• Wednesday , 29 June 2022

Local musician a top ten songwriting finalist

Papa Thom holds the “Finalist” Certificate he received from the World Songwriting Awards.(Photo Joanne Layh)

Joanne Layh

A song by Peachland’s own Papa Thom (aka Keith Thom) was recently recognized as a Top 10 Finalist in the World Songwriting Awards.

In the most recent in the quarterly competition Thom’s song placed in the top ten out of hundreds of submissions from around the world. 

Thom took inspiration for the song, “Invisible,” from a homeless girl he met years ago on one of his Shepherd’s Pie Tours. On the Shepherd’s Pie Tours Thom would drive across the country playing music, giving away guitars and cooking dinners at youth centres and other support agencies.

“The song means a lot to me,” Thom told the View. “The little girl who inspired it I met her on the streets in 2009. For some reason this kid avoided me like the plague until I talked to her case worker and found out she’d been physically, sexually and mentally abused by a biological father starting at age three and through three subsequent stepfathers. At age twelve, she thought ‘screw this, I’m going to go out on the streets. I’m not safe,’” recalled Thom.

Through music, Thom formed a meaningful connection with the girl, and followed her progress in life until she was nearly finished college.

“The funny thing is, I asked permission to tell her story and to be honest I’ve actually forgotten her real name because she didn’t like it,” said Thom.

The girl only asked that when he tell the story she be called Sarah, so that’s how he remembers her.

Thom said receiving recognition for the song wasn’t something he thought he needed until he got it and thought, “man, this is kind of nice and it was really nice because it was that song.”

Why this song got to where it did is because of the content of the song, said Thom.

“It’s me, a somewhat entitled person, saying I can’t image waking up in the morning and not knowing where my first meal is coming from. I think the average person would hear that and go, ‘neither could I.’ I think it’s the content of the song, the inspiration of the song that got it to top ten.”

Audiences interested in a chance to hear the song performed live can visit papathom.com to find his upcoming gigs.

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