Theron Thomas Talks Penning The Biggest Song In The World: “Seven” By Jungkook & Latto

It’s the second year ever they’ve done a Songwriter of the Year category at the Grammys, and Theron Thomas is over the moon about his nomination.

Not only that, but Thomas is the only black nominee in the category this year, amidst some big names in the music industry including Edgar Barrera, Shane McAnally, Jessie Jo Dillon, Justin Tranter.

Proud to be Caribbean, Thomas hails from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Nicknamed Rock City, Thomas is one half of the musical duo of the same name, alongside his brother Timo Makaveli. Together, they saw huge success with “Locked Away” featuring Adam Levine, which recently hit one billion views on Youtube (and soon to hit a billion on streaming).

Fast forward to today, Thomas has played a role some of this generation’s biggest hits, including “All My Life” for Lil Durk and J. Cole, “Cheatback” for Chlöe and Future, “How We Roll” for Ciara and Chris Brown, “Man Down” for Rihanna, “We Can’t Stop” for Miley Cyrus, “I Don’t Mind” for Usher, and many more.

But his greatest accomplishment to date? The world’s biggest song currently: “Seven” by BTS’ Jungkook featuring Latto.

The Source spoke with Theron Thomas at Westlake Studios in Los Angeles.

What song are you most proud of?

I don’t want to lie, I’m really proud of all of them. Right now, Jungkook “Seven” is the biggest song in the world. I’ve never had the biggest song in the world. I was in Korea in October and November. Wait, this is the biggest song here. We’re #1 in Japan. I’ve had songs big around the world, “Locked Away” was #1 in 30 countries. It’s insane. But this one, fastest song to hit a billion streams in history. Really, really crazy accomplishments. I’m enjoying the ride because at one point, nobody was calling me. Nobody cared to hear my ideas. Nobody said “oh, yeah, let’s ask Theron what he thinks.” Now, he’s the guy, so I’m grateful. I’ma keep going as long as they keep inviting me.


How’d the song come about?

Andrew Watt called me, I didn’t even know Latto was getting on the song. I wrote the song. Because I did “Big Energy,” everybody thinks I did Latto’s part. I did it with Jon Bellion, we wrote it together. But it started with me in my basement in Atlanta. Andrew said ”Yo man I’m working on Justin Bieber. I got this beat, this beat is fire bro. You gotta send me those beats. 

How many times do people tell you that?

Every time, but it’s good. Having an artist and a place of reference, it motivates you. Justin Bieber is a huge star, great artist. I’m a fan. Bro, I gotta bring my A game for the Biebs. I wrote something, Andrew said “it’s not that good bro. Make it more simple.” My youngest son, he’s 11 now but he was 10 when I wrote this song. He’s sitting on my lap. Yo, nothing’s more simple than the days of a week. “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday…”

It’s wild to me when songwriters have whole concepts for a song, and a huge artist will do it. 

By the way, I know BTS. I didn’t know individually the artists. They called me like “Yo, Jungkook is cutting your song.” Okay cool, I don’t know who that is. You know what though? I pride myself in being like that. I like real human experience. I don’t want to come in the room like “omg, this is Rihanna. You gotta act a certain way.” You’re a person, and I’m a person. What do you want to do today? 

I didn’t know who he was until two weeks before the record came out. Because I met with the A&R from Hyde, she’s like “Jungkook, he’s from BTS.” Oh that’s crazy, BTS is big. I’m so grateful. I’ve never met Jungkook, this is awesome. They call me: “Yo Theron, this record is looking like it’s gonna really have an impact when it drop. The ideas and the marketing.” Well that’s good. “About Damn Time” by Lizzo was my first Billboard #1. That’s crazy. 

Did you work with Lizzo?

Yes, we worked with Lizzo. Then I did “All My Life” for Lil Durk.

I love that song!

That song’s amazing, shout out to Dr. Luke. He’s a genius.

So what’d you do on that song?

I did the chorus. I did it with Dr. Luke and a couple friends of mine. It was a blessing because it debuted at #2. Man, I wanted to debut at #1. That’d be my second #1. Jungkook came out, it debuted at #1. What the?! What’s going on! What’s life right now?

I’m so happy they made that Songwriter of the Year category!

Yeah, they shining a light on songwriters. It’s a long time coming but it’s a difficult thing because some people feel uncomfortable. We’re the icky necessary evil. The artists don’t want to tell nobody that it was his idea. It’s weird, but it is the business. For me, I pride myself on — the name of my company is Minding Our business. If you ever see me post something, I never say what I do. 

Because I produce as well. I produce, I write, and I sing. I could have done backgrounds. If I’m a part of a song, I literally say “minding our business forever.” That’s all I say. Whatever you want to take from that. Did I write it? Did I produce it? Did I sing in the background? You say whatever you want to say. Artists can’t get offended, like “you’re going around town telling people…!” Minding our business forever. That’s all I say, whatever you want to take it as. I’m a producer, writer, vocalist, vocal producer. You don’t know what I did, but oh okay. Theron had something to do with that, okay cool. You can take it like that.

I remember when they had the songwriter protests, people telling me how terrible songwriters get paid unless you’re part of hit records. Was there a point where you were struggling?

When I came in business in the early time, yes I was struggling but not as a songwriter. I struggled as an artist and when songwriting came, we started making money. Struggling songwriting really, really came because of streaming. That’s really how we became this crazy oh man, shit is a bit hard right now. I’m not gon’ lie, I make hits. I’m super blessed. I’ve been making hits probably for the last 4 to 5 years. I mean, I’ve been making hits longer than that. But for the past four or five years, it’s been crazy, it’s like an avalanche of hits. I don’t know what’s going on. God’s playing favorites, and I appreciate it for real.

You must be a good person. I feel like good people deserve…

I hate being the self-proclaimed good guy, because I do believe I’m a villain in somebody’s story somewhere. I try my best to be my best.

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