With influences like Neil Young, Emmylou Harris and Appalachian spirituals, it’s no wonder Kamara Thomas feels right at home down South. We talked to the musician and relocated Brooklynite about the power of community and life with two young kids.
“We live up near the Eno at the northern Durham County border,” Kamara says. “We love it. It’s very peaceful, which is what we needed after moving down from New York City.” It’s also where she draws inspiration. “Nature is my place of worship. I love the Eno River; she is a very welcoming and grace-inducing presence in my life.”
As a singer/songwriter/sometimes playwright, Kamara has found her place here. “I love how the Durham arts and performance scenes are so integrated,” she says. “I’ve met more people from different artistic fields here in Durham than I ever did in New York City.” A favorite haunt is SPECTRE Arts gallery in Golden Belt, curated by Kamara’s friend Alicia Lange. “She makes the line between art and community seamless and fosters such a creative, celebratory environment that the whole family can enjoy. I always meet someone infinitely interesting at SPECTRE.”
Kamara’s music is introspective and hypnotically layered. How does she find creative space while mothering two active young daughters? By seizing the wee hours. “On days where I have the willpower, I get up at 3:30 a.m. to practice Kundalini yoga and work on my writing,” she says. “After the girls are in bed, my husband and I try to work on music. He’s a pedal steel player.” Of course, they’re only human: Sometimes the nighttime sessions simply turn into “trying to have an adult conversation – unless we fall asleep first.”