In an era where MCs either become moguls or yesterday’s news, multi-talented Khleo Thomas is a force to be reckoned with. The LA-based MC began his career as a young actor. Mostly known for his role in Disney’s Holes, where he played “Zero” alongside Shia LaBeouf and co-wrote the theme song “Dig It,” In which was featured on the Holes soundtrack and maintained its spot at #1 on Radio Disney for 12 consecutive weeks. His big screen debut created a worldwide fan base, known as “Team Khleo,” which motivated the young star to dominate the entertainment world.
The young actor continued to make his presence known in Hollywood. From MGM’s Walking Tall opposite “The Rock” to his recent cameo in the FX hit series Sons of Anarchy, it’s undeniable that Khleo is unstoppable. His leading role in the feature film The Hurricane Season led him to work opposite Academy Award Winner Forest Whitaker. In addition, he starred in Sony Pictures’ Dirty, 20th Century Fox’s Roll Bounce and New Line Cinema’s Friday After Next. With a slew of other film and television cameos, Khleo is now ready to secure his position in Hip-Hop.
The 22-year-old MC isn’t a new comer to the stage. He has performed across the country alongside several successful young artists such as Bow Wow, Sean Kingston and Soulja Boy. Khleo has performed on nation-wide tours such as “2003’s Disney Jingle Jam ”, “2004’s Black Expo,” the infamous “Scream IV Tour.” The young jet-setter also traveled to Japan to perform on MTV Asia. Most recently he opened for Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg on the “How the West was Won Tour”.
In 2010 his debut mixtape, “The World is a Cartoon,” racked up over 200,000 downloads within the first month of its release. His success continued after the release of his second mixtape, “The Next Episode,” racked up over 150, 000 downloads. By early 2011“Team Khleo” downloaded over a million songs and made Khleo a world wide trending topic on Twitter. His Youtube videos have reach over 3 million views and his live stream videos currently have over 300,000 views, spawning a marketing partnership with Ustream.tv Motivated by his fan base, Khleo set out to become a social phenomenon and with in months he became a daily Twitter trending topic.
Recently Khleo spoke to Aries from UrbanBridgez.com about his hot new video for the track “So Many Girls,” his EP “Slick Living,” an upcoming collaboration project he’s working on, his influences, favorite role he’s played, his friendship with Bow Wow and much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: You just dropped the video for “So Many Girls,” what was the best part about filming that video?
Khleo Thomas: The best part was probably being on the boat man. Being on that speed boat out there in the Ocean. We shot the video in Miami, so it was really nice out. We had alot of fun, we got to do like a water tubing thing where you hold on to a big donut and the boat kind of spins you around. There’s a small clip of that in the video so yeah we definitely had alot of fun shooting.
UrbanBridgez.com: You’ve gotten alot of positive feedback from your EP “Slick Living,” for those that have yet to download let them know why they should?
Khleo Thomas: To really hear what I bring to the table as far as music. Creativity on a whole other level, the stories that are being told. Something I’ve always tried to embed in my music as much as possible. So it’s something they should download and they should get ready for the next collaboration project that I’m about to do with an artist name Chris Batson and that’s coming out soon.
UrbanBridgez.com: Cool, tell us a little bit about that?
Khleo Thomas: He’s from Orlando, FL he’s an incredible artist, songwriter and producer. Just an amazing creative guy. Me and him decided to go ahead and put together a collaboration album to give to the fans. Everything is on a whole other level, like every song is just through the roof great! I know the fans are looking forward to that and I can’t wait to give it to them.
UrbanBridgez.com: When can your fans expect a full length album from you?
Khleo Thomas: Right now I don’t have an exact date yet. Right now I’m focusing on the single “So Many Girls” and the collaboration project. After that man the next single and then, the album date.
UrbanBridgez.com: When did you first get into Hip-Hop?
Khleo Thomas: Music has always been a passion of mine. I listened to music everyday growing up as a kid. I didn’t just happen to stumble into music. When I did my breakout film which was Holes I actually wrote the theme song to that movie when I was 13. So music has always been there and something that I’ve loved and strived to do so I just decided to take it into my own hands and not to wait on anybody else and just went ahead and went down this path.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who are your influences as far as artists and actors?
Khleo Thomas: DJ Quick, Suga Free, Rick James and The-Dream. As far as acting, Robert Downey Jr. is a great actor, Will Smith of course and alot of my peers as well.
UrbanBridgez.com: How did you first get your start?
Khleo Thomas: I told my mom when I was 5 years old that I wanted to be an actor. After that we just kind of went for it, went and got head shots and tried to get auditions for everything. It was a slow grind, but well worth it at the end of the day.
UrbanBridgez.com: Out of all of your roles you’ve played, what do you think has been your favorite one?
Khleo Thomas: Definitely Zero (Holes), definitely! That and also a charter I did in a movie called Remember The Daze. I played a character name Dylan and he’s the complete opposite of me. It was so much fun to play a hot head bad ass, alot of fun!
UrbanBridgez.com: What are your long term goals for yourself, let’s say in the next 10 years?
Khleo Thomas: I would hope to have toured the world with my music. Direct, produce and star in my own films, that could win at Sundance and be critically acclaimed after that. And just to continue to work hard and to be known as a great entertainer. I’m an entertainer at the end of the day.
UrbanBridgez.com: Alot of people know you from not only working with Bow Wow in Role Bounce, but appearing with him on the road. How did you two meet and first become friends?
Khleo Thomas: Really it was after we did Role Bounce, during the filming we were the only ones really quiet and kicked it off to the side. We understood that acting is a job, me and him kind of experienced that at a young age. So we respected each other on that level and we started kicking it and playing video games everyday. Then he just asked me out of the blue did I want to be his Hype Man on the Scream tour, now I knew what the Scream tour was at that time. So I looked at him like he was crazy, like what? The Scream tour, man you crazy! But he was dead serious, so he kept his word and the tour happened and we toured over the summer and did 32 arenas across the nation sold out. It was crazy.
UrbanBridgez.com: You seem to really be into Social Media, what is it about Twitter, Ustream, etc. that makes keeps you so involved?
Khleo Thomas: To be able to connect to the fans and be able to talk to them everyday and to be able to Ustream a studio session and get their input on what they’re hearing on the song I’m creating. That means alot to me, that means the most to me. I’ve been doing that since the beginning, since I recorded my first mixtape in my room. It’s a great thing to keep in contact and in touch with everybody.
UrbanBridgez.com: What else are you working on that you want to let your fans know about?
Khleo Thomas: The next line for Slick Living Apparel. We’re creating the fall/winter line right now. Again the collaboration project with Chris and that’s pretty much what’s on the table for me right now.
UrbanBridgez.com: Great, anything you want to leave with your fans before we wrap up?
Khleo Thomas: Thank you for all of the love and support and get ready, because I’m just getting started! There are more big things to come, we’ve made it this far and we’re just getting there. We’re just at the tip of the iceberg right now.