IMAJ is a humble, Miami-born country artist whose heart of gold is sure to win you over immediately. She just released her first single, “Colorblind,” off of her sophomore album, America’s Sweetheart and she is eager to share her music with the world! Though she is the daughter of Miami-Vice star and 80’s icon Philip Michael Thomas, she is earnestly building a name of her own. She described herself in three words, compassionate, passionate and playful, and after briefly getting to know her, I would contest that those words are the essence of her personality and vibe.
Why did you decide to start playing country music?
“Country music has always been something that has touched my spirit. It has always felt so organic. I love the feeling of being on the back porch with a guitar in my hand. My mom actually grew up listening to country music, and her mom would ask her to turn it down! She has passed her love of country music down to me. That, and I’m a songwriter! Country music is all about the story telling and songwriting.”
You are dedicated to humanitarianism. What has inspired that for you?
“My brother was diagnosed with Asperger’s, and furthermore, Schizophrenia. One of my goals is to use my platform as a country artist to spread awareness about mental health. It’s one of those things that doesn’t always get talked about and you can tend to think you’re all alone in it. He is my motivation to spread awareness. You have to see what things come in your life to teach you. It’s almost a blessing, really. These kinds of things teach you more about compassion, to treat others with love.”
Do you have any stories you’d like to share based on your humanitarianism efforts?
“I started volunteering for hospice and I met a gentleman, Pirk Asplin, who was a poet, and I was just learning how to play the guitar. So, we put ‘four chords and the truth’ (country music formula) and we started writing together, his poetry and my music. He has since passed away but I stay in touch with his beautiful family. That will forever be a part of my life.”
The latest single, “Colorblind” just debuted on November 10. What can you tell us about it?
“I wrote ‘Colorblind’ with Ron Grimes and Jennifer Lynn. It’s about the blessing being to simply love. If you look at art, you put colors together on a palette, and you blend them to become a masterpiece. We (Ron, Jennifer, myself) talked about how our masterpiece as a human race is love. That is what is in all of us. Instrumentally, one of the things I love most about ‘Colorblind’ is the tremolo.”
What kind of instruments can we expect to hear?
“I’m really particular about the way the sound of the songs is portrayed. The steel guitar (in ‘Colorblind’ and ‘His Story, Her Story’) really gives you that sense of being in the middle of the desert, and you hear an eagle soaring. Like a cry of the heart. I also love the drama that the drums add, and a feel of something that is very native and earthy.”
You wrote many of the songs on your upcoming album, “America’s Sweetheart.” What more can you tell us about this album?
“Well, it’s titled America’s Sweetheart because my fans have given me that nickname! My mom thought this would be a good title, and you know what? Moms are always right. I have a military song called “His Story, Her Story” which is about our soldiers, and the females in uniform that don’t always get a lot of light shined upon them. Then there’s “A Different Kind of Country” Which is about our country, and the changes its going through, and the sprouting of the Millennials. There is also a song that touches on fame, and one that talks about Kodak moments which is like the ‘Hallmark’ of our beautiful country.”
It’s obvious why IMAJ’s fans have nicknamed her “America’s Sweetheart!” Her bright personality and passion for music and the betterment of society is truly inspiring. In closing thoughts, I asked her to pick a favorite song off of her new album, and she said, “That’s so unfair! I love them all. They’re like my children! You can’t pick a favorite.” You’ll have to take a listen for yourself and see why this album hails so many favorites for IMAJ! Pre-order America’s Sweetheart on iTunes.