It was so much fun getting to catch up with my new friend, James Maslow! James has some exciting plans for the new year and I can’t wait to see what all those plans are. From talking about his debut album, acting gigs, how he manages to stay in such good shape, and what his biggest goal as an artist is.
D: Hey James! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me, how are you?
JM: Great! Things are quite busy in my world between new music, and preparations for some releases next year (music, film and TV!) so I’m just home in LA right now.
D: Your debut album, “How I Like It” which dropped earlier this year, it was (and still is) AMAZING! Where did you get the idea for the album name and how long did it take for you to write/record?
JM: I wrote the record first and later realized it really represented how I felt about the full project. It was the first time that I put out a body of work without (almost) anybody else’s input. It’s so freeing to be able to create music exactly how I want to now.
D: You got to do something pretty badass, you recorded the album in Timbaland’s private studio. How was that?
JM: Iconic. Even though it was just my boy Doug Makuta and I in the studio every day, it was inspiring to be cutting on the same mic at Justin Timberlake and in the same booth as Missy Elliot. Pusha T rolled through once or twice and noted that we just never stopped working which was a dope compliment from one of the most legit and hardest working dudes in music. And of course when we get Tim’s feedback we listen. Unreal to have his ear with that project and stuff I’m working on now.
D: Was there any inspiration from your personal life that you wanted to share with people through your music?
JM: There’s definitely Lyrics that track back to my childhood in songs such as Cry, but i did my best to keep the majority of the songs current. Both sonically and personally.
D: Do you have a favorite song from the record?
JM: Changes all the time but I’ve been having a lot of fun playing the title track How I Like It recently.
D: My personal favorite song is definitely “Who Knows”, and I was so happy when you released it as a video. It’s a very raw and emotional song, what was it like writing the song for you personally?
JM: It definitely brought back memories both good and bad. When I listen to it now though i actually smile because it reminds me that I got through the rough times and managed to turn that pain into art. As artists we always strive to do this but it rarely works out this well.
D: Your music sounds nothing like the music from when you were in BTR, did you want your own music to be a lot different from the music you did with the guys?
JM: Absolutely. I had written a ton of music that just didn’t feel right. Didn’t feel unique or original or authentic enough and I wasn’t happy until I started with this record. Everything from scratch and with nobody from my past…that’s what I needed. A blank canvas.
D: You did a few shows here and there, but do you plan on touring anytime soon? The last time I saw you was when you toured with BTR, it feels like it was so long ago!
JM: I can’t wait to get back on the road. I hope to do a couple of proper tours this coming year!
D: You did a few movies that came out this past year like “It Happened One Valentine’s ” and “48 hours To Live.” I saw both and loved them. Are you or will you be working on any other film projects this year?
JM: Yup. My film “Bachelor Lions” will be out at the top of 2018 with another called “The Boarder” sometime later in the year. And plenty more to come.
D: I am avid watcher of your Instagram stories and live for your gym snaps, they’re funny and very motivating at the same time. You look incredible, so what makes you want to stay in such good shape?
JM: Honestly my original motivation was being picked on for being a chubby kid. Now it’s more about staying healthy for a long time, and being in good enough shape to play the action roles I have always wanted.
D: Do you have a strict diet you follow, or do you eat pretty balanced?
JM: I keep pretty healthy so that I don’t feel bad when I indulge in burgers, fries, burritos and tequila. It’s all about balance. Probably 90% healthy haha
D: Do you have any more music plans for next year?
JM: I’m cutting vocals tomorrow on a single I can’t wait to announce. I’ll probably drop a remix and then this one at the top of the year.
D: You’ve accomplished so much at such a young age, it’s extremely inspiring. Do you have a big goal that you hope to accomplish within the next five years or so?
JM: Within 5 Years I want to perform at the Grammys.