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Evolution On Lock
In Memphis they say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Change is always around the corner for Bando Thomas, too.
Bando Thomas was born and raised in Memphis, and in his mind, will always be a Memphis artist. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t embraced Central Florida. He likes breathing this air. He likes that he doesn’t have to look over his shoulder. He’s seeing a more rapid evolution of his art now that he’s living in the Orlando area.
But the core character of his lyrics is rooted in Memphis experiences that will always stay with him.
“You be around death so much and your friends be dying and your family members died; I done had a lot of family members die, like…just off, just dying period. So its like you go to so many funerals, you just keep your suit prepared. When it’s that time you put it on and go to the funeral.”
The evidence of these losses shows up in Bando’s music, but as he describes early life scenarios, his facial expression and warm, friendly affect maintains.
“Growing up, I was like twelve walking around with guns. Like for my protection, though. My parents had to teach me how to survive in that environment because it was rough. I got a lot of dead friends who didn’t make it to be 20 years old. It was like, dying in high school.”
The most harrowing of these losses was the death of Bando’s mother, who died in his arms when he was only 18. His graphic recall of every moment that played out speaks to the details he describes on the regular in his songs.
He writes in his 2019 song Battles,
Life full of drama
Left my brain full of trauma
Nigga growing up watching daddy cheat up on momma
Dats y I can’t love a bitch
Cuz my heart ain’t fully stitch
Can’t believe I thought about jumping off da balcony
Mama lookin down and she smiling no she proud of me
As painful as these memories are, Bando has deep respect for Memphis. He talks Memphis. He thinks Memphis. And Memphis stories are being told in the new work he’s producing now.
As challenging as 2020 was for many artists, it was also a time to dig deep and create music. Bando has been writing and recording with dedication for the past year, putting him in a position to make 2021 his best year.
Success on streaming platforms is about the magical combination of talent, work, and strategy, and at his young age, Bando is mastering all three. He’s not looking for anything to deaden his senses. He’s alert and focused.
His 2018 release Work paints a picture:
I fell in love with that work
Got it out the mud I came from the dirt
Aye jimmy with the purple flurp
No pancakes nigga I got the syrup
There’s no end in sight to Bando’s creativity, no trouble that will stop this train.
“Like, I had to really go through trials and tribulations. And I’m still going through ‘em to be who I am today. And to be where I am gone be in the future.”
As he prepares his next release, look for appearances in Orlando and Tampa. When the album comes out, we’ll update this post and share on our social channels. For now, list to Bando’s song Patek currently in play on DJ Baby Lac Radio.
Follow Bando Thomas on Instagram.