Surrounded by a family with a great love for life and music, it must have been the destiny of South Carolina raised LeVar Thomas to become a singer and songwriter. As a child LeVar spent his afternoons at his grandparents house. He would hear his uncles blaring hip-hop in one room, his grandmother listening to gospel records in another room and his grandfather singing while tending his garden. While at home he grabbed every record his mother and father had around and listened intently to each one of them.
Thomas embarked on a journey to become a singer when he joined with 3 of his cousins to form a singing group when he was just 13 years old. Singing and writing with them helped LeVar decide that he ultimately wanted to have a career as a singer and songwriter. “ We’d sit together for hours and practice songs from groups like Jodeci, Boyz II Men, Silk & Shai. We’d also write and it was real magic to create songs that were all our own.”
Their group went on to win talent shows and get local recognition but as they took on more adult responsibilities, it was harder for them to continue on as a group. They took a break after singing together for 8 years
Still yearning for a career in music while going to tech college and working as a textile worker, LeVar decided to get things in order to become the artist he wanted to be. He quit his job, took his 401k savings and moved to Atlanta, GA where artists like Usher and TLC were from and music labels like LaFace and So So Def flourished. “I was scared to be on my own for the first time. It was hard the first two years there without my family around. When I got the hang of it, I was happy to be independent and gained lot of inspiration to write.”
Learning that he had to be more than just a good singer, LeVar took steps to improve his voice by taking vocal lessons with Arrested Development singer Nicha Hilliard
and later took lessons at Jan Smith Studios
. With the confidence he gained from the lessons, Thomas sang at open mics and benefits like Feed The Hungry
, 500 Songs for Kids
and the Wounded Warrior Project
. He also sang at venues such as Smith’s Olde Bar
, Urban Grind Café
, Sugar Hill
and Eddie’s Attic
in the Atlanta Metro Area.
While doing these shows, LeVar met fellow artists who were on the same musical journey. He co-wrote and sang with these artists and further proved to himself that music is what he was born to do. He also started using the ever popular networking sites, Myspace
and Youtube to broadcast himself and see how the public felt about his voice. In no time, LeVar had racked up 250,000 hits and was featured as an editors pick
on his Youtube account (vazwell). In addition to that he, has been featured on music streaming sites like Imeem
and became one of the first singers to win $10,000 in a global internet talent contest called Clipstar
LeVar decided to take his career further and knew he would need a manager. He took on Jason King
, owner of Superlatude Music Group
and Professor at NYU’s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music
. “After I hired Jason, he helped me to be a little more savvy about what the industry was looking for. He encouraged me to write, write, write, sing out more and that being a songwriter may be a good starting point for me.”
After writing, performing and promoting himself tirelessly in Atlanta for 7 years with no deal, LeVar felt he had to see if he’d be embraced elsewhere. This decision led to New York. Once there, he was full of ambition. He took Jason’s advice and performed at several venues in NY including Club Groove
, Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar
and The Village Underground
LeVar would remain in NYC for an intense 1 ½ years before the downturn of the economy threw him a wildcard and he left New York to hold onto what was left of his savings.
LeVar now resides in Florida and continues to look toward the future. Working harder and harder, he continues to hear great feedback from his fans and movers and shakers in the industry. He has been featured on several blogs including Singersroom
and enjoys a following of over 20,000 fans on Twitter
and has secured a woldwide ringtone deal with Fox Mobile/Jamster
“I know it’s only a matter of time before the world at large will hear my love of music through my voice and lyrics. Hopefully sooner than later! No matter what though, I will continue to make music because it’s just a part of me and of my life.