Influenced by the Isley Brothers, Janet Jackson and various other artists, Chadrick Thomas picked up the violin at the age of 9 and has drawn the bow across the strings ever since.
by Michelle Floyd
Those who have seen and heard Chadrick Thomas perform at a friend’s wedding or at a special event in town never forget the experience. Someday, he figures to find his way onto much bigger stages. “He is a gifted artist,” said Eric Smith, an Atlanta musician and radio host who has invited Thomas to open for his band at a few shows. “It depends where he wants his future to go. His doors are open.”
Thomas, 22, goes by the stage name The Future of Music and started when he was just 9 years old at Oak Grove Elementary School in Atlanta. Every student took band and had to pick their own instrument, choosing between violin, viola, cello, bass and a few others. “I hadn’t heard of any other instrument except for the violin,” Thomas said. It may have been for a required class, but he fell in love, practiced daily and eventually joined orchestras outside of school. “I really liked playing and wanted to learn more.”
Thomas continued playing the violin throughout his grade-school years, often learning classical tunes and covers in school bands, all while exploring the music of Janet Jackson and the Isley Brothers outside of school. He admits he felt more in control of his music by seventh grade, and in middle school and high school, he and cousin Austin Pickens, who played the viola, performed together as the Masque Musicians at about a dozen events per year around metro Atlanta. During his time attending countless rehearsals, practices and camps, Thomas was part of Ken Ford’s Youth Symphony for four years and the Still Waters Youth Symphony for five years. He won one of Damien Escobar’s signature violins as part of a contest and was awarded a music scholarship from Lakeside High School.
Now, Thomas performs solo around metro Atlanta. Most of his performances are at private parties, like galas and charity events, but he also has played a handful of public shows. In addition to playing private parties and events at homes and venues, he has performed at some board of commissioners meetings in Newton and Dekalb counties, the Newton County Family Fun Day festival and at a few middle and high school sporting events. Those who attend the Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses off Salem Road in Conyers also might catch him performing from time to time. He performs both original music and covers in a variety of styles. His mother, Carshena Thomas, revealed that he tailors each performance to the type of event he plays, whether it is a small private gathering at someone’s home or a larger outdoor event.
“I like to take people on a journey. Every time I start playing, I go into a universe of relaxation and music.”Violinist Chadrick Thomas
“The audience loves him so much—his music, demeanor and talent,” she said. “He’s very humble, and he is young but mature. I hope people support this artist because he’s so grateful.”
Thomas, who also plays the viola and guitar, admits his favorite music style to play is R&B, but he also enjoys playing country, hip hop and oldies. Some of his favorite artists are Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Two Cellos and the Mad Violinist. He admits he constantly watches other artists to better his own performances.
“I like to take people on a journey,” Thomas said. “Every time I start playing, I go into a universe of relaxation and music.”
Thomas has released a short album and plans to produce another. In the meantime, he provides entertainment for weddings, private parties, formal events, musical reviews, concerts and artist premieres. He also visits metro Atlanta schools to connect with students and assist in band programs. Currently, he only performs on the violin for private and public events, but he wants to eventually add in more instruments and vocals. One day, he hopes to learn to play the piano and own a harp.
“In five years, I want to be a lot better than I am now,” Thomas said. “I draw inspiration from people who are great performers. I try to be versatile. You can be a part of a lot more if you know a lot more.”
Even so, the violin will always be his love.
“It sounds so close to the human voice,” Thomas said. “I feel like it’s a form of singing.”
Contact Carshena Thomas at 404-348-3893 or firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings, or visit The Future of Music on Facebook at facebook.com/The-Future-of-Music-304433990150542. A YouTube channel is forthcoming.