Langston Francis from Toronto's Kensington Market is winning hearts and making waves in the music industry with his broody song lyrics and catchy synth hip-hop beats. He's not even out of high-school, yet his melancholy lyrics about young love and heartache make his music relatable to listeners of all ages.
Last Thursday, we had the chance to watch Langston Francis' showcase at Canadian Music Week (CMW) at the Velvet Underground. Langston captivated the audience with his smooth vocals and impressive performances on both keyboard and acoustic guitar. His set list included his singles 'Fall From Grace', 'FCKD IT UP', a selection of unreleased tracks and an edgy acoustic cover of 'Girls Love Beyonce'.
Langston Francis is proof that the Toronto music scene continues to foster strong Canadian talent. Langston's music incorporates flavours of pop, hip-hop and electronic, and seems to encapsulate an overall retro-underground vibe. His sound shows every promise of growing to chart-topping popularity.
We took some time to catch up with Langston, to ask him a few questions about his inspiration, his growing career and his plans for the future.
Winslow: Who are your musical influences? What inspires your work?
Langston: My work is mostly inspired by my day-to-day life and experiences. I have so much to write about all the time. Where I feel most at home is in the studio, I love writing and producing with my team more than anything. At least for now, that's really where my passion lies. My musical influences range from artists like RY X and Rainbow Kitten Surprise to Spooky Black and Kanye. Kind of all over the place, really depending on my mood.
Winslow: You grew up in Kensington Market, and actually busked in Toronto when you were younger. How would you describe the current Toronto music scene and how has it shaped the art you're creating?
Langston: The Toronto music scene is heating up like crazy right now. There are tons of artists and producers making waves internationally, which has definitely shaped me by pushing me to work harder so that I can at some point be mentioned in the same breath as some of the other huge success stories out of Toronto. Growing up, being like 12-13, I used to look up to the underground artists of Toronto so much. It feels great to finally get to contribute to a scene I was for so long only a consumer in.
Winslow: What does music mean to you and what do you hope to provide to your audience?
Langston: To me music has always been a way of putting my feelings on paper. Turning emotions into something more tangible like a song or a music video. When I was younger, music was always something very personal and the stuff I created I never really cared about publishing. As my career went on, I started thinking about what I could do with the voice I had as my platform continued to grow.
I hope to provide to my audience with music that resonates with them in a unique way. I want to make timeless music, I want to make people’s favourite songs, projects, videos etc.
I hope that I can inspire a kid the same way the artists I grew up listening to inspired me to be confident in sharing art that I create.
Winslow: 2018 has already been a big year for you. You dropped your new single 'Fall From Grace', released a music video and you'll be playing Santa Teresa 2018. What's next for you?
Langston: 2018 has definitely been a great year so far and we’re really just starting to pickup.
The traction on both “FCKD IT UP” and “Fall From Grace” has been surreal and I’m super amped about getting out and playing the songs along with other unreleased stuff at Santa Teresa in MTL.
Up next, we’ve got a single dropping June 8th which I’m going to be officially announcing soon. I also have more music planned going into the summer months. I've been writing and recording non-stop for the past little while. I think my first project will sonically reflect my experiences growing up as a young person in Toronto over the past couple years. I’m hoping to have it all finished by the end of the summer.
You can checkout Langston Francis' music video for his single Fall From Grace here.