Timothy and Theron Thomas, the St. Thomas brothers who as R.City have gained fame as singers, songwriters and producers in the international music world, were given the first "key to the city" ever presented in the Virgin Islands.
The presentation took place Tuesday at an event presided over by Senate President Neville James and attended by other lawmakers and Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter in Charlotte Amalie.
The ceremony marked Tuesday as “R.City Day,” designated by Act. No. 7824, a measure sponsored by Sen. Janette Millin Young and unanimously approved by the body on Dec. 15.
“It is a distinct pleasure for me to be here today to honor two young men, who have not only become a global example of greatness for the Virgin Islands and that the Virgin Islands could have produced, but who also represent their home with pride and stand as great role models for our young people,” Millin Young said.
During the R.City Day celebration, students from the Ivanna Eudora Kean and Charlotte Amalie High Schools and the Addelita Cancryn and Bertha C. Boschulte Junior High Schools performed renditions of the artists’ songs, including "Locked Away" and "Make Up," and then sang along as the artists performed for them.
James, Millin Young and Potter presented the Thomas brothers with the key to the city and commended them for their humility and commitment to bringing exposure to the Virgin Islands.
The Thomas brothers also spoke about their journey to success, giving special credit to their parents Miguel “Kiebo” Thomas and Jacqueline “Jackie” Thomas, who relentlessly supported their dream.
“I just want to say thanks to everybody who come out. Thanks for giving us this gift and this blessing today,” said Theron Thomas.
Thomas shared stories of their humble beginnings, “catching ride” to give performances in front of small audiences of 12 or 20 people for $50 or no money at all, to now producing music for other artists and performing in front of thousands and no longer having to explain where exactly in the Caribbean they come from.
“In the beginning, it wasn’t even necessarily a dream. It was just something me and my brother found as something fun to do,” Timothy Thomas said. “We were disgusting kids,” he said. “Little did we know that something that we start just doing around the house could’ve blossomed into something so beautiful.”
“We had so many obstacles. We had so many people telling my parents that they should quit lying to their kids, that this dream ain’t real, and I could understand why they would say that,” he said, “because what we had done, before us, it [was] never done before.”
The brothers encouraged parents to get involved in their children’s lives and to support their dreams.
“We always thought bigger than the Virgin Islands because our father raised us that way, so we wanted the whole world, outside of the Virgin Islands to know about the Virgin Islands and to know about Oswald Harris Court Projects. That’s where we come from. That’s where we faced a lot of our hard times,” Timothy Thomas said. “If you channel the right energy with them hard times, you could turn it into good times.”
Also attending the ceremony were Sens. Marvin Blyden, Jean Forde, Clifford Graham, Myron Jackson, Almando “Rocky” Liburd and Positive Nelson.