The TRUE Hip-Hop Is Alive & Well! Interview With The Artist Known As LEON
By: J. Thompson
Being born and raised by two musically inclined parents, it was only a matter of time before Leon picked up where they left off. Born and raised in Los Angeles,CA Leon having seen economic, street, crime, positive and negative things that his city had to offer all at the young age of 22 he is determined to be different, Leon started documenting his visions, his Hopes, his Surroundings, and undoubtedly his dreams in the creative form of poetry. However due to his great sense of melodic and eclectic messages of substance he challenged himself and decided to become a songwriter. He had one problem…getting someone to deliver it…That is the day the curtains opened and Leon became “LEON” The Artist! In just a short amount of time after releasing his critically acclaimed Mixtape “My Imperfections Perfectly” he opened up for Mellow Man Ace at the world famous Whisky A Go Go. He has performed in numerous venue and is scheduled to release his HIGHLY ANTICIPATED new project “Anti-Radio” in January 2012. When asked “How do you describe your sound and music?” Leon has a simple answer “Life…it’s reality, emotions, real and memorable…everything that life is”
As a fellow lover of music and artist I had the privilege of interviewing Leon and hearing his thoughts on his journey as an upcoming artist, his motivation, and his future outlook within the industry…
SENSES: Tell me a bit about your background?
LEON: “I was blessed with a great background, parents were musically inclined, a creative self expression form. Being able to express that creativity.”
SENSES: How did you transition from Leon to LEON the Hip-Hop artist?
LEON: “Leon to LEON The Artist…hmm well I started out as a songwriter at age 18, but I couldn’t get anybody to really adhere to my material, but as I continued to write songs I made the transition at age 19.”
SENSES: As a hip-hop artist what kind of musical genres do you listen to?
LEON: “Being a hip-hop artist I actually don’t listen to a lot of hip-hop. I generally listen to alot of R&B y’kno Brandy, Tyrese etc. The foundation was laid by the pioneers Tupac, Biggie, Snoop, Jay-Z, but on another level I’m a songwriter and get my inspiration from R&B. I listen to a variety of genres, from Gospel all the way to Blink 182.”
SENSES: Considering the environment of the music industry today, how do you view it and where do you see yourself fitting in?
LEON: “That’s a good question…I see hip-hop as being within a rebuilding stage where hip-hop is transitioning back to the core where hip-hop was dominant. And as far as where I see myself, I’m in the midst of it all just desiring to go higher and farther but maintaining myself right in the middle and being humble.”
SENSES: How do you prepare before you lay down a track in the studio?
LEON: “Experience, consistency and knowing yourself….knowing your sound and proper preparation. What drives me is my determination and desire to be heard and I believe humility is the key to a good track.”
SENSES: How did you transition from your first mixtape “My Imperfections-Perfectly” to Anti-Radio?
LEON: “Anti-Radio will be released in January. The transition from projects allowed me to start fresh with a new production team, know myself more and prove myself to producers as well as focusing on letting my voice truly be heard. For example I have a track called University of South Central where I’m describing my neighborhood and the variables that I was dealt with in my growing up. With that said, I believe I matured from my first mixtape.”
SENSES: What does Anti-Radio mean to you, and how do you define it?
LEON: “Anti-Radio has 2 definitions, the first is that it’s a compilation of material that isn’t on the radio, the second is that the radio is the metaphor for life. It’s about finding optimism and grinding and individuality is the movement of anti-radio in and of itself.”
SENSES: What is your next move?
LEON: “Just staying on the grind and focusing on doing the leg-work of marketing myself as an artist y’kno…extending hands and showing that I’m just as genuine as the music I create. I’m working with a whole new production team and by sticking to their strategy I believe I’ll become a force to be reckoned with.”
SENSES: What do you indulge in in your spare time away from the mic?
LEON: “I really enjoy my private time, when I’m not in the booth I’m either writing poetry or writing melodies because I’m a writer at heart. I’m also an actor and have a production debuting real soon.”
SENSES: How do your parents feel about your music?
LEON: “ I was always told, if you can’t play a record in front of your mom, it’s probably something you shouldn’t be playing” (laughs). My first show was on November 4th,and both of my parents were in attendance and are immensely proud of my work.”
For Footage, Pics and other Artist Info visit: www.Leonsmusic.tumblr.com
Biography Provided By: Leon’s Manager; Andrew Bennett
Edited By: J. Thompson; SENSES Editor-In-Chief