Almost five years after “Big Time Rush” has ended, BTR fans are still going hard for their favorite boy band. Individually, the members have each pursed a multitude of opportunities, but James Maslow is the latest of them to take it to the next level. With his first solo record, “How I Like It”, released earlier this year and winning iHeartRadio’s Rising Star competition, Maslow is making a name for himself with his new sound and persona.
Currently, James Maslow is holding his own on “Celebrity Big Brother” and he’s also releasing new music. Will he soon release a second album? Maybe we’ll hear news soon. But for now, we asked him about his transition to becoming a solo artist, his upcoming film with Mitchel Musso, and his opinion regarding why he thinks other former boybanders try to rid themselves of their boy band persona.
Q&A with James Maslow
- Your album, “How I Like It”, was released in March of last year. Your sound is a bit different from what others might be used to associating with you in BTR. What’s it been like to release your own sound with an already established fan base? How did you go about it so you could be yourself without alienating your BTR fans?
I’m incredibly excited to be exactly what I want – from the lyrics and the melody, to the production. I’m creating with some of my best friends in the world and writing music I enjoy listening to. I’m very proud of it. For the most part, the fans have enjoyed it. It’s a little more mature and grown-up and [the fans] have grown up with me. In fact, as much as I’m proud of “How I Like It”, the new music I’m doing is even bigger and better. The more you do it, the better you get. The more I get honed in with producing and how I want to sound, and the more experience I have in life, it’s reflected in the music.
- You were the iHeartRadio Rising Star this year. How has that changed your life so far?
iHeart fans and Macy’s have given me a platform as large as one that a label would have had to spend millions of dollars on, like BTR, without having to sign my life away to a label. It’s been an amazing experience – Jingle Ball LA, New York, and Vegas.
There’s a lot more coming out. iHeart has been amazing and we’re about to be doing a lot more stuff together.
- You recently released a video for your single “Who Knows”. What was the fan reaction like?
Much like when I released the song and the album, that alluded to a more mature lifestyle. The video honed that in for a lot of people – that [I was] growing up and it’s sexy. It’s just a taste of what I will be doing. The response has been fantastic and very supportive. It’s exciting that everyone seems to be supporting everything. There are haters once in a while. In the next couple of months, I might get some haters for that. My real fans are so badass and passionate.
- “Who Knows” is about an unbalanced relationship. What advice would you give to someone who can’t seem to let go of a relationship without mutual respect?
Life is too short and there are so many other people out there, and ways to meet people. Invest into a relationship, don’t swipe as soon as there’s a problem. That’s shallow and will create a vapid relationship. But there’s a big difference between an abusive relationship and getting over a few [hurdles]. There is never an acceptable reason to stay in an abusive relationship. If you haven’t felt empowered enough to leave until now, hopefully this changes your mind to [find someone] that deserves you, and that will take care of you and reciprocate your energy and love you give them.
- You have a film coming out with Mitchel Musso, “Bachelor Lions”. Can you tell us anything about the film?
We just had a premiere, which is a little unconventional as we don’t have the release date locked in yet. There’s been so much excitement about the movie; there’s potential for it to be series! For an independent film to get that much love, it’s rare. It’s a testament to not only the movie and the actors, but also the heart and soul of the message [of the film] of helping each other out.
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Tuesday was an amazing night. To see another film of mine go to the big screen (and rumor has it it will be doing a pretty damn wide theatrical release) simply leaves me speechless. What a way to start 2018. Huge thanks to everyone that made this film happen, especially my costar @mitchelmusso and director @pbriverrock. Keep a lookout for #BachelorLions real soon 🦁
- A lot of former boybanders hate on the vehicle that made them famous, gave them fans, and an opportunity for a solo career. But all of the BTR guys have been very respectful of their first fan base. What advice would you give the guys who try to rid themselves of their boyband persona?
Our experience was phenomenal. We had our hardships and our conflicts on occasion. The show was incredibly fun to film, touring was a great time, and everybody from Nickelodeon was really cool. They gave us a lot of freedom and opportunity. I am guessing that the reason these ex-boy-band members don’t like to support their old bands, or even talk shit, is that they didn’t have as good of an experience as we had. Frankly, they may not be that confident in their own new stuff and they feel the need to hate on something. That’s just never been me.
I think my new music is better than what I did in Big Time Rush and I did great shit in Big Time Rush. I’m excited about what I’m doing, but I’ll always be respectful of the band that gave me a platform to do it. What a leap forward for our solo career, and the [other] guys, for the most part, feel the same way. The other three guys are all incredibly different but are all good-hearted people.
You can watch James Maslow on “Celebrity Big Brother” four nights a week: Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Check with your local television listing to confirm the time in your area. You can listen to his new single, “Falling” below!
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