Recently we had a chance to catch up with Langston Francis, the Toronto native, who is quickly making his mark in music. Check out our interview below.
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about you.
My name is Langston Francis.
I’m an artist from Toronto, Canada.
I’m in grade 11, I go to Rosedale, it’s an Arts High School.
Talk about your creative process and share with us the backstory on how you got started in the music industry?
My creative process can vary quite a bit from song to song, I don’t really have one specific formula I follow or anything like that. I used to really prefer starting with just some chords or a melody with my piano or guitar, then expand on the song’s production elements later. Sometimes when I’m feeling stuck on a beat or song, I just put it in my notes on my phone and listen to it on the subway for like three weeks until something strikes me. I got into the music industry slowly after I met my mentor/manager Miles Jones. We met when I was 13 years old through a family friend at a backyard BBQ. I remember showing him a demo I recorded in my bedroom hoping he would take me seriously. Back then all I really wanted was to be taken as seriously as I took myself by the people I looked up to. So when he was impressed, it really motivated me. I messaged him on Facebook asking to get in the studio, and a few weeks later we recorded our first demo together. That demo ended up getting in to the hands of an A&R rep from Sony Music when I was about 14, and yah. Now I’m here!
As an artist with so much going on in the world, where does your inspiration for music come from?
I like to write music about stuff I have personally experienced. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about growing up. The feeling of constantly running out of time. Although I know I’m young, I think it’s a feeling that everyone struggles with.
If you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t recording/writing/producing, I would definitely still be involved in the music industry in other ways. I’ve always wanted to work more on the other side of things, and plan on doing so further along in my career. Managing/developing artists, especially younger talent with little to no resources who are starting out. Like where I started out, that interests me a lot. If it could only be as simple as meeting your manager through family friends when you’re 13… without that, my career probably wouldn’t exist, or at least it’d be very different. It must feel great to be that person in a young artist’s life who can help take their raw potential and guide them into a great recording/performing artist.
Playoffs are upon us who do you have winning the NBA Finals this year and why?
I’m going to have to say Golden State. They seem pretty unbeatable to me. I’ll be honest though, not really a big sports guy lol.
Mother’s Day just happened, can you share with us 2-3 woman who have been instrumental in your life?
My sister, mother, and stepmother. My older sister and I are just over two years apart. Growing up we were both pretty creative, she’s a dancer.
Can you share with us the backstory behind your single FCKD IT UP and how it came about.
The entire process of creating FCKD IT UP was over about a year and a half. The song first started when we were all just hanging out at the studio listening to the new A$AP Rocky record. There was this one Joe Fox section from the track Max B, which inspired the FCKD IT UP beat. After that we just had the beat and some hook ideas and a couple months later after revisiting the song, I put down the verses. I wrote the verses with Miles Jones and a friend of mine Kayo when we were all just sitting in my bedroom. We wrote Verse 1 and 2 in about 20 minutes, it was a really quick process and it just kind of flowed out. It’s interesting because when I first created the song it meant something to me in a totally different way than by the time I released it. I think it’s really cool when songs can grow with you and take on a whole new different meaning as you go through life and have different experiences.
What advice would the Langston of today tell a younger Langston on what it takes to be successful in this industry?
Manage your time wisely, you don’t have a lot to spare. Also focus on the future and your goals, but don’t forget to enjoy the process. If you spend all of your time looking ahead, you will never actually take in what it is you’re going through. Good or bad. There is always another accolade to reach for, another statistic to try and reach. Stay humble.
When it’s all said and done how do you best want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered for being happy. Not for how much money I made, or the crazy shit I bought. I don’t want to be remembered in a superficial way. There is a sort of un-spoken rule about artists from Canada, it basically says if you don’t blow up and get signed outside of Canada, you’re career has a pretty low ceiling. I want to change that. I want to change the way Canadian artists are perceived on an international scale. I think it starts with me, that’s what I want to be remembered by.