Singer-rapper Lonr. won two Grammy Awards for his work with H.E.R., and the duo kept the magic flowing with his new single, “Make the Most.” The song features beautiful melodies and a romantic soul over a nasty beat, and it epitomizes the rich layering and diversity found on Lonr.’s debut EP, Land of Nothing Real, which drops today.
Lonr., whose mother is a professional singer as well, was born in California yet raised in Cape Cod, and his New England upbringing inspired his artist name and song lyrics. He often felt lonely and detached in the Massachusetts beach town, and the music that emerged from this experience connects with fans who also feel they don’t fit in at times. PRØHBTD spoke with Lonr. to learn more about his artistic POV and his thoughts on everything from cannabis to streetwear brands.
What elements of your personality come through in the music that help make you different from other artists?
I want my core to be for the weirdos and for the people who feel left out and cast aside. It’s for the loners in society. That’s what the personality speaks to on many different levels.
The title of the EP is Land of Nothing Real. How does that play into this audience you just described?
As a kid, I kept to myself a bit, and the more I did, the more my imagination would grow. Even now, everything that I look at, I’m constantly creating in my head. We all have that power inside of us because the human brain is amazing. We all have the imagination, we all have our own perspective, and that’s where Land of Nothing Real comes from. It’s that whole land inside your head. It’s that whole universe. I want to push people to look to their intuition and really indulge in their creativity.
What does the word “real” mean in this context?
Things around us can be smoke and mirrors, but the reality that we live in isn’t only that. In this sense, real is the segmented reality living that knowledge. It’s not real, but there’s a possibility of that creation becoming reality.
Tell me about the new single “Make the Most” with H.E.R.
The idea behind “Make the Most” is that we only have one life to live, so with whatever or whoever you love, make sure to make the most and make it known. Tomorrow isn’t promised, so express unconditional love to that person and make the most of the time that we have.
Describe the song selection process for the EP.
The song selection was tough because we had a lot to choose from, but I wanted to show people that we had stuff that stems from genres like rock and hip-hop and R&B and an indie vibe. It’s all over the place, but it’s cohesive at the same time because that’s where all my inspiration comes from. I just wanted to recreate what inspires me.
What elements of rock ‘n’ roll do you include?
I have a couple of rock ‘n’ roll songs. I currently have a song out called “Safe Zone” that has that Kurt Cobain, Nirvana feel. The drum patterns are hip-hop, but some of the guitars are rock based.
What was it like growing up in a vacation destination?
Growing up in Cape Cod was tough sometimes because it wasn’t very diverse, and that’s where the loner in me stems from. I didn’t have a lot of faces that I could relate to, so I kept to myself, but that was the foundation of my creativity. It made me isolate myself at certain times to focus on what really mattered to me, which was mainly the music. At the same time, it helped me to branch out as to who I am as a person and adapt to my surroundings and love people for who they are.
When you came back to California, was it strange to see all the cannabis shops?
It was like being a kid in a candy store. Oh man, it was crazy. I think the first store I went to was MedMen, and their shop is set up like an Apple store. I was in shock the whole time, especially after Cape Cod. I mean, even after Massachusetts legalized, it was nothing like California.
How would you describe your fashion sense and style?
I’m into streetwear, and I’m heavily influenced by anime. I love to shop at Opening Ceremony because their fashion sense is broad, and a lot of it looks like one-offs. I love Dsquared2, and I go thrift shopping sometimes, but street and skater wear are my go tos.
Any particular favorite brands right now?
One of my favorite brands right now is Saintwoods out of Canada. Every time I go to a store and see one of their pieces — and I don’t know its Saintwoods yet — I say damn that’s fly. I also like Needles, Billionaire Boy Club and a little bit of Supreme.
Any tips for staying sane in this season of social distancing?
One thing I’ve been doing a lot is picking up the guitar and just writing songs. I’ve been trying to stay creative. I’ve been indulging myself [virtually] with everyone as much as I can. We’re isolating, but we don’t have to be alone in this town.