Leon Thomas III is one of the most dynamic young talents out there.
He can sing, dance, and act. Right now, he's been enthralling crowds on tour with Big Time Rush
in arenas across the U.S. He's got an irresistible voice and equally
inimitable charisma that makes him such a downright impressive presence.
As soon as you see him, you'll feel it…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick
Florino, Leon Thomas III talks the current tour, movies, and artists
that shaped him.
What was your first arena show like?
The first show was full of energy. It was straight fun. Every show since
then has been the exact same thing. I go up there and I'm singing music
I love to sing. It's wonderful to touch base with a whole new audience.
It's really cool! It's a whole new feeling. I'm used to playing club
dates and much smaller venues. To have this big of a feel is different
from what I'm used to. I'm so glad and thankful for the opportunity.
How has your stage production changed?
Usually, when I do a show, it's me and my band. For this, I'm working with DJ D-Wrek. He was the DJ on Wild 'N Out with Nick Cannon.
It's just me and him. We're rocking it. I'm doing a lot of dancing.
People haven't really seen me dance yet so it's a good mix.
Has the music changed?
I've been working really hard on this music. It took me a minute to find
my team production-wise. For the most part, it's me and my partner
Chris and C4. It was a very tight-knit project. I did it all on my own.
The label loved it and supported my decision to let it out.
What's the story behind "Forever"?
Everybody has been in a relationship and experienced that "Honeymoon
Stage" or "Puppy Love". However, I think most people fail to ask the
question, "Is this going to last forever?" When you're in the moment,
you don't really think about it. It's the type of thing I think
everybody can relate to. Everyone wants that feeling. You want that
energy of your first love to last as long as it can.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
I've been blessed so much that I'm able to control so much of what my
artistry is going to feel like. Being that I'm not just an artist, I'm a
producer and a writer. It gives me the option to paint exactly what I'm
feeling. I'm so glad people are really enjoying the music I'm putting
out. I have a story to tell, and I think everybody's ready to listen to
What influences that story? Are there other art forms that filter in?
I'm big on movies! Being an actor, I have a lot of downtime
occasionally. I tend to watch movies a lot. The funniest things will
inspire a song, and everyday life is a true inspiration. Relationships
bring that out of you as well.
What are some of your favorite movies?
This definitely isn't on a romantic tip. I'm more of an action flick guy. I love The Matrix. I like it kind of fun and cheesy so I'll do Lethal Weapon. I like fun, campy flicks.
Do acting and music come from different creative places for you?
It's just a different energy. It all comes from the same core. When it
comes to acting, I'm definitely in a different mood energy-wise than
when I'm in the studio working with the homies and we're creating that
type of flavor. They're two different things, but they come from the
same inspiration which is life. I'm trying to tell a story the best I
What artists shaped you?
My parents were in a club band, and I'd watch them perform. One of the artists they'd do was Prince.
Growing up, I was always a huge fan of his work. I just love him. I'm
shaping my career and musicality based off how he was able to put pop,
R&B, and rock all into one sound.
09.10.12 (source: artistdirect.com)