Hailing from Liverpool, LONA infuses alternative pop with rock and roll energy. With a strong and powerful message of wanting to end bullying running through the core of everything LONA does, his heartfelt and vulnerable vocal performance emphasises the honesty of the lyricism – an unflinching reckoning with the effect our digital lives can have on mental health.
LONA’s debut track ‘Let’s just Chill’ instantly captivated a diverse fan base that fell in love with the soft-natured undertones of his production and relatable lyrics delivered with raw emotion and raspy vocals. Now, his latest single ‘Darkest Days’ has pathed the way straight to the mainstage at The Isle of Wight festival. We caught up with the young up-and-comer following his debut release to learn a tad more about his musical beginnings, the heartfelt meaning behind ‘Let’s Just Chill’ .
Growing up, who were your biggest creative influences? What music was playing around the house as a kid?
I have a big family and they’re all crazy music fans. Blasting from my big brother’s room was everything from Dr DRE to Kings of Leon and my sisters were playing bangers R&B classics like Ashanti and usher and destiny’s child and of course some house big house tunes.My parents filled in the gaps with classics from The Beatles, the smiths and Bob Marley.
So, there’s not one genre that I can say I am solely influenced by. Which is probably a good thing. I started making music on the guitar so massively looked up to the indie gods the strokes and the arctic monkeys but since then i’ve dove into other genres which have added to the cocktail of the Lona soundscape.
‘Let’s just chill’ is a truly dope debut that feels perfect for the time as the world becomes more fixated on how we all look online. Who produced the track? How did you first think of the concept and what made you certain that this is the track? did you want to debut with?
I was working on another track of mine and was flickering through my phone and felt myself become a bit overwhelmed by my feed comparing myself to people who are nothing like me. No matter how hard you try you can never be like anybody else.
So, I found myself thinking why I am trying to match up to people who are not me. I stopped writing the song I was working on and wrote ‘Let’s Just Chill’ in about 15 minutes. It all came out so easily and it just felt like what I wanted to say.
I recorded and produced this one by myself in my bedroom. It was pretty quick to get the skeleton down, but I took my time finessing it. I’m a perfectionist which is kind of ironic considering the meaning of why I wrote this song.
If you were putting together your own AstroWorld style festival of artists you love, who would the three headliners be?
I would love to go to that festival it looks absolutely insane. Calvin Harris to get the party started. This guy has so many unbelievable tunes that everyone knows. I’ve seen him before and it went off major.
Kanye West – I saw Kanye in 07 just after he dropped his graduation Album, and it was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. I love his production and there really is nobody more innovative in my opinion. Even if he does say the most outrageous things.
Oasis – I’d have these for the sing-alongs there’s nothing more euphoric than being stood in a field with thousands of people all singing at the top of their lungs. Also, I’d like to be the one to get oasis back together haha
What’s the plan for the future? Any plans for an album or shows or is it all about studio time right now?
I’m still piecing together a mixtape in the studio right now and it’s sounding unbelievable, and I can’t wait to share it. I’ve got a couple of festivals which I’m buzzing to play.
I’m opening the main stage at the Isle of Wight festival which is pretty crazy. I’ve played that festival about 5 times now and worked up from the smallest stage playing to 20 people all the way to the top. I’ll have to headline it one day. I’m sure I’ll be going on tour very soon. I’m just about to release as much music as possible at the moment and then I’ll take it on the road.
Finish the sentence: “When my career is over I hope I am remembered for….”
Being an innovator, writing iconic songs & bringing the party!