photo by: Erik Johnson

From the set to the stage with James Maslow

James Maslow has been in and around the world of music entertainment since the ripe age of six-years-old. By 18, he was on Nickelodeon and never turned back. Ultimately, the show Big Time Rush evolved into performing in a band by the same name. Pairing music with acting is something Maslow has done ever since he began honing his craft(s) as a kid in San Diego. Staying versatile has helped Maslow partake in a wide array of unique on-screen and on-stage ventures such as finishing fourth on Dancing with the Stars in 2014.

Now Maslow is back with new solo music. “Love U Sober” was released on April 26th and serves as a personal reflection of both Maslow’s life and past relationships. This summer, The Big Stage will air on the CW with Maslow hosting with Elizabeth Stanton. The show is a first-of-its-kind global talent program that features acts of every genre imaginable from every corner of the planet. Next month, Maslow will grace the cover of Bella Magazine available nationwide. We recently had the chance to check in with Maslow to discuss his creative world.

How do you balance your creativity between acting and music? Meaning – when you feel creatively inspired how do you know how to channel that towards acting, writing or music?

It’s definitely easier with music. I can pick up a guitar or jump on a piano or even just open my voice notes on my phone when inspiration hits. Films take a lot longer to create. I like having music be my personal outlet and acting in other people’s film projects for now. Eventually, I’ll write and direct my own films, but I have a way to go as an actor first. 

When was “Love U Sober” written and do you remember where you were? How did the song begin?

About six months ago at my house. It was myself, my producer Eugene and my main co-writer AJ Janusi sitting together discussing life. I was frustrated with a few things in my life and that conversation lead to so many personal topics that made their way into the song.

The song has been described as a reflection of both your life and past relationships, where you are falling for someone under the mask of intoxication and differentiating between love and lust. What made you want to write a song about such a profound topic?

It’s tough to tell the difference between love and lust at the beginning of a relationship. I think “love at first sight” is often confused for “lust at first sight”. Lust is easy when it’s somebody new. Something unexplored. Especially easy when having fun. Drinking. Partying. Love takes work. Love endures both good times and bad. Sober times and otherwise. I’ve been through a lot of lust. I was really hoping that this particular situation was more than that. I’ll hope so for the next one as well. I think time reveals a lot. 

Do you ever write music on set or play to relax?

I always play to relax. Rarely on set though. I like to use acting as way to escape and be someone else for a while. Playing my music will always bring me back to me. 

As a creator, what does this moment in your career mean to you?

This moment is scary, frankly. Everything from music to film to TV is new and probably not what people are expecting, but it’s what I want to do. It’s far more raw than anything I’ve done before… And yet already far more fun. Mixed feels for sure! Haha 

Featured photo by: Erik Johnson
Bella cover image courtesy of James Maslow