NMV Sit Down: London Lo
Texas born, Chicago raised singer London Lo speaks on her sophomore EP, vocal techniques and reflecting on yourself.
We were lucky enough to chat with the talented singer/vocalist as she gears up for her sophomore project and future out of town show dates.
SM: Steven Mainzer
LL: London Lo
SM: Hey London, how have you been? What have you been working on?
LL: I’ve been great I feel like everything lately has been aligning, I’m happy about that but as far as what I’m working on, I just released my new single “Clear My Mind” about a week ago and its been well received. The feeling that I had when I created it is being transferred to everyone else so I’m happy. We’re promoting it and working on the video in the next couple weeks. I’ve been doing some shows, I have a few out of town gigs coming up and another single that I’ll be ready to promote after "Clear My Mind." I’m excited, everything is kind of in the works in a good way.
SM: Are you releasing that single in preparation for a project?
LL: Yes, it’s my first single from my sophomore EP. My first project was PDA, Public Display of Artistry. So what the listeners are going to see as far as differences between projects is that the first one is all acapella, just my vocals -- but for this one I’m working with a dope producer, her name is Eesh. I’ve been knowing her for years, we’ve been friends for the longest and we felt like it was time to work on some things and collaborate, and everything we’ve made so far I’ve been happy about, and proud of. So far very good, so I’m definitely excited for people to hear it.
SM: I saw you recently perform in Wicker and was impressed, how long have you been performing live?
LL: A long time, maybe a good ten years. But I guess I started taking it more serious as far as a solo career the last four years. I was a kid before but this is my livelihood now, so it’s more of a career rather than a hobby now. I think the difference now is that I’m performing my own music, but back in the day I was doing covers and stuff.
SM: Being Texas born and living in Chicago, you get the best of both worlds music wise. How does Chicago affect your southern twang at all?
LL: I like to phrase it as I have a southern heart with city ways. I know how to move and shake like a city person but I still have the compassion of a southern person, and my music now has a softness to it but still maintains an edge where the city style will come out.
SM: What got you into music in the first place?
LL: Both of my parents sing, I was actually born into it and my parents met singing in the choir while they were in the Army. They use to sing in Kirk Franklin’s choir before it was “The Family” and before he was what everyone knows him as today. But yeah my parents both sang, my grandmother was an opera singer, it’s one of those things I was born into but oddly enough because of that it scared me out of it because of the high expectations.
SM: Who did you grow up listening to?
LL: Definitely Whitney Houston, that’s my mother’s favorite artist; gospel, jazz, my mom loves Miles Davis, Anita Baker, the list goes on and on. Basically all the R&B classics, gospel classics, jazz, and classical as well. My grandma sang opera so I was exposed to those things really early. And because I started off dancing, a lot of the music we danced to was very eclectic and it gave me a different ear as a child.
SM: Being a strong vocalist, how do you keep your voice up to par?
LL: A lot of water, a lot of rest and working out and keeping your stamina up, so doing cardio, vocal exercises or breathing exercises, stay hydrated and keep everything moisturized. Having a vocal coach really is the difference in everything, having a really good vocal coach that can teach you technique so when you’re not in your best full voice you can have that technique that will carry you through a performance.
SM: Can you expand on different techniques?
LL: Yes, my vocal coach is big on technique, more than skills and tricks and stuff. She wants you to be a healthy singer, understanding where to place things, where you’re singing on your throat, how air moves, how to breathe properly, how to place what you’re singing physically, don’t have tension in your shoulders, don’t sing through your neck. There are different things you can pay attention to in your body and that will show you how to sing where its not straining you. It can teach you how to be able to perform every night.
SM: What is a goal you want to hit for 2019?
LL: I want to have my sophomore EP out, I would love to be touring more, I would love to collaborate more with other artists as far as doing writing and features for other people and really just stretching myself musically in whatever way I can.
SM: What is something a guy can buy you to win you over to a second date?
LL: I don’t know because I’m not really a material kind of girl, but if he gives me a really great experience like something I’ve never done before with him, I’m way more likely to go on another date. I’m just adventurous so as long as we have a moment that I’ll never forget I would be inclined to see him again and see what he comes up with the next time.
SM: What is your favorite hobby away from music?
LL: I love all things beauty related so makeup, fashion, hair, those are all like my passions and I spend a lot of time looking into new ways of doing all three of those things, just all things beauty related.
SM: Any advice for up and coming artists?
LL: I want up and coming artists to know themselves first and foremost, take the time to really figure out who you are, what your voice is, what your purpose is, and let those things reflect in the music that you make because when you’re only reflecting yourself and your truth you really don’t have to compete, all you have to do is be you and those things will come out in the product your produce.