What’s good? Thanks for spending time with us. Tell us the origin behind your name/brand LostInLeon?
So LostInLeon actually came from a time when I was self-rehabbing. I moved back to California to get focused, and one day while I was learning how to mix, I was drinking an unnecessarily large bottle of liquor and felt like I was lost/ losing it. I realized it was all just in my head. The only one who can pull me out of it is me, so I concluded that I was just lost in myself and me being a Leo. I just went with LostInLeon, and I liked the way it sounded, and I just pulled the trigger on it, and it’s been that ever since!
What was the experience like growing up in your city?
Well, between growing up in El Centro and Minnesota, I’d say Minnesota’s weather was a cakewalk compared to the desert heat, although it gets extra cold in the wintertime. Things were crazy out west like the school I went to in California, people was bussing lines off the bathroom sinks, and everyone was basically in some sort of gang; they’d check your ink to see what set you bang, but in Minneapolis, its more cliques & blocks banging, not structured gangs like how they have in California, It’s also some halfway racist white people and police who you gotta worry about as well that was another thing that was different because in El Centro everyone’s Mexican; we outnumber everyone out West, haha.
What inspired you to get into the Business of Music?
I think I knew right away; honestly, I’ve always been so influenced by the music I listen to; no matter what I liked to do as a kid, I always had a Walkman or mp3 or iPod or something on me to listen to music. I came up freestyling with the homies and got good at it, and if it weren’t for them gassing me, up I probably would’ve stayed in school! I can remember 50 Cent being like my biggest idol for the longest time shit; for a little while there, I wanted to be just like him. He did more than just rap; he invested, started businesses, labels, endorsements, acted. It made me want to do the same things.
You blend various genre’s Rap, Indy, Rock & Pop to get your sound. How important is it to understand what your sound is when making music daily?
I don’t think anyone ever has just one sound because artists continue to evolve with everything they experience. That’s why people always say that artists sell out because one moment they’re rapping about the come up, and then the next album is all about clubs and bottles and exotic cars. But when you think about it, that’s what they see every day now before all they saw was the struggles, but if you aren’t struggling anymore, it’s time to tell the next chapter of your story, ya know?
Talk to us about the concept for your single “Ain’t Dat” and how YMMI played a part in its creation?
It’s crazy because Ymmi made that beat so fast and sent it to me when I was over at Winterland Studios, and I had no idea the record was gonna be as crazy as it was. I usually just freestyle until something shakes but from the first melody run I did, I knew exactly how the song was gonna sound, and it was the most fluid recording session I’ve probably ever had. I finished “Ain’t Dat” so fast that I impressed MYSELF, and I had no idea it’d become one of my favorite records to date. But not only that, but I also saw it as a record that can really move mountains and compete for that next slot.
Who would you say influenced you in the music business and why?
I’d say 50 Cent, Nelly, Eminem, and then Lil Wayne. 50 cent taught me how to tell a story, and Nelly showed me the ability to be versatile and cross over. Eminem taught me about breaking barriers, and I won’t ever let anyone tell me that Lil Wayne isn’t the certified GOAT with punchlines. To this day, I’ll remember a Wayne verse, and my head will explode for a second because I’ll notice a bar that flew over my head. I wouldn’t say I sound like any of those guys, but they definitely inspired me for sure.
What other ventures would you want to get into in or outside the music business?
I want to do a little of everything; I want to act, produce, engineer, start fundraising and donation drives to give back to the communities that brought me up and allowed me to do what I want to do. I want to also get into real estate, invent things, and real music is just a steppingstone to all of the things that I want to do one day. There’s no ceiling to the things I want to do with my life, and I bet there are things out there that I don’t even know exist that I’d want to try.
What is your definition of Grynd?
Grynd, to me, means getting up every day and reminding yourself what you are doing it for and then going out and getting it. Because ultimately, you’re in charge of your reality. You’re in charge of your pace, your effort, and your character, and every day you can keep your pace or slow down or give up entirely, but you’re responsible for it at the end of the day, so Grynd to me means holding yourself accountable and following through with the things you say you’ll do. You’re the only one that can hold yourself back, not the next guy.
Where can we find you on social media?
I’m on Instagram, Spotify, and YouTube under @LostInLeon go shoot me a follow and see what we got coming next! We’re dropping “Ain’t Dat” on Cinco De Mayo (May 5th), and I’m super excited to share this record with everyone.
Shout out my team man, they really work their asses off for me and make sure that I’m staying on top of it—Ymmi, Madden, Juice, Mae, & all my producers that keep me stocked. I couldn’t do it without y’all for real!