Stereotude welcomes its brand spankin' new host Albert Lawrence! This dude’s laughter reaches you before he enters the room, and he’s a music maniac and hardcore hustler. Watching Carson Daly host MTV’s TRL drove Albert to host his first talent show during high school in Virginia – which led to him emceeing Spring Fling Concerts and djing campus events while he attended Yale University. After touching the dream by guest-hosting a few segments on TRL and filming pieces for MTVu in Singapore and India, Albert took his enthusiasm for entertainment to Los Angeles, because "Entourage" made it look rad. He’s teamed up with studios like Warner Bros. and Fox to host red carpets and promote tons of TV series. Because he watches tons of TV series. On his independent digital series Talk of Fame, he’s thumb-wrestled Hugh Jackman, freestyle rapped with Jimmy Fallon, and performed a Mike Tyson impression in front of Mike Tyson. He’s silly. He’s hungry. He’s on our team!
How did you get involved in the music industry?
During high school, I worked as event staff at concerts. Buying a ticket to every show I wanted to see would’ve been pricey, but as event staff, I could overhear the performance and feel like I had a seat inside. Once, I was hired by a car company to give out free mints at a Jay-Z concert. The back of my shirt said ‘STAFF’ – so the concert venue assumed that I was somehow directly affiliated with Jay-Z’s team…even though I wasn’t. They let me backstage. I spotted a group of meet & greet contest winners getting escorted into a tour bus. I jumped in line with the group and ended up kicking it with Jay-Z and his crew for a bit that night! That was a ticket I couldn’t have bought if I’d tried.
What is your go-to song at a karaoke?
My rendition of NSYNC’s ‘Bye Bye Bye’ is shameless – dance moves included. That ain’t no lie.
If you had to choose to be one member of One Direction, who would you be?
Simon Cowell! He assembled the band and is just as much a member as Harry, Liam, and the other bros. He’s also the sixth member of Fifth Harmony.
What song do you sing on your way to work in the morning?
Since landing this Stereotude gig, I warm up by jamming to one of the strongest and most empowering tracks of all time – ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’ from The Lion King. Simba’s got confidence for days.
How do you loosen up before shooting your videos?
I usually finish writing my stories about ten minutes before we shoot. So, I’m fortunate that my desk sits between the mega-witty Crystal Marie (host of The Fumble) and the perpetually patient Kim Jeong. They don’t realize that their presence – and prettiness – help me to relax. Once I’m in the studio, I laugh a few minutes with our chill cameraman Darin, and we’re off to the races!
What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
My dad’s a preacher, so I grew up around gospel music. I loved R&B, so sometimes in the back of the church, my cousins and I would remix R&B jams into gospel hymns. I remember listening to hip-hop in the car with my mom – probably something by Biggie – and keeping my fingers on the volume dial so that I could turn the song down whenever I knew an explicit lyric was coming. I was manually editing tracks I wasn't supposed to be listening to. Sometimes my timing would be off, and I’d miss a curse word. My mom would look at me, and I knew I’d lost my djing privileges for the duration of the ride.
What was your favorite interview that you've conducted?
For four years, I covered San Diego Comic-Con for Warner Bros. Each year, over four days, I would interview film, TV, and gaming talent that WB had brought down to speak - from JJ Abrams to Tom Cruise to Conan O’ Brien. The camera crew and I would run around the convention center and the Gaslamp Quarter fighting the clock to grab a wide array of footage. We’d also shoot segments with fans who were dressed up as their favorite characters. That experience was my hosting bootcamp, and I still go to Comic-Con now, because it’s in my blood!
Taylor Swift or Katy Perry?
I have a strong opinion on this one. The best, by far, is…[KANYE interrupts]
KANYE: I’mma let you finish, but Beyonce had the one of the best videos of all time!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
There are family members and friends who’ve poured a ridiculous amount into my life – dinners, gas money, spare beds to sleep on, etc. They’re invested in my success, and they deserve to enjoy the returns as they come! So I plan on continuing what I’m doing now – collaborating with crazy skilled people to create entertainment. As my experiences grow, hopefully so too will my resources!
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