20-year-old, Melbourne-raised producer, singer-songwriter Thomas Headon may only be a year into his musical career, but he has already proven that he is an artist to keep an eye on.
Thomas Headon’s latest EP comes after his first lockdown release, ‘The Greatest Hits’ which arrived in March, just as life was starting to change for many people. As for many creatives, work took a standstill and the London based artist’s plans of touring those songs quickly became unlikely. However, as one door closed, Thomas opened another by moving onto the next thing; finishing a new body of work, ‘The Goodbye EP’.
The record features recent singles “I’m Finally In Love”, “Loving You”, “Focus” and “UrbanAngel1999”, as well as new tracks “Cut And Bleach My Hair” and “I’m Finally Alone”. The tracks act as a diary of sorts from the past 12 months, drawing influence from confusing relationships, new environments, making friends and being by himself.
“Cut And Bleach My Hair” particularly stands out as a song that portrays many, recent, relatable feelings of calling out for attention, “I don’t know why I feel so strange. So I’ll cut my hair and I’ll hope that’ll change”. As well as, being trapped in a never-ending cycle of repetitive procrastination, “Cut and bleach my hair again. I’ll change again and again”. “I’m Finally Alone” almost flips this concept on its head and closes out the EP with a time to reflect on the positive side of being away from people. The whirling synths and warped vocals sound like your subconscious spinning around the space between your ears. It focuses on the importance of taking a moment to yourself, taking time to reset, “It’s nice to talk to yourself. When all you do is talk to everyone else”. Whilst we as humans are probably more connected, by our phones and laptops than ever before, Thomas fittingly ends this EP by highlighting the power of, quite literally, switching off.
Offering hazy guitar, bouncing beats, groovy bass and dreamy vocals, whilst exploring subjects of uncertainty and vulnerability, Thomas is an artist with undeniable charisma who is announcing an exciting time for young, experimental, DIY music.
Thomas chats with Notion about the trials and tribulations of living with a cardboard cut-out of Harry Styles, what it was like to meet Prince William and where the nickname “disco tony” comes from.
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Congratulations on the release of ‘The Goodbye EP’. What is the message behind this EP and do you have a favourite track and why?
Ahhhh thank you thank you. This EP was written over the course of like a whole year, during that time I did a lot of thinking and writing about people. It’s very “people’s attention” based. Whether it be my attention to others, their attention to me, craving attention, giving attention, you get the idea. I had just moved to the UK, was meeting lots of new people and creating experiences and moments with a lot of them too. In my opinion I think that’s where it all came from and I think the songs reflect that nicely. Favourite track is probably ‘UrbanAngel1999’, it’s so left and different to something I would usually create… but I love that about it. I think I’ve got that song out of my system and I probably won’t create something similar again, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
How has the pandemic influenced your work and creative process?
Influenced it kinda positively and negatively. Creatively I was terrible… I think because nothing new was happening I just stopped writing, stopped singing, playing, the whole lot. I often joke about how I went through multiple crises’ while we were in lockdown, but I actually did lmao. I’ve only really gotten back into trying to be creative every day recently. I’m writing a lot more, wanting to work with more people, do different things… all in all, I think now that life is somewhat getting back to normal here in London my mental health is just so much better and I’m a lot more willing to explore being creative every day. In another sense of ‘work’ though I think it forced me to stay active and online as much as possible, I did this thing where I went live every day for like 2 weeks which was great fun. As well as just connecting with fans a lot more. A part of me misses that time. I should do that more often.
For those who may be new to your music, how would you describe your sound?
I never know what to say for this. Bedroom pop? Indie pop? Alternative pop? Not exactly sure. I just enjoy writing songs n singing them n playing the guitar. Take that as u will. I just hope people enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them 🙂
What was your reaction when you found out someone threw your Harry Styles cardboard cut-out in the bin?
HAHAHA dude okay I’m going to get slaughtered for this but it was actually hilarious. Very sad, but also very funny. So the studio where we keep Harry and the cardboard cutout of me (which we used for the ‘Focus’ music video) is getting like building work / renovations done to it. So one day my friend Max Margolis was saying to me about how things keep going missing yada yada, and while he was looking for something he found the cardboard cutout of me sitting on top of the bin. As soon as he said it I reminded myself out loud, “oh that reminds me I’ve gotta take Harry home tonight for the livestream” and it was at that moment we all just looked around like “…where’s Harry” until we clocked someone must have chucked him away lol. So funny. But again pretty sad because he was my first ‘welcome to london’ present from one of my managers. Least we have replaced him.
Do you consider yourself a day one Directioner?
I mean look I probably would have no interest in that band if it wasn’t because of my sister lol. She’s shaped like 99% of what my music taste was as an early teenager and I think that’s lead into what it is now that I’m older. But their music actually goes so hard, as a band they were genuinely so likeable and interesting, they went from being on a British TV show to being unarguably one of the biggest bands on the planet, I say what’s not to love. I also think in a way it was so interesting to kind of grow up with them… they’re all quite a bit older than me but their music still evolved with me as I got older. Would I say I was day one? I’m not sure. Whenever my sister got into them lmao. She was like 11. Sounds about right.
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Melbourne or London?
Melbourne. By far. Like I’m biased but there is a reason that city was the most liveable city on the planet for so long. Don’t get me wrong I love London a lot. I have a lot of friends here now, I love feeling like I’m in a city where so much is happening and also I planning on living here for the foreseeable future… but I think London only really thrives in the summer, which you get for like 1-2 months of the year. Melbourne even though its weather is so on and off I think just has something so amazing about it dude. I’m definitely biased. Anyway, Melbourne. Melbourne is still and always will be home.
Who are your top 3 artists of all time?
This is actually HARD. I can’t do 3 that’s too little. Nor can I actually put them in an order of favourites. But a few very notable ones are Coldplay, The 1975, Tyler The Creator, Rex Orange County aaaaand nowadays probably Easy Life. Admire them all in such different ways. I feel like I could also name at least 5 more that take similar positions. But all of them keep me going… whether that be musically or just purely because I enjoy listening to them.
Who would your dream collaboration be with?
Great question that I don’t think I’ll ever have an answer to. Collaboration wise I think I’m much more interested in being on tracks with like my friends and artists who are just doing their own cool shit right now, rather than heavily established artists or bands that I grew up listening to for example. There’s heaps of people who I’ve been inspired by forever that I’d love to write with though. People like Tom Fletcher from McFly, Elton John, Harry (of course), Matty Healy… the list goes on man. I usually often hate writing in sessions but I think it’d be so interesting to see how they all approach songs.
Can you remember the first song you ever wrote?
Hahahaha it was a song about my guitar called ‘Six’. Which was really weird to be honest because I was talking about like how beautiful it was. It was a straight up rip off of an Ed Sheeran song, same chords, same melody. I was so proud of it though, but it’s never seeing the light of day. It’s not even like today I would ironically play it to have some like big full circle moment, like it’s just never leaving my phone it’s that bad. Also to make matters worse I was about 13 and aside the fact that my voice hadn’t dropped because I’d barely hit puberty yet I literally could hardly even sing. God it’s so horrible to think about.
Did you ever expect your debut single would reach over 4 million streams on Spotify?
Hahahaha can’t say I particularly expected it, no. That’s so weird to think man. It was so funny seeing the way that song progressed. It started by putting the whole thing up on Youtube, getting a small but good response from that, my managers being like “we really like this!”. Trying some really embarrassing TikTok with it, that getting like 100k views and then us being like “ah well let’s release it!”. Then after like a month, another TikTok did well and ever since it’s just done its own thing lmao. I’m really proud of that song though. It’s setup so much for me and given me an audience that I get along with so well / really connect to. Also, it’s so much fun to play live, literally cannot wait until I get to do it in front of an audience. thx to everyone who has streamed it xxxx
How do you measure success with your music?
Damn. I could go on about this question forever. Recently I really think my answer to this has drastically changed. As much as I joke about having the year 10 maths award, I’m very much a numbers driven / statistical person… I really like concrete data and figures. Because of that I think I used to measure my success based on my numbers, which is completely fair and an accurate way to do so, but little do they teach you in year 10 that that’ll actually drive you insane lol. Makes you compare yourself to everyone, puts so much pressure on you, dude it’s not healthy. Since finishing my second EP I’ve finally had the time to just focus on songwriting and making music again, and now I think my opinion on what success is with my music has changed. I wanna make music that means something to me, is something that I’m proud of and I can say “I did my absolute best on that”. Along with all the other things that come with making music I wanna do the same thing, content, work ethic yada yada you get what I mean. That’s a very long and spiritual answer but I think that was a deep question. Thank you for asking I liked that one.
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What was it like meeting Prince William?
You have really done your research wow yeah he was really cool ! Cracked a joke about Sydney vs Melbourne, asked heaps of questions, a really polite, stand up guy. From what I’ve seen, personality wise he has a lot of his mum in him. A very genuine, caring and compassionate guy that really seems as if he wants to help. I get that vibe from both him and his brother. It was quite nerve racking meeting him considering he’s literally the future king of the commonwealth but he made us (i was with my mum and my sister) very comfortable. Would recommend if you ever have the chance !
When this is all over, what is the first thing you’re going to do?
GOD HOPEFULLY PLAY CONCERTS. THEN GO TO CONCERTS. THEN GO TO AMERICA WITH MY BEST FRIENDS. AND THEN PLAY CONCERTS IN AMERICA. THEN GO BACK HOME TO AUSTRALIA. AND DO ALL THE SAME THINGS. THEN SOMEWHERE ELSE. UGH.
How excited are you for your 2021 UK tour?
I can’t even explain the answer to this question. The excitement in me is just. Oh my god. It’s not even playing shows like dude I wanna MEET PEOPLE. I wanna see smiling faces and visit the queue and meet people after the shows and play with my band and be in a tour bus and in shitty hotels and just feel like I’m properly experiencing life as a musician with the people who listen to my music and who’ve stuck by me throughout constant rescheduling. So, so insanely excited. Very sad that two lots of shows have been rescheduled already, but what can you do. Just hope by the time these shows go ahead people still remember me and that they’ve got tickets.
Lastly, where does the nickname “disco tony” come from?
He was a Mediterranean DJ that played only remixes of banjo songs. Really weird. But I liked his vibe so I decided to steal his name and claim it as my own. We’re currently in a class action lawsuit. I’m not meant to be talking about it but he paid me £20 to mention that I actually stole it. Hope you’re happy, Carl