Tell us a little about your story and background
I grew up in a town called Plainfield, New Jersey and have been singing and performing since I was 8 years old. I went to a middle school for the performing arts and kept performing throughout high school through musical theater shows. I wrote and recorded my first demo when I was 14 with help from my cousin, Mike Williams (Mike WiLL Made-It).
Who are your biggest influences?
My biggest influences in music are Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Usher, Justin Timberlake, and Chris Brown.
But in life, that title goes to my mom.
How have friends and family reacted to your journey so far in music?
My great-granduncle is a famous gospel musician in Nigeria, so music has always been a part of my family’s culture. My family has been super supportive since day 1 when they would take me back and forth to auditions as a child.
We hear you are the cousin of a very famous producer, Mike Will Made-It. What influence or impact has he had on your career so far?
When I was first starting out at age 14, Mike was the first person to tell me I needed to be more than just a singer, I needed to learn how to write my own songs. He and his producer partner, PLUSS, would send me beats to practice writing to, and that’s how I found out I had a gift for it. It’s been the most useful skill to have because now I don’t rely on anyone to create music. I can create it on my own, even without beats. It sets me apart from a lot of singers out there, because I’ve had a musical identity since I was a teenager, and I owe that and a lot more to my cousin. He was also the first person to tell me that I should use my real first name as my artist name, Lánre.
Congratulations on the release of your new single “No Bodies”. What’s the meaning and message behind the song?
Thanks! So “No Bodies” is essentially a song about a couple that doesn’t want the outside pressure from the world to define their relationship. I feel like in today’s age of social media, people outside of the relationships are always trying to define other people’s situations. I came up with this concept after seeing a comment on Instagram that said, ‘No face, no case’ which is basically when you hide someone’s face in a picture you put online because you don’t want people to know that you’re dating . While I’ve never had to do that, I’m very private about my romantic life because of a similar reason, I don’t need the world chiming in on what I have going on!
You’re based in Atlanta, and the featured artist on the track, Reed Willy, and the producer, Mileage, are also both based in Atlanta. Was this a conscious effort? How do you find the Atlanta music scene overall?
Mileage and I are frequent collaborators, so “No Bodies” is one of many songs we have together. Honestly, we went through a lot of different options when trying to figure out who to feature on the song. We contacted rappers from Europe to rock/pop singers in Canada, and none of them felt quite right for the track. It wasn’t until Mileage and I was randomly talking about Reed Willy, who was his roommate at the time, that we had the idea to feature him. We showed him the song, and he loved it so he delivered the verse and the rest is history! That was one of the longest song creating processes I’ve ever had; from start to finish this song took almost 8 months to complete because we were trying to find the right person to feature. It was well worth the wait though.
That whole story kind of sums up the Atlanta music scene to me. The up-and-coming artist community is very tight-knit, so you’re bound to know everyone through six degrees of separation.
How have you found releasing music during the global pandemic? Have there been any challenges?
I started my professional music career in March 2020, so this is really the only way I know how to release music. Now that most of the world is getting out of the major waves of the virus, I’ve been adjusting my release strategies as more and more people listen to the music differently. That being said, I think the way people used digital marketing to reach fans during the pandemic is not going to go away anytime soon.
A big challenge for me during the pandemic was finding creative ways to connect with my fans through things like live streams, Q&As, and stuff like that. Now I’m able to do shows around the country which I prefer, but I can still incorporate some of those digital mediums that worked well for me when we were all stuck at home.
Who are some artists or producers you’d love to work with in the future and why?
As far as fellow artists, I want to work with Kehlani, Tems, and Bazzi. They each have a very unique sound and I feel like our styles would complement each other very well in each of their genres (R&B, Afrobeats, and Pop).
For producers, I’d have to say Mike Will, Diplo, Zedd, and London on Da Track. Mike is pretty obvious because we’ve talked about doing something now that I’m back to doing music in full force and it’ll be a great full-circle moment. The other producers I’ve always admired their work, especially when it comes to singers, so I know we’d make something crazy. I feel like they haven’t worked with many male singers though, so it’ll be good to switch it up with my perspective as well.
What are your plans for the rest of 2022? What can fans expect?
So much! I started the year off with “No Bodies” that blows me away every day with the fan response it gets from people around the world. It was such a great track to set it off with because the music that I have planned is only going up from here. I have a few DJ collaborations that are coming out soon as well as a few solo tracks that are going to drop sometime this summer.
On top of that, I’m doing live shows in many cities in the US. I just came back from a show in NYC, and I’m on to Austin next for SXSW week. I also have some confirmed shows in my hometown of Atlanta, Colorado, and Los Angeles.
This is going to be the biggest year of my career to date, and I’m so excited to share everything we’ve been working on with my fans! “No Bodies” is just the beginning.
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