INTERVIEW: T. THOMASON TALKS NEW SONG 'BLISS PART II' W/ SARAH MCLACHLAN, WHAT HE'D TELL HIS YOUNGER SELF, ADVICE FOR QUEER CREATORS + MORE

Photo by: Meghan Tansey Whitton
This England-born, Nova Scotia-raised, current Torontonian had already put out a number of well-received albums before taking a break in his late teens to transition into the artist he is today. Upon his return, T. Thomason first made his way to the spotlight on CTV's The Launch, earning him a great amount of mainstream attention with his single "HOPE"

It was during his time on the show that he first met mentor and Canadian music icon Sarah McLachlan, who instantly became a fan and supporter of his career.

The pair recently joined forces to release the reimagined version of "Bliss" – T's fourth and final collaboration from the Part II Project; a collection of reinvented songs from his self-titled album, featuring some of his biggest musical champions and inspirations. It succeeds previous duets with Rose Cousins for "King of Spades Part II" followed by "Loser Part II" with Ria Mae and "Birdsong Part II" with Ivan Coyote.

Written following his first solo trip to the UK in 2013, Thomason reflects on the origin of "Bliss": 

“I left on that trip with my Dad’s advice to “look out” ringing in my ears. I’d been struggling with a lot of big questions, uncertainty, and anxiety, classic early 20s things, you know? On that trip, I met family and family friends for the first time as a “grown up” and upon returning home felt like I’d gained some perspective on where I might be going based on where I came from. That’s when 'Bliss' came to be. 'Bliss Part II' with Sarah was the first collaboration I pictured when dreaming up the Part II Project.”


"Bliss Part II" was first born from his love for McLachlan's work and his distinct musical vision. “I've been a a huge fan of Sarah's music for a long time and thought this could be a wicked fit musically,”  Thomason shares. “But getting to know her a little bit in the last couple of years and seeing the relationships she has with her daughters and lifelong friends was really what catapulted this collab into my mind. 'Bliss' is precious to me, and the only way I could imagine reimagining it was if it felt right all the way down to the bones.” 

Thomason's appreciation for McLachlan is met with mutual admiration:

“I met T. a couple of years ago on The Launch and was immediately drawn to his humility and artistry. When he reached out earlier this year to ask me to lend my voice to his reimagined version of 'Bliss,' a hauntingly simple ode to self-discovery and resilience, I was thrilled to be able to be a part of it. T. has a deep emotional connection to the songs he writes and a soul-baring truth to his performances and I’m so proud of what he’s accomplished with 'Bliss Part II.'”


Devoted to delivering music that is emotive and powerful while staying catchy and current, Thomason charms audiences of all backgrounds, ages, genders and sexualities with his raw authenticity and a willingness to share himself with the world.

Q: What can you tell us about the creative process behind "Bliss Part II?"


"Bliss Part II" with Sarah was the first collaboration I imagined when I started thinking about the Part II Project. Once Sarah signed on, Dave Henriques (my producer) and I sent her a rough demo and she sent us back her vocals, which were awesome. We then built the track from there, around her. Originally Sarah and I were supposed to go into the studio in Vancouver together, but because of COVID that didn't happen. This was my first COVID collab and it was really exciting to figure out how to do it. It felt like a whole new venture for Dave and I, which was exciting because we've been working together for the last 6 years!

Q: What brings bliss to T. Thomason?


Nature. Being out in the middle of nowhere is always my go-to for an injection of bliss.

Q: Knowing now that you would grow up to be where you are today and have a song with Canadian music legend Sarah McLachlan, what would you tell your younger self?


Oh boy. I think I would tell myself to keep my head down and keep trucking, because it'll pay off. Just be patient. Don't worry about being in with the cool kids. Don't feel guilty about the small amount of down time you take for yourself. Just keep following your gut because it'll take you exactly where you need to go.

Q: Part II Project is a reimagined album featuring collaborations with some of your biggest mentors. What advice would you give to other 2SLGBTQ+ humans with a dream who are inspired by you?


I think it'd be pretty similar to what I'd tell my younger self! Do what feels right to you, and trust your gut. Listen to folks who you trust and seek out honest feedback, but always make sure you're following your own compass. Seek out team members who will support your vision, not tell you who to be. It sounds cheesy but it's so so important and it didn't click for me for a long time. It's sometimes only a slight shift in the way people show up for you, because in both circumstances people are focusing on you, and that attention can be intoxicating, but there's a different intention behind those two circumstances and it makes a world of difference in the relationships you're able to build and the things you're able to achieve.

Q: What are some resources you recommend for 2SLGBTQ+ creators?


Honestly, I wish there were more resources specific for 2SLGBTQ+ creators, (I am actually working on something in this vein, so stay tuned!) but there's not much that comes to mind. Organizations like Music Publishers Canada and the SOCAN Foundation have some great production workshops geared towards women and queer people, but I hope we'll see more specific/intentional programming in the coming years. I think fellow artists are great resources. Find folks who inspire you and who you can collaborate with, even if they aren't in your backyard. I love social media and queer playlists for this! Q Review is an awesome blog for new queer artists!

Q: Your music is a beacon of light. What are some words of optimism during these unpreceded times?


I'm so glad you think so. I've been a big fan of baths, early bedtimes, and gratitude journals lately. Not sure if those are words of optimism, but I highly recommend giving any/all of those a shot as they definitely improve my ability to be optimistic on the hard days!

Q: This single plays out as a perfect ending to a chapter. What's next for T.?


I'm really excited to be settling down for a period of "refilling the well," writing, and collaborating with new people! It's going to be a cozy, creative winter for me, I hope.




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