Miles Thomas is an emerging country artist hailing from Central Alberta. This past October, Miles released his debut single as a signed artist, “Radio”, via Red Deer’s own Deer City Records. The song also marks the debut release by the boutique label, which is run & founded by singer & songwriter Jesse Roads.
Recently, I spoke with Miles about pursuing a career in music and his debut single.
Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing music? What made you want to become an artist?
Miles Thomas: I have been playing guitar and singing since I was 11. My dad is a blues harmonica player and a big inspiration. He bought me my first guitar. It was a Black Univox. I had to string it upside down because I am a lefty. I started playing in bands and clubs at 16. We played mostly punk rock but I always had a love for Country music. My dad turned me on to John Prine and Jerry Jeff Walker at a young age. When I couldn’t practice with my punk bands I started learning the acoustic guitar and picking up on these old country tunes. I always loved getting up and playing in front of people. I love interacting with the crowd and having fun.
Kyla Pearson: “Radio” is your debut release as a signed country artist, via Deer City Records. What made you want this specific song to be the first one you share with the world? Can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind the song and the recording process?
Miles Thomas: Radio is about a conversation I had with my dad on the phone. He lives back in Nova Scotia. We were joking back and forth about me learning to ride a pedal bike. I was telling my dad about my son Jace learning to ride a pedal bike at 5 years old. Dad said “I think you were around 13” I said “Yeah, probably had a moustache and cigarette pack in my sleeve” (Song lyrics) So originally the lyrics were. “Thank you my father for all you taught me. I should have rode a bike before I turned 13. Had a moustache and cigarette pack in my sleeve”. When I recorded the demo with Jesse Roads I changed up the lyrics to make it more of a love song but the genesis of the song was a funny talk with my dad and missing him and missing home. I wrote the song right after hanging up the phone with him.
Kyla Pearson: Melodically, the song has a more gritty sound and is reminiscent of old school country. What inspired this stylistic direction?
Miles Thomas: John Prine is the king of storytelling. His first record with the hay bales is my fav record. If I had a nickel for every song I scrapped because it sounded too much like John Prine, I’d be rich. After losing John to Covid this year it really put things into perspective on what I want with my life. Do I want to continue working construction and oil patch or do what I love? This first release is a tribute to John Prine and my father Keith. It’s about trying to pursue my dreams of becoming a recording artist.
Kyla Pearson: What do you hope to achieve with the single? What message do you hope fans take away from the song?
Miles Thomas: I want people to enjoy my music and enjoy my story. My songs are all about my life. Ups and downs. Good and bad decisions made by me and my friends. Heartache. I hope they feel something after listening to my music.
Kyla Pearson: What is one message you want to share with fans through your music?
Miles Thomas: Life goes fast. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Kyla Pearson: What live shows do you have coming up that fans can catch? What is one venue or show you’re looking forward to sharing “Radio” at?
Miles Thomas: I don’t have much for gigs right now. Why? Do you need someone? I can play. I do bar mitzvahs / weddings / funerals. I will pretty much take anything. Call me!
Kyla Pearson: What is one thing fans may not know about you?
Miles Thomas: I’m playing music for the right reasons. It’s therapy for me. If I’m not playing in front of people I am practicing in the garage. I don’t need an audience to have a good time with my acoustic.
Kyla Pearson: Lastly, with the New Year just around the corner, what is one thing you’re proud to have accomplished this year? Do you plan on releasing new music in 2022?
Miles Thomas: Yeah I am happy with the first song. It’s been a fun ride. I have some stuff in the works with Jesse Roads. Hopefully doing another track with the same team for a spring release in 2022. Planning on doing a song called Broken Bones or a song called Beautiful yard.
Thomas, Miles. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Nov. 8 2021.
Unknown. “Official artwork for Miles Thomas’ debut single,”Radio””. Photo courtesy of Jesse Roads. Accessed Nov. 8 2021.