Introducing Lontalius, Eddie Johnston, a 16 year old artist from Wellington, New Zealand who is shredding some stellar songs via his Casio and vocal chords. Even with a plethora of covers and influences spanning from Drake to Ty Dollar $ign and beyond, Lontalius exhibits his own incredibly distinct sound. Catching the eye of Canadian DJ/producer Ryan Hemsworth, who covered Lontalius‘ “For The Ideas” here, Lontalius is captivating people around the world and you can discover the intrigue on his bandcamp here and his soundcloud here. Check out our exchange below as well:
Hi, who are you?
EJ: I am Eddie Johnston, I’m 16 years old and I’m from Wellington, New Zealand. I have one year left of high school but I am hoping to leave half way through to go on a student exchange to Iceland. I’m on holiday at the moment and I’ve been spending most of my time playing Zoo Tycoon and watching WW2 movies.
So, how did Lontalius began or where does your interest in music stem from?
EJ: I started learning guitar when I was 8 and I started writing songs when I was 11 or 12. I got asked to play a show with Die! Die! Die! When I was 13 and I panicked and wrote some simple songs for guitar/casio just so I’d have something to play. I’ve just been building on that since then.
Is there a certain plan or process behind writing your music? Or do you follow a more natural based form of creation? Where/how did you learn about music production?
EJ: With the most recent Lontalius songs I’ve just been recording loops of casio into Ableton, then trying to sing over them and work them into little songs. It feels very natural. Production is just as crucial to the process as the actual songwriting is for me.
What was the last major release that made you super excited?
EJ: The new Drake album is very important to me. I couldn’t really tell you why. As Lorde pointed out recently, what he sings about isn’t exactly the most relevant to a New Zealand teenager. His use of melody and the production on the album has made a huge impression on me.
Are there any musicians who inspire your sounds (the new release reminds me of Frank Ocean’s Nostalgia, Ultra in the best of ways) or who are just your favourite musicians (of any kind)?
EJ: I listen to a lot of R&B. Drake, Frank Ocean, Ty Dolla $ign, PARTYNEXTDOOR etc etc are huge influences. I guess why I like doing covers so much is because I love hearing the melodies/words of these songs out of their original context.
What is the last thing that really made you think, or what is something that makes you feel connected to the world?
EJ: This http://24hoursofhappy.com/
The World Will Never Know is pretty nostalgic and has lots of depth, with an ease of simplicity. “For The Ideas” is one of my favourites for sure. How long did you spend on writing and recording all 8 tracks?
EJ: I don’t think I really spent that long on those songs. The original idea is that they were just sketches and that I’d turn them into ‘real’ songs later…but after sending them around to friends and listening to them myself I decided I liked them the way they were.
Can you describe your sound in words?
What’s your favourite tea or drink?
EJ: I really love strawberry milk.
If you could go anywhere, where would you go or hope to go with Lontalius?
EJ: I’d like to move to Toronto once I’m done with school. I don’t know if that’s something that’s actually possible but it’s my dream.
(Check out this video by Linnea Nugent of Lontalius’ “Plastic House” below)
What would you have people keep an eye out? Are you excited about anything happening in the coming year?
EJ: I’ve been working on some guitar based songs that I’d like to release sometime. I don’t really want it to be another bedroom/self released thing though so I’ll have to start talking to people… I don’t know, I’ll see what happens.
What is one thing you think people should know about you?
EJ: My #1 dream is to write/produce for Cassie!
Thank you and link up with Lontalius below: