Music is most enjoyable when you can hear the artist being free. Not being held to any standard or format of what can make a great record, and being daring enough to use their full creativity. Those songs are always fun to enjoy as you get a piece of the mind of the artist on what is a well crafted sound that can only be done by them. That magic is what you will love about Leroy Booker when you listen to his songs.
Leroy Booker is a multi-talented singer and songwriter from Kenosha, WI, who is quickly gaining buzz for his catchy hooks and clever lyrics. His lyrics are often drawn from his personal experiences, but he is careful to strike a balance between reality and exaggeration. His journey as a music artist started after his audition with American Idol. This artist’s come up was not overnight, as Leroy Booker has invested countless hours into his grind on his rise to the top. His career has started to take off to new heights with his breakout single, “Ponder”. Other hits including “No Idol” and his most recent release, “Black Card” have landed him in the palms of his ever growing fan base.
Check out some of his songs on Spotify below:
Hi there, welcome to Honk Magazine! Thank you for taking out time to respond to us. To kick things off, Can you tell our readers about what really inspired you to write music?
Leroy Booker – I’d say the thing that inspired me to write music was, it was the only way I knew how to express what I was feeling. In a time where I was growing up in the hood and legal family dynamics left me in the middle of two people I deeply carried about. Going to war was the only way I could process that as a kid. Going into my teen years, I started to just love writing poems just like Edgar Allen Poe who are some of my inspirations for what I talk about in some of my music.
When did you realize you were going to make music professionally?
Leroy Booker – The moment I hit my middle school talent show stage, the feeling I got then was that I fit in up there. That’s when I knew it was something I was gonna do for the rest of my life no matter what. It’s the only thing that makes me feel comfortable being me.
Tell us what is so unique about you and your music?
Leroy Booker – I just feel it’s raw and real. I don’t just write or create to make hits and money, I create to connect. I wanna show people the mistakes or right decisions I made to get me where I am and where I’m gonna be. Whether it’s the pitfalls of dealing with a break up the wrong way, drug abuse, or having a good time it’s all in the music and it’s there to connect, help and create a safe space for fans to go to in order for them not to feel alone.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Leroy Booker – I think it was forgetting my own lyrics at a talent show one year in highschool, I just started making up lyrics at one point. My friends knew but everyone else was like that was great and I was like “really” haha. I think what I learned from that is the importance of being prepared. If people are paying or willing to sit there and connect with you, you owe it to them to be on your P’s and Q’s no matter what.
Can you tell us about your latest releases and what inspired you to create them?
Leroy Booker – Actually my latest single came out of friends getting me out of a writing funk. I had just gone through a break up and I couldn’t stop writing about it. I’m sure you will hear some of those tracks in the future, but I was out with a group of friends one night and we talked about it and it so happened to be my friends birthday so I was broke and instead of buying a gift I told her I’d write a song about her cause why not I needed to write about something else and that’s when the song just flew out. It was one of the first more uplifting kinda independent women attractive tracks I wrote in a while and my producer from Nashville had sent me the arrangement that night so it all kinda happened perfectly.
Can you give us a brief insight into your upcoming projects?
Leroy Booker – My upcoming projects are my best work to date, I really think my fans and new fans will like the route it’s going. The stories that are going to be told. It is probably the most vulnerable I will get with my mental state this past year. Which is hard for most men to even express let alone let strangers in to inspect and digest. But if it helps men and women alike work through and maybe feel it’s okay to feel what they are feeling then that’s what it’s all going to be about.
What do you wish you were told when you first started making music that you think would help artists just starting out?
Leroy Booker – It doesn’t go as fast as you want it to. What makes you stand out is the willingness to fail and keep failing. Most people give up after the first few months cause their hit song isn’t popping but that’s not how this business works. It’s a trial and tribulation thing where one day you could be on top of the world and the next day plummet back to square one. I’d say I wish I was told that it isn’t rare to work years on this before you see any results. I probably wouldn’t have been as harsh on myself and have those writing blocks I did due to my own thinking.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Leroy Booker – When you’re on a hot streak at work, don’t stop. It’s not going go be easy so experience life. What ever you were writing about in the first place, that’s what makes you relatable so go live your life then come back and write about that. Everything else will come when it’s supposed to. Don’t compare work ethic, just sharpen yours. No horse has ever won a race looking at the horse in first or last place at the start, middle or end of the race.
What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?
Leroy Booker – I’m passionate about finding ways to raise money for crohns and colitis foundation as well as the Suicide prevention line. I hang with family and friends and make memories and I enjoy going and supporting other artists on their journey.
Any last piece of advice for those artists who just started making music?
Leroy Booker – Stop trying to be the next and be you. F*** all the noise in your head. You can quiet that by just putting effort in what you desire. Stop saying this will not happen and hope it happens, and most of all just enjoy the beginning stages. That’s when you’re free to create whatever you want but once you find your brand and niche it’s hard to break out of that box so enjoy finding yourself and your sound.
How can our readers follow you online?
Leroy Booker – Feel free to Hit me up on Instagram: @Leroy_Music
Also don’t forget to follow and save my music on Spotify. You can also add me on SnapChat: @Leroybooker222 where you will hear most of my unreleased snippets.
Exclusive Interview With Dante Williamson
Today we had an exclusive chance to interview Dante Williamson.
Who is Dante Williamson? Sounds unfamiliar? How does he intend to make an impact with music? Read more to find out about the rare and talented musician.
What would you do differently if you were starting in your industry now?
I would strategize better and seek more insight from artists I know currently in the industry. Learning from other’s stories and miscalculations might’ve helped me from falling into the same traps.
What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
– Do what makes you happy and sounds good!
– Build your fanbase.
– Think big picture and keep the main thing, the main thing.
Which people or books have had the most influence on your growth and why?
My friends WHOISJORDAN, Beau Collins, Canon and my dad have influenced me tremendously. They keep it real and never beat around the bush. They’re all very knowledgeable in their own respect, providing an array of perspectives and insightful alternatives.
What has been your biggest success story and why do you think it was a success?
My biggest success story is my highest streamed song, “Wanna Be With U”. I had no expectations for the song’s success and didn’t think it would do the numbers it’s done. I am very proud of that record!
What would you say is the #1 key to success in your music career?
Don’t go the easy route and be yourself! Real fans and friends can hear the authenticity in your art when you’re honest.
Talk about the biggest failure you’ve had. What did you learn from it?
The biggest failure I’ve ever had is not taking more risks early on because I cared too much on people’s opinions. I was a little too reserved, listening to what others said I should do. I learned to stop putting value into other people’s opinions of me and the moves I make because it’s not their career— it’s mine.
What keeps you going when things get tough in the music industry?
God, my wife Erin, and my family. They speak truth to me when I need it most and remind me to push through.
What made you pursue being an artist full-time?
My love for creativity and competition. I love making new sounds and experimenting when I’m in the studio. It’s almost like a high. Music is such a beautiful language, and I enjoy venturing through its endless maze.
Would you sign to a label?
If it was the right deal and situation, possibly. It must make sense! Some artists I know have taken that route and are still paying the consequences. The industry can be skeptical. Keep your eyes open!
What projects are you working on for the rest of 2022?
I’m working on my EP “sadhappy!” plan on releasing it early 2023. It will be feature heavy with lots of different sounding tunes and melodies.
How can our readers follow you online?
My website— dantewilliamson.com
Exclusive Interview With Rising Sensation Jarred Brown
Hello Jarred Brown, Thanks for Coming To Honk Magazine To Talk About Your Music Career.
Let’s start off by introducing yourself, you know the basics like name, age, where you’re from. As much or little as you’re comfortable sharing.
I’m Jarred Brown AKA Horizon Wake an RnB/Pop artist currently based out of London, Ontario. I found my introduction into music as a child in Toronto, Canada where I taught myself to play guitar and started singing for my rock band when nobody else wanted to do it.
Talk me through your creative process.
My creative process is in large part a collaborative effort with my long time friend and producer Jesgee Beats. Typically I’ll start off with an idea that’s usually inspired by some kind of life event, a memory, or sometimes even a dream.
I’ll take that and it usually comes along with a melody and basic lyrics that most of the time end up becoming the foundation for the hook section. Lately I’ve been recording vocals, guitar, bass, or a combination of the three and sending/taking them over to Jesgee where we work together to transform it into what you hear in my releases. The pandemic played a big role in shaping our current process and actually strengthened our ability to work together. We began working online during quarantine and at some points I was even recording demos from my car before I was able to get my home studio up and running. We still continue to start most of our work through discord.
How do you solve productivity/scheduling problems and reduce overwhelming situations?
Productivity and scheduling typically isn’t a huge issue for me at this stage but I do find that when situations begin to get a little overwhelming or there is a lack of productivity being direct is a huge help. This industry is collaborative by nature. I’m responsible for the music while someone else takes care of videos or mixing, or whatever else needs to be done to take the music where it needs to go. I learned over time that being direct, keeping open communication, and taking charge of the scheduling or whatever other issue is the key. Set deadlines and communicate them firmly.
What’s the best advice you ever received concerning music?
I’ve received a lot of good advice over the years and I think the best advice given to me regarding music creation is to not get comfortable and don’t let genre box you in. I find that a lot of new artists will approach writing/producing new music in a way that is almost like a cookie cutter style where they take something that someone else in the genre has done well and replicate it over and over.
Sometimes artists feel like they can’t write a certain lyric or use a certain instrument or melody because it doesn’t sound RnB or Hip Hop. This kind of thinking crushes creativity. Artists should keep experimenting and evolving. Otherwise how do we grow and improve?
What is still your biggest challenge?
For me I’d say my biggest challenge is knowing when a song is complete. I can sometimes be a bit of a perfectionist or judge myself a bit too harshly before releasing a project. It’s really easy to overthink or keep making tweaks to your songs past the point where you should. Knowing when to take time away really helps and getting a second opinion from people you trust to give honest feedback goes a long way.
What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?
Don’t rely on the wrong people. If I could go back to the day I started I’d push myself to record everything as often as possible and to make connections with people that are just as passionate as I am. Starting out I formed a lot of relationships with people who just weren’t in music for the long-term. So many people have so much potential but lose the drive to keep pushing. I don’t think I can ever stop making music. For some of us it is a part of who we are. Find those people and push forward together or learn how to do as much as you can for yourself so you aren’t slowed down by others.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
There are so many amazing artists that I would love to perform with or open up for. To be honest I’m a huge fan of Post Malone. I’m incorporating more guitar in my music and performances. I think we could rock out together.
What are you focusing your time on now?
Right now I’m focussing my time on developing my new sound and releasing an EP. I’ve had a shift where I’m blending my RnB sound with more pop and rock elements to better suit my musical background. I plan on having the EP for release in November and it’ll be much more pop influenced than what I’ve released previously.
I’ve got a new song about a bad relationship called “Young Girl Games” featuring Coobie and Golden G dropping on September 30th.
How do you currently feel about the state of Hip-hop in general?
I think hip-hop is in a really cool spot. Over the past few years it’s really grown and become integrated deeply into the mainstream. Most modern pop music has more than a few hip-hop elements where there never would have been before.
Growing up I remember my mom throwing out my Eminem CDs and not understanding rap music as art. Now she listens to a lot of the same things that I do. I think now more than ever we have the ability to experiment with our production in the hip-hop space. We’re blurring the lines between genres. I think its awesome.
What keeps you going when things get tough in the music industry?
When things get tough in the industry there are 2 things that usually keep me going. I love when other artists or fans reach out on social media to let me know how much they vibe with my work. It helps to keep me pushing on and often times can even shift my mood to increase in productivity. I also really enjoy having conversations with them and hearing the music they make or connecting with them in general.
So I really encourage my fans to feel comfortable sending DMs on instagram or TikTok so we can connect. I can’t always respond to everyone right away but I try to do as much as I can. Secondly, I take a break from whatever is stressing me out for a while. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the responsibilities and forget why you make music in the first place. I won’t ever stop creating because it’s an outlet for me. When the stresses become too much I take a step back and just create for the love of creating. It’s important to take breaks and give yourself some breathing room to keep it fun.
How can our readers follow you online?
Follow me on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube @HorizonWake. My music is available on all major platforms so head over to wherever you get your music from and search Horizon Wake.
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