Thunderstorm Artis with Hayley Lynn perform at the Jack London Review
For his entire life, singer/songwriter Thunderstorm Artis has stayed devoted to making music that strengthens the heart and awakens the soul. A multi-instrumentalist who got his start playing in a band with his 10 siblings as a little kid, the 26-year-old Hawaii native has since brought his warm yet powerful vocals and vibrant musicality to such endeavors as touring with Jack Johnson and sharing stages with legends like Booker T. Jones. After years of refining his craft and carving out his singular identity as an artist, the Oregon-based musician has created his most captivating work to date: a genre-bending batch of songs built on both emotionally raw storytelling and incisive soul-searching, offering much-needed insight into living with hope even in the darkest of times.
Born into an exceptionally musical family—his father Ron was a Motown session player who performed on iconic tracks like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” while his mother Victoria toured as a backup singer for the likes of Lena Horne—Artis grew up in Oahu and started playing drums at age nine, later taking up piano, guitar, and harmonica. Although he’d dabbled in songwriting throughout his childhood, he found a whole new sense of artistic purpose after using music to cope with the sudden death of his father. “Once I started really focusing on songwriting, I realized my music could bring healing not only to me, but to other people in pain,” says Artis, who was 13 when his father passed away. Raised on everything from jazz to country to classic soul singers like Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye, he immersed himself in sharpening his songcraft and soon began touring extensively with his older brother, acclaimed singer/songwriter Ron Artis II. With his debut EP Haunted released in 2018, Artis next emerged as a finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2020, in addition to becoming a mainstay at Wanderlust festivals throughout North America.