NOLA Concerts: Hi LANDONi. First off I want to say congratulations on your first release of the year, Angels and Demons.
LANDONi: Thank you!
NOLA Concerts: For my readers that might not know, give us a background on how you got started with music and why it’s so important to you.
LANDONi: So I’ve been into music basically for as long as I can remember. I was always into older music – from The Supremes to Van Halen to Bon Jovi. We’ve always been a music family. We’d sit around the living room and my parents, instead of watching TV, would put on the radio. We would play ‘guess that tune’ for 30 minutes to an hour. We were basically trying to beat Shazam!
From a young age, I always remembered certain tunes. I could pick up a song quickly and eventually one day I woke up one morning to my dad playing piano. I thought the piano was there just collecting dust. I learned how to play piano and then my cousin was learning how to play guitar so we started writing music together. I was probably around 12 and we’d spend every weekend for two to three years writing riffs, making songs, covering songs. From there, I played in a couple bands in high school then college then started DJing.
I went to Voodoo and watched a Porter Robinson set. While looking at him, I thought ‘Man, these people are enjoying this experience so much. I could do that. I could do what he’s doing’ and from there, that’s how I started LANDONi.
NOLA Concerts: Speaking of LANDONi, where did your stage name come from?
LANDONi: My name is my whole brand. I was staying at my cousin’s house and my aunt made mac-n-cheese. I stole a giant portion of it and instead of them calling me Landon, they started calling me Landoni to playoff macaroni. From there, my friends heard it and they started calling me Landoni. It was my Xbox gamer tag. When I was trying to pick a DJ name, I thought ‘Man, this is so my brand’ and that’s how the name came about.
NOLA Concerts: You mentioned playing guitar and piano. Are those the only two instruments you know how to play?
LANDONi: Guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, drums. I used to play trumpet and I want to start picking it back up. I think it’d be fun to throw in a live set.
NOLA Concerts: What’s your recording process like? And where do you come up with inspiration?
LANDONi: Oh man, that’s a loaded question. It depends. If I’m doing a collaboration, I want to go somewhere that I wouldn’t get by myself creatively. When I’m collaborating with somebody, I want to push them somewhere they wouldn’t go creatively and I want them to do the same with me. The concept is putting two minds together to come up with an idea that neither mind would come up with on their own. So for collaborations, a lot of the inspiration comes from what the other artist(s) does or how they’re feeling that day. Sometimes collaborating is sitting in a room and not coming up with anything at all. Sometimes it’s drinking coffee, breaking the ice, and coming back another day.
For singles, sometimes it’s traveling. Sometimes it’s drinking coffee and listening to the birds. Sometimes it’s coming home from work and being stressed out. Other times it’s as simple as taking a cool sample and reprocessing it to become a new sound. That one small 8-second clip can turn into a 5-minute idea.
NOLA Concerts: Speaking of new sounds, let’s talk about your new EP. If you could describe “Ghost” in three words, what would they be?
LANDONi: Three words. Theatrical, Inspirational, Fun. Overall it’s a good, happy feeling.
NOLA Concerts: What more can you tell us about your EP that’s dropping this year?
LANDONi: So my new EP is going to be called Ghost. It’s fun. There are a bunch of collaborations with a ton of artists from New Orleans. My first EP is called Steps. After traveling to Europe for a 33-day backpacking trip with some friends from college, I felt inspired to come back and write some songs. I wrote 4 songs and put them out there for fun. That was me taking steps into the right direction.
The concept of Ghost is that I’ve already started but can I finish? When you die, you will have ghosts around you – of your ideas, of your talents, of your passions. But some of them you’ve never acted on. So when you’re on your deathbed, some of these ghosts will either thank you for acting on them or be extremely irritated that they’re going to the death bed with you because you never acted on them.
The first song is super inspirational. From there it’s a mix of mainstream-sounding EDM along with portions where I tried to push myself to get out of my comfort zone and change my sound and direction. It’s an interesting project that is cohesive but at the same time, every individual element is different as well.
NOLA Concerts: I know you mentioned collaborating with local artists and that we can expect more collaborations on Ghost. Is there a certain artist you enjoy collaborating with the most or one that pushes your limit when creating music?
LANDONi: There’s two. Cronos, a local hip-hop and R&B artist. He pushes me all the time. We went to the same high school and when we talk it’s also ‘Hey, what’s this next step?’ We challenge each other to do more and push ourselves out of our comfort zone. Having that type of communication and someone to evaluate your music from a different perspective – there are things he’s gonna hear that I’m not even listening to or for.
The other one is Caly Pearse. She’s a pop artist from New Orleans. She’s super talented and has challenged me to make my music sound more mainstream and pop. But also she’s helped me to find what my sound is in that realm. Caly has pushed me to make songs that fit her brand and my brand as well which has been really beneficial for me.
NOLA Concerts: I have to ask, which song is your favorite so far that you’ve produced?
LANDONi: From my first EP, Steps – Globe is up there. My cousin and I used to write rock songs or folk. ‘Globe’ for me was the one I sat down on my computer and really spent time in the electronic world trying to piece it all together. Every idea just spit out and was so cohesive. Everything from that song inspired me to keep going.
I don’t even know if it’s my favorite anymore because, with this new project, I’ve produced some new things that I really love. My next single “Outside Looking In” that releases in April, is probably one of my favorites. It’s also inspired me to keep going because I’ve achieved a certain level when creating it. So “Globe” but “Outside Looking In” is close.
NOLA Concerts: So live music is back. I know you recently had a single-release party where you and other artists performed live at Gasa Gasa. If you were on a dream tour, who would you love to go on tour with?
LANDONi: That’s tough. Big Wild or TroyBoi. Even San Holo, Flume or Odesza.
NOLA Concerts: And it’s festival season – do you have a favorite New Orleans music festival?
LANDONi: Absolutely, Voodoo! I love Jazz Fest for the face value of what it is. I enjoy going and listening to different genres that I’m not creating and enjoying the crawfish beignets. But at Voodoo, I can stuff my face with a Nutella banana crepe and then go listen to Foo Fighters or Post Malone then within 100 yards, I can listen to Ganja White Night, WhatSoNot, and Porter Robinson.
NOLA Concerts: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
LANDONi: New project coming out this year. It’s gonna be an exciting one.
LANDONi is an artist to watch – he may be new to your Spotify or Apple Music playlist but he’s not new on the music scene. You can stream his latest single, “Outside Lookin’ In (feat. Caly Pearse)” now. Be sure to follow LANDONi on socials and keep an eye out for what’s next to come for him!