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Leon Thomas Teases New Album: ‘I Was Happy Being Single and I Wanted to Document That’

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After picking up his first Grammy (best R&B song for co-writing SZA‘s “Snooze”) earlier this year, Leon Thomas is gearing up to launch his new studio album.

“This new album is definitely a different breadth of sound and sonics and even lyrical choices,” Thomas told Billboard before his performance at Nashville’s inaugural Blavity House Party on Friday (June 14). “I feel like the work that I’m doing now is definitely elevated and continuing to grow and build on who I am as an artist, [and] doing shows really played into that. There’s a lot of energy to what I got going on.”

In August 2023, Thomas dropped his debut album, Electric Dusk, which featured collaborations with Ty Dolla $ign (“Love Jones”) and Benny the Butcher (“X-Rated”), as well as the breakout single “Breaking Point.” He released the set on Motown Records via Ty Dolla $ign’s EZMNY Records imprint, to which Thomas was signed as the label’s first artist in 2022.

“[The last album was] post-breakup. ‘Breaking Point’ was the flagship song talking about it,” he explained. “[Going into the new album], I was on my single journey just doing my thing and I documented a lot of the things I was going through. It’s called Mutt, like a dog, because I feel like at that time I was being a dog. I was happy being single and I wanted to document that in the landscape of R&B, and [there are] many different ways that I do it. It’s not all super toxic, a lot of it is very introspective and vulnerable as well.”

Thomas, of course, is no stranger to traversing the vast range of tropes that comprise R&B and hip-hop, having lent his talents to songs from Toni Braxton (2014’s “I’d Rather Be Broke), Kehlani (2019’s “Butterfly”), Ariana Grande (2020’s “Nasty”), Giveon (2021’s “For Tonight”), SZA (2022’s “Snooze”) and Ty Dolla $ign & Kanye West (2024’s “Burn”). While the cast of players on Electric Dusk remained relatively tight, a host of collaborators are in the kitchen for its follow-up.

“Me, Ty Dolla $ign, Wale, Baby Rose, we all came together and did a bunch of different joints on there,” Thomas revealed. “I’m trying to see if we’re going to keep the Madlib joint that I have, hopefully, that makes the album, that would be a really cool song for people to hear.”

Thomas released his most recent single, “Dangerous Game,” a collaboration with ESTA, on May 24.

Kyle-Brandon Denis
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