May 24, 2018
Each and every time I’ve gone to Angelo LeRoi’s house, no matter the occasion, he brings me to the upstairs living room to check out the latest project he’s been working on. This one room is where he practices, writes and listens to music. The first look into this room is always a guessing game. You never know what instrument, or array thereof, will be scattered across the couch, the carpet or the table. But it’s what comes out of his speaker system that shows his ethic and his vision.
First we need some introduction. Angelo LeRoi is 19-years-old, lactose intolerant and wildly gifted. We met in high school and bonded over our love of music and comic books and have been close ever since. Born in New Jersey, he and his family moved to California when he was three years old.
Music is virtually inescapable in the LeRoi home. Their collection of instruments and music seemingly overflows into every single room. For this reason, leading a musical lifestyle was unavoidable for LeRoi. He was introduced to music at a young age and has been constantly encouraged to pick up instruments to put his thoughts in motion.
“For me, playing guitar is like talking,” LeRoi said. “The core of my work is an expression of who I am. I love that.”
LeRoi isn’t someone who would claim that his songs are created in a vacuum. Early on, his parents exposed him to a varied palette of artists. LeRoi commented that the favorites of his youth included D’Angelo, Funkadelic, OutKast and the late, great Prince among others. More recently, he has taken a keen liking to the sound of artists like Frank Ocean. All of these artists have had a distinct impact on LeRoi’s work.
By no means is LeRoi’s music something that hedges its substance solely on other artists, however. His work is done entirely with a contemporary flair. Much like Steve Lacy, he records all his music at home on Apple platforms like Logic Pro. This new age of tech has advanced his recording capability to new heights.
“It gives me a lot of creative control so I can make things sound just how I want,” he said. It’s not just in recording that LeRoi is glued to his computer. For distribution he uses YouTube and SoundCloud to get his music out into the world.
The remarkable part, frankly, is his breadth of skills. In fact, he records each and every instrument alone no matter his comfort level on them. “I’m really no good on instruments,” he said facetiously. “Just don’t tell anybody that.”
These are the exciting years: the wonderful and uneasy years of a budding musician. Continuing his study of music and performance at large, LeRoi is working tirelessly to make his dreams of musicianship a reality.
So, call this a shameless plug, call it what you will, but the reality is that this is a story shared by many. Good, beautiful and worthwhile music isn’t created solely by established stars—it comes from everywhere. So the next time you need some music, skip the oldies and look to the future of the music world.
Contact Noah Sonnenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.