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Interview: Bright Light Bright Light


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Baptised with the stage name, Bright Light Bright Light, the Welsh independent singer/songwriter brings disco dance back to life with the sweetest heart and the most positive of voices.

Bright Light Bright Light

Picking up the phone, Rod Thomas, is welcoming and kind.

His blend of synth-pop and subtle house music, means that his world is a colourful and cheerful one. Standing up for LGBT rights and the pureness of love with a fun, warm touch, he really comes across as the kind of person that's hard to rub the wrong way.

After a day of setting up for touring and carrying out a bit of administrative work for his shows, he's ready for his birthday-Halloween hybrid, one of his favourite festivities.

He's even produced a Halloween mixtape especially for the occasion: “I'm a huge fan of horror films and sci-fi films so I decided to produce this mix-tape with dialogue and songs from my favourite campy and scary horror movies! There's a lot of amazing material in these movies so it was a lot of fun.” 

This love for horror movies and Halloween came as quite a surprise given Bright Light Bright Light's innate preppy nature and upbeat mood. Not exactly the suspected candidate for the punk-like horror thrills.

“With growing up with horror cartoons like Ghostbusters and they all had really bright, neon colours, for me, the whole horror genre has always tied into that. All the campy horror movies from the 1980s also had very similar colour palettes to what I use so in my mind horror is just another way to use really cool colour and visuals; it just really resonates with me.”

Unfortunately this November seems to be serving us with more tricks than treats this year as we also get closer to the US presidential elections.

London based Thomas has a big influence in the LGBT scene. So has one or two things to say about the Trump nightmare unfolding across the pond and closer to home.

“I'm very much a Hilary supporter and I'm very scared because of Brexit results; I think it's been a pretty horrific year in politics and social change so I'm kind of terrified about what might happen.

"I would be pretty devastated if given all of his horrific statements, recently as well as throughout his entire life and career, Trump gets voted as the president.

I think it would be absolutely the wrong message to send to the world and definitely not one that everybody agrees with. No politician is squeaky clean or perfect, it's part of the complex process. I don't believe that anyone is the ideal candidate, but I really hope that Hilary Clinton wins. Anyone that has any sort of moral compass cannot understand Donald Trump. It's going to be a very bleak, bleak time.”

He goes on to explains that he feels Theresa May is "quite horrendous" but at least she seems to be knowing what she's doing, whilst Trump doesn't even have that going for him. He disappointingly adds that people "sort of presume logic will win but somehow it doesn't seem to be the case recently."

However, in a time of such dark social change, Bright Light Bright Light uses his music to make sure it counteracts this obscurity. 

“I like to try and give out as much of a positive message as I can. In every shitty period in history there have been communities and individuals making art and living their lives in a way that was contrary to the horror that surrounds them. It's hard to remember that the world is essentially a nice place when it's overrun by the dilemmas and injustices.

"So I kind of hope that my little kitschy colour videos and ridiculous pop music that I make still lets people dream and remember that there's a lot of positive energy in the world that you can tap into if you try to.” 

The musician underlines the importance of needing to be up to date with what happens in the world but also letting ourselves appreciate all the good things that happen. He describes his project with a local charity called Local Giving, with the ultimate goal to empower local organisations and charities and remind communities how important it is to see how much can be done even in smaller groups and something more specific can even make more of an impact.

“Small organizations have the same power as national organizations.”

Even though his music is more something of the past, resonating with a little bit of funk and 80s, the demographics of his fan base are vast. The people who go to his concerts or listen to his music are people that just resonate with him, with what they believe in.

“The people that listen to me aren't looking for another Justin Bieber, even though he's amazing. I write because it comes genuine to me and it's something created purely because we love doing it. It's something about what's organic that the people are into. It means it takes a bit more to build your audience but you get the right people on board.”

His latest album, Choreography, is yet another exquisite demonstration of what positive thinking and communicating Rod Thomas aims to carry out.

“It's a pop-record, probably the most ridiculous and over the top and fun and colourful... with some serious moments. It was inspired from lots of my favourite scenes from my favourite movies. Some of these films helped me laugh, some of these films helped me escape the world, it made me really understand a lot of problems, giving me a perspective.”

He adds that would love to get involved in some work with visuals. Maybe one day to even make a movie, but right now he doesn't feel he's got the capacity of eye to plan this out.

Sticking to the music he does best, whilst dipping in his creative input on his own videos, Bright Light Bright Light is the radiance the world needs.

Bright Light Bright Light is on tour in the UK till 5th November.

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