Theron Thomas grew up with big dreams of becoming a successful recording artist, so he’s feeling overwhelmed with gratitude thanks to his Grammy nomination for Songwriter Of The Year.

The creative genius has worked behind the scenes for over 20 years crafting material that has been the soundtrack to many people’s lives. He’s written music for some of the best in the industry, including Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Future, Adam Levine and Doja Cat. Most recently, he worked with Justin Timberlake to create his new single “Selfish.” Now, the songwriter is finally getting recognized on a grand scale and opened up about how he’s feeling leading up to Music’s Biggest Night with Blavity.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Billie Goat (@therontheron_)

Last year, the Grammy-winning star was nominated for seven Grammys and won the award for Record of the Year for Lizzo’s hit song “About Damn Time.” This year he’s at the forefront as an official nominee for his writing skills due to his 2023 hit songs “All My Life” for Lil Durk and J. Cole,” “How We Roll” for Ciara and Chris Brown, “Cheatback” for Chlöe and Future and “Seven” for BTS member Kung Jungkook’s debut solo single featuring Latto to name a few. This is a monumental moment for him, especially as a Caribbean who grew up in the slums of St. Thomas.

“I’m not afraid of age. I’m 41 [and] I’m just so excited because I’m younger than I’ve ever been,” Thomas told Blavity. “Like, I’m in a room with all of the new writers and producers and, you know, I’m in a room with all the young n**gas and they’re like, ‘Bruh, what are we doing?’ And I’m keeping up.”

As the only person of color in the category, the 41-year-old is proud to be a representative for Black communities and his native land. As diverse as his catalog is, he feels the greatness his people have to offer the music industry shouldn’t fall into the same few categories they’re known for worldwide.

“I feel great ’cause I’m in it, but I also feel like I have a responsibility to talk to other young Black men and young Black women and other people of color making music and being like, ‘Yo bro, we can make music for Morgan Wallen and music for Taylor Swift and music for Lil Dirk and music for Joel Cook,'” he said. “Like I just don’t feel like we should be boxed into only hip-hop, R&B, or trap music, you know what I mean? I don’t think we should be in a place where they feel like, ‘Oh, hey guys those are your genres. You guys do that and we’ll do [this], nah bro.”

He attributes part of his success to the strategic process he has when working with various artists, which is always the same so a song will sound authentic to the individual no matter the genre of music.

“I do have a formula when I come in the room with an artist my number one thing is like, ‘Yo, how you feeling right now? Are we happy? Are we miserable? Are we like, we wanna turn up in the club. Where are we in our lives,” Thomas said.

The industry veteran became inspired to do music when he was just 9 years old and credits iconic producer Jermaine Dupri for wanting to take the art form seriously after he saw the music video for Kriss Kross’ hit single “Jump” in 1992. He started as a dancer with his brother Timothy for a female hip-hop group in his homeland before they formed their group Rock City, a nod to St. Thomas, which they still go by today and became well-known on the island. During that time, he began writing music due to his father pushing the duo to do so.

“I just had a fascination with rhyme and words, so my dad is like, ‘You need to write your own songs. And I’m like, ‘Alright, cool,'” he said. “So I’m 12 years old and then I write this song called ‘Fresh,’ and I don’t remember a bunch of songs from back then, but I remember this [one] right. That was my first song, and my dad was like, ‘Oh my God, you’re amazing. I told you you can do it.'”

In 2000, he moved to Miami with his brother when he was 18 with only $35 before they relocated to Atlanta, where he met Akon, who wasn’t known yet, and they formed a friendship. Despite wanting to be an artist, the U.S. Virgin Islands native learned how valuable songwriters were when the singer offered to pay him for “The Rain,” a song he wrote in 2006. The following year, he landed one of his first major placements, “Music For Love,” with Mario, which catapulted his career.

“I remember it now like it’s making me emotional cause I could have cried because child support was $179 for my daughter and I couldn’t afford it and it bothered me, right? And I just was like, ‘Yeah, this is good cause I just wanna know what’s good. If somebody tells me what I’m doing wrong, I promise you I’m gonna fix it,'” he said. “And since Mario’s ‘Music for Love,’ I’ve been whooping they motherf**king a**.”

As he continues his journey in music, one of his wishes is for music artists to start publicly celebrating the songwriters who help them stay successful because they work just as hard to only make a small fraction of the money entertainers do for their records, so a public thank you is the best way to show love.

“A lot of people aren’t excited to give songwriters credit. I mean, it’s the truth. It’s like you work with an artist and sometimes you’re like, ‘But bro, it was my idea, right? You didn’t even know what that was before I came into the room. I’m not telling you to walk out, but let’s say we wrote it together,'” Thomas said. “Sometimes I write with people, but sometimes I wrote that whole song by myself. Nobody was there with me and my engineer. What is so hard about being like, ‘Yo bro, shout out to Theron for that song.’ That’s something that super, super bothers me.”

All in all, Thomas prays he takes home the coveted gramophone by the end of the night.

“Like, I really wanna win. I think everybody likes to be like, ‘I’m nominated and I’m grateful.’ I wanna be honest. F**k all that, I want that. I wanna win,” he said smiling and laughing. “I wanna be transparent. I really do want to win, and I want to tell other kids of color, especially Caribbean kids.”