&friends is the musical concept and brainchild of New York based Sean Thomas. Drawing the breadth of his inspiration for these musical works from global cultures, Sean had a vision to create a project embodying tradition, culture and community culminating in the coining of &friends. Since the project’s 2022 debut the sounds of &friends have made their way to every corner of the globe. The Nitefreak Remix of his sophomore single “Ode Ireti' ft. Oluwadamvic saw unprecedented, viral success. Receiving massive radio and touring support from top names in the space, the infectious chorus “o-le-le” has become a staple in the sets of many titans of dance music. From New York, to Miami, Marrakech, Madrid, Mexico City - Tulum to Toronto and beyond, &friends is already making his mark on dance floors around the world. Let's dive deeper into his world and see how he lives it!
- What’s one thing that made you smile today?
Waking up in Dubai and knowing its release day. We just released our collab record Nitefreak and vocals from our &friends Queen, Phina Asa on Tomorrowland called Ike Onu.
“Ike Onu,” meaning "Stronger Together" in the African language Igbo, is a heartfelt and empowering song that reflects on the challenges of the modern world. Recognizing the increasing complexity of life and the difficulties faced by humanity, the song emphasizes the importance of unity and collaboration for growth and resilience.
- Who or what inspires you the most?
My &friends family inspire me the most. They motivate me every single day to strive towards becoming a better leader, creator, and overall human being. After traveling to Nigeria and spending quality time with our entire group, working together in the studio, and experiencing life from a different perspective, it has reinforced my determination to create a brighter future for my team.
- What’s a song you’ve had on repeat lately?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Afrobeats records as of late. Vibration by Fireboy and FEEL by Davido are stunning records.
- What helps you the most with getting in your creative flow?
Breath-work and visualization are the primary tools that greatly assist me in entering my creative flow. Whether I'm about to embark on a journaling session, dive into music, or brainstorm fresh concepts and ideas, my ritual involves dedicating a few minutes to center myself. During this time, I concentrate on my breath, allowing it to anchor me in the present moment. Simultaneously, I engage in vivid mental imagery, envisioning myself actively in the creative process, observing as my ideas and creations spring to life. This dual approach serves as a powerful catalyst for my creative endeavors.
- What’s one ritual health practice you can’t live without?
Just one?! That’s tough as my mornings are all about habit stacking, so I’d say meditation, journaling + gratitude. 3 in 1 is 1 right ;)?
- What is the most loving thing you can do for yourself now?
To acknowledge and honor the journey that has brought me to this point, while also removing any grasp and placing trust in the path that lies ahead.
- What performance moment has been most meaningful to you?
We just played our first live show together with the whole Nigerian family singing live in front of 3,000 people in Egypt. It was incredible playing all of our records on one stage together and is only the beginning of something very special and unique we are binging to the Dance Music Industry.
- What are you giving the GreenLight to this year?
I’m giving GreenLight to a wave of incredible projects that know no bounds. I firmly believe that dreams have no size limit, and the only restrictions are those we impose on ourselves. Within the creative realm, we are cultivating something truly remarkable.
Our journey includes the collective efforts of our dedicated group of friends, as well as the sensational solo projects of Phina and Oluwadamvic. Phina, with her unparalleled talent and charisma, is destined to become the next Rihanna. Meanwhile, Oluwadamvic is poised to follow in the footsteps of illustrious artists such as Burna Boy and Davido, as he brings his unique style to the forefront.
Together, we are weaving the threads of a music dynasty that promises to leave an indelible mark on the industry.