Print Shortlink

Dolby, Thomas (14th October 1958-Present)

He is a musician, producer and inventor born Thomas Morgan Robertson born in Cairo, Egypt.  His father was a professor in Greek archaeology and art at Oxford University and the London University and while he was young Thomas lived in Greece and France as well as England.  His schoolmates gave his name to him as a nickname, as he was never without a cassette player in his hand, but this would eventually lead him and Dolby Laboratories to come to an out-of-court agreement when he took on the name for his professional career.

Working with electronic instruments he became a “synthopop” artist and became the keyboardist for Bruce Woolley and the Camera Club.  He would then feature on albums by the Thompson Twins and Def Leppard (under the pseudonym Booker T. Boffin), Foreigner, in David Bowie’s band at Live Aid and write songs for other artists including “Magic’s Wand” for Whodini and “New Toy” for Lene Lovich.

Aside from his session work for numerous artists that include Prefab Sprout, Joni Mitchell, Joe Walsh, Ryiuchi Sakamoto, Peter Gabriel, Budgie, Joan Armatrading, Stevie Wonder , Tata Vega, Eddie Van Halen and many more he started to see success in his own right when he cracked the pop charts in the UK and US with songs such as “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive”.  These could later be heard being used \\in TV shows such as The Simpsons and Fame and sampled in the song “Got it Twisted” by Mobb Deep.

Moving into the late 1980s he would perform at Depeche Mode’s Rose Bowl concert and in the rock opera The Wall by Roger Waters, which was performed in Berlin.

In the 2000s he performed at the Soft Boys’ reunion and in 2006 returned to his solo career where he gave a series of concerts in California, which culminated in a tour of the United States.  He had been resident in the United States but returned to the UK when he realised his on-going popularity there and has since given a tour, released a DVD and CD box set and recorded new material.  In 2010 he released the album A Map of the Floating City.

As a composer for video games his work can be heard on the Mind’s Eye games collection, Double Switch and on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and in 2001 he was the music director of the TED Conference in California.

In the world of business, he was the founder of the Headspace Company which developed the RMF (Rich Music Format), was the CEO of Beatnik Inc., which provided a free plug-in for the RMF and the founder of Retro Ringtones which won “Best of Show” and “Best New Technology” at the Mobile Music Awards in Miami in 2004.  His ringtones for mobile phones are now well known and he is the provider of the Nokia signature theme and he is often heard speaking at conferences on the subject.  His achievements in the world of technology were recognised in 1998 when Yahoo! Internet Life presented him with the Lifetime Achievement in Internet Music Award.

Here he is with his “She Blinded Me With Science”…