Ian Nelson Sparks Debut Single "21st Century Love"
Credits:- Collin stark
Hailing from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Ian Nelson transformed into a global sensation after his screen debut in the worldwide famous film series “The Hunger Games”. Nelson’s work can be also be seen in some of his other projects including, “Paper Spiders”, “Summer Night”, “Teen Wolf”, “The Boy Next Door”, “The Judge” and many more. Acting is just one of the many diverse talents that Ian possesses. Besides being a professional actor, he is also a well established filmmaker and producer.
His ambitions are not just limited solely to being an immensely phenomenal actor. Ian recently stunned his entire fandom by sparking the start of his music journey as he announced the release of his debut single “21st Century Love” and teased the fans by giving them a short glimpse into the iconic music video that will be accompanying the track. Ian is about to become one of the freshest faces to join the world of music and the fans can definitely expect some exciting stuff from him in the future.
Ian took out some of his time to talk to Deception Magazine regarding the emergence of his music journey, the creative process behind the track and what the fans can expect from his upcoming projects!
Hello there Ian. Thank you for joining us on Deception Magazine! You are wildly known for your phenomenal acting skills. What was it exactly that brought you closer to the field of music?
Firstly, thank you for the kind words. And thank you for taking the time for the interview. So, I have been singing since I was a little kid. I got my start doing musical theatre, and funny thing: My first professional job was actually singing boy soprano in an opera.
I have been doing voice training since I was 10 or 11, and about 2 years ago, I began studying with a teacher in Los Angeles named Dave Stroud. After our first lesson, Dave told me that I should write my own songs. No one had ever told me this before. Strange coincidence, but around that time, I had begun writing the book for a musical, so I was already in the mindset of telling a story through music—but hadn’t yet tackled the songwriting itself.
I left LA and went on location in Syracuse, NY for a film, and I brought my guitar. While on set, I began studying pop music song structure—everything from George Harrison to Eric Claption to Taylor Swift, etc. And a few weeks later, I had my first completed song. I went back to LA, recorded a demo, and shared it with Dave. Dave then introduced me to a young, up-and-coming producer named Jacob McCaslin. At our first session, I played a few verses of what would become my debut single “21st Century Love.”
From then, I fell in love with the songwriting and recording process. I greatly respect the immediacy of the expression in music. It feels like a very organic and accessible extension of my acting.
You are about to release your debut single “21st Century Love”. Congratulations on that! How did the name of the track come into existence? Was there a specific meaning behind it?
Yes. “21st Century Love” implies a revolution. A whole new game—new set of rules for what it means to be intimate in today’s technology-dependent world.
The first line of the song that was ever written was: “I fell in love with you on a screen.” I was on a dating app, and I matched with this beautiful girl, who in actuality I knew nothing about—but I just couldn’t get her off of my mind. And the power of those emotions really perplexed me. I was experiencing such a profound feeling—that felt so real, yet simultaneously intangible. It brought my whole being to the present—like there was this aura surrounding our interactions.
Almost immediately, I began writing a song that explored the changing landscape of loneliness, intimacy, and the desire for connection in our technology-dependent modern age—and that piece of writing was the beginning of “21st Century Love.”
Did you face any sort of challenges during the production stage of the track? If so, how did you overcome them?
Every song I write and record pushes me to grow as a guitarist and vocalist in some capacity. Similar to how I deal with challenges with a character or script, the antidote is always the same: practice.
Art, expression, etc. is all about limits. As an artist, I am bumping up constantly against limits—and I don’t see that as a “negative.” It shows me where I can grow and even further dial in my craft. With this mindset—beginner’s mind—you set yourself up to be in a constant state of evolution—and each scene, song, etc. simply becomes an arena to express and expand.
Did your initial visualization of the track match up with the final outcome?
The song evolved so magnificently throughout the recording process. I loved working with Jacob, who created a lush and dynamic arrangement for the song. I am very proud of what we made together, which is the first of many collaborations to come.
You are also about to drop an iconic music video for the track. How was the experience like recording your first ever music video?
I absolutely loved the process. I co-directed the video with LA celebrity photographer, Collin Stark. We collaborate quite often on all sorts of productions, and for months, we were discussing the concept for the music video. We had a million different ideas, but in April of 2020 when the Pandemic struck and all of Los Angeles went into quarantine, it became clear to us that the deserted streets of LA were the perfect backdrop for the video.
Pre-production lasted a few weeks, and then at the crack of dawn, we embarked on a socially distanced shoot to capture the one-take video. The video also features one of my greatest passions: tap dancing. In addition to the directing and producing, I also edited the prologue, which was my first time professionally editing something.
As we are facing this unfortunate pandemic, is there anything specific that you are currently doing in order to stay creative?
I just play my guitar a lot and write lots of songs. Haha. That’s pretty much it. Acting projects are on hold for a sec due to the industry getting hit by COVID, but things are picking back up now. The pandemic has been a difficult time no doubt, and as I’m thinking about it now: I have been able to stay creative simply by incorporating that difficulty. I think an important aspect of making art and staying creative is not needing to feel “good” to get work done at a high level.
And believe me, I don’t feel “good” a lot, but I’ve been in the entertainment industry for almost 12 years now, and I know that a major part of being creative is not allowing your process to be thrown off by discomfort. I think developing that mindset allows you to maintain an overall healthy perspective and stay creative in extremely emotional and challenging times.
Where do you draw your major music inspirations from? If given an opportunity, who would you like to collaborate and work with in the future?
George Harrison. Gary Clark, Jr. Ben Folds. John Mayer. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Sara Bareilles. The list goes on forever haha. When I am introduced to a new musician, I feel like I am introduced to a whole new world of possibility. Like recently, I have been listening a lot to Prince. My mind is blown to say the least. His acoustic performance of “Cream” is spellbinding.
I can’t stop watching it. In terms of collaborations, I don’t have a “list.” I want to work with people who expand my expression as a songwriter and artist. I don’t have a physical form for that “person,” but I know what energy I am looking for if that makes sense.
What’s next for you Ian? Any upcoming projects you’re currently working on that you would like to hint your fans about?
I have a movie that is about to come out called “Paper Spiders.” Interestingly, I was shooting that film when I wrote my first song. So to have it out at festivals, while my debut single is coming out is very special. We should know distribution details for the film very soon.
A few weeks ago, Collin and myself shot the music video for my second song. It’s totally different than the first, and we upped our vision and scope exponentially on this one. The second song was made with Jacob as well. I am very excited to share it all very soon.
Lastly, is there anything that you wish to convey to your fans and supporters from all around the world?
I love the community that we have all built on my social platforms. The people who interact with me are so kind and generous. They truly are supportive, and I appreciate each and every one of them very much. Similar to the themes in “21st Century Love,” technology allows us to connect with people we would most likely never meet if we were bound to our physical locations and proximity. So, I am grateful for the conversations and for the connections we are all able to cultivate.