Can you tell us a little something about each of you?
Thomas: My name is Thomas Orlina and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I’m Filipino-American and have worked in the entertainment industry for eight years including entertainment reporting and hosting. I’m an on-camera talent, artist, director, producer, singer, dancer and songwriter for our first single “Summer Vibes.”
Malia: I am Malia Baldovi and I was born and raised in Maui, Hawaii. I’m Hawaiian and Asian and have been living in Los Angeles for over 10 years now. I wear many hats in the entertainment industry such as producer, host, artist, singer, songwriter, director, and television production as well as on-camera talent. I’m a singer, dancer, producer, and songwriter for our new and first single “Summer Vibes.”
What inspired you guys to pursue music?
Thomas: It’s always been a dream of mine to release a song and shoot a music video, so I knew I needed to find the right time and inspiration to do so. I’ve written some songs before and I enjoy the feeling of being able to creatively express myself. I’ve been singing since I was a kid and joined the choir in high school so music has always been a passion of mine.
Malia: Music has always been part of my life. Growing up, I’ve listened to so many genres of music and have always wanted to create a song of my own. One person who has always inspired me and that I look up to is my cousin Nicole Scherzinger. She is so talented in so many different aspects and has worked so hard throughout her career. She inspires me to live my dreams and passions in life.
What is it like being in a duo with your best friend?
Thomas: It’s truly amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to join me on this music journey. We’ve known each other for over a decade and have shared so many memories together. Releasing a song this month is something we’ve dreamed of forever and we look forward to performing the song together this summer.
Malia: I love it. We both have fun being creative in this project and working together. We both had a dream of creating and singing a song and decided it would be a great idea to collaborate together.
How would you describe your musical style as a duo?
Our sound right now is very top 40 pop music, electronic dance music and hip-hop influenced. As a duo, we both are similar but are unique in our own individual way so we balance our personalities in the music and those would be our three main music styles.
What artists do you guys look up to right now?
Thomas: I really like Justin Bieber’s music. I think his sound is timeless and his vibe is always very artistic. Other artist I’ve always enjoyed listening to and looked up to would be Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Drake.
Malia: Right now, to name a few would be Dean Lewis because, I do like his style of music. Also, The Cure, Common Kings, Nicole Scherzinger and The Jonas Brothers. I have so many actually. All from different genres, it’s hard to choose!
You guys are releasing your debut single!! Can you tell us how this song came about and the meaning of the song?
We are extremely excited! This is something we’ve been working on for quite some time. We knew if we were going to do this together, it had to have the right sound and messaging behind it. Much like our YouTube show, which is going on to its second season, it was important for us to connect with our worldwide audience. Our fans have been so loyal to us that we wanted to provide them with a song they could listen to all summer long in their car, at the gym, with their friends and family, it’s for everyone and every personality.
The name of our song is called “Summer Vibes.”
The song has three songwriters on it. Thomas Orlina, Malia Baldovi and Kyle Rutchland.
Summer Vibes is really about living your best life and soaking in the summertime and everything that comes with it. Whether you’re out drinking with friends, hanging out at the beach, by the pool, shopping, traveling, the song is an upbeat catchy record and the music video, which was shot all around Los Angeles, really captures the essence of what a summer vibe really looks like on the west coast in California.
Are there any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
We’re currently working on Season Two of our show Two Besties Together. We had such a great response from viewers that we are excited to take the show into a new direction. Season One was a talk show format and the new season is going to be in a reality television format. We’ve always wanted to be on reality TV and our viewers have given us such a warm welcome online that we’re excited to show them what we have coming up next. Thousands of viewers around the world have shown their support and we can’t thank them enough.
Why do you think social media is so important for artists today?
Social media has been a part of our lives now for ten plus years. Starting from MySpace. It’s such a great way to connect with your fans. The outreach is instant and allows your fans to really feel like they’re a part of something. Whether it’s a project, a song or a new creative venture, you’re able to showcase that by just posting your content online and getting that instant gratification from fans. It’s amazing. We both are very connected with our following on a daily basis and hope to connect even further with the release of our debut music single.
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
We both agree authenticity is the key to success. Being yourself is super important in the entertainment business because at the end of the day, the fans can sense that and being authentic is truly what kind of relationship we want with our fans. They’ve been so great to us and we hope to share our music with more as we continue this artistic journey together.
What was the craziest fan encounter you have had?
We have a lot of really crazy fans but crazy in a good way. They’ll send us lovely messages of encouragement, offer to meet us out for drinks, help us along the way voluntarily as production assistants, it’s remarkable how people can connect with you and feel like they know you just based on the content you put out on the Internet.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
Thomas: It’s hard for me to pick because I use all of them but if I had to choose one, I’d say Instagram. It’s such a great app to be able to just connect instantly. I’ve made so many lifelong friends using the app and it’s also a great business tool. I’ve been offered free products, endorsement deals and made lots of connections through it. I’m also a heavy user on other platforms like Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook.
Malia: Instagram is my number one to stay in contact with fans. It’s a lot easier for me and quicker to respond to messages and comments. Then comes Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
What’s your schedule like?
Thomas: My days are always very busy. I recently got signed to a talent management company and talent agency in Beverly Hills so to have representation, as talent is really exciting! I consistently audition for television and different global brand campaigns and have also continued working on building my personal brand. My YouTube show “Your Time With Thomas” was featured on CNN in the Philippines so I’m currently working on Season Two with an amazing team. I juggle around several other entertainment jobs. I’m a series regular on-camera host for the after show network called AfterBuzz TV owned by Emmy winner Maria Menounos, I work for an entertainment digital marketing and advertising company in Los Angeles and work with a publicist at all major Hollywood red carpet events most recently for Sony Pictures Entertainment and Netflix.
Malia: My days vary actually so everyday is a different day. I work in television production on various network tv shows which also allows me to travel to different locations in different states. I have days where I work on our show “Two Besties Together” and is a constant project. I also work as on-camera talent and recently did an episode with BuzzFeed which was really exciting! I recently finished working on USA Networks “Temptation Island” which was a fun show to be a part of! No day is the same which keeps my schedule exciting!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years in your career and personal life?
Thomas: I see myself continuing to work in the entertainment industry. Ever since I was 5 years old I’ve wanted to work in this field so to come so far to work for the brands I’ve worked for has been such a reward. In 5 years, I would like to be a household name, hope that my connection to the Filipino-American communities are stronger and just continue to evolve and grow as an individual with a lot of success in different areas of my life.
Malia: I honestly don’t know where I see myself in 5 years. I’m not a planner. Things change for me constantly so I can’t predict where I’ll be. However, I’m always looking for the next opportunity to get to where I need to be in my career and putting myself out there.
How has this whole music career experience been?
The whole journey has been life changing. From finding the inspiration and writing the song, to recording it in the studio with our producer, working with a choreographer to choreography and learn the dance routine and shooting the music video, it’s been a dream come true. This is what dreams are made of and to have one single under our belt, we’re looking forward to what’s to come.
Do you have any advice for aspiring music artists?
Thomas: I would say to go for it and reach for your dreams. Whatever you want to achieve musically or professionally, don’t let anyone stop you and keep going. Eventually you will get there and all that hard work will be worth it.
Malia: Have fun while you’re trying to pursue your music career. Life is short. If you enjoy it and it’s your passion, then go for it!