Feed the Band
Feed the Band
What makes an artist “famous”? This is a question I have been asking for the past year. However, being involved in the music industry for the past two and half years, I have learned that’s the wrong question to ask. The better question is, “What makes an artist marketable?” You probably just cringed as I did when I first heard someone refer to a person in this way. It’s not a bad thing. It simply means someone has enough good qualities to appeal to the largest number of people. Thomas Fountain, our next artist on Feed the Band, has a ton of those good qualities that will appeal to many of you.
Some artists may disagree with me, but I see what happens on stage or the radio as icing on the cake. Without the actual cake, icing doesn’t hold up. A great cake has many layers and textures that make it enjoyable. Just like a cake, an artist needs to have many layers to stand out in the industry. A good voice is a start, but it takes a lot more than being a good singer. Today, an artist must engage with their fans more than ever before, learn to manage the tightest of budgets, be entertaining for a crowd of 2 or 20,000, be mentally prepared for thousands of soul-crushing nos, and a plethora of other things. Of course, they also have to look good and carefree while doing all of this. Standing in the spotlight may seem easy, but sometimes it is a pressure-filled, lonely place.
Thomas Fountain is one artist I feel has enough layers to stand out. Truth be told, if you are not listening to his music, you soon will be. As with any artist, you might not like every song of his, but there will be a few songs you will connect to. If you don’t, let’s just say country music is not your thing, and that is OK. Why such a bold statement? Country music is honest stories about life, and Thomas’s music is full of such stories. He blows off steam with “It Don’t Matter”, reflects on life with “Sometimes God Whispers”, and celebrates everyday relationships with “Just Like You”.
Honesty is not just in the icing when it comes to Thomas Fountain. It is that the base layer on which everything else stands. On top of that layer, Thomas loves people. Family, friends, and fans are relationships that are genuinely important to him. To top everything off Thomas is pure country. He hunts, fish and more importantly doesn’t shy away from a good days work. Why is this important? I think country music is forgetting about the culture that Thomas and I were raised in. He is one of the few artists that celebrates the true country lifestyle
Thomas Fountain "Break My Heart" Official Video
It has been a true pleasure getting to know Thomas Fountain and now it’s your turn to do the same. Before we get to the interview please keep a lookout for the Twisted Cowboy Nachos recipe he inspired and the giveaway at the end. Here is out interview with country music artist Thomas Fountain.
Tell us about your road to country music.
My road was a little different than most. I didn’t find music until later in life and started taking it seriously as a college senior. After graduation, I pursued a career with my degree while playing music in cover bands on the side. After being in that career for a few years, I found myself in a tough spot in my personal life. I stepped away from music for a bit, but the yearning was still there. Eventually, I turned back to what I knew I could trust, and that was music. After finding music again, the healing process started. It’s the only thing at the time that made sense, and I started pouring my heart into songs. I then recorded those songs and began my venture as a solo artist. Things advanced further than I thought they would, and I left my career path to pursue music full time. It’s crazy how life works.
What takes up too much of your time?
Social media and keeping up with the ever-changing music industry. We’re not only artists these days; we have to be creators, innovators, and market gurus, among other things.
What is one of the weirdest things you used to do as a teenager?
Oh man, I was all over the place as a teenager, but I guess that comes with that age period. I was a ninja one day, Alan Jackson the next, and Michael Jordan the next.
I know you are a big sportsman. What hunting are some tips you would you share with a beginner?
This is something I’m super passionate about. The hunting and fishing industry has become so much like any other industry. TV and social media would lead youngsters and beginners to believe that you have to have this equipment or certain clothing, etc. My greatest memories of growing up in the woods or on the water are with the men that influenced me the most as a child. I couldn’t tell you the weapon, fishing pole, or what I had on, but I can tell you exactly what happened on those days with them. So, my advice to beginners would be to be present in the outdoors and soak it all in. The goal is not to always harvest an animal or catch a fish, but it’s about making memories with special people. Learn to love and respect God’s great creation. Live in the moment, and the woods will teach you a lot if you listen.
We are constantly developing recipes here at Southern Fellow. When writing music, what recipe do you use?
I feel like, as a songwriter, I just buy some salt and pepper and hold on to it for seemingly the right time to cook with it, haha. I will write down a word, hook, or sing a melody on my phone at any place and time. Then when I’m in one of my writing stages I’ll revert back to my notes and go from there. I rarely sit down empty on a Saturday and think, hmmm, I think I’ll write a song today. It has to come from a place of inspiration first. You can’t grill a steak without some seasoning, right?! Season that song first and then let it marinate.
Connect with Thomas
What’s unique about where you grew up?
I grew up in North Ga in a very small town called Jasper. The way of life there is extremely close-knit. Everyone knew everyone, and you could trust and call on your neighbor for anything at any time. It’s just how it was. People worked and provided for their families and friends. As I’ve gotten more into the music industry and seen how cutthroat it is, I’ve seen how that way of life has separated me. I can’t help but to try and be good to people. It’s in my blood and the only way I know how to be. That’s turning out to be a rarity these days, and I’m extremely thankful that I was raised the way I was.
What is your first fond memory of food?
My grandparents had a huge garden and were very self-sufficient. I guess my favorite memory of food as a child was fish frys at their house. My grandpa loved to catfish so a few times a year the men would set out to “catch a big mess”. He also had a big watermelon patch in his garden. So after we had enough fish for seemingly everyone in the community, we’d have a big fish fry and end it with fresh watermelon from his patch. He always let us kids go pick it out and taught us which ones were the best for picking. I still remember the big kettle pot he used for frying the fish and hushpuppies as well. Some of my greatest childhood memories are linked to food.
What does success look like to you?
It has changed over the years. A lot of success in the music business is centered around things you absolutely cannot control. You can be really good at your craft and then have someone flat out say, nah you’re not what we’re looking for. Then you may have someone else fall in love with exactly the same thing. It’s so unpredictable. When you experience enough of that after a few years, you learn to find success within yourself. Do you like the songs you’re writing? Are you impacting people? What is the feedback you’re getting from them? Will your songs be relevant 20 years from now? I try to answer those questions for myself instead of focusing on selling myself at the present moment just to fit the current narrative just so I can be on bigger stages. Music fads come and go but good songs will stand the test of time.
If you wrote a song about food, what would it be about?
This little piggy went to market cause that means we’d be firing up the smoker!
Try this inspired recipe!
What are some bad habits a new music artist should try to avoid?
Touching on my earlier statement of current fads. No one has ever set themself apart trying to be someone else. It’s already been done. At the same time don’t try to be too different but just be yourself. Be honest, transparent, and relatable with people. You’ll gain a much stronger consistent fan base that way and your fans will feel like they’re a part of something special. Take them on the journey with you.
Tell us what you hope the next couple of years has in store.
I hope to grow as an artist and songwriter and doing that to the best of my ability. I believe my best music has yet to be made and I hope I’m still saying the same thing a few years from now. I never want to be complacent.
If you could date any celebrity, who would you pick and what would that first date look like?
Oh boy haha. I’m not just huge on celebrity crushes, but I’d have to say Hassie Harrison from the show Yellowstone. I mean, what man doesn’t love a cowgirl in jeans and a button-up with a cowboy hat? The first date would be some majestic horseback ride to the Wyoming wilderness by a trout stream. Catch a few fish and cook them on a campfire for her. You know, real cowboy stuff. Then she sees my guitar and says, “oh can you play”?! Me: “I mean, I know a few songs”. Then play her some old Keith Whitley love song. If all that doesn’t get her, then she just ain’t the one. Also, if you have connections just show her this one question, thanks.
If you could join forces with another artist to make a country duo, who would the person be, and why do you think they would make a good fit?
Probably a female. There are quite a few that don’t get the recognition they deserve. We’re in a time of phenomenal female writers and singers. If you have stage chemistry with a female it makes for a great show. It would be cool to team up with Ashley McBryde on a song. I think stylistically we’re a lot alike. I hear her lyrics and always think, yeah, that’s something I would have tried to say.
Tell us about your new single, “It Don’t Matter”.
It is really my first upbeat party song. I felt like fans needed something fun and different from me. Something they could all raise a glass to and sing along with their friends. It was a blast to record and I had the chance to have some friends on the record singing in the background.
Is there anything else you want your family at Southern Fellow to know?
Well, if you read this far, you probably have seen that I’m honest, maybe too honest, and boatloads of fun. Hope to see ya at a show! Love y’all!
That is Thomas Fountain! I think he is marketable because he is going to resonate with many of you. I highly recommend you check out his music because you are going to want to add a song to two to your favorite playlist. You can find his music wherever you stream your music including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and YouTube. After you update your playlist give that recipe for Twisted Cowboy Nachos a try. It is one of the tastiest recipes we have ever made here at Southern Fellow. Thank you for reading about Thomas. We have more music and recipes heading your way!