justina + ian thomas | interview
"He's a singer from the Netherlands. Or is he a vine star? One of those. He's nominated."
On the carpet at the Kids Choice Awards, I heard about Ian Thomas before I saw him coming. He's one of those fantastic quick interviewees who actually thinks about your question and focuses on you. I enjoyed our *literally* 80 seconds together so much, I decided to extend it. So now, meet Ian Thomas. (He isn't a vine star. Or the creepy husband from Pretty Little Liars.)
Justina: You're from Belgium, right?
Ian: Yes, I am! My mother is from Amsterdam and my step-father is from Belgium, so I'm half and half.
Either way, you're pretty far off from LA, haha. Tell me a little about your "journey to the States".
Well I moved here five months ago, but it really started when I worked on a song with Anise K and Snoop Dog and Lance Bass. They wanted to bring it to a European audience and really loved what I did, so they wanted me to fly out to LA as soon as possible. That's how I got here the first time, and I really liked it.
And now you're here!
What's your favorite thing to do in LA?
My favorite thing..I really like everything. I like the weather so far. Where I'm from it's always cold and raining, so to wake up and have the sun out just makes me super happy. I also enjoy all the new things, I'm playing piano now...I'm very busy. I'm still getting used to everything. But my favorite thing is probably meeting new people, or going and relaxing, being out in nature.
I don't think people realize how much beautiful nature LA has.
They don't! And also here you have the beach and the mountains in the same place, it's beautiful.
What do you think is the biggest difference between Belgium and LA?
First of all, the people in LA are way more welcoming. In Belgium people are kind of on their own, doing their thing in their own family. Here, people are way more open and social. I know sometimes it is "fake", but it is nice to have more open minds. In Belgium, people are very much like...make sure you go to school first, and go to university, and graduate, and then maybe in a few years you can pursue your dream. Here, people think if you have a chance and an opportunity, go for it, wow. Or like, driving a Lamborghini. In Belgium, people would say "oh my god what a cocky little bastard". But here in America, people look at you and say "oh nice man, good job".
It's all that sunshine, it makes us optimistic.
Yes, that must be it, haha.
So let's talk about your music - when we met at the KCA's, you were telling me about your song Cheers, with Tyga. (the music video to which just dropped on Vevo, go check it out. There's an easter bunny one piece.) Tell me about making that.
Ah, yes, we wanted to create a feel - good song, something you could listen to when you were down, and it would up your mood. I feel like we really did that. I personally really wanted a rapper on the song, and the perfect person to me was Tyga so my management got in touch with his, and we made it happen. It was very natural, working with him.
Who else would be a dream collab for you?
*Doesn't skip a beat* Kid Cudi.
Hahah, Kid Cudi? I feel like that could sound really cool.
He's one of my hero's, on both a musical level and on a personal level.
He truly inspires me. On another note, I'd love to work with Justin Timberlake. There's so many - Frank Ocean, even Kanye West. Really anybody. There are so many talented people out there, and whatever happens, happens.
I'll get back to you in ten years and we'll see what you've done by then, yeah?
Yeah! It's so crazy - this is just the beginning.
In researching you for this interview, I found that you get compared to Justin Bieber a LOT. Like, a lot a lot. You're literally called "Europe's Justin Bieber". What do you think is a big difference between you?
I think we are completely different people. I don't know him personally, but no one can be a copy of someone else. I think we get compared because I covered one song of his, but I don't think that means I am copying him, you know what I mean? I am my own person, and I'm not planning to be the next Justin Bieber, I'm planning to be the first Ian Thomas.
Iconic words have been spoken.
I want to inspire our generation to do great things, whatever their thing may be.
What do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
I want people to feel connected to me and their moment. Whether they are sad and want to feel better, or are happy and want to be there, I want them to connect to me and my music however they can.
Well speaking of that, let's talk about your social media...
*I said the magic words. We talk about instagram for the next ten minutes*
*Justina gets back on track*
So you have a pretty distinct look, and I've been wanting to talk to you about it. What do you think influences your personal style?
My style is influenced by everything, honestly. I will see an outfit on tumblr, and say "Okay, that is what I want to look like today", or I see a person walking down the street. Life, I guess. Life inspires me. You know what I mean?
Yeah! I'm the same way. Plus, you live in LA, which is the perfect place.
Yes, it is!
Speaking of LA - I saw a post you put up a few days ago about going vegan. Are you vegan?
I am vegan now! I wasnt in Europe, but then I moved to LA and I became a vegan. LA is getting in my head.
Hahah it is, but again, it's the perfect place. LA is set up for vegans.
I think it is so important that people are educated on where their food comes from. You literally become what you eat, and if you are eating chemicals and genetically modified foods and such, that is what you are becoming. But they are - there's a whole movement starting, and people are becoming aware.
It's about time. Ours is running out as well, so here is your last question: what is something you've always wanted to be asked, but no one ever has?
Oh...this is a hard one. I want to give you an honest answer, so let me think about it.
***several hours pass**
The thing I have always wanted to be asked, or want people to know, is that I want to be different. I don't want to be the guy who says he will do something and then doesn't. This is just the beginning for me.
Cheers to that.
You can check out Ian's music here, follow his extraordinarily well curated instagram account here, and continuously groove to Cheers here. Have fun, or as they would say in Belgium, amuseer je.
I think. Google Translate hasn't got the best track record.
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