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New Artist Leo Conoza Discusses Creative Process Behind Music

Take a closer look at Conoza's world

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Noah Stauffer

This week’s Monday to Monday features special guest host Aaron “Don” Dukes as he chops it up with rising artist Leo Conoza. If you haven’t heard of Leo, you soon will, as the young gun is a talented musician who blends together the worlds of music and content creation quite nicely, using Instagram and YouTube to showcase his latest music video releases and VLOGs. Leo’s latest single, “21,” is a fun summertime song with an old school 90s/early 2000s cookout vibe, and very much needed after a tough year spent primarily indoors. While singing has been a passion since childhood, the artist is also a double threat, with plans to incorporate his rapping abilities into his music more in the future.

Leo, who once imagined that he would be a professional speller in a spelling bee as opposed to an artist is now living the dream and joined Don to talk about his new record, the influence Tyler the Creator has had on him and his music, and a lot more in their nearly 20-minute conversation. Below is a sneak peek of their interview.

Don: I’m messing with the song! I like the visuals and it’s one of those songs that you put in the summer playlist. 

Leo: See you get it! It’s a summer vibe. It’s fun and I really just wanted to make something that people could dance and get messed up to with their friends because that is what I like to do! 

Don: Was music always a passion for you?

Leo: Actually no! When I was younger I thought I was going to be a professional speller in a spelling bee. I used to do competitions, and Akeelah and the Bee really inspired me. That got me into writing, and I have always sung. I did those things separately for a long time until I realized that I could write my own songs. What made me realize that was Frank Ocean’s first album Nostalgia, Ultra. We kind of sound like each other, and he talks about a lot of stuff that I relate to, so I figured I could probably write as well.

I want people to like what I’m doing. You don’t have to love it, but you have to be excited about the project and your role in it—whatever that may be. Being on the creative side and not being a consumer is fun. I was scared at first to put a visual to my songs, but it just takes time and dedication. I went through a whole different team before trying to shoot this video and a different creative process. It’s taken some time, but when I see the outcome I feel amazing. It feels great!

Don and Leo had a pretty cool conversation, so be sure to listen to check out the full interview, and follow them on Instagram.

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