We had the pleasure of interviewing Thomas Ng over Zoom video.
Musicians on TikTok have become more creative in promoting their music, using tried-and-true methods like song covers and newer crazes like Open Verse Challenges to get their songs out...
We had the pleasure of interviewing Thomas Ng over Zoom video.
Musicians on TikTok have become more creative in promoting their music, using tried-and-true methods like song covers and newer crazes like Open Verse Challenges to get their songs out there. Boston-based (with roots in both the UK and Hong Kong) creator Thomas Ng is one of the creators rising on the platform with his ability to bring people together through music. Ng grew a massive following of over 210K followers on TikTok with his lucid R&B vocals on song covers and his own original compositions. Ng’s “Duet Me” series has also captured the attention of several music creators on the platform, including Lizzo, who participated in one of the open verse challenges.
Thomas Ng’s vocals are some of the most calming and captivating I’ve heard on TikTok recently – two of my favorite covers are his renditions of Ed Sheeran’s “The Joker And The Queen” (2.2M+ views) and GIVĒON’s “Heartbreak Anniversary.” His original music has also attracted attention – a debut snippet of his mellow R&B song “One Last Dance” garnered over 12M views on the platform to date inspiring TikTok users to share their own open verses using the duet feature. Thanks to a boost from his TikTok supporters after its official release, “One Last Dance” boasts over 1M+ streams on Spotify. Through his unique open verse challenges and original music, Thomas Ng continues to foster TikTok creators’ appetite for creativity and community.
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Hello! It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with Thomas over zoom video. Thomas was born in the UK, lived there till he was four. Then he moved to Hong Kong where he attended school up until he was 18 and then moved to Boston to attend Berkeley school of music. His mom is very artistic, but she never pursued her dream of being a musician or a dancer. So she really wanted Thomas to have that opportunity if he was excited with it. So she put them in dance and singing lessons and piano, all these things growing up, he loved dancing, ended up getting a foot injury. 6 (2m 10s): Then around 15 years old is when he absolutely fell in love with music started recording covers. He ended up attending, like I said, Berkeley school music moved there when he was 18 years old. He talked to us about the audition process. Once he got to Berkeley, that's when he started writing his own original music. He's had massive success on Tik TOK. So I'm sure you've seen them on your, for you page that started with him putting up different beats and instrumentals that he had written and asked people to duet him. He called it duet me. He'd put up a, you know, instrumental and then somebody would sing a verse or do a chorus or something to the music he had provided. 6 (2m 51s): It started to do really well. I mean, it was kind of a slow burn, but it started to take off. Eventually Lizzo gets wind this and she jumps on and participates in the open verse challenges. He talks about that moment. Some of the massive covers he has debuting his song. One last dance, his first original via tic talk and how that was. And he talks all about his new song as well, called pills. You can watch the interview with Thomas on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It'd be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. 6 (3m 32s): And if you're listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcasts, it would be amazing if you follow us there as well, and hook us up with a five-star review. 7 (3m 42s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 6 (3m 48s): We're bringing it backwards with Thomas. 8 (3m 53s): Hello. 6 (3m 54s): Hi. How's it going? 8 (3m 56s): I'm good. I'm good. How are you? 6 (3m 57s): I'm doing well. I'm doing well. Thank you so much for doing this. 8 (4m 0s): Yeah, of course. It's my honor. 6 (4m 2s): Awesome. Awesome. My name's Adam and this podcast is about you and your journey in music and how you got to where you are now. 8 (4m 10s): That's awesome. Thank you so nice to meet you 6 (4m 12s): And nice to meet you as well. So, first off, where were you born and raised? Thomas? 8 (4m 17s): I was born in the UK actually, and then I was raised in Hong Kong. 6 (4m 21s): Oh, wow. Okay. Talk to me about that. How long did you live in the UK? For? 8 (4m 24s): I lived in the UK till I was like four and then I grew up in Hong Kong. So then I moved to Hong Kong and I grew up there till I was like 18. And now I'm here in Boston, so. 6 (4m 34s): Okay. So you moved from Hong Kong to Boston and I did see, I think I read that you go to Berkeley. 8 (4m 40s): Yeah. So just graduated actually. 6 (4m 42s): Congratulations, man. 8 (4m 44s): Thank you. Thank you so much. 6 (4m 45s): That must have just happened. I mean, I know the schools are all kind of ending right now. 8 (4m 50s): Yeah. Literally happened like a few weeks ago. 6 (4m 53s): You like it to walk and all that fun stuff? 8 (4m 56s): Yeah. Luckily I did last the year before me. It didn't get too sadly, but luckily I did. So 6 (5m 2s): That's awesome. Real quick. Just, are you on an external mic? Like a mic like this? 8 (5m 7s): No, I'm on my I'm on my laptop. Mike, do you want me to hook myself up to, 6 (5m 10s): Can you just, I think your, your Mike is the level's a little bit loud. It's peaking on my end. 8 (5m 17s): Oh, how about, okay, let me see. How is it now? Or is it 6 (5m 21s): Little bit less? If you can. Okay. 8 (5m 23s): What about now? 6 (5m 24s): That's perfect. 8 (5m 25s): Cool. 6 (5m 26s): Cool. Yeah. I just didn't want it to be, it was, I could hear you. It was fine, but it was just like this close to peaking. 8 (5m 33s): That's a nightmare. It's all good. 6 (5m 35s): Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Cool. So you, that's amazing. You actually had a chance to, to graduate. I know, like you said, the class before, you probably didn't get a chance to walk and that's amazing that you got to got to do that. 8 (5m 47s): Yeah, it was cool. 6 (5m 49s): Awesome. Awesome. So talk to me about, so you lived in the UK till you're four. Do you have any memories of living in there? 8 (5m 55s): It was rainy and cold. 6 (5m 57s): Okay. 8 (5m 59s): Honestly, it's kind of hard. I think it was just like the vibe that I kind of remember it. Cause I was four, you know, I can call that much. Yeah. I got to, got to go back and visit a few, so. 6 (6m 9s): Okay. So what took you and your family from the UK to Hong Kong? 8 (6m 14s): Like what, what was the reason? 6 (6m 15s): Yeah. Like your job, your parents work or, 8 (6m 18s): Yeah, it was because of like family work and stuff. That's why we moved over and I ended up my grandparents, so yeah. 6 (6m 25s): Oh, cool. What was it? I, so tell me about Hong Kong. What was it like growing up there? Obviously quite different than, than Berkeley. 8 (6m 30s): Oh yeah. But I think it's been really cool. Cause I grew up like, like through international schools and stuff. So it's kind of helped me coming to the U S cause there's this whole like culture shock. Sure. But no Hong Kong has a lot of, I really it's been it's really, it's really, what's the word it's really, I'm really grateful for growing up in Hong Kong because of the, like the diverse community they have there. I mean, not as diverse as us, I would say, but like, as Asia goes, like it's quite diverse and like I got to meet like a lot of different cultures and I got to listen to a lot of different kinds of got introduced to lots of different kinds of people, different kinds of music. 8 (7m 13s): So, yeah. 6 (7m 14s): That's amazing. And so you went to an international school, does that mean that there's kids from all over the world that were going there? And is that like a, I mean, was it like military, but like why like tell me about the school and how that it kind of attracted people there. 8 (7m 30s): Yeah, no worries. So I think, I think international schools started because before the UK controls had like Hong Kong, the neck down, but then after that they had like international schools opened up, which they mainly taught, like it was English based and they taught something called IB, which was IB and IGC, which is kind of like an international system, like international educational system, something like that. 6 (7m 55s): Okay. 8 (7m 56s): So yeah, it's, it's, it's not like a military school type situation. It's just like a lot of like, because Hong Kong has a lot of English speakers too, and a lot, a lot of, a lot of businesses going through Hong Kong. So a lot of, a lot of people come over to Hong Kong to work. So that's what those schools are for. 6 (8m 11s): Yeah. I wasn't sure if it was like a base situation where you're like, I figured it wasn't, but 8 (8m 20s): It's not that crazy. That'd be sick though, but it's not. 6 (8m 24s): Yeah. That's cool. So obviously they teach English to everybody there 8 (8m 31s): Mainly teaching English yet. 6 (8m 32s): Oh, interesting. So did you speak Mandarin? I would think 8 (8m 36s): I do, but honestly it's so this is really bad, but because like I grew up, I was born in UK and then when I came on my parents and my grandparents wanted me to keep my English. So they speaking to me and conversing to me in like English slash Mandarin slash Cantonese, which is the language in Hong Kong. But yeah, no, I grew up, like I grew up so surrounded by all the music I listened to was an English. Everything I watched was in English. The way I was taught in school is in English. So I kind of English kind of became a main thing, but I speak like a little bit of Andrea and a little bit of countenance, but 6 (9m 13s): It's interesting. Your parents, are they from, from Hong Kong? Are they from the UK? Like you? 8 (9m 20s): Yeah. So, so my dad's in the UK and my mom's mock up. 6 (9m 24s): Okay. And it's interesting because you don't have any sort of accident either, you know, in either way, you know what I mean? Like you don't have any sort of accent when I feel like when I'm hearing you speak like in, for Chinese accent or like a, a UK, like kind of a, you know, British accent. 8 (9m 41s): It's like a, yeah. It's like, I didn't come from any of them, but yet. 6 (9m 45s): Right. That's interesting. 8 (9m 47s): That's a really weird, it's a really weird, 6 (9m 49s): Well, how did you get into music here? Your parents musical at all? 8 (9m 53s): Oh, It was my mom. It's so weird. I would say like everything up until now because I make a lot RMB and that's kinda what I grew up on Motown. I, I like this to Alicia keys and then T pain. At some point it was like my idol and Justin Bieber was from my mom. My mom, my mom was like these guys. I know my son likes Michael Jackson and I know he likes music. Cause I like, I know he, I know he likes that. And my mom growing up, didn't really get the chance to like pursue her dream of music and stuff. Cause you know, okay. 6 (10m 26s): And she's a singer piano player. Like what, what does she do? 8 (10m 29s): I'd say she is, she's more, she was like really into like dancing and like, so she kind of like, she, what she did for me was really interesting. It was that she didn't, she didn't want that to happen to me. She didn't want me to not pursue any dream of, I had one or any like talent if I had one. So what she did was she like sent me to these random classes, like art classes to dance classes, to singing classes, just to see if I enjoyed any of them. And she found, I really loved dancing and I actually started out as a dancer. So my 6 (11m 4s): Oh cool. What type of dance? My son, my younger son dances are both my, both my kids danced at one point, but the older one stopped. My younger one. Loves it. 8 (11m 13s): Yeah. That's cool. That's cool. I grew up, well, I started with tap, but then I, I got into like contemporary and then I started developing into like hip hop and pop and then like, 6 (11m 25s): Oh yeah, he doesn't mind. My older son did a little bit of everything. Tapper all. Yeah. I can temporary dance, all that. And then my younger one, he does hip hop. He loves hip hop dance. So like, 8 (11m 36s): Oh nah, 6 (11m 37s): That's what, he's what he's he's doing now. It's funny. He's got a recital actually coming up pretty soon. Oh, thank you. Yeah. That's funny. He's sick. So their whole dance troupe, like they're doing that song at the playground, like from the nineties, that hip hop song at the playground. I can't think of who does it right now, but, and they all have, they all have to wear like basketball jerseys. Like it's, it's really funny. 8 (12m 1s): Oh, that's so cute. That's so cute. 6 (12m 5s): Oh, that's awesome. So you started in dance as well or dance, you said singing and everything again. So you've, you've really enjoyed dance. 8 (12m 14s): Yeah. I loved dancing growing up and then like I had this random, I love dancing growing up. And then my mom was like, oh, you know, Michael Jackson, he sings and dances, but I was like, oh, I don't want to say, but I was, I used to be a, I used to be really, really bad at singing like really bad. So we, I, luckily I got to take classes and stuff and then I got to learn to like sing and dance. And that was kinda my thing for a second. And then I got like this weird foot injury and then, and now, and then singing just kind of became my main thing. 6 (12m 44s): So, and you play piano too? 8 (12m 46s): Yes. Oh yeah. I also grew up like with some like piano classes on the side, but then like really getting into like Alicia keys specifically. Like she's just, she just like wowed me, like how she could play and sing. So then I was like, oh, I want to learn, like, if I ain't got you, like, I want to learn how to play like that. So. 6 (13m 3s): Okay. And when did you really start, you know, taking music serious? I mean, obviously you're insanely talented and then especially to the fact that you went to Berkeley. So like when did you really, really start getting like way into, into music and performing and playing? 8 (13m 20s): So for performing and stuff, I started performing when I was like 11, like dancing and stuff and doing shows, but I, but personally I really like really started pursuing it when I was like 50, when I was like, okay, I want to make this like my, I don't wanna really go for it. 6 (13m 39s): Was there something that I had or something that happened or a specific reason that you were like, like an aha moment that you wanted to just knew that you wanted to play music? 8 (13m 49s): I think it was kind of like in this moment where I was, where I kind of realized that cause for a long period of my, like up, up until 15, like I was really, really worried about pursuing music as a career, you know, that's, it's not necessarily safe and like, sure. I didn't think I could, I didn't think I could actually even make it or I didn't have anything. So, but when I, when I was 15 around then like just, I was just surrounded by a lot of my friends and stuff that were like, oh my gosh. Like, like, yeah, like, are you going to perform this day? Are you gonna perform that day? Like people are asking me and stuff and yeah. I was just like, oh, okay. Maybe like, if all these people, like I have all these people think I can actually like, they like listening to me. 8 (14m 31s): Maybe I should like, like listening to myself. Like maybe I should really get into doing that. But yeah, that's when I was like, oh, well, 6 (14m 39s): Well you said that you didn't like your, your voice or whatever earlier, you said you couldn't sing. Like when did you, when did that click for you? 8 (14m 47s): Like, like when did I start re like, I was like 6 (14m 50s): Realizing that like, oh, I'm actually really good. Or where did you, like, when did you develop your voice knowing that you could sing? 8 (14m 58s): It took him. It took me a minute for sure. I would say maybe like 50 and 6 (15m 3s): Oh, really? So kind of around that same time. 8 (15m 6s): Yeah. 15 or 14, because before that I was like, oh, I would love singing. I just wouldn't love listening to me saying 6 (15m 16s): Sure. Okay. That makes sense. 8 (15m 18s): Yeah. So then when I, but then I started getting into like recording covers and stuff and like recording myself and I'd like, I'd like play and I'd be like, oh, this is so fun. And then I listened to myself. Oh, that would happen so often. But as I, like, I remember just like, I really got into like, like Brian McKnight. He has a song back at one, which is like a belt or it's like, oh, it's it's it's. Yeah. And I just remember, like, I remember like I sang it to my mom. I think it was with my mom actually. And she was like, and I was really getting into it and, and she was like, oh my gosh, Thomas, like, you actually sound like, you sound, you sound like black. 8 (15m 59s): I was like, wait, what? I'm not trying to be like, not trying to be like, 6 (16m 2s): No, I see what you're saying. 8 (16m 4s): Just like the fact, cause they are the dirty origin of RB. You know what I mean? I like looked up to like R and B for a long time. So when, when that happened, she was like, I was like, oh, what? So then that's when I that's, when I started like really digging, digging into like, okay, I was listening to my coverage, but I was like, okay, why do I hate it though? Like what, what is turning me off about my voice? And I started like tweaking and tweaking and tweaking it to like, oh, okay. This is, I'm not cringing for the first time. 6 (16m 32s): Okay. You sure? Sure. And when w like where you around 15 at the same time you were doing covers, and then you write your own music as well. So when did that start? 8 (16m 41s): That honestly started when I was, when I first came to Berkeley, every, yeah. When people ask me, I'm like, did I enjoy my Berkeley experience or anything? Like I like, honestly. Yeah. Because before I came to Berkeley, I had no idea how to write a full song. And I had like, no confidence, but yeah, being here, I started writing, I wrote my first song and like my first or second semester here. 6 (17m 4s): Oh, wow. Okay. So what took you then to Berkeley? Like how was that a difficult process? And obviously you're moving to a country. You had never lived in, you lived in the UK, you lived in Hong Kong and then you come to, to Berkeley in the states or to Boston. It was like, tell me about the process of applying to that school. What made you decide on Berkeley and how did you end up getting here? 8 (17m 30s): Oh yeah. So basically as 15 and growing up, like there were Berkeley came out to Hong Kong. They go out to different like schools, music, schools, and stuff, and they like introduce themselves and they talk about like their course and everything. Yeah. Like also a few alumni. I knew a few alumni in Hong Kong and mom, like as soon as she heard about like how great the school was and that she heard about all these great people that came out of there, she was like, okay, there's only going to be one school. Like, you're not like other, you can apply to others, but it doesn't matter. Like you're only going to 6 (18m 3s): Berkeley. 8 (18m 4s): You're not, you're not going anywhere else except this one school. 6 (18m 7s): Wow. 8 (18m 9s): Okay. So yeah, no applying and everything. So there's this whole audition process that you go through where you have to like, play a piece to improvising, to like your training, where they like, see how good your ear is. And your hearing is just terrifying for me. 6 (18m 25s): And like sight reading. Do you have to do that on this? 8 (18m 28s): I was not good at that, but yeah, that was, that was kind of like, as soon as we heard about it, we were like, okay, that's like the spot, like, okay. Like that's like the place to be. So, 6 (18m 40s): Yeah. And when it came to that, like, what did you go, what did you audition as like, do you have to go in and with like some sort of idea, right. Like a singer or songwriter production or whatever. 8 (18m 50s): Yeah. So for every, even for every major, you have to audition with like an instrument. So for me, I auditioned with my folks. 6 (18m 57s): Okay. So you went into, as a vocalist, essentially. Yeah. And is that what you finished school? Is that what you went through with? 8 (19m 6s): Yeah, I, I, I auditioned. So you audition as a vocalist or like you audition as whatever instrument, mission, and then you go into like the majors you want to pick. So I graduated with songwriter vocalist. Yeah. 6 (19m 20s): Amazing. So you had never written a song, you get to school and like, what was it like, you know, arriving in Boston now you're going to this school where you're surrounded by, you know, the best of the best, essentially in, in, in one, in one spot. Was that overwhelming? Was that nervous? Were you nervous at all? 8 (19m 37s): Oh yeah. I like, I was terrified, so scary, but simultaneously it was like, kind of awesome because like, you're surrounded by all these people that know what they're doing and they play like insanely, well, like you never thought people your age could play. So I was, I was, I was nervous, but extremely excited, so kind of covered it, but it, yeah, it was crazy. Cause I've never been here before too. 6 (20m 2s): So 8 (20m 3s): I was like, I'm getting like allergic reactions, like, but yeah, it was really wow. 6 (20m 10s): Wow. And then you, you write your first song when you're there. And do you con do you pursue that, like songwriting and putting out music on your own? And then obviously I want to talk to you about the, the massive success you've had on Tik TOK, but like prior to that, were you just putting out songs like on Spotify or would you write a song? Would you perform around the college? 8 (20m 31s): So it actually took me, like I said, like I maybe to the end of the first year to actually released my first song, because like for a long time I had the beginning of that. I knew I wanted to learn how to write, but I also didn't know about wanting to like, be an artist or anything like that. Like, I was still very, because of like the overwhelming amount of talent that was there, I was like, ah, maybe I shouldn't do this. Maybe I should. 6 (20m 52s): Right. 8 (20m 53s): You know, but after I wrote a few songs, just like demos and stuff, like my friends extremely supportive, like were like, oh, release it, release it. Like you have to release it. And then I called like, and then I got this chance to like call this random producer. And he was like, yeah, you should, you should release it. But that's when I was like, that's when I dropped my first single. 6 (21m 12s): Okay. And how'd you meet this producer? 8 (21m 14s): It was just through Insta, like I was doing covers and stuff and people were DM-ing me just to like sing on their stuff or write stuff with them. 6 (21m 21s): Oh, interesting. So you were just getting people that wanted to collaborate with you just off of what you were doing on Instagram. 8 (21m 28s): Yeah. 6 (21m 29s): Wow. That's cool. What was it like getting those first, like people reaching out like, Hey, I actually want to work with you. And you're like, whoa, this is crazy. 8 (21m 36s): Yeah. It was weird. Cause it was really weird. Like when people reach out to you like, oh, I think you're really talented. I'd love to work with you and stuff. It's like making a new friend, I guess. That's kind of how I saw it. Yeah. But it was really weird. 6 (21m 53s): What was the collaborations like? Would they have instrumentals that you would sing over or full songs that they wanted to use your voice on? 8 (21m 60s): I was flexible with that name. So I was like, we can either start off with, we can make instrumentals together or we could, if you have any tracks under my way. And yeah. Kind of just started like that. A lot of experimenting with different sounds and stuff, but 6 (22m 11s): Okay. And when do you start, like when you put your first Tik TOK together, was that in like 20, 21? Everyone else kind of was stuck at home and figuring out what to do with your life? 8 (22m 23s): Exactly. It was exactly that. Okay. 6 (22m 26s): And what, so tell me about your, your, you know, progress in, in starting map and then obviously where you're at now with it. 8 (22m 35s): When I started off, there's a thing, I don't know. Some people it's kind of, it's not a thing anymore, but when Tik TOK started off, because it's like short form content and blog very easily and stuff, a lot of musicians believed and kind of looked down upon, Tech-Talk kind of like, oh, it's kind of like a joke kind of like it's kind of vine. It's like vine, 6 (22m 55s): Vine. Totally. 8 (22m 57s): It's, it's very humorous space. So when I started it off, I was kind of like hesitant at first, but I didn't have anything else to do. So I kinda just posted like covers here and there and like got me like, like on me, a few likes, I, my Instagram had more following and compressed by them. So I was like, okay, I'll just try a little bit. And then, and then I was, I was just kind of posting randomly. There was no, there was no like structured anything. It was just like, oh, let's just try this. Let's try that. Let's just do what I did on my Instagram and stuff. But then it came to a point where I was like, okay, nothing's working, but I am getting into, I am going to release this EAP that I really love that I've been spending like six months working on. 8 (23m 44s): And I really want to, like, if I am, I want to like gain traction or anything, I should try to talk one more time. So instead of singing, I had all these beats that I produced for myself because I was told for a long time that I wasn't a good producer. So I was like, I'm gonna spend my summer and this COVID period to like, learn to produce and practice. 6 (24m 5s): Oh, interesting. 8 (24m 7s): Yeah. So then I, when I put a posted that I got like, people do wedding and I, this whole duet feature kind of like bumped me up and I got like a ton of R and B artists and like a ton of different types of people. Like, 6 (24m 18s): So you would just post the post the instrumental and say, you know, some do what this, and then people would find you and then ended up, they ended up doing that. 8 (24m 28s): Yeah. Kind of, yeah. I kind of treated it like, how am I would to collaborate, like with someone that I've never met before, like how I would throw an idea at them and like, how would they respond to me? I really liked that organic like kind of like feature of tick-tock where you can, like, they can throw something back at you. 6 (24m 46s): Yeah. How, how many videos did it take or did it take a while for people to actually engage with what you were asking them to do? Or was it pretty quickly? 8 (24m 54s): Honestly, it took, it took off very quickly. I actually like shockingly, I remember I remember posting like, cause I love playing acoustic guitar and I love playing like RNB courts, especially. So yeah. So I started posting that and then like, as soon as I got like, as soon as I woke up the next day, I already had like 10 to 20 people, like already dueting it. I was like, 6 (25m 16s): Oh, 8 (25m 17s): I should try this again. 6 (25m 19s): Right. And then it just continually build from there. 8 (25m 23s): Yeah. Kind of shot up. And then I started releasing more beats. I actually produced and stuff. And then, yeah, it just kind of, and then I started throwing like prompts at people, just kind of, for fun at first, like I did things like, oh, what are your shower thoughts? Or like, can you introduce yourself? Stuff like that. And then, yeah, that was kind of 6 (25m 42s): Just started building and building and building, obviously Lizzo did. One is crazy, but prior to Elizah doing it, was there another moment that it kind of accelerated to a point where you're like, oh my gosh, I can't believe this is, this just happened. Was there like a, like a big peak or was it kind of just a slow build and then eventually caught on 8 (26m 3s): Before Lizzo? I was already like on the high of like, it was already kind of, 6 (26m 8s): It was already high up. Yeah. Well she had to attract the attention of her. So somehow. 8 (26m 17s): Yeah, no, exactly. Yeah. So they're already like a few like bumps, like with different moments, different videos and stuff where it was kind of put it by like a lot of insanely towns of people too. Like a lot of just people just in general, but yeah, no, it was just kind of like this. And then when Lizzo came in, it just went like this. So I was like, oh, okay. 6 (26m 36s): Yeah. Yeah. Well, prior Lizza was there a particular person that did it or do edit you that you were like, oh my God, I can't believe so-and-so just did this. 8 (26m 49s): Not, not, not in the sense of like someone that's a 6 (26m 52s): Name. Okay. 8 (26m 55s): I found a lot of gems that ended up wanting to work with, like, these guys are actually like insanely hidden, like talented gems that I've just found that I can like work with. And I ended up making a lot of friends that way too. 6 (27m 9s): Did you work with any of them on your new stuff? I mean, you put an EPL last year as well. Right? The 3:00 AM 8 (27m 15s): At th right now it's more just like stuff. Just kind of like draft. 6 (27m 19s): Okay. 8 (27m 20s): Yeah, really cool. It was really sweet meeting all of them. 6 (27m 24s): What about when you, when that thing was loose? What happened? Like tell me that day and that moment. 8 (27m 30s): Yeah. No, I was so confused. I remember waking up and then like, usually you see, like, it became such a bad habit, but like I would wake up and I'd go on my phone. Just kind of looking at my tick-tock and just looking at like how many followers I gained or who had the new people who do edit it and stuff. 6 (27m 49s): I mean, right. It almost becomes like a lottery thing. Right. You're like, I can be like, what is it now? Like, let's just spin it again. What's it going to hit now? Like, it's still, obviously it's like a dopamine hit and everything else, but that's, I can't imagine having something go viral like that, but okay. So you usually tend to wake up, look, see if your accounts, you know, gaining anything or doing something. 8 (28m 11s): Yeah. And then, and then I, and then I saw like the numbers, like the number of my following and like everything like got times like 10. And I was like, I was like, why is this so much, honestly, but I didn't know. I shouldn't didn't know it was Lizzo. Cause because, because there's so many other people do wedding, my Ted talk, I was trying to look at everyone and I didn't, I had no idea it was Lizzo til like my friend told me and he was like, congrats, you got Liz. I'm like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, what are you talking about? Sure. So yeah, after finding that out, I saw it being posted on like other accounts on Instagram and stuff and people tagging me and stuff and yeah, I was, I was like, wow. 8 (28m 52s): That's I don't know if this is like fake or real or like someway, but yet, 6 (28m 58s): Gosh, that's crazy. So like, do you look at your followers? And it's just like this insane number that happened within a short period of time. We were like, wait, wait, what? Like what just happened? 8 (29m 8s): Yeah. Yeah. It was, it was, it was so crazy because like after Lizzo did it, it wasn't just her, but a lot of other famous, like Tik TOK accounts, like found me and started following me even before them. And then I got like, and then I got like random Disney actors that I watched growing up, dueting it. And I was like, whoa, to like, people like people on like Buzzfeed that I used to watch on YouTube and stuff. And I was like, oh, this is like getting like out of hand, but it was really a sick 6 (29m 37s): That's so cool. And from like, from there, do you have to try to, it does think that you'd want to keep riding that wave and keep putting content out. Like, do you approach the way you were posting or what you were doing any differently after having that massive, you know, success moment? 8 (29m 53s): Oh yeah, that definitely gave me after that success moment. I kind of, it was, I had this issue because I was, like I said, like I was approaching Tik TOK because I was releasing an EAP that six months on, but now a lot of which was co-produced, but all the stuff I post on Tik TOK is me, my production, mind and stuff, just so, so the way I kind of like approached it now was like, okay, how can I keep posting? I'm going to keep posting beats because people like them. And like people like singing and do wedding. That's kind of the thing that I do in my account, but I want to start, like, I want to start introducing my artistry. Right. So, yeah. 6 (30m 33s): Was that hard to do? Or were you worried about that? Like, okay, I'm doing this thing because I know a lot of these social media platforms or if you're doing one thing and it's working, like the algorithm is going to keep pushing it and pushing it and pushing it. And then like if you were to go out and be like, okay, I'm going to do this challenge, video tech talks and be like, wait, what? Like, you're you, you do this, not this. And it's like, yeah, they're not gonna, they're not going to put it out there. Like, did you have that fear? Or, but obviously, obviously it's still music music-based but was that something like, okay, like I'm doing really well with not only just these beats, but I've done like some covers that have done really, really, really well as well. And then now I'm going to try to put my own music out. How is that going to settle with, with my audience? 8 (31m 16s): Yeah. That was that that's so terrifying. Like if you, honestly, if you meet, if you go and take talk, it wasn't just me because there are a lot of other producers and stuff too. And artists who were doing the kind of the similar thing that I was doing, where they were, they were kind of tic talk, was loving them for kind of the service they provided, whether it's their beats or their writing or something like that. But the minute you post something kind of original Tik TOK will like, it's not the same. It's like, right, 6 (31m 46s): Right. 8 (31m 47s): Yeah. So I, yeah, I was, I was petrified. I, it didn't, it didn't really, actually, it didn't work out at the beginning, like posting original stuff alongside my beats and stuff, because we basically had more people engaging with it. 6 (32m 1s): Sure. But 8 (32m 2s): Yeah, I kind of, yeah, that kind of hit me, but then like, as I continued, I, I, it was like slowly, slowly by slowly, like started converting some of my duet fans to like my music, which I'm fine with both. I'm grateful for both. So yeah. 6 (32m 19s): Yeah. Well, I mean, you had it with one last dance that one did like insane numbers too. And that's your song, correct? 8 (32m 25s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. 6 (32m 26s): So was that the first one that was like, okay, now they're both like both ideas are working now. 8 (32m 33s): Yeah. I was, I was like, okay, cool. Like this is working. Yeah. Yeah. 6 (32m 37s): Is it hard to get those people to then go to your Spotify or your other accounts? Is it like, how do you try to push people, you know, out of tick-tock to your streaming platforms? 8 (32m 51s): I honestly, it's a lot of, I mean, I'm just doing the basic things, like pre saving or like Lincoln bio, but I feel like, I think I could be doing a lot better than that, but I'm still trying to figure out how to like convert or like how to direct people from Tik talk to other platforms. 6 (33m 9s): Right. Right. I think that's kind of like, people are still trying to navigate how the best way to do that. Right. I mean, to get somebody to leave one app, to go to another app to pre save something. I mean, those are obviously dedicated people and they love the song, but I could see that being like, definitely something that would people haven't cracked the code, I think quite. Yeah. 8 (33m 27s): No, not really. Yeah. It's it's cause people could see, talk is like so fast. He just kind of want to do this all day, but then the second you have to like, oh, go to a different app and everything. And it's kind of kinda cut that stream. 6 (33m 39s): Right. Right. And the most recent song is pills. Is that your new one? 8 (33m 43s): Okay. I talked to you that with, I got to do that with a guy called poom. Cool. 6 (33m 48s): Tell me about that song. 8 (33m 50s): So that song is about someone who's really close to me. Who's kind of has like, this has this like unhealthy relationship with medication. And I kinda, I kind of wrote this song. I originally wrote this song like about, about them and everything. And then I kind of posted that IB on Tik TOK. And then I got luckily through like through a connection, I got, I got to go, I got to connect with boom and I got 6 (34m 18s): Wow. 8 (34m 18s): And he's actually, he's a, he's a massive artists. That's been massive in Thailand, like for ages now. So yeah. It was an, it was a huge job. 6 (34m 26s): That's so cool. I mean, w how relevant is this song now? Especially with the fentanyl and all that other crap that's happening now, nowadays it's scary. It's like the most terrifying thing for me, for my kids. I'm like, you can't just like, you know, grab, you can't buy pills or whatever off the street, you, you, you know, people are just dying. 8 (34m 46s): Yeah. I did not know that, but now, 6 (34m 49s): Oh man. Yeah. It's like a big deal. Like right now I'm in Nashville. I'm originally from San Diego, but I'm in Nashville now. And you're like, the news is just going crazy. Like people buying what, you know, what, if they think some street drug or whatever, or buying what they think would be like an opiate, you know, Percocet or something from off the street and then they'll just die of this fentanyl stuff. It's crazy. Yeah. It's nuts. Well, I'm glad you don't know. I guess pretty depressing stuff, but, well, dude, thank you so much Thomas for doing this. I appreciate your time, man. 8 (35m 25s): Pleasure. 6 (35m 25s): Yeah. Yeah. So you have, obviously you have a NDP coming out or just new music coming out or what, what's the plan going forward? 8 (35m 33s): Yeah, so I have a single coming out and then from here on out, I'm just going to be releasing some really sick that I've been holding out too. And I'm so excited to release us, but yeah, I've got a single coming out, but I can't say exactly when yet, but it should be 6 (35m 45s): Sure. Awesome. Awesome. And then now that you graduated from school, like just pursuing them, the artistry of full-time 8 (35m 52s): Yeah. Deep diving into it. 6 (35m 53s): Awesome. Awesome. Well, congratulations man. On all the success and I appreciate your time today. Thomas has been awesome. I have one more quick question. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 8 (36m 4s): Ooh. Okay. That's a great one. Yeah. Oh my best advice would be when you're in those moments where you feel like you're completely dry and you can't do anything and you don't want to do music and you've lost motivation, keep doing it. Like that sounds wrong, but like, keep like just doing it, even though you don't like it. Like, just for example, let's say you're a songwriter, you're a producer and you don't feel any inspiration and you kind of, you don't want to make any music anymore. You don't like what you're making. Just, just keep doing it or just try challenge yourself or try and make it like fun in a sense. But I don't take it so seriously because once, once you can keep doing that and you keep your gears turning. 8 (36m 48s): Once you have an idea, once that kicks in, it'll just be like that.
Thomas is an emerging artist in the R&B industry currently creating music out of Boston, USA. He has found recent fame through TikTok being duetted by well known artists such as Lizzo and having worked with big asian led creatives Wong Fu Productions. Thomas Ng has already released a number of self-produced and written singles on all platforms. However, Currently working closely with his main producer Joe Bae to explore and refine his artistry.
“We all know how complex emotions feel but there’s no perfect way to describe that to someone else. My goal is to create music inspired by my own personal experiences for others to relate to and to find a connection.” - Thomas Ng
He is currently in Boston, USA studying Songwriting at Berklee College of Music. Thomas currently has release his official debut EP “3am” co-produced with Joe Bae alongside a follow up single “flaws” that has had some virality through TikTok.
Thomas is hoping to release more singles and EPs collaborating with great producers and artists like Joe Bae. Still building his craft and his artistry whilst staying true to the music and to himself.
“Words can’t always say everything so I just let the music do the talking.” - Thomas Ng