EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Lester London

Meet Jersey Watch's First Highlighted Indie Artist of the New Year.


We are pleased to introduce our first featured artist for 2023. In addition to being born in the city of brotherly love, Lester London spends most of his time as a musical Casanova in South Jersey. He has gained a timeless stamp of approval from within the music industry as a result of his deep love of music and the arts. He's new to our platform, but he's been seen collaborating and producing most NJ artists' projects. He never seems to lack the finishing touches that make a song a hit, which is his most unique quality. Whenever he is in the booth, he is punctual, suave, and executes his pen skills smoothly and precisely. In addition to catering to the rarest of the rare ladies, he has a hip-hop and R&B flow that is so relatable to most rap lovers. Lester London and I dig deep to find some gems that might inspire the rest of you NJ Indie writers in this exclusive interview. Enjoy!

1.    Why did you decide to become involved in the music industry?

It was kind of destined. I started at a young age. Age 10. My entire life has literally revolved around music. I was a DJ from ages 10-15. In the midst of that, I became interested in music production. My Mom and Dad used to take me around to local talent shows, auditions, showcases, and music conferences. Shortly after I started making beats, I wrote and produced my first song entitled “One Day”. I put my Mom on the chorus of that song. I was 11 years old. After that first song, I decided that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. 

2.     How would you describe what makes you stand out from other up-and-coming artists in your genre?

In my opinion, my understanding of what makes a great song helps me to stand out. My love and respect for what came before me and my awareness of what’s happening right now. I’ve studied the greatest people and applied their tactics and teachings to my work. On top of that, I’ve always been the one to create everything from the ground up. From the song, creating the music for the song, recording the song, mixing and mastering the song, to painting the cover art for it all. I’m big on painstaking detail and quality. And I’ve spent years upon years learning just what quality is. 

3.     Which artist would you choose if you could collaborate with anyone?

Unfortunately, some of my favorite artists I’d love to collaborate with are no longer with us. Like Michael Jackson & Marvin Gaye. But I’d love to collaborate with Quincy Jones, Sade, and Dr. Dre mostly. I’d also like to work with Miguel again. I loved being a part of his sessions.

4.     In your opinion, what are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of being an NJ independent?

I would have to say the advantage is being able to connect with the other artists in the community here. There’s a bunch of undeniable talent. Also, there are tons of resources and other creatives like videographers, engineers, graphic artists, designers, etc. All with quality work. The only disadvantage has to be the number of people who are unaware of what New Jersey has to offer creatively. I would love for more eyes to be intentionally looking in the direction of New Jersey. 

5.     How important is it to you to remain an independent artist, or would you prefer to be signed to a major label? Why?

It’s very important, simply because I value my creative freedom. But I’m not against majors. I’ll entertain the right situation if it presents itself.

6.     How would you rate your best song out of all the ones you've released?

In my opinion, I give “Still” a 10. Not only is it a part of one of my favorite projects, “Casa De Sade,” but the way I sampled Sade, the feeling, and the saxophone solo by SaxManArt; it's all so perfect to me. I love that song. 

7.     Cassette mixtapes are gone, but streaming music is on the rise. What do you think? Which era of Rap do you prefer?

I actually prefer this era. The reason is; freedom. If I have an idea today, I can create it today and basically release it tomorrow, and then it gets seen by thousands and millions of people. But let me just say this; I’m dead smack in the middle of these two eras. I come from the cassette mixtape era. I even used to make my songs and beats on cassettes. So that era is very instrumental to my growth. Pun intended. Those times are extremely important to me. 

8.     In your opinion, which is more enjoyable, creating in the studio or performing live on stage?

I’m definitely torn between them because both of these things are so magical. But although I’ve created greatness in the studio and have had some great times there, I’d have to say performing live. There’s no feeling in the world like experiencing a crowd of people enjoying your performance. The eye contact, the participation of the crowd, the electricity. I can never really explain that feeling how I want to. It’s so beautiful. But both the studio & live performances are highly spiritual. 

9.     What was the worst experience you've had during your entire career in the music business?

Probably experiencing that exact thing, the business, and certain people wanting me to be something that I was never interested in being. I remember being in an office of a major label. I won’t say which one. But an A&R literally said to me, “you know what your problem is? You’re too good”. They were referring to my lyrical and musical ability. In a time when mainstream music seemed to be “dumbed down”, I was being told that I’d never achieve what I wanted because I was basically too talented. 

10.  If you had to pick one memorable moment from your music career, what would it be?

I’d say performing at BET Music Matters at SOB’s in New York City in 2016. That was amazing. I had wanted to perform at that show for a while but hadn’t had the opportunity or connection. But I had met Omar Grant a few months before the next show, and he saw me perform and asked me to come on board. Before the performance, there was a cypher in the lounge area downstairs. Scottie Beam was one of the two hosts for that show. She just watched as we rapped. Afterward, she gave me one of the greatest introductions I’ve ever had before a performance. I got on stage and completely killed it. My special guest was fellow Philly native Chill Moody. Also, like any other show, I had my brother and fellow artist EndaStory with me. As well as SaxManArt. The band had already rehearsed my music; they loved it, so when it came time to finish the last song, they just kept on playing for an extended period of time. Everything was perfect. When I left the venue, a crowd of people followed me. I cried that night.

11.  Are there any aspects of the music industry these days that discourage you the most?

I can’t say there are. There are always things that you’ll like and dislike, but for the most part, I’m not discouraged by anything.

12.  In your opinion, which of your songs is your favorite? Why?

I’d have to refer back to “Still” from the “Casa De Sade” project. There are certain songs that I can’t believe I made. That’s one of them. It’s so full and complete. I have a couple favorites on my next project, but I think it would be unfair to name them as though they’re not released yet.

13.  Is there something about the current state of the music industry that inspires you most?

Yes, I love the fact that artists can literally do everything themselves. You can create a personal brand and an entire world based on your music. That makes me want to make more music and dive deeper into my artistry, and put it in front of more eyes. I also love that artists are getting into the habit of finding other artists they love and putting them on bigger platforms. I’d love to do the same. 

14.  Suppose you weren't an independent music artist; what would you do instead?

I’d be a full-time painter and an interior designer. I’m a contemporary painter, and I love interior design with a passion. 

15.  How would you describe the current music scene in your community?

Beautiful. I have a few favorite local artists, actually. Endastory, GetRightSour, Mir Fontane, Don Michael Jr., DH Worldwide, Mir Pesos, RoBB, Wildcard103, Mike O, and Fre$ko, to name a few. I think there’s a sense of camaraderie amongst the artists here even more than I’ve ever experienced. There are frequently artists or producers at one another’s performances or studio sessions, and I think that’s dope. That’s the key to building something even more special for this area.

16.  Can you tell me about your latest release and where fans can get it?

My last EP entitled “Casa De Sade” is streaming everywhere. It’s my tribute to one of my favorite artists, Sade. I had the idea to do this project back in 2016. I finally felt like I was in a peaceful enough state to work on it and release it. The entire project is packed with so much music and intricate production. But it only took me four days to write it, produce it, record it, mix it and master it because I was so inspired. I think it’s what it would sound like if she and I actually collaborated. I hold it very close to my heart. 

17.  What can fans expect from you in 2023?

Lots more music, visuals, and collaboration with more artists.   Look out for a song called “Tunnel Vision” featuring Dot Cromwell. The Eagles picked it up for The Gameday Poster Playlist, courtesy of Pepsi, for their game against the Green Bay Packers on November 27th of last year. It dropped on all platforms on November 28th this previous year. I’m also producing a few albums for some artists I love. And for my fans, a more in-depth look into my world is coming. From my art to my love for fashion and food.

18.  Where can fans follow you?

They can follow me on Instagram & Twitter at @iamLesterLondon. Also, my website www.iamLesterLondon.com

GO STREAM TUNNEL VISION BY LESTER LONDON FT. TOO MANY ZOOZ, DOT CROMWELL

https://music.apple.com/us/album/tunnel-vision/1654130732?i=1654130734


 

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