Ikon London Magazine caught up with UK rapper Starboy Thomas to discuss important social issues in his songs and the positive impact his work has on younger generations.
With the rise of popularity in rap music, it would seem, new rapper pops up almost every day. It is a widely accepted perception that rap is not the genre to necessarily uplift someone, but instead, discussing violence, gang shenanigans, and normalising drugs and guns. Well, the UK-born Starboy Thomas is anything but.
The social media content creator turned rapper Starboy Thomas sings about important social issues. His first song about anti-bullying uploaded online for his followers got a lot of traction online which encouraged Starboy to continue on his quest. Singer of ‘Rapper with a message’ and ‘One bully no more’, he changes the way many see rap.
Ikon London Magazine caught up with Starboy Thomas for an online interview. The rapper dialed in from Hungary where he usually spends half of the year. The UK-themed interior design of his room tells us his heart is in London. Approachable and down to earth, our conversation with Starboy Thomas starts with the topic of a lockdown, of course. The musician spent most of the coronavirus lockdown in Hungary but also managed to travel to London when the restrictions were lifted. Now he is back in Hungary where his half-brother lives too.
Starboy Thomas – a Rapper with a Message
Starboy admits some photoshoots were postponed due to the lockdown and, most importantly, he was meant to accompany one of London’s mayoral candidates on his election campaign in 2020 with the anti-knife crime song. Alas, this has also been postponed until next year.
With just under a million followers on Instagram, Starboy Thomas has a massive reach. The musician admits his followers are what makes him continue creating. “I used to create vines (that’s what short funny videos used to be called before Tik Tok took over), so I’ve built my following then. And I have some amazing supporting fans who support me massively.”
Paraphrasing a well-known proverb, with great reach, comes great responsibility. And while some artists seemingly struggle with the concept of responsibility – take Wiley for example – Starboy Thomas seems to be well aware of his influence on others. Not just that, the purpose of his music career, by his own admission, is to offer an uplifting message. “If I manage to save even one person’s life with my songs, I’ve done well. I hope to reach as many young people as I can and my anti-knife crime, the anti-bullying message, hopefully, will save people from trouble.”
Referring to the example of Wiley, the musician doesn’t see it as a good move to let down your followers and fans. “I try not to post anything negative on my social media. If I have a bad day, I don’t want to inflict it on my fans. Because if I am feeling down or upset, it can negatively affect my followers too. If anything, I want to offer support to my fans.”
It appears the desire to offer support and positive message is not just words for the musician. “I was bullied at school and with my anti-bullying song, it was a message coming from my heart. I free-style all of my songs so I rap what I mean.” Among other topics is mental health. Another topic close to his heart. “Not that many people know that mu uncle committed suicide when I was at school and this event impacted me. I sometimes struggle with my mental health and I know there are many men out there who don’t feel comfortable speaking out. They suffer in silence. I want to show that it’s OK for men to speak about your mental health, there is nothing wrong about it.”
Speaking about his upcoming plans, Starboy Thomas wants to reach greater audiences by collaborating with other performers – on his anti-bullying song and a ‘song about the Coronavirus’. And to engage with his followers and fans, the rapper is organising a live stream talent contest on his Instagram @official_starboythomas_rapper. If you are up for a challenge, check out his Instagram profile and a website for more info.