Dante Thomas Biography
Last updated: 02/03/2002 08:37:50 PM
It's time to catch up on one of the most intriguing global success stories of the year. Dante Thomas has become one of Europe's hottest new stars with the release of his groundbreaking debut disc, Fly, with America following closely behind. Brandishing an incredible vocal style, and displaying impressive songwriting chops on the deeply moving and inspirational title song, Thomas possesses the edge of a compelling new voice in contemporary pop music.
His first single, the sizzling track "Miss California," has already achieved gold status in Germany, Sweden, and France, nearing an amazing one million units sold Continent-wide.
Meanwhile, the handsome singer has made a formidable first impression stateside, notching a Top Twenty slot in the U.S. charts with the acclaimed song. A 17 city tour with superstar group 'N Sync this past summer has cemented his rep with American audiences as one of the hot new singers to watch in 2002.
Discovered by multi-talented superstar Pras, Dante Thomas exudes old school soul with the young-gun swagger of the new breed of R&B singers taking over pop. On Fly, the first album for Pras' appropriately named Rat Pack label, Dante's hypnotic vocal style wraps itself around ten indomitable songs, all of them guided under Pras' watchful eye.
The album also relies on the 23-year-old singer's gift for interpreting a lyric, as he burns his searing vocals into a diverse array of tracks such as "Never Give Up," "Wait For Day," and the album's stirring title opus, "Fly." The heart wrenching ballad _ a bold examination of prejudice - was penned by Dante and Sam Hyman.
"There's too many of us that's parted by prejudice/When you look in the mirror who do you see/Is it somebody else, or who you really wanna be?"
"That song speaks to me," says Dante. "I'm trying to say were all susceptible to ignorance." The energetic performer cites some pretty important influences that he has looked up to along the way. "When I was younger I was always listening to Stevie Wonder and Donnie Hathaway, singers like that," says Dante. "I had this friend who was also into music. One day he told me: 'You want to sing like those cats? Go listen to what they listen to. Then you'll be a singer!"
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Dante bought a bus ticket to New York City soon after graduating high school to pursue his dream. "I didn't know anybody. I slept in the bus station my first night there." But New York was also a wake-up call for the aspiring singer. "I made progress, then I'd find I was losing myself a bit." He eventually made his way back to Utah. "I was thinking about giving it all up. You know, getting an electrician's job like all my friends."
"I went back for one more try. I decided to take my demo around again. One night I went to the New York recording studio, The Hit Factory. Pras happened to be there. He was with Vada Nobles. I knew I had to get him to listen to the tape."
Pras promised he'd listen to the demo when he returned, and Dante's patience finally paid off. "He said he wanted to do something together, and for me to call his assistant about making a time to meet. But this was my moment, and you never know what could happen if you let a chance slip away. I knew I couldn't let the opportunity pass." Dante auditioned live, right then and there, causing a duly impressed Pras to begin working with the dedicated vocalist that same evening.
It's that same undeniable intensity possessed by Thomas that has made European and American audiences respond so positively to the Salt Lake City native. An extended trip through Europe this past May and June to promote Fly opened his eyes to the passion of overseas fans. "I just felt really good being able to go over there and give them my all," says Dante. "I was able to give people an honest glimpse of myself and their reaction was incredible."
Acclaim from the international press also helped fuel the buzz about Thomas here in the U.S. Said Germany's Yam: "Dante's soft and laidback voice_goes hand in hand with unbeatable beats." Lycos.de also declared the singer a star: "The wonder voice from Utah is sure to be our hero_.", and Bild raved: "A perfect mixture of soul, pop and R&B, just hot..."
Dante, however, has a kept a cool head throughout the incredible ride that Fly has enjoyed. "I have always believed that no matter where you end up, you have got to be true to yourself. I could still be in Utah. Everyone would be saying: 'Dante is a good church singer.' And that would be all right with me too."