Today, the genre-less artist Lonr. drops his debut EP entitled Land of Nothing Real.
Emerging from under a quiet shroud of mystery, Lonr. arrives as a singular and cinematic talent whose vital and vibrant vision piques fascination as it blurs the lines between soul, soundtracks, and simmering Hip-Hop. After being uprooted from Los Angeles as a child and moving to Cape Cod, MA, Lonr. grew up feeling like the odd one out. Upon installing music software in high school, he entrenched himself in beat-making, creating his own universe to exist in. On his way up, he became a sought-after songwriter, crafting hits and building worlds alongside other artists. By 2019, he found himself up for multiple GRAMMY® Awards for contributions to H.E.R.’s discography, winning two.
We caught up with the rising star and asked him all about his debut EP and more…
Taking it back to the very start, what inspired you to pursue a career in music? Is music something you’ve always been around?
I’ve always been around creative people and when I was young I always felt like I had something to prove. All my cousins were way older than me so I always felt the need to be on their level and give them that shock factor, no matter what it was. If it sparked my interest I wanted to pick it up fast.
You began learning how to make beats in high-school, what drove you to want to learn more about the production side of things?
On the production side it really was a personal test, I would challenge myself to get better and experiment with production. In the back of my head my goal was to be able to come up with beats as good as my favourite producers, figuring out sounds and patterns was like science class – there’s so many outcomes and possibilities to come from producing it’s endless.
How did you transition into a session writer? It’s not as easy as people think to be able to write songs, did you ever feel pressure writing for people as big as H.E.R?
Before I worked with her I had been training myself to write for a long time finding my rhythm and my format with writing. When it came time to get in sessions as big as those I just wanted to show people what I’m capable of so it was more of a feeling of determination.
How does it feel now coming out as your own artist as opposed to writing for others? You’re finally getting the recognition you deserve!
Thank you, I really appreciate that! It feels amazing, this was always the plan for me so every step of the way was to get here and get further – to go back on what I was saying I was as a kid. I have this constant need to be on a certain level and I’m not gonna stop until I get there.
It’s almost impossible to box you into one specific genre, how would you describe your sound?
I can really only describe it as genre-less – my favourite thing to do when I’m making music is to fuse genres together. I’m really just taking what influenced me and putting it into the songs that I make today, but there’s always going to be melody and there’s always gonna be an intimate feeling with my music.
Listening to your EP, there are various tracks I thought could’ve been easily used for sync. Your sound on tracks like “Safezone” are very cinematic, what inspires you to make these types of almost movie-like tracks?
Growing up low-key I really didn’t like to listen to mainstream music. My favourite thing to listen to as a kid was that exactly…the syncs in a movie. It’s so crazy to me how music can speak to you without any words. The bond of music and movies is an unspoken one, but without music movies wouldn’t have any emotion tied to it.
“A.M” was a huge hit on TikTok! Did you ever anticipate how big it would get? Considering that was your first official single that must’ve been pretty overwhelming?!
Honestly after creating A.M. I knew it was a solid song, but I never would’ve thought dropping the first single would’ve done the numbers that it did. After seeing its success I was eager to drop more of my music to see what kind of impact it would have on people.
This EP is extremely versatile, what was the main concept behind it? Sonically, you show a variety of sounds you can flow on comfortably!
Yeah, that was the exact concept I was trying to push! To show everybody how versatile I am with my music, I am influenced by many different genres so when creating in general I can use those different influences to flow differently on any track. I always express for people to broaden their horizons when they listen to music – especially artists.
Lyrically, was there any particular message or feeling you wanted to create with this EP?
I wanted to speak to the loners, so I focused on the concept of desire, love, and longing. In my perspective a loner‘s true emotion is the desire for something more. Whether it be another person‘s attention or to relate with their peers – there’s always a “want” in a loner’s life.
What was the biggest challenge you faced curating this project? Was there one song in particular you found hard to lay down and if so, why?
I made a lot of the songs when I was working from the ground up. So the biggest challenge for me was finding places to be creative, with only so much time to lay down and create in the spaces that I worked. There would be a lot of times where I would get the idea for the song down and then when it came to write the lyrics, I ran over studio time so I would spend that same night making sure the lyrics were perfect, just so I could cut it in whatever place I was next.
You show a vulnerable side to your personality on tracks like “Jump”. How important is it for you to show this side of you?
To me it’s very important to be vulnerable in your music because you never know who’s going to need it. I’ve heard stories of artists’s music saving lives because they made exactly what that person needed to hear at that time. Sometimes all someone needs to know is that there’s someone out there like them, to keep pushing forward.
There’s a big stigma around men in particular showing there weaknesses or feelings, how do you feel about this?
I don’t look at it as weakness at all, you’re stronger as a person to go against the grain and be a lone wolf. It takes more strength to express how you truly feel especially when no ones got your back… “Stand for something or fall for anything”.
H.E.R features on the EP! Is there anyone you have your eyes on to collaborate with in the future?
I want to collaborate with all the people who inspired me to follow my vision, not just music, but trust my gut to stick to the plan. Some of those people are Tyler, The Creator ASAP rocky Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar.
What else can we expect to hear from you this year?
I’m constantly growing and evolving with my music and working with and building with others so you definitely will see the growth in sound. I’m Also always looking for other creative’s to build with. So you might just see an empire being built before your eyes.
Listen to Lonr’s debut EP Land of Nothing Real below and on Apple Music here.