‘My goal is to inspire people’

Brixton feels like home to musician Wayne Trevieno Thomas – and not just because it’s where, before lockdown, he sold his work. He explained why to Simone Richardson

portrait of man
Wayne Trevieno Thomas

Before lockdown, Wayne Trevieno Thomas regularly stood outside the Brixton Tube to sell his CDs.

Now his music is available online on digital platforms including Facebook and Instagram.

“My album Preparation was created in a period of one year after I finished The Rough Sketch EP,” he says.

“My latest project is Trevieno No Ladders The Revenge of Solo Sid.”

Wayne’s early musical influences – after his mother, who once sang live on TV with Cliff Richard – include Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

“In my teens it was Tupac, plus a lot of gospel. Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond were my biggest influences and the church choirs which I loved going to to as well.

“All of the music I make is made by ear incorporating music programming and instruments” of which Wayne’s favourite is bass guitar, because “it sets the mood for a great song”.

man with keyboard

Music has proven to be a wonderful release for many in different ways since lockdowns began and Wayne welcomes people listening to it on his website as well as that of other artists on his label.

“My goal is to inspire people from all walks of life,” he says.

Minah the Champion is one of the artists he has promoted. She won the best up and coming artist at the 2019 Antoin Akpom Achievements Foundation awards. Wayne himself won an AAA award that year for work and dedication.

man and woman
Wayne and Minah the Champion

The foundation was started and run by Cheryl Armatrading and her son Atoin Akpong, who was a victim of knife crime five years ago.

Wayne says he has been on “a journey of discovery”. He was drawn into music from a young age. At school, Sunday school and church he was playing bass guitar, electric guitar, drums and, at one point, the clarinet.

Key moments include “being in a studio session at the age of 12 for a church choir recording and also watching my mum sing on TV along with my dad playing a number of musical instruments.”

“I love Brixton because it feels like home,” he says. “Brixton is amazing – full of life, love, great people and good food.

“I’ve had a great relationship with Brixton from the age of five – watching my aunt play for Brixton Topcats basketball team at the Brixton Rec.”

Wayne has an ambition to put on a post-lockdown gig on at the Rec.

Check out the music of Wayne Trevieno …