Hey Lyndon Laveaux, welcome to BuzzMusic! We’re loving the motivating message from your music video “8”. What can you share with our readers about the video’s creative process, and what your original intentions were for the video?
Well my preference on how I approach songwriting is that I like to hear the beat first, sometimes I'll write the hook first, send it to my big brother Ruben Raymond of The Track Burnaz who essentially are future household names when it comes to producing and they'll write something off that hook, seldom do my lyrics come first. I had a friend who was a phenomenal dancer, particularly in freestyling, when I asked him how did he know what to move when the beat dropped, he responded simply "the music tells me". Through the years as I honed my craft as an MC, I began to understand Jake more and more. I would listen to a beat, and I let the music speak to me, it's gonna tell me what I'm going to write about, what my cadence is gonna be, I look at hip hop like a puzzle, you've got your 16 bars, and depending on the style/bpm of the instrumental I know where these lyrics are going to land. So when Nathan Bankston the talented producer of 8 sent me the beat, I was floored. It had a level of eerie/haunting vibe that I really dug, so to me, the story I was telling was that of a seance in the sense that I'm going to summon the giants whose shoulders I stand on and set clear intentions on what I want for myself.I'm inspired by the underdogs of history. I never miss the chance to celebrate black people, this was no different, I knew that in the backdrop of this music video I wanted to do that but the man truly responsible for bringing my vision to life is my brother Young Tez, in addition to editing the video, he shot and directed it. I gave him a list of black people whom I admire in a great deal, and he just took off.
Your music video for “8” captures powerful themes of black excellence and different successful icons around the world who have risen up their legendary status. What made Lyndon Laveaux want to surround this theme, and capture moments that empower African-American heritage?
One of my big homies growing up told me there are 3 things an artist should do; 1. Stay humble, lean towards gratitude for the opportunity, 2. Pay homage to those who came before you, 3. Bring something new to the table. So #2 is how I would begin answering your question, the systematic deck is set high when it comes to the adversities black people have faced, and continue to face around the world. So when I see someone who looks like me define all odds in a world that was built on our backs I feel obligated to salute that. Take Jay Z for example, a billionaire with multiple business ventures, over 20 Grammys, several plaques, and yet still approaches each verse as if he's writing for his first album. If a billionaire can still find the passion to write verses that continue to shake culture, that motivates me to push passed myself each time I'm in the booth. My peers of color do the same thing when Disanti kills a verse I have no choice but to go just as hard. I believe as an artist if you live your life in an open way, you will never run out of things to write about. Reading comic books/novels, listening to the music of different genres, streaming a series, conversations, keep me motivated, also when you love the craft, I doubt you can live permanently in a place of complacency, you may be stuck there for a season or two but I believe your passion will always bring you back when you're ready. When I was young the incredibly gifted Dooley Sheen was one of my mentors when I started out as an MC, when we were having a lesson on the fundamentals of freestyling I asked him "what if I get stuck" and he was like "Lyndon you read comic books you gonna have punchlines for days", and well... I mean over ten years/100,000 streams later he may have been on to something. I'm inspired by legends and legends in the making of all shades but when you're a person of color it just hit me differently.
The music video for “8” creates an incredibly raw and intense atmosphere from its black and white effect to your passionate performance. How did Lyndon Laveaux take the motivating message from the “8”, and execute it with physical imagery?
I knew I wanted it to be in black and white, and I'm passionate about the topic of the song so that's why you can see the veins popping out. I put my all when performing, also coming from a theatre background helps because that taught me to live in the present and tell the truth. I'm grateful that level of honesty was able to be shown physically, also Tez kept getting my good side. He gave great direction as well.
Lyndon Laveaux’s music video for “8” also captures brilliant editing, perfectly enhancing the tracks meaning. Could you share your initial intentions with regard to how you wanted the video editing to enhance the overall theme?
What can we expect to see from you next? That was Tez's brilliance, he truly is a top tier creative, his timing with the editing makes this video, and took the song to new heights. Any recognition that this video brings me I have to share with my brother Tez. I'm grateful truly for our brotherhood. The next thing for us as soon of this Covid19 intermission wraps up is shooting the music video for Ay Papi featuring The First Lady of Swaggfia Disanti; and eventually After Dark, Tez and I have a song we're collabing on as well (yes on top of everything else he can rap rap), I also just finished writing new music, so I shall be recording those soon. I'm executive producing a single for Dooley Sheen, among other artists including not limited to such superb artists such as The Wiley Rogue, and I have a collab with an incredible up and coming artist Young Chase. Of course got things coming with The Track Burnaz, Ray Mitchell, Nathan Bankstong, and Silver Screens. All artists mentioned can be found on all streaming platforms, new music will be joining in just a matter of time. To everybody in my circle thank you for inspiring me to be the best version of myself. We've got more to do and thank you Buzzfeed for the endless support!
You can watch the video for "8" here.