June 24, 2024

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Interview with Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.: The intellect and soul will come out together: Video, Photos, new CD cover

Jazz interview with jazz singer Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.: – I was born in West by God Virginia, and don’t forget the by God. At 11 years old my parents split up, and my mom moved my siblings and me to Detroit, MI. that within itself was a complete culture shock. I got interested in music by watching Cartoons, a lot of the cartoons I watched had Jazz music behind them. However, when I completely fell in love with music, I watched Nat King Cole sing Mona Lisa. This blew my mind because my mother’s name is Mona Lisa.

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

LEM: – Most people are shocked to learn that I have never had a singing lesson. My sound has stayed the same but I do so many genres. Most people know me for my sounds like Frank Sinatra, but I also do rap, Motown, soul, etc.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

LEM: – The one thing I do before every show is drinking hot tea with honey, I also only drink room temperature water the day of shows.

JBN: – How do you keep stray, or random, musical influences from diverting you from what you’re doing?

LEM: – I have had the best fan base for over 10 years, and I know the fans love my Jazz music, that really helps me stay in the same lane. I really want to do an original album though. My next one will be all original songs. I try to stay away from listening to other artists, and if I do it’s people outside of my genre. This helps my music stay authentic and me.

JBN: – How do you prepare for your recordings and performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

LEM: – I have had the best fan base for over 10 years, and I know the fans love my Jazz music, that really helps me stay in the same lane. I really want to do an original album though. My next one will be all original songs. I try to stay away from listening to other artists, and if I do it’s people outside of my genre. This helps my music stay authentic and me.

JBN: – What do you love most about your new album 2021: Landau Live in Las Vegas, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

LEM: – Before every show I pray. I think the most important thing is remembering everything can be taken at any moment, so I just want to stay humble. I still get nervous before every show and have sweaty palms with butterflies in my stomach.

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. – Landau Live in Las Vegas (2021) [24bit Hi-Res] Flac | WRZmusic

JBN: – How did you select the musicians who play on the album?

LEM: – My favorite part of my new album is that I had the opportunity to record it on my birthday in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace, with a great group of musicians that I have worked with for the past 10 years.

After winning AGT, I came back to West Virginia and hired an entire team of musicians. These guys have been with me for 10 years, it only made sense to fly them out to Las Vegas and have the time of our life doing what we do.

JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

LEM: – The balance is doing what you love to do so the intellect and soul will come out together.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

LEM: – Yes. When I sing the songs, I feel them. Emotion comes naturally because I feel what I am singing.
JBN: – Can you share any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions over the years?

LEM: – There are so many memories over the years.  Some of my favorite memories are hanging out with the legendary Bill Withers at the WV Music Hall of Fame, singing with the incredible Patti LeBelle, and having breakfast with Larry King. Also, recording my first album “That’s Life” at the legendary Capitol Records with some of the musicians that played on the chairman of the boards (Frank Sinatra) album.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

LEM: – I think it is just exposure. When younger generations come to my shows they leave as huge fans, and always come to shows the following years. I think it just getting it more out there again because all the half-century-old tunes are still completely relevant today.

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

LEM: – I realize that music is my happy place. In life, you want to grow, prosper, and be happy and music gives me all of those things.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

LEM: – It’s kinda already happening, but it’s having control and ownership over what you want to put out and when you want to do it. It will be a great day when we fully get there though.

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

LEM: – I still mainly listen to Tupac, Biggie, and Lil Wayne Carter 4 album.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

LEM: – The message I like to bring through music is Joy. When I sing people’s faces light up, everyone forgets all the evil in the world, and they just become lost in lyrics that everyone loves.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

LEM: – I would go back in time to tell my younger self to not be afraid and to go ahead and follow my dreams. I waited so long because I was afraid of how people would perceive me.

JBN: – At the bottom line, what are your expectations from our interview?

LEM: – My expectations are for it to be viewed by people so that I can reach more fans, and they can follow my journey… It will help me get more shows, inspire more music, and allow me to have more opportunities to pay it forward and give back like I do with my “Landau’s Kids Joy Toy Drive”. I appreciate you reaching out. Thank you!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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