If British rock met folk sounds but were rooted in the bravery, honesty, and serenity that Thailand forever has to offer, you’d get My Life As Ali Thomas. Born from the songs “Pie” Kanyapak Wuttara had written alone, in private, in her bedroom, the realization that she had to make music slowly came to her.
With dreams akin to the ones children have when they wonder about how they should become, Pie found herself through her music once she gave her creative self a new name — Ali Thomas. From its Greek roots, the name translates to “another twin,” and it is at this intersection between her creative spirit and her wholeness as a person that Pie committed to making music in 2013. She goes on to become the driving force behind Thailand’s soft-rock band, My Life As Ali Thomas.
Joining forces with guitarist “Rack” Wipata Lertpanya and drummer “Taw” Wannaphong Jangbumrung, the band found their footing by allowing rock music to have a soft side. Thanks to Pie’s aptitude for acoustic sounds and her folk-fueled voice, Rack and Taw are able to draw upon instrumental inspiration that makes gentle rock sounds perfectly ambient and transcending.
The band’s latest release, “My Red Golden Sun,” is another testament to the trio’s combination of talents. The track is easy going, driven by an acoustic guitar and Pie’s unique voice. Yet, there’s an edge to it, the sound of a dare, and one that invites listeners to remember there’s always light to discover after losing love.
“The song started with an acoustic demo,” Pie tells EUPHORIA. about the making of the song. “Then we arranged as a band, added drums, electric guitar, where they would go, thinking about what colors they would add to the picture. Originally, we wrote this song a few years back, and we picked it up again later when we were doing this second album. It talks about old dreams and old love and letting go of them, feeling that wind of change that gives you strength to move on.”
Though distinctly thought-provoking, My Life As Ali Thomas are often memorable for creating visuals and lyrics that go hand in hand. “My dear, we found a love that’s lost / Next time, I’ll find someone to love / Who’s gonna love me?” Pie sings on the single. Inspired by nature and the world around them, the band’s music is just as inviting as it is enchanting. The music video for “My Red Golden Sun” sees the band tapping into this signature style in a more natural way. “Our music video is set in the forest, because the forest is a special place with magical healing powers,” the band reveals about the idea behind the single’s music video. “So before moving on you gotta heal first and just coming back to the basics, to the rivers, the trees, the sun. With the platforms that we have, we kind of want to help encourage those old values to come back — to be with nature and get out more. So that was the goal for this video, and we had a lot of fun shooting it!”
While getting back in touch with nature, My Life As Ali Thomas also reflected on their roots in Thailand. While anything an artist does has an influence on their music, the band credits their home country with shaping them to be the musicians they are now. “Anything that we are today has everything to do with how we were brought up, where we grew up, the people we grew up with, the music we grew up listening to. It all comes back out when we write, whether it’s intentional or improvised,” the band explains. “Thailand’s always had a lot of western influences, ever since the ’50s and ’60s — Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, or even dating back further to early Thai music. Thai music that was considered ‘modern’ at that time adopted a lot of the European ways as well, so I guess it’s hard to explain exactly how our roots as Thais influenced the music we write today, but one thing for sure is that everything is constantly flying around everywhere, in all directions, timelessly, like butterflies in a room, and we’re just scooping and catching what we can.”
Since the release of the last full-length album Paperin 2016, My Life As Ali Thomas have been able to take their distinct folk-rock sound and translate to 2021’s modern-day music scene, where the music they’re creating now is still just as relatable, needed, and treasured by fans as it was five years ago. Perhaps what is yet to change, however, is the music industry’s take on giving space for international artists and the messages in their music that they’re eager to share with the world. “We’ve grown to understand the Thai music industry a lot more as artists,” they reveal on how they’ve grown since the making of their last album. “We’ve seen patterns, goals and perspectives, types of producers, types of media, what gets broadcasted vs. what doesn’t, and we’re saddened by the facts at what is being offered. There are a lot of amazing acts in Thailand that don’t get enough support. We’d like to see Thailand grow into a nation with a lot more colors, more festivals that offer a wide variety of music and performances, more businesses that aim to do more than just making profits and exploiting the arts and artists. Artists are people who can paint dreams, but they also need help to make those dreams vivid.”
“We all could benefit from dreams that are new, something a little more dreamier, more magical. Making art is an experiment itself, to go out on a limb and chase the magic, but in order to get that we’d also have to let artists be themselves, and that’s the kind of support system that we need. And as for artists, we just have to hold on to ourselves, stay true to our duty to be brave and go out there and grab that magic.”
“We hope the band can grow to be a safe space for some people, whether to be just a head space or an actual space,” they tell us, thinking about their future. The band are currently working on building that space right now. My Life As Ali Thomas contains what many bands often struggle to keep hold of — honesty that touches people universally. Their international appeal gives the band a space of their own for their music to exist, and Pie, Rack, and Taw are excited for what’s coming next.
“We’re a bunch of dreamers,” says Pie of her bandmates. “We love to dream and we love to hang out with fellow dreamers. Dreamers are fragile souls. It would be nice to be able to build a home for all of us.”