Love (Light My Way)
Niles Thomas' latest album Love (Light My Way) is his most ambitious and personal yet. Characterized by vintage smoky vocals set to down-tempo grooves, Thomas' most obvious departure in this current collection of songs lies in the weight and maturity of their message. Leaving romantic images of sensual pleasures and hangovers of heartache for another day, Thomas now calls upon his powerful voice to seduce us into facing a minefield of universal issues tearing at the fabric of humanity - issues of global consciousness, personal accountability and questions of faith. In One Heart One World, Thomas takes both our leaders and the media to task wondering, "Do the eyes of television cry?" and "...selling loss of love and the stranger who died... who made the cover of a magazine?" In Too Much and Not Enough, Thomas holds us all accountable for head-shaking inaction, moral superiority and a lack of urgency in the face of multitudinous global crises: "There's too much religion and not enough faith... too much inaction and not enough change... tomorrow is the day and today's tomorrow". Walking Alone and Beautiful Rose, two of his more introspective tracks, gracefully take us through Thomas' own recent struggle with despair and loss. Far from cynical, the message of Thomas' album is above all one of empowerment and hope, perhaps best embodied by this simple profundity offered up in his title track: "In a world of confusion, war and illusion, a heart can make a change." A self-taught musician, Niles spent nearly his entire life honing his skills as a singer/songwriter. Proficient on bass guitar, guitar, piano and programming, Thomas recorded most of his earlier music on his own. "I consider myself to be a singer and bass player first", says Thomas. "However, throughout the last few years, I've found myself going back to plucking away at the guitar and having a great time in doing so. I'm no lead guitar player, but I can definitely strum a tune or two." Thomas chose to branch out on Love (Light My Way), however, an album inspired by his interest in causes championed by numerous globally conscious organizations such as Life's Second Chance, One, Red, Save Darfur, Stop Global Warming, Greenpeace and Amnesty International. The resulting songs feature a stellar ensemble of musicians and artists collaborating with Thomas, who plays guitars and bass guitar on selected tracks. Keyboardist Jamie Muhoberac (Seal, Bob Dylan, Faith Hill), guitarists Guy Erez and Christopher Mackin, Israeli composer Yves Touati, and engineer/programmer Chris Komashko all contributed. Two-time GRAMMY nominated producer/programmer Carmen Rizzo (Seal, Paul Oakenfold, BT, Coldplay), collaborated with Thomas on Walking Alone, One Heart One World and Breathing Space. In addition to collaborating with Rizzo, Thomas is excited to be working with French/Israeli composer Yves Touati on a new track entitled Sky to be released on Thomas' upcoming full-length CD. "Yves is a wonderful person", Thomas explains. "Yves currently resides in Paris, so we've been swapping emails and phone calls to make this collaboration happen. Today's technology makes it quite easy to transfer music files back and forth via the internet. What Yves brought to the table with this new song is so beautiful and expressive. Our styles work quite well together." Heavily influenced by Sade, Seal, Faithless, Massive Attack, Leonard Cohen, Sting and Thievery Corporation, Thomas endeavors to create his own unique pop-ambient chill music. "I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel here. I'm just doin' my own thing and hope that people enjoy the music as much as I do."