:03.720 --> 00:58:04.290 Vaneese Thomas: Good night.
00:58:05.130 --> 00:58:06.720 Vaneese Thomas: Bye bye.