Red Deer typically welcomes live music with open arms – resident Thomas Hutlet is taking advantage of this opportunity to make his mark as a Canadian singer/songwriter.
At only 20, Hutlet has already performed a number of notable shows, including opening for big bands such as Down With Webster and Ten Second Epic, as well as performing during Westerner Days. This year, he put out his first EP, titled White Rose Carpet, available on iTunes.
“The songs from the EP range from the end of Grade 12 to about March of this year, so there is a wide range of time in writing. When I did start writing these songs, I felt that they’d be important for people to listen to. I hadn’t shown them to anyone before but they’re all very important to me,” said Hutlet.
All songs from the EP have reached high popularity on iTunes and are available to be heard on the Internet. Hutlet writes all of his own lyrics and music, influenced by other singers and songwriters including acoustic musician Dallas Green from City and Colour and upbeat singer Lights.
His style is varied, taking inspiration from a multitude of genres and combining them to create a unique alternative sound.
“I like Lights a lot because she’s so happy and gives off a good, positive atmosphere, and I love shooting for that. I know everyone gets negative once in a while, but I like learning how to put positive energy out, and taking negative situations and making it positive,” said Hutlet.
“I just love watching happy people play – I think that’s why I like doing what I do. I want to branch out that way. I love being recognized for what I do, but really, the main thing is just to spread a good message, and make something people feel good listening to.”
Hutlet’s musical career began when he used to perform at his schools, during assemblies, lunches or after school with friends. He said it was scary but he grew to love the enthusiasm and reactions that performing can bring.
“I truly believe that nothing feels as good as when you’re performing for people and you can feel that energy come back. You can tell that they’re enjoying what you’re doing. They take that vibe, and spread it to the whole building and that’s very cool.
“The other part I like is when people come up to me after a performance and thank me for playing. It’s just cool to think that you did something special for them in that moment.”
Hutlet’s EP really brought his musical career into focus. He said the experience of hearing it played back to him in a professional manner was very surreal, and was everything he envisioned it to be.
“It finally happened and I thought that I could be proud from then on because I’d know that I did it, and hopefully it could lead to better things.”
For those listening to his music, Hutlet said to take whatever message they can from his songs. He wants people to relate to him, and be open to multiple messages and ideas that come from his creations.
“I write my music in a way that there’s no specific message – I want people to take whatever they think it’s about and relate it to themselves.”
Hutlet will be performing with Vancouver band Good for Grapes on Sept. 23rd at Bo’s Bar and Grill. He is currently working on booking a tour.