Music as a form of expression has allowed artists and fans alike to release emotion. And recently, artist Leon decided to expand his repertoire by adding to the list of his many talents. Raised by musicians, songwriting came as second nature to him; however, it took some time before he was willing to share his gift with the world.
Facing his vulnerability and apprehensions, his new project is aptly titled Speak of the Devil, as he described the creative process as a chance to face his demons. Strategically aligned to drop today on Halloween (October 31), the title is just a precursor to a soundtrack marinated in vengeance. Leon carves out his space in entertainment through witty lyricism, flowing melody, and midnight cadence.
REVOLT TV got the chance to talk with Leon and here's what we learned.
How did you get into making music? I was born into a musical family. My dad is a well-known Southern rock bass player and my mother is a Billboard magazine award-winning songwriter. So I'm really just carrying the torch.
Who are some of your biggest influences? In my youth, it was punk, like The Ramones. But as I discovered hip-hop and R&B, I was captivated by Sade, Phil Collins, Wu-Tang, The Beastie Boys, The System, Hieroglyphics, Madlib, Morrissey—anything that was super rhythmic or vibey. But now I am honestly getting really excited by the melodies from guys like Toro Y Moi, Trippy Redd, Lil Uzi Vert, Spooky Black, and PartyNex Door. The delivery and pocket is refreshing, too.
What emotions were you experiencing during the creation of this project? This album is really about facing your demons. Some come from heartbreak and failure, others from success and ignorance. But facing them and coming to terms with yourself, that's what I felt. Vengeance, kinda [laughs].
When did you decide that Halloween was the perfect time to release and why? It's just a play on the title. I figured [that] while everyone was out getting crazy, they'd need a soundtrack.
Where do you find the most inspiration to make music? The musical legacy of my family. I want young people around me to be inspired and enchanted by real music the same way I was. It's the only way to keep the fire burning and it feels like a responsibility. Also, I just love how it frees my mind.
Why do you think your music is needed right now? The only thing that can transcend religion, politics, and differences is art. Music is the most powerful way to unite people. It's also the quickest. So my hope is that people lean on these tracks to get better out there.
If you could do anything else what would it be? Probably rescue as many dogs as possible.
How do you plan to push culture forward with this project? I think that my experience in fashion, art, and music as a whole puts me in a unique position to tell a story from my perspective. After working for all these people and brands as a designer or art director, I really figured out how ridiculous the industries are. I also pay really close attention to the pocket in music. So when a new and exciting sound comes around, whether it's delivery or melody, I'm pushing it to the front so it can grow. Listen to Speak of the Devil below.