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MY FIRST #1 BILLBOARD HIT 

I have my first #1 BILLBOARD HIT with BABY COFFEE!!!! I have been holding back this exciting news until the official chart was released. I got the phone call Monday evening from my radio promoter, Neal Sapper, as I was taking a break from Christmas shopping. Neal never calls me on a Monday night unless it is good news and I knew this was the call for the #1 on Billboard. Thank you so much Neal. Thank you SJ radio for spinning this song. I especially want to thank Mark and Renee Carter for always supporting my music on WSBZ the Seabreeze 106.3 (my local station) and Allen Kepler from Smooth Jazz Network.  I know everyone involved with DRIVEN will be happy in sharing this success with me. This is more than I ever expected.  Baby Coffee went to #1 on 3 different charts during this campaign.  #1 USA Today (Mediabase), #1 Smooth Jazz Top 20 with Allen Kepler, and now #1 Billboard.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

 

Feeling Thankful At Thanksgiving 

#1 on 2 CHARTS THIS WEEK 
1st Top 5 Billboard Hit
 

My first radio single, Baby Coffee, from my album DRIVEN has been on radio now for 18 weeks and 14 of those weeks on the Billboard radio charts.  I now have my first ever top 5 Billboard charting hit.  I also have my first ever #1 hit on two different charts in the same week, Mediabase published in USA Today and Allen Kepler's Smooth Jazz Network Top 100.  I'm feeling so thankful this Thanksgiving.  I never expected this as an independent, unsigned artist.  I never thought my music would be taken as serious as the bigger label artists.  I am very thankful this week of Thanksgiving that it has come together at this time.  I can't thank my team enough for being a part of this journey and can celebrate in our moment of success.  I appreciate all of you that continue to support my music career.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Sax-vocalist Michael J. Thomas is “Driven” to compete with an upbeat and diverse passion project 

The first single, “Baby Coffee,” earned most added honors at Billboard and hit the SiriusXM playlist ahead of Friday’s album release, leading to a distribution deal. 

DESTIN (18 August 2017): No sophomore slump for contemporary jazz-pop artist Michael J. Thomas, who released his second album, “Driven,” on Friday on the Harbor Breeze Recordsimprint. The ten-song set burst out of the gate jolted by a wave of national airplay for the first single, “Baby Coffee,” earning Billboard most-added honors in its debut week followed by an add at SiriusXM’s Watercolors, leading the saxophonist-vocalist to sign a distribution deal for the project with Perry Music Group/Sony Music. 

It’s been seven years since Thomas issued his instrumental debut album, “City Beat,” and six years since he made his vocal debut with the infectious standalone single “I Think About Amy,” which peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard chart after a remix by two-time Grammy winner Paul Brown. “Driven” is his first collection to combine sax-led soul-jazz instrumentals and R&B-pop vocal tunes that showcase a voice that programmers and reviewers have compared to Michael Jackson and George Michael. It’s a varied, exhilarating session written and produced by Thomas and longtime collaborator Shannon Wallace with additional tracks produced by Oli Silk, Trammell Starks and Music Man Dre Forbes. 

"I got the bug to record a new album in 2014. I hadn’t written anything new in a while and all of these melodies and lyrics were hitting me. However, the songs didn’t all fit into one genre, but I recorded them anyway. I decided that this would be a passion project for me more than trying to write music that fits the traditional model,” said the Destin, Florida-based Thomas, who is submitting “Driven” for Grammy nomination consideration. “I titled the album after one of the pop-oriented songs I wrote that has to do with staying driven and motivated to compete.” 

While “Baby Coffee” has all the makings of a late summer instrumental hit –percolating groove, stimulating funk beats and energizing horn-powered harmonies – Thomas opens the disc with the shimmering and slick “My Love,” one of four vocal numbers. An empowering vocal drop adds street cred to “In America, You Can Do It!,” an instrumental inspired by Thomas’s alto sax and Gino Rosaria’s glistening keyboards. “You Know You Got This” is another confidence-building instrumental. A Minneapolis-style old-school funk party meets disco vibe breaks out on “Girls Got Moves,” a dance floor filler vocal tune that also closes the album in instrumental form. The percussive instrumental “Make Me Crazy” is an aggressive agitator that showcases Thomas trading barbs during an extended improvisational breakdown with trumpeter Paul Scurto. A congenial “Get Your Smooth On” benefits from a luminous anthemic chorus. Thomas caresses on the intimate “Say Goodbye” with a mix of heartbreak vocals and a tender soprano sax solo followed by the reassuring Quiet Storm instrumental affirmation “Never Gonna Leave You.” The title track offers a take-no-prisoners attack on raw ambition as kinetic beats, incendiary horn and synth blasts, and a screaming electric guitar solo from Mark Jaimes (Simply Red) ignite this scorching vocal number. 

Underneath the invigorating instrumental veneer and the pure power pop panache that make “Driven” a bright, vibrant and an assured listen, there is a vulnerable artist who struggled to overcome an intense personal crisis to complete the record. 

“‘Driven’ is very personal and represents a particularly sensitive and difficult period that I endured emotionally. I started writing it in the midst of a romantic relationship. Tragically, she passed away and I didn’t know if I could finish the album after dealing with depression in the aftermath. But I did and I continue to push forward. That’s what I want the takeaway to be from this album.” 

The “Driven” album contains the following songs: 

“My Love” 

“Baby Coffee” 

“In America, You Can Do It!” 

“You Know You Got This” 

“Girls Got Moves” 

“Make Me Crazy” 

“Get Your Smooth On” 

“Say Goodbye” 

“Never Gonna Leave You” 

“Driven” 

“Girls Got Moves” (instrumental) 

For more information, please visit https://michaeljthomas.net. 

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BABY COFFEE ADDED TO SIRIUS XM WATERCOLORS CH. 66 and HOMETOWN STATION SEABREEZE 106.3 FM  

So excited to announce that Baby Coffee was added to Sirius XM Watercolors CH 66 this week along with my hometown station WSBZ 106.3 the Seabreeze among many other stations around the nation.  Thank you to all the radio programmers who are giving this song a shot.   

This is a more complete list of the stations that Baby Coffee was sent to for radio airplay.  It is listed alphabetically by state.  If you see a station in your hometown, please call your station and request Michael J Thomas' Baby Coffee. 

WJAB HUNTSVILLE AL 
WZEW Daphne AL 
WVAS MONTGOMERY AL 
WVSU BIRMINGHAM AL 
KABF Little Rock AR 
KOKY LITTLE ROCK AR 
KUAP Little Rock AR 
KAWC Yuma, AZ 
KRWV Gold Canyon AZ 
KJZY SANTA ROSA CA 
KSBR MISSION VIEJO CA 
MEDIA BASE SHERMAN OAKS CA 
Smooth Jazz Ntwk Agoura Hills CA 
Jazz Trax Palm Springs CA 
Lites-Out Santee Ca 
WCNI Uncasville, CT 
WRTC Hartford CT 
WQTQ Manchester CT 
WHUR WASHINGTON DC 
XM Satellite Radio Washington DC 
WKGC Panama City, FL 
WSBZ SANTA ROSA BEACH FL 
WBCX GAINESVILLE GA 
WCLK ATLANTA GA 
KSHK Kapaa HI 
KALA Davenport IA 
KCCK CEDAR RAPIDS IA 
WBCP Urbana IL 
WICR Indianapolis, IN 
WUEV EVANSVILLE IN 
KRBB Wichita KS 
WRFL Lexington KY 
WBRH Baton Rouge LA 
WMJX Boston, MA 
WEIB N. Hampton MA 
WTCC Springfield MA 
WEAA BALTIMORE MD 
WOWE Flint, MI 
WLNZ EAST LANSING MI 
KJLU Jefferson City MO 
WMPR Jackson MS 
WJSU JACKSON MS 
WFSS Fayetteville, NC 
WNAA GREENSBORO NC 
WSGE Dallas NC 
WSHA RALEIGH NC 
WSNC Winston-Salem NC 
WBGO NEWARK NJ 
WHCR Newark, NJ 
KOAZ Albequerque NM 
KXPT LAS VEGAS NV 
KUNV LAS VEGAS NV 
WJZR ROCHESTER NY 
WRHU Rosyln, NY 
WVCR Clifton Park NY 
WGMC Rochester NY 
WONB ADA OH 
WNWV Independence OH 
KRSC Claremore, OK 
WAVE.FM Hamilton ON 
KYTE Newport, OR 
KUR KUTZTOWN PA 
Music Choice Pittsburgh PA 
WRVU Mount Juliet, TN 
WFSK Nashville TN 
WUMR MEMPHIS TN 
KAZI Austin TX 
KQXT San Antonio TX 
KTSU Houston TX 
WINR Missouri City, TX 
KPVU Prarie View TX 
WCHG HOT SPRINGS VA 
WHOV HAMPTON VA 
WVST PETERSBERG VA 
WGDR PLAINFIELD VT 
KUWS Superior, WI 
WMGN MADISON WI 
WWSP Stevens Point, WI

U.S. National Radio Release July 24th 

FIRST RADIO SINGLE, Baby Coffee From the Album DRIVEN, IMPACTING NATIONAL RADIO JULY 24TH

The first radio single, Baby Coffee from my album DRIVEN, went out to radio stations across the US this past week.  Our radio street date is Monday July 24th.  Once it hits radio I'll send an update with the list of radio stations so you may request it's airplay in your city. 

Here is the story behind the interesting title of Baby Coffee.  Instrumentals are a little harder to title since there are no lyrics.  Ever since my nephew Kaiden was 2, now 4, he wanted to drink coffee because he saw my sister Melissa (his mom) drink it every morning at breakfast.  So my sister substituted real coffee with chocolate almond milk.  She told him it is "Baby Coffee".  He loves it and I got such a kick out of it I even had a coffee mug made special for him seen in the pic to the left. 

We have a follow up radio single planned titled "My Love".  I'm getting a lot of positive feedback on this one from my industry peeps and GRAMMY® voting members saying it is reminiscent of Michael Jackson.  Looking forward to getting that one out there in the future.  The release date for the album on CD and digital including iTunes, Amazon, michaeljthomas.net, etc. is August 18th.  The Vinyl Record will be available in the fall with official date TBD.  More information coming soon...

POST GRAMMYs® 

Wow!  What an amazing experience my 1st trip to the GRAMMYs®.  I met so many wonderful artists, producers, engineers, etc.  I met fellow NARAS members in person that I only knew through the internet.  Some of the folks that I voted for actually won in their fields.  Even if they didn't win, they were supportive of the ones that did and were excited to be nominated; I know I would be.  One of the music producers from my upcoming album DRIVEN, Trammell Starks (pictured below), told me that I would come away from this experience inspired.  He was right.  He wasn't talking about only the telecast portion.  He was talking about the entire weekend of hanging out with other artists and creative folks at all the different parties and the Premiere Ceremony where the bulk of the awards are given. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!  

It's finally time for some "west and wewaxation" as Elmer Fudd would say.  I made it home to Kentucky to be with my family for Christmas.  The best present for me is getting to spend time with my family, especially my nephew Kaiden, who asked my sister for Clorox Wipes as a gift this year.  He's three and is a little neat freak.  He's a funny little guy.  He's even been quoting lines from Home Alone, "Keep the change, you filthy animal." 

The second best present this year is that I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to the GRAMMYs®.  I'm looking forward to the pre-party events, the live telecast, and the after party.  I hope to meet some of the other members I've voted for and met online.

Voting In The 59th GRAMMYs® 

Look what came in the mail! I'll be listening to submissions on Monday and voting next week for the first round of the GRAMMYs.  This is my second year of being a voting member of The Recording Academy.  It's exciting to be a part of the process and even more exciting that I'll have an opportunity to submit music from DRIVEN for the 60th GRAMMYs that will take place in 2018.

Driven in Mastering April 11, 2016 

DRIVEN 
Recording Finished 

I spent some time on the beach last night gazing at the stars and listening to the final mixes of DRIVEN to see if there are any more edits to be made before I send it to Reuben Cohen of Lurssen Mastering for the icing on the cake. I've been working with Reuben since my City Beat album in 2010.  He's fantastic and he's won some GRAMMYs since then.  Lurssen does all the big acts inlcuding Pharell Williams' hit "Happy". (https://lurssenmastering.com/mastering-credits

I'm so proud of this album. It started as a passion project of something I wanted to do for myself. It's been hard to stay focused and, ironically, driven to complete it with some challenging life experiences.  I lost someone three days before Christmas that was the closest person to me for three years.  It still weighs heavy on my heart.  However, I'm pressing on and I hope that the quality of the music and recordings of this album speak for themselves.  I put together an all-star cast of musicians and producers that took my ideas to a very high level of achievement that I would put up against anything on radio today, Pop or Jazz.  Even though I'm finishing the album I do not have a release date at this time.
 

Above: Reuben Cohen of Lurssen Mastering

DRIVEN ALBUM UPDATE


(July 23, 2015) "I'm about seven months into recording my new album ‪#‎driven‬ and I would say it's about 85% complete.  It will now be a 2016 release.  I'm so fortunate to have access to the talent that is performing on this record. My musical ideas would be nothing without the ability and creativity of the musicians/producers I'm surrounded by that take it to the next level.  It is an eclectic mix of my roots in Smooth Jazz as a saxophonist blended with my R&B/Pop style vocals.  This record will include exceptional musicians that I've worked with in the past as well as some new friends.  I'm proud to be working again with guitarist Shannon Wallace of WPI Studios, co-producer, co-writer, and mixing engineer from my first nationally released title City Beat (2010).    Eric Lampley, bassist and long time friend, also is performing on almost every track.  Yet again Music Man Dre Forbes returns to produce a track on the new album; he produced my top 20 Billboard hit in 2011, I Think About Amy.

I’m ecstatic to be working with London pianist Oli Silk.  Silk is producing and tracking some of the songs for the album including Get Your Smooth On featuring Oli Silk.  Simply Red's guitarist Mark Jaimes joins Silk to perform on those songs..  Frank "Third", Richardson, drummer Dave Koz Summer Horns Tour, along with drummer Omari Williams (Boney James) are driving the album on all but two of the cuts.  Another newcomer for me to work with is pianist Gino Rosaria.  I met Gino in 2013 and had the privilege of playing shows with him.  He's worked with guitarist Eric Essix and flautist Althea Rene. I love working with all of these musicians/producers.  My latest addition to the Driven album family is keyboardist/producer Trammell Starks from Atlanta. He is co-writing a song that I began writing in April titled "My Love". We met through our mutual vocalist phenom friend Geoff McBride.  They all bring that extra little touch that is going to make this album something I can be proud of, which I hope you will enjoy."
- Michael J Thomas

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