HHS alumnus takes on music business


An outtake from the E.P. cover shoot. (Photo contributed by Sandy Holmes)

Ruby Raines

This summer, artist and Homewood High School alumnus Thomas Sartor began work on his debut E.P.

Thomas Sartor recording vocals (photo by Sandy Holmes).

Sartor graduated from Homewood High School in the class of ‘22 and is currently pursuing the music industry at Belmont University in Nashville. While at Homewood, his love of music resulted in the creation of a band alongside his best friend, Anderson Camp.  The duo continues to play in their band, named Sunday Comics. Sartor is eager to kick off his solo career with the help of his bandmate. 

Camp and Sartor co-wrote the song “Dark Twisted Path” for Sartor’s upcoming release which is a song meant to reflect the “altruistic nature of [their] companionship,” Sartor said.

Sartor released his lead single “Can’t Be Nothing” on Aug. 20. The song is reminiscent of the acoustic works of Tom Petty and Harry Styles. It acts as an ode to the importance of relationships and to those he loves.

Another contributor to the E.P. is Sartor’s girlfriend, Sandy Holmes. A current senior at HHS, she is featured in two songs. She sings backing vocals on “Can’t Be Nothing” and plays her own role in a duet in a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mama You’ve Been On My Mind.”

Sandy Holmes recording vocals (photo by Sandy Holmes).

“Although [Holmes] often modestly denied her talent, I dreamed often of us working together in a creative and musical fashion,” Sartor said. “Her parts in the song ‘Can’t Be Nothing’ brought the chorus so much life, not only in the sheer prowess of her range but the emotion that she displays while singing.”

The production level is high, especially for a debut single from an independent artist. Sartor found mentorship and aid in the production from Les Nuby.

Nuby owns Ol’ Elegante studios in Homewood and aided Sartor in creating works they could both be proud of. “Les offered a professional edge and a nuanced understanding of my purpose for the record,” Sartor said. 

Sartor made it clear that without Nuby’s hand in the record, the overall atmosphere of the E.P. would be compromised.

While writing, Sartor pulls inspiration from many artists, but Harry Styles has majorly impacted not only Sartor’s personal life but also his approach to music. This is evident in the verse he added to his cover of Cherry, an acoustic song from Styles’ album “Fine Line.” 

“Besides just being an excellent song, Cherry has always related to me on a very personal level. It’s one of my favorite songs to play for a small circle of friends and loved ones, so it was easy to write and record my own verse,” Sartor said.

Prior to entering a relationship together, Holmes gifted Sartor a “Fine Line” CD to play in his car. With time, this became a meaningful symbol of their relationship and contributed to their bond over music. A lot of time they had together was spent by Sartor playing Harry Styles songs for Holmes. These memories gave Sartor experience to pull from when writing.

Thomas Sartor recording vocals and guitar for the EP (photo by Sandy Holmes).

While the process of writing and creating music comes pretty easy to Sartor, being an independent artist is a difficult task, especially when modern promotion relies on a social media presence. 

“I wish for my small body of listeners to know this- I appreciate every one of you! Understand that I am a singer and songwriter, not a music promoter. If you enjoy my material, the best thing you can do to support me is share the songs with your friends and loved ones, as well as showcasing it on various social media sites,” Sartor said.