If you’ve been lucky enough to attend one of the many official NBA parties during All-Star weekend, then you’ve danced along to the tunes spun by this dude: Zeke Thomas.
The 24-year-old Detroit-native, the son of NBA hall-of-fame point guard Isiah Thomas, has crafted himself a nice career as a DJ, spinning the parties during NBA All-Star weekend for the last three years.
Now, he wants more.
Earlier today, Zeke released his debut single, “Regret,” on iTunes.
There’s also a video to go along with the song, and we are lucky enough to debut the visuals. The song is a club banger, but the visuals for the track are quite heavy, featuring a wild night that goes wrong.
We were also able to talk to the DJ: we chopped it up about “Regret,” his musical tastes and what growing up with Isiah Thomas as his father was like.
Scroll down to read the interview and check out the “Regret” video at the bottom. Zeke’s Twitter: @zeke_thomas
GlobalGrind: You’ve done a good amount in a short time, what’s been a career highlight?
Zeke: I’d say the best thing that I’ve done is DJ the NBA All-Star parties. Every year I get a chance to be around the top basketball players in the world, and there’s nothing to me that’s like it.
What’s an NBA party like?
They’re fun. The players are on a break, so it’s a chance for them to let their hair down, so to speak. The wives come out, everybody’s dancing, having a good time. You see a lot of families. You get to mingle with guys you wouldn’t normally mingle with before. I love to see players on the dance floor interacting with players from different teams.
Give me a time where something cool happened at one of these parties.
I was DJing a party — I wanna say this All-Star game was in Dallas — and Terrell Owens actually came up to the DJ booth and started DJing. He was like: ‘Can I get on?’ And I was like ‘OK.’ So, Terrell Owens did a set.
When you DJ, what do you play?
My taste in music is all over the place. Growing up in Detroit, I have a great Motown background — Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, all that stuff. But I also love ‘90s hip-hop: I love Bad Boys ‘90s hip-hop. I could listen to the Bad Boys 10-year anniversary album everyday.
Tell me everything I need to know about this video you just dropped.
I was in Miami when I made the beat, and I was kinda feeling that Miami vibe. I thought to myself: ‘I really wanna make a party record, but I don’t want it to be about the bullshitting and partying.’ I wanted to do something different. So I started playing around with ideas, and I linked with Jared Evan, who did all the vocals on the record. And I told him I wanted to do a dance record with a hip-hop feel.
So we came up with the concept of regret. Go out and have fun, leave everything behind, but the next morning you’re like ‘damn, what happened? What did I do? What did I say?’
We recorded the record and it came out great. And then, coming to do the music video, I knew that I wanted to tell a story. We discussed several video concepts, and I really wanted to have a strong message in my debut single. So I went with using information of a real life event where a party just went a little too far and someone close to me lost their life.
So what’s next after this? Are you dropping an album or mixtape?
I’m dropping two singles at the top of the year; this is going to be my first one, on Tommy Boy records. I just signed a deal with Tommy Boy records, I’m really excited to work with them.
One of the interesting things about you is your father is NBA legend Isaiah Thomas. How does he feel about the music?
My dad has always supported me in everything that I’ve done. Growing up, I knew that I had a legacy that I had to protect. And I feel that everybody has that, whether their father’s famous or not. You don’t want to tarnish the legacies of the Smith or the Jones’. You want to build a name for yourself.
Growing up, I played basketball and football, but I always gravitated towards music. And I worked at Hot97 as an assistant programmer, under Ebro, and I been doing this DJ thing for a while, and I really started diving into production.
My dad has definitely supported it: he loves the concepts and he loves that I’m telling a story.
Do you have a cool childhood memory of growing up with Isaiah Thomas as your dad?
In Detroit, my dad built a basketball court in the house. I remember people would always come to the house and train. Sometimes I would put on my basketball clothes, and I would go to the gym, and I remember one time I was playing: it was me, my dad and Eric Snow. And I don’t know how it happened, but we were playing 21 and I won. And I just want that down on the record: I won, I beat Isiah Thomas and Eric Snow in 21.