Representing Flatbush, Lono Bristol, formally known as Mr. Bristol, gets a feel of dipping his toes in the water after releasing his latest single, Used To Do. The song dropped with a corresponding video created by abstract director, Adio Ash, this past month which was featured by the Source, NestHQ, and other prominent music blogs.
We had the opportunity to sit down with the kindred spirit and talk about his recent achievements and what’s next for the Brooklyn artist.
HangTime Magazine: So, why the name Lono Bristol?
Lono Bristol: When I first started producing, it was Mr. Bristol, and when I was making the transition as an artist, I felt like that didn’t work. So, I looked up Greek gods and Hawaiian gods—the Hawaiian god of music is called “Lono.”
HT: What were some of your influences?
Lono: Jay-Z. Kanye West. Coldplay. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Prince. Michael Jackson. Outkast. I started listening to hip hop late. I really got into it when I was about 13-14 years old. Most of the other times, my mom was playing Haitian music, or I would listen to a lot of rock n roll. My older neighbor would always listen to rock music. I started with rock, then I got into hip hop.
HT: There was a write up we found on you that mentioned you were influenced by Travis Scott and Kid Cudi, is that true?
Lono: I wouldn’t say it was an influence, but people are always comparing me to those two.
HT: What do you think that may be?
Lono: I think it’s because of the sound. We all got inspired by the same person. They listen to Kanye a lot, they’ve worked with him. They’ve listened to artists like Prince. Because of the Internet, I feel like everyone is getting influenced by the same thing.
HT: Tell me about your creative process. Regarding production, do you make your own music, or do you get it from other people?
Lono: I do everything. I usually make the beat first and then mid process, I could be like “oh, let me put some vocals on it.” I will stop making the beat, put vocals on it, and add stuff to the beat later. It’s like I have to get the idea out as quick as possible. I do everything by myself—mix it, everything.
HT: How do you want your music to impact the people that listen to it? Is there a message you’re trying to communicate?
Lono: My music is really emotional, but with this video, I realized that it taught me a lot. I could put out messages with my music without being too political. I guess I’m learning to do that now. Like it’s brand new to me. That video taught me that I could do that with my music.
HT: How much influence did you have on the music video for Used To Do?
Lono: I want to say that it was the director. He heard the song. I emailed him the song. He told me to call him, and I was at work—so, I took a break. I called him and he gave me the idea. Before I spoke and said anything, I wanted him to give me an interpretation. After I heard his idea, that was it. I asked him whatever he need, I got the money. We did this last year. So I paid him around this time, and we just shot it around this past October. So it was a long process. Our schedules were different, he also does movies and things like that. It was about waiting for the right time.
HT: How many projects do you have right now?
Lono: I haven’t put out one solid project, yet. I just put out music. I’m going to be releasing my first project on my birthday. It’s called Inauguration Day, comes out the day before the actual inauguration. I spoke to Flash Ketchum, and we spoke about collaborating and doing a release party/art gallery type event—similar to the show they [Bare Canvas Sounds] do, “Epic Art Party.” It should be smooth.
HT: Is there anyone you would like to work with specifically?
Lono: There’s actually this one kid from Flatbush, his name is Preston Waters. He’s supposed to be on my mixtape. He’s actually the only feature on it. In terms of other bigger artists, definitely those two names mentioned before, Kid Cudi and Travis Scott. With Tory Lanez, I think my sound will be crazy with his.
HT: Have you ever thought about touring, because you just have so much music?
Lono: Yeah… I’m trying to get myself to the point where I can get people to actually see me perform. I think that’s the next step for me to actually get myself out there.
HT: You have two projects coming out soon, Inauguration Day and Emotionless. Tell me about that.
Lono: Emotionless… you know how Dr. Dre has that one album he was supposed to put out but hasn’t yet? That’s Emotionless for me. I was supposed to put that out like 5 years ago, but I just keep pushing it back and back. Some of the songs that’s going to be on Inauguration Day, was supposed to be on Emotionless. After this tape, the next one I put out around the end of 2017, it should Emotionless.
HT: How do you think you’ve been surviving, with just putting out song after song after song?
Lono: It’s teaches me a lot, like I see what people gravitate to and what people don’t like, just by looking at their reactions. For example; the Used To Do video, I released the song maybe a year or two ago, but I realized how much people liked it, so I took it off SoundCloud. I wanted to put a real good video behind it. It’s pretty much just a learning process for me.
HT: Describe yourself in one word.
Lono: Different. I think outside of the box a lot. When people stop, I like to push forward. I like to push the agenda.
HT: What’s the separation between you and other artists creating music these days?
Lono: I would say, one thing I do everything myself. I produce it, I mix it. I got a little computer, a cheap microphone, and a cheap keyboard—and I could compete with anyone else.
HT: Do you see yourself moving onto other projects in the near future?
Lono: When I first started making beats, people used to tell me that my music was perfect for movies. I kinda strayed away from that then realized that’s what people like about me most. So I definitely want to get into screenwriting and scoring. I want to make background music for movies.
HT: What advice do you have for someone who is pursuing production?
Lono: Just make sure you’re ready for everything that comes at you. I’ve been doing it for 10 years now and I probably took the artist aspect of it seriously for 6 years. And, there’s so much stuff, dealing with other people, it’s like the politics, that’s the most difficult part.
HT: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Lono: Honestly, I would really like to see myself getting recognized for my music. Winning awards. In 5 years, I want to see myself making transitions out of music into doing something like movies or acting or whatever it is. I’m hoping that’s what happened. But if you asked me this same question 5 years ago, I’d probably say the same thing. You can’t really predict time.
You can watch the full music video to Used To Do by Adio Ash here!
Ebony Anderson-Brown, Editor in Chief & Publisher