Entertainment Guyd Danny Hilton talks to rising star Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, about how his unique musical style came together, some of the highlights so far, and what’s next!
Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Artists with very strong identities and personalities, so Björk, Kate Bush, Pet Shop Boys, David Bowie, and Grace Jones. And song-wise, my parents listened to a lot of Abba and Beatles, but I was really into ’90s dance music. I loved Snap, Black Box, Corona, Erasure, lots of R&B and dance anthems, and all the Morales/Todd Terry remixes. I think there was a lot of fun, and so much energy in late-’80s/early-’90s electronic music.
Tell us about the moment you “got found” and what changed.
I don’t think I ever really “got found.” It took a long time of playing acoustic nights, busking on the London Underground, setting up a record label and playing the festival circuit, and then really focusing on what I wanted to be perceived as for it all to fall into place. I guess the moment it felt like things might actually have clicked was when Popjustice posted “A New Word to Say” as their song of the day – the first thing I did as Bright Light Bright Light. I’d spent a year or so working on a “sound,” and it was a reassurance that I was on the right track.
How would you describe your music?
It’s electronic pop that nods to the late ’80s and early ’90s. Maybe “melodramatic pop”?
Who would you most like to duet with?
I would absolutely love to duet with Kate Bush or Pet Shop Boys. I love their use of vocals in their tracks, and as they’re two of my biggest influences, that would be amazing.
Best gig so far?
Opening for Erasure. We played to a huge, sold out room, they were really into what we did – I think opening for Erasure fit really well – and then I got to watch one of my favorite bands play an incredible set after we played. Start to finish, it was an amazing night.
I’m working on the next record in-between rehearsals and shows we’re doing. There’s a UK tour in October and November, and I’m guessing some more shows – hopefully in Europe – in the new year. I think it’ll be a pretty exciting year!
What do you do when you’re not gigging?
When I’m not gigging I’m usually writing or remixing, or DJ-ing. I run a ’90s night in London called Another Night, with my friend David, so every other month I’m usually dancing to one Livin Joy song or another!