“Find a mentor to guide you to where you’re trying to go, and stay true to who you are…”

Check out the interview with LEON exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

SKILLY: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
LEON: It started when I was in elementary school. I would sneak my family’s cassette tapes with me to school and listen when no one was around. I started to save my money and got my first job at age 15, so I could buy CD’s and the kind of clothes I liked. I got lucky and ended up working across the street from a CD store and a Target. So, most of my tip money and paycheck went towards CD’s haha. I would spend a lot of time just listening to albums on my boombox. I knew I wanted to be apart of the music industry in some way, but I felt like I didn’t have any connections to make it happen. Eventually I got my hands on some music equipment and software. I had to learn everything by myself. YouTube tutorials helped me a lot because everything was so confusing.

What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I think social media is the best promotion because most artists seem to break out through the internet. I also plan to pass out CD’s at some point. When I get some feedback on these couple of tracks I just put out, it will be the right time.

What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The greatest challenge is dealing with setbacks. I overcome them by staying positive and focused on what I’m trying to do.

How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
The music scene is pretty big. A lot of people come to California to further their music career. I like how there is a lot of opportunity out here. I don’t like how there’s not a lot of unity. The music scene can be very cut throat, but I think there’s power in numbers. Artists would be better off if we would support each other more.

Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
I think CD’s will eventually fade away and all music will be online and on phone apps. I think there will be less artists out and more high quality music because certain major label artist are proving that if the music is really good, people will buy your album even if they never heard any singles. I also think independent labels will have more control of the music industry.

What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Find a mentor to guide you to where you’re trying to go, and stay true to who you are.

What are the steps you take to make a song?
I usually start with a melody and then the snare or a bass line. After that I add on whatever feels right for the track.

What do you think makes a great song?
The beat has to be good. Usually if I don’t like the beat, I won’t like the song unless it’s remixed. I think most people break down songs with time and it takes time to really understand the lyrics. If you don’t like the beat, you probably won’t try to get into the meaning of the song.

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