Levelle London, singer-songwriter, producer and rapper has recently dropped his latest project entitled Cold Summer Nights. Growing up in London with his Dad being a DJ, music was something London was always surrounded by. He made it his mission to create and form his own sound of music – which evidently worked! Having built up a fan base of his own, his music crosses over into various genres making his own smooth blend of music. I caught up with Levelle London to ask him a few questions all about music…
E: Who is Levelle London?
L: I’m just a London guy that loves plantain [laughs]. Jokes aside, I grew up as an only child, now I’m the eldest of seven. I’ve always been super creative and thrived especially in music; I love a bit of dark humour and sarcasm. I love the hood; I keep my ears to the streets but I’m not road, I’m spiritual and highly sensitive, I’m the voice for those types of people.
E: You have recently dropped your “Cold Summer Nights” project. How did this come about? What were the main inspirations or influences behind the making of this mixtape?
L: I make music in my bedroom, producing, writing, engineering the mixes myself, so I have phases when I can make loads of songs within a short space of time and automatically put them together as projects. “Cold Summer Nights” in particular, had many different processes and changes, but the theme of it being playable on a cold Summer night as well as any other day, allowed me to be free in my creative process. Emerging sounds of the past five years such as Afro-Swing and Afro Bashment interested me as I have both African and Caribbean backgrounds. I’m also very much a fan of the current Trap and R&B scene in both the UK and US, so these were also places that I took influence from in this project.
E: Creatively, when you are in the studio what’s your process like? Do you tend to lay the beat down first or the lyrics?
L: Each time it’s different. Sometimes I start with the melody and then I put down the beat, but if I start with the beat, I’ll always tend to start with the drums first. When it comes to the writing I always make sure the melody is right and then I tend to write songs in chronological order, as if it were a story.
E: What’s your favourite song off “Cold Summer Nights”?
L: ‘Money Jars’, that song means the most to me. I feel it the most, even the beat, melody and everything I’m saying in it. I feel like a lot of creatives and artists can relate to it. Just people that are on that grind in general and want to give up, sometimes it’s a song for them. The week I made the song I had literally bought some money jars, so I was able to freestyle the song so effortlessly as it was so real.
E: You have 3 features on the mixtape, how did these come about?
L: First of all, I want to thank all the people that contributed to the project. It meant a lot. There were actually a couple more features on songs that didn’t end up on the project, but hopefully I’ll be able to use those songs in the future.
The feature with Prod by 3am formally known as J-Stories, that’s my guy from way back. We had been meaning to make a song from like 2010 and we finally linked up a couple years ago to co-produce that wave, ‘I Want It’. That track I wrote to remind me of why I really started this music thing.
When I made ‘On The Inside’, I felt like it just needed an extra touch to it and there was no other artist I thought was more fitting for it than TEdness because of his lyrical delivery and content and how he paints a picture so well. On this track he did exactly that. We didn’t actually meet up to record the track, but when I sent it to him, he said he immediately connected with it and I really appreciated that.
Bluue is someone I met through my boys at the platform Style and Pattern. They were working with her at the time and brought her to my studio to record. The vibe between us was instantly organic, to the point I could call Bluue my spirit sister. The day that I recorded ‘Money Jars’ was just before her session and when I finished it, it just hit me that Bluue needed to jump on it.
E: What kicked off your love for music? Is it something you’ve always been around from when you were young?
L: I’ve always loved music. It’s just something that came naturally from a young age. I was influenced a lot by my dad being a DJ and my mum just having really good music playing around the house. I was always singing and dancing around primary school and was always involved in anything musical, like being in the choir, playing instruments or being in plays. Also after going to Justin Timberlake’s concert when I was in year 7, that confirmed for me that I definitely wanted to be an entertainer.
E: How would you describe your musical sound / style?
L: I would describe it as a mix of R&B, Hip Hop. Grime, Afro and Caribbean. Basically everything that I listen to all in one.
E: Is there anyone you would love to collaborate with in the UK or overseas?
L: Yeah there’s a couple in the UK, like Chip, Young Adz. Everything that I do is organic so it really depends on the type of the song that I’m making and the timing. Overseas I would say, Usher & Tory Lanez.
E: Who have you been listening to recently?
L: I like Stormzy’s new album, I listen to Da Baby, DBE, an artist I work with called Phrann, but mostly myself because I’m my biggest competition and because I make music that I want to listen to. I also listen to a lot of playlists on Spotify and Apple. I just like to take in what’s on the playlists and new music that’s come out. When I’m tidying my room I like to listen to 90’s and 2000’s music.
E: What’s your overall aim or goal in doing music?
L: I will be able to tour the world. I know my story and my journey is an inspiration to others, so I want to share that. I want to be able to change lives for the better and provide for my family. I’m the kind of person that isn’t really fussed about fame. I care more about being able to provide, so as long as I can do that I’m good.
E: What more can we expect from you in 2020?
L: More music, more videos and headline shows, Festivals and more shows in general.
You can listen to Cold Summer Nights below and on Apple Music here.