Radha Thomas was born in Tamil Nadu, grew up in Mumbai and Delhi and then left for the USA to pursue her dream of becoming a jazz singer. Although jazz was (and continues to be) her driving passion, it never provided her a lucrative career, one that allowed her to focus on music alone.
She spent 20 years in New York, holding a a variety of day-jobs while singing in clubs at night.
Some of these job include writing travel brochures to exotic destinations. She has been a tour guide, leading American tourists to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. She has organized trade shows and exhibitions in China for industries as varied as Aerospace and Continuing Medical Education, while working for an American incentive travel company. She owned and run a boutique on Long Island, and worked for an art publisher with galleries in New York.
She has had three distinct careers: as a writer, as a musician and as the former Executive VP in charge of business development at Explocity.com, a media company and also as Editor.
Thomas has had three of her books published since 2012.
Her latest book ‘The Cauliflower Diet’ released by Penguin Random House in February, 2016 has received rave reviews from almost all major Indian media, and is on its way to become a best seller. It is a recipe / low-carb diet book in which she has created several recipes using the cauliflower as a substitute for rice and other carb-heavy flour.
‘Men On My Mind’ (2012) and ‘More Men on My Mind (2014) were her first two novels, published by Rupa, and have received wide acclaim for being unconventional and edgy. They follow a young woman’s quest for good sex. The third in the trilogy will be released in 2017.
She is primarily a jazz and blues singer who trained in Dhrupad, an Indian classical vocal style, with Ustad Farid Ud Din Dagar. Her fluency in switching between genres is unique and has made her unique and she is considered one of the foremost indie / jazz vocalists in India.
In America, she performed extensively with musicians such as Ryo Kawasaki, Frank Tusa, John Scofield, Michael Brecker, Alex Blake, Badal Roy, Buddy Williams, Joe Farrell and others, showcasing her music at popular venues.
Back in India, she collaborated with leading Indian jazz musicians such as Louiz Banks, Amit Heri, Sanjay Divecha, Keith Peters and others before forming her own band UNK: The Radha Thomas Ensemble. This band, based in Bangalore is rated #1 nationally on Reverbnation, and is one of India’s most dynamic bands featuring musicians from all over the globe. Their first album ‘I Only Have Eyes For You,’ has received excellent reviews and airplay all over America.
She performed at all major Indian jazz festivals including Jazz Yatra, ICCR Delhi International Festival, Indigo & Blues Festival, Bangalore International Arts Festival, Bengaluru Habba, iSai Festival, goMad Festival and others, besides gigging all over India.
She has performed recently in Romania at EuropaFest and in New York at the South Asian Performing Arts Festival.
She also hosted a weekly jazz show on Radio Indigo in Bangalore.
Director & Editor, Explocity.com
Explocity is a publishing company in Bangalore. Thomas was editor, columnist and general dogsbody. She quickly gained popularity for her column ‘Between the Sexes,’ a look at the odd way in which men and women see each other.
She also wrote extensively on health, diet and fitness for the magazine The Bangalore Monthly. In the course of these articles, she was able to meet and interview the city’s leading cutting-edge medical practitioners, especially those in the alternative medicine field, one of her passions.
She conceived of and produced a series of food guides in the six major metros in India including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bangalore. These books, called, ‘The Kingfisher Explocity Great Food Guide,’ were very popular and sold all over India regularly from around 2009 to around 2012, by which time the internet had seriously made a dent in the book publishing industry.
She also conceived and produced a newspaper for Café Coffee Day, called ‘Café Beat’ which addressed people between the ages of 15 and 25, dealing with issues of concern to that target audience.
She has also written for many publications such as The Times of India, Midday, The Hindu, Man’s World, Men’s Health and others.
Her hobbies are painting, playing guitar, watching cop shows on TV and playing with her dogs Brownie and Kara ZorEl.
She has one son, Stefan Persson, who lives and works in New York.
Thomas continues to write, sing and wait for the fall season each year, when new shows are aired on TV.