Five Questions With Val Thomas

Montreal, QC-based folk singer-songwriter, Val Thomas has unveiled her new single, “Where We Are” from her upcoming EP, Hymnal, due out in Spring 2022.

“Where We Are” is an anthem of resilience and coming together in the face of adversity. The single was produced by Kent Kataoke (Clerel, Po Lazarus) and sports collaborations with Alexandre Pomerleau, Anthony Lombardi, Peter Jarvis, and Frisco LeeThe collaborators brought to life what the song is about, seeing hope and beauty in the midst of sorrow and hardship.

Check out “Where We Are” below, and find out more about Val via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Howdy I’m Val. I am a singer-songwriter based in the beautiful city of Montreal. Born to an Egyptian mother and Portuguese father I have been exposed to different influences and worldviews but have always been touched and moved by folk music. Writing poems and songs has been a way to cope and to process experiences. It allows me to find a way to say what I seem to express otherwise.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

Songwriting has been a great companion through many transitions. More than anything it is a way to connect with others, with myself and maybe with something greater whatever that may be. My writing style is honest, raw, and imaginative. I like to use images, themes, and symbols to describe what can be hard to understand. I like to create something beautiful with even the hardest of emotions. It doesn’t erase adversity, but it allows me to get into a space of nonjudgement and welcome whatever is happening with a bit of gentleness and beauty. Each song is kind of like a movie in my head, like a story or like a dream.

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

I will be having shows soon in the Spring to launch the upcoming EP – stay tuned! I would describe my performances as intimate, raw, and laid back. I love performing with the band, joking around with the crowd between songs about common and absurd situations, and then connecting in a different way through the music, through the lyrics, and the mood. It is for me about mutual listening.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

I think it would be Where We Are because it is like a snapshot of a very recent experience that I feel was shared by so many people. I wrote it while working at the hospital during the onset of Covid. So much was changing, so fast for so many people. Writing, then singing this song became a way to soothe myself amidst agitation and grievances. When I would get home from work, I would sing it to myself to catch my breath in a situation that felt increasingly suffocating. This song is about connecting to a shared experience of loss and to a different kind of hope.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

There are so many amazing Canadian artists. Lately, I have been listening to a lot of Half Moon Run, City and Color, and Montreal’s own Po Lazarus.

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