Nicola Thoms – Beautiful Mind
Nicola Thoms has been interested in performing from a very early age, and her talents did not go unnoticed as she was offered a place at the prestigious Brit School of Performing Arts at age 16, where she not only studied music, but also started to discover her love of song writing. She has since gained herself a music degree, recently graduating from the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (with a first-class honors) in May 2015. Her many influences keep her grounded in the Soul and RnB music of the last four decades, and the new single “Beautiful Mind” encompasses them with a current mix of others.
That is not to say Thoms doesn’t stand on her own two feet, she certainly does, it just tells you where her favorite sounds come from. The rest is all hers to create her own style, and a single with this much power can do anything. It harks back to 1985 when all was good on the music scene and Whitney Houston was on fire. There’s something missing from that today, but she is here to put it back, or at least remind of the good times when the music was the backdrop and not as manufactured sounding as the help of computers have seen to.
If you placed “Beautiful Mind” in a time machine back to that era it would’ve blended right in, and that’s a good thing. It’s a sort of testament to these times and where music has been going the last decade or so. She’s driving it up the alley of radio-friendly Soul and Pop music and not looking back but appears to know where it’s been. A true old soul, if that’s a way to describe Nicola Thoms. These times deserve dedicated artists with this much attention to detail, and she has a voice of absolute silk.
The song starts out with her coming in out of nowhere with a beautiful soft voice that blends into the subtle music and snappy beats before bridges of excitement come and go. It’s a dreamy tune with her pleading over the top of it about how unique and special her grandfather was, and how he turned darkness into lightness. His smiles and general laughter are what she pays a special tribute to. How ne never let go and still hasn’t. She explains how she’s afraid to act normal without him. It’s a real lost loved one song, written with the best of intentions.
It’s also about “taking the time enough to be caring” as the lyrics speak louder than most words, but she sings them even louder, reaching her top notes with ease. It has the impact of an entire album, and that’s why singles keep my interest lately, because it seems more can go into it as a project with no room for fillers. “Beautiful Mind” has the quality and level of production values to springboard this artist into the stratosphere and I hope she goes there. It’s more than some can take, and that’s where the limits get tested by Thoms. And it passes with flying colors.