Hey Thomas!! So excited to be chatting with you!! You just release your new uplifting and empowering new single!! How excited were you to get this song out into the world?
I was extremely excited to share my debut pop dance song, “Brush It Off” with the world. I came up with the song title and song concept over a decade ago so to see it come to life now in 2021 is a great feeling. I’m happy the world has a song now that can uplift and empower them forever.
Can you tell us what this song means to you and how you came up with the idea for this song?
Songwriting is a passion of mine. I enjoy coming up with ideas that I think are going to be impactful and release music that has a very timeless feel. When you think of the lyrics, “brush it off baby, don’t let it get to you,” the message behind that reinforces you to think that no matter what happens in life, you will be fine and you will find the solution to whatever is standing in your way. At the time, I was going through changes in my life and the words came right out of my mouth. I co-wrote this song with songwriter Dexter Giffard.
Can you spill any details about the music video for your new single?
The music video is going to be very powerful, engaging and political in some aspects. We have tons of people in the video of diverse backgrounds which was very intentional. My brand and what I stand for is celebrating all people from different backgrounds. As a Filipino-American, it’s important for me to represent my culture and highlight other diverse individuals. I thought it was special to have my niece share this experience with me so you will see her in the music video. The social justice movement is touched on in the music video as well. You’ll see some social media influencers, amazing original choreography and it’s very fast paced so you’ll want to watch it over and over again!
You also have your own show on your YouTube channel. Can you tell us what led you to start posting on YouTube and how this series came about?
My self-branded content, “Your Time With Thomas,” was established in 2017 and it was my first project that I was really able to showcase my creativity with my fans and followers around the world. I wanted to create a diverse pop culture reality style show that shared my personal life and also was going to be impactful with the topics my followers and I wanted to discuss. I’ve always wanted to be on reality television so I took matters in my own hands and made my own show. My show is available on my YouTube channel Your Time With Thomas so be sure to subscribe for new content coming very soon!
What can people expect to see on your YouTube videos?
My YouTube channel has tons of content. I have my show Your Time With Thomas which focuses on pop culture, hard-hitting subject matters, fashion, fitness and celebrities. You’ll also see videos of travel vlogs from Las Vegas, Hawaii and more. There are also fun videos I’ve shot from different Hollywood events, premieres and exclusive parties. It’s an exciting YouTube channel and we’re just getting started on the next phase of content which is in the works with a streaming network! There’s a lot of excitement in every video I’ve ever posted.
Are there any YouTubers that you look up to right now?
I really like watching Bretman Rock’s content on YouTube. He’s smart, hilarious and as a Filipino-American myself, I look up to him and his craft. I love Paris Hilton’s content. She’s a pop culture OG legend and her videos are always well done. The Kardashian and Jenners always produce great YouTube content that I look forward to watching as well.
Have you ever been starstruck by anyone you’ve met so far in the youtube world?
I met Paris Hilton a few years ago and I was completely starstruck. I’ve been a fan of hers for so long so to hug her and meet her in person at a private party in the Hollywood Hills was a dream come true. I was also asked to be in her music video which featured stars like Kim Kardashian West and beauty influencer Nikita Dragun which was a memorable experience. I’ve also met Patrick Starrr who is one of the nicest YouTubers out there. As a Filipino-American, I’m really proud of what he’s built for himself and how he continues to amplify the Filipino community globally.
What goals have you set out for yourself in your career and in your personal life?
My goals are never ending. I’ve accomplished a lot of things thus far that I’m proud of. I’d love to continue to reach and grow my audience for my interactive lifestyle show, “Your Time With Thomas,” build my Thomas Orlina brand name further out internationally and create more pop dance music. I have some other top priorities that I’m working on and excited to share with the world soon. Personally, I’m in a great space. I have a supportive and loving partner who I love and hope to grow as a person and continue to elevate in every aspect of what I do personally and professionally.
What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment in your career so far?
There’s so many different elements to what I do it’s hard to just pick one thing. Releasing my debut pop dance song, “Brush It Off”, writing it, producing the music video and releasing it on popular music platforms like Apple Music and Spotify is a pretty big accomplishment. Overall, I’d include being on live television for an exclusive sit-down interview with CNN. That was a career high for sure. It’s nice to look at that moment and think I did that all on my own and got to share my story on an iconic news platform. Recently, my family was featured in The Wall Street Journal so I’m happy that the Orlina family is a part of that publication’s legacy. Everyday there’s something new happening in my life and I look forward to what’s next!
Overall, how has this whole YouTube career experience been for you?
It’s been an incredible experience. I still can’t believe my show, “Your Time With Thomas,” has been written about in numerous publications, magazines, profiled on places like CNN and even led me to be an invited guest on live TV in the US on an NBC morning show. It’s truly rewarding when you’re recognized for that hard work you do. I was one of the 75 most influential Filipino-American’s in 2020 so I hope to continue to make my mark in the world and impact others to reach their goals and live their dreams.
You have also created a huge social media presence for yourself. Why do you think social media is so important for artists today?
Social media is the best place to go directly to your consumers, customers and fans. It’s important for artists to utilize it as much as possible so that people can see the real you and get access to your world. I’ve prioritized it immensely and love engaging with my followers as much as possible to get ideas, hear from them, see what they’re up to and ask what they want to see from me.
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
My relationship is great with them. I wouldn’t change how it is right now. I’ve made friendships with people from around the world. I love being able to connect with them and see what’s happening in their lives.
Do you have any advice for any of your supporters who are going through a hard time right now?
I would tell them that whatever they’re going through, that they’re not alone and it does get better. When I wrote Brush It Off, I was in a low place and going through a lot of mental health struggles and I was able to get out of it by allowing time and the universe to do it’s thing. Keep that mentality of you are stronger than you think and remind yourself that you will succeed.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
Instagram is my go to platform to engage with my followers. I love using the stickers and doing quizzes, polls and teasing my projects through stories.
What is your favorite social media platform? and Why?
I love all of the social media platforms. I like using Twitter to find out the latest news, Facebook to stay connected with family and Instagram for memes and to connect with my fans. I’m starting to use TikTok more, creating more content and building my audience there. Be sure to follow all my accounts @thomasorlina!
Does your fan base have a name?
They don’t currently but I’m working on that.
What was the craziest fan encounter you have had?
I once had someone follow my social media stories and approach me. It really startled me which is why I don’t post in real-time anymore. It can be very dangerous but luckily they just wanted a photo which I thought was awesome and I was happy to take a photo with them.
Do you plan on putting out more music or getting into acting?
New music is being developed currently and I’m excited to release it when it’s ready. I spend a lot of time planning my creative projects but definitely plan to stay in the pop dance category. I’d love to pursue acting when the right opportunity presents itself.
Do you have any projects in the works you can tell us about?
I recently signed an exclusive contact with a major network which acquired my show, “Your Time With Thomas,” Season One and Two that I’m excited to announce officially later this year. New music is being created and a top secret project I’ve been brewing on for a very long time is coming soon.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
“Live In The Moment” is a quote I’ve grown to love. Life is short and things happen so fast that it’s a nice reminder to slow down a bit and really take everything you do in. I’d wish for this gigantic billboard to be located on Santa Monica Blvd. I really like where Kylie Jenner’s billboard is. I’d love to borrow it for a day.
What artist and sound inspired Brush It Off?
The song was inspired by Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. The sound is heavily influenced by these three artists. I love the electronic elements in their music and I say, “baby” a lot in my music which they also often say. I want to stay aligned with them as artists as much as possible while creating and developing my own lane.
What is your current go-to song?
I can listen to all of the songs on Justin Bieber’s album Changes. My go-to song right now is, “Come Around Me,” by Justin Bieber. I am really digging Madison Beer’s sound right now. I can listen to anything from Ariana Grande, Drake and new artists like Doja Cat are sounds and songs I really vibe with. I’m a big music lover so I can listen to all genres.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
Typically I write things down and make a list so regardless I have it to stay accountable and stay on track when I’m ready to get back into things. If I need to step away, I’ll go on my phone and look at what’s happening on social media then get back to what I need to do. I work best when I’m organized and prioritize my time wisely.
Do you have any last things you want to tell your fans?
I just want to say thank you so much for all of your support! I read all of your messages, comments, DM’s and I appreciate every single one of you for believing in me, encouraging me and uplifting me to create more content and release more personal projects. Follow my social media @thomasorlina and visit my website thomasorlina.com for exclusive content!
Lyrics video: https://youtu.be/
album cover – John Wolfsohn