You might not know the name Justin Thorne, but Justin definitely has a huge place in pop culture. At 24 years old, the young man has amassed career accolades that many never even come close to having. Starting as an actor, he appeared on episodes of Will & Grace and That’s So Raven, as well as the movie Dr. Doolittle 3, before deciding to put a pause on the acting bug and pick up a microphone.
He has been a part of two popular boybands; NLT, which featured actor Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams from Glee). and One Call, who were brought together by one of the most important names in pop music history, Johnny Wright. Wright was instrumental in bringing forth the long-lasting careers of Britney Spears and *NSYNC and now, it’s Justin’s time to shine.
On Tuesday, Justin released his first solo music video for the track, “The Heartbroken”. The high energy song leads the way to his upcoming EP, Faces. It has been a crazy ride for the young phenom and we are glad he found the time to do an interview with us.
Guardian Liberty Voice: First off, Justin, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I’m sure you’re pretty busy with everything that’s coming.
Justin Thorne: Of course! Thank you for all the great support! You have had a lot of kind words for me, and I thank you very much for that!
GLV: You’re very welcome! Now, although many may consider you as a “new” artist, you’ve actually done some major things in music and have been around for a while. You were a part of two popular music groups and you’ve written for other artists as well. I guess the question is: why have you decided to really step out now as a solo artist?
JT: As you said, I have been lucky enough to be a part of some great things. With great things come many ups and downs, and those downs are what propelled me to work hard to get to this point. There have been a lot of people that doubted I could ever step out as a solo artist; sometimes myself included, but I never stopped working at it.
I’m at a place now where I feel that I have something to offer to the entertainment industry, which it’s currently lacking. I believe if you have the ability and will to entertain people, you also have a responsibility to do so.
GLV: As previously mentioned, you were in two popular groups: NLT with actor Kevin McHale and singer Travis Garland, and One Call. Why did you make the decision to join into one group after the other one disbanded? Were you ever afraid that you would become someone who was just another member of a boy band?
JT: The breakup of NLT was really tough. We had been together from the time I was 13 to 19 and they were my best friends. After NLT broke up, I decided to go back to school. After being in school for just over a month, I then got the call from Johnny Wright to join One Call.
I have to admit I was skeptical of joining another group. [However] it had been my dream to work with Johnny from the time I was 12 and I wasn’t about to let that opportunity pass by. Thankfully, I didn’t let it pass by because One Call gave me my voice as a singer and let my music as a writer and producer be heard for the first time.
I also cultivated a great relationship with Johnny and I am lucky to have him in my corner to this day.
GLV: How did it feel seeing former bandmates, such as Kevin McHale, find success after the end of NLT? You were all obviously friends, but did it ever bother you in any way?
JT: I could not be happier with my friend’s success. Kevin and I have remained best friends and I’ve learned a lot from him and how he has dealt with his success. Anyone who has ever worked with Kevin will tell you that he is extremely kind and professional.
I believe success magnifies things, most of the time it’s not positive, but with Kevin it magnified how kind, loyal and naturally talented he is.
GLV: Before deciding to make your solo move, what did you feel was your grandest achievement?
JT: To me, NLT was an amazing achievement. V* and I put NLT together when I was just 13 and we struggled to make it happen for ourselves for years. After getting the opportunity to finally sign to a major label, and doing all the things we did while being so young, was something we will always be extremely proud of!
*Editor’s Note: V is Vahe “V” Sevani, another member of NLT.
GLV: Your first single, “The Heartbroken” sounds like it has the potential to be something major this Summer. Who did you work with on bringing the track together?
JT: I started writing “The Heartbroken” over Valentine’s Day weekend as I was going through a breakup. It took a long time to finish because I was constantly updating it. I produced “The Heartbroken “myself and wrote it with Chris Moy from One Call (he also co-wrote 4 other songs on my EP).
When It came to mixing the record, I turned to an old friend, Chris “Tek” Oryan. I had worked with him back in NLT and he mixed “She Said I Said,” so I knew this was the guy I wanted.
GLV: There are a lot of male singers in pop music right now, but a lot of them are mixing the genre with other forms of music. “The Heartbroken” almost takes it back to basics and creates a unique sound that stays true to what pop really feels like. Was that intentional?
JT: I don’t know if “staying true to pop” was intentional. I’m a fan of a lot of different genres, as you’ll hear on my upcoming EP, Faces, although it seems like anything I do always veers back to being pop! I guess that’s a by-product of growing up listening to 90’s and early ’00’s pop!
There are a lot of other male pop “singers” but I truly believe I bring something very unique as an “artist.” There are a lot of things that people don’t know about me as an artist/producer/performer/entertainer, that they will find out soon.
GLV: The single is leading up the release of Faces. What else should we expect to hear on it?
JT: Faces, the EP, is very personal. It’s about a break up that I went through a while back, and the way I got through that period of time was by creating this work. The music is a bit eclectic. It’s pop at heart, but has some influences from R&B and hip-hop.
GLV: Although it is still early, are you planning to tour in support of Faces?
JT: Performing is the biggest part of me as an artist, so I can’t wait to get out on the road and tour. One of my favorite places to be is on stage performing.
GLV: Your professional life has had so many parts to it, even though you are only 24. How does the person you were when you first began mirror the person you are now? Is there anything you would change?
JT: I think I’ve stayed pretty true to my visions and beliefs from the beginning. I always envisioned doing big things with the guys from NLT and One Call, but things change and sometimes they are out of your control. So now, I’m fulfilling those visions on my own. I’m doing what I set out to do, entertain in music and film. I always wanted to do music while I was young and could still move. laughs Then get into film as I get older.
The one thing I would change is to enjoy the present a little more, even when the times are tough. I’ve definitely learned that lesson now, but if I could go back to being a teenager, that’s what I would change.
GLV: You’ve carried over a dedicated fan base for so many years. Why do you believe they’ve stood by you all of this time?
JT: I’m very honored and humbled that I’ve had people following me for years, even through a few years that I wasn’t doing much publicly. I’d like to think I made an impression on fans when I was younger, and they wanted to stick with me, and see what I had in store for them!
GLV: To all of the new fans that will hopefully come your way: what do you most want them to know about you?
JT: I would like people to know that I will always be authentic in anything I do as an artist. What I enjoy most is entertaining them and exceeding their expectations, whether it be with music, performing, or anything else that I do!
GLV: Thanks again, Justin. I wish you the best of luck with “The Heartbroken” and Faces!
JT: Thank you so much! I sincerely appreciate that!
Justin’s first single, “The Heartbroken”, is out now. You can download the track for free on his official Soundcloud page, and you can also give it a listen on Spotify and many other streaming sources. The amazing video for the track has also been released and you can check that out below.
Interview by Jonathan Brown