T-ha-ees. Is how you say her name. Thais. All you need to know about her is that music set her free. Music forced her to open her soul and seek answers to some of the most painful questions life was asking her.
I only interviewed her for all of ten minutes, in the dark underground section of Choices Pub, but I imagine that the pain she spoke of in her youth was akin to that restlessness you feel before you discover yourself.
When you know that the process will be long but you are willing to take baby steps until you get what you can get.
Thais’ questions were tough. Was she white? Was she black? How would she understand it enough to be ok with the difference it made in how people related to her?
Well, over the years she sang these questions, pondered her answers, and slowly came alive.
Her greatest mission now is to share that freedom as best she can, with those who are held captive – especially by themselves.
“I like to think my music will help someone also feel free. To celebrate who they are and just not be afraid.”
When she started singing, she kind of sounded like Nneka. A soft voice. Quiet, but convincing enough to carry complex melodies with strong but simple messages.
“No one can change you are…” she sang. “…I’m free…” she added.
I could swear she was looking at me as she sang. I could also swear that she and her band wanted us to join them on stage as they celebrate music. It was a silent arms-open-wide invite. The most genuine kind.
By this time the initial hesitation is gone, and the music is flowing freely. Thais and team have forgotten that we are the audience, and we in turn want to pump up the volume, shut the windows and feel the music as we break bread and dance together. That’s what I wanted to do at least.
Thais has Swiss, Senegalese and Malian blood – a pocket of diversity so willing to express herself.
She uses her music to embrace her multiplicity and share her pain in the hope that someone will not only appreciate the tunes, but find a little freedom.
She kinda made me believe in myself a little more.
“My name is Thais and music set me free…”
(Images by Quaint Photography).