Born and raised in Stockton, California to Clarence Thomasson and Leonila Punctual, Kylle is a proud Filipino American and attributes this pride to his diverse background, being African American, Fijian and Filipino.
Immersion in music is a natural experience for a Filipino. “My mom is Filipino, and I am inclined to have learned to love music because Filipinos all sing karaoke,” laughs Kylle.
We talked more about the month of October is “Filipino American History Month,” and coming from Stockton what that meant to him. His reply: “In the music industry, (We) Filipinos have a unique spirit. We’re artistic and the music we sing and play is heartfelt.”
Influences in his life are his father, his babysitter and recording artists like Kevon Edmonds, the little brother of Baby Face, Michael Jackson and Jason Mraz.
At age five, he picked up a guitar and would play two strings with his dad who also had a musical background as a bass player. When he went to high school, he started paying attention to the choir kids and learned that it was a pretty cool thing to be involved in. He did choir and also was active playing basketball; but ultimately music became his passion.
Kylle recalls fondly a group of guys called “The Choir Boys” who sang a cappella, and he saw a couple of them who knew how to play the guitar. He said, “ Yep, I’m going to do that next year!” One of the guys in the group gave him a guitar and sure enough he did learn. Another person who helped him along the way at Cesar Chavez High School was Mr. Coleman, the band director.
I met Kylle last year at the college radio station where I was an adjunct professor in the Radio and Television department at San Joaquin Delta College.
A finalist on “American Idol” and a contestant with “The Voice,” he was the talk of Stockton. At 16, he auditioned for “American Idol” and made it through. In him you see a seasoned songwriter and performer; very talented, yet humble with his accomplishments.
Last August, we reconnected when I invited him on to S360 News Magazine with KXVS, the Voice of Stockton Community Radio – a commute drive radio program that features top news, interesting people and places and issues important to the community of Stockton.
Both Don Maszewski, general manager of KXVS 92.1 FM, The Voice of Stockton and I interviewed him again.
Kylle sings everywhere – at the Stockmarket in Downtown Stockton, a monthly outdoor market of local good, crafts and food; at the local eatery uptown off the Miracle Mile; Whirlow’s Toss and Grill that holds an open-mic weekly; Tracy’s local farmer’s market’s outdoor events, and many more gigs in and around the SF Bay Area.
“Energizing, yet soothing. His music is so lively that you would want to sing along. It invokes your inner soul,” says Donte Henry, a fan.
Not too long ago, Kylle wrote on Facebook:
“By the time you read this, I have left my hometown and embarked on an adventure I’ve been dreaming of for a long while. I’ll have met amazing people, young in age but mature in spirit and others old in age, but even quicker witted. I’ll have sang my songs, and songs of the greatest to have ever sung and write. I’m finding new ways to love, and I can’t wait to experience this extraordinary new chapter, ‘Fall has fell.’”
He is off to another place where he can inspire and be inspired to write more music.
Comments on Facebook say it all:
“You’ve already become someone who already makes Stockton Rox (sic), now time to make the world rox with your voice and music.” -- Stockton Rox, promoting what ROX in Stockton.
“Your #1 fan from the cruise ship. God bless you on your journey. Keep us updated. I know you will do awesome. If you get near NC let us know. Love you Brother. God be with you.” – Floyd Owens
His vision is for the next five years: “I want to make a CD and go on tour with it.” Having lived in San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland and Stockton, and now in Washington state, it's timely to do a CD commemorating my work in the West Coast. I call it the ‘Love, Peace & Light’ Tour.”
His mindset is focused. “Music is my life, and with it I can share this with the world and spread love, peace and light,” says Kylle.
For more information on Kylle Thomasson, visit his website www.kyllethomasson.com Also, search facebook: Kylle Thomasson or Youtube, enter Kylle Thomasson and/or S360_2016-08-12_Kylle Thomasson featured Local Artist_1800_42’47
Mariel Toni Jimenez J.D., LL.M is the news director with KXVS 92.1 FM The Voice of Stockton. A former TV broadcast journalist with KMTP-TV32 “Filipino-American Report” based in San Francisco, Hawaii and Guam. She is a retired professor with the University of San Francisco’s College of Arts and Sciences and School of Law.