Seeing Loui Lvndn in person was definitely not what I had expected. When you listen to his music, from either his Hikari EP or his debut album, you expect to meet someone dressed in high fashion and constantly on their phone, yet Lvndn was the exact opposite.
Dressed in a leather jacket and pants, with blond cropped hair, an assortment of rings on his fingers and a bright smile, the musician (whose name is pronounced Loui London) was eager to discuss his second project, and debut album (since signing with Gallo Records), Your Princess Is In Another Castle.
“It’s basically the journey of love between this guy and this girl throughout the album, where the guy experiences the feelings of love when he meets the girl,” he said, adding ice to his gin and tonic.
“There are various themes and elements related to infatuation, love, insecurity, a bit of violence, despair and acceptance, that are all connected with one string of fabric that you can hear throughout the album.”
Lvndn said that he was inspired by the popular arcade video game, Super Mario, where the main character, Mario, and his fraternal twin brother, Luigi, race through obstacles to save Princess Peach Toadstool, who is trapped in another castle.
When the twin brothers reach the castle to save her, they learn that she has been moved to another castle.
“I actually found a poem a few years back that had been titled Your Princess Is In Another Castle, and it just spurred my motivation to create this project, and also serve as a message of inspiration to always push for what one desires,” he said.
Your Princess Is In Another Castle has a specific sound that can be attributed to Lvndn’s personality and his creative mind, but when he had to give his album a genre, he sat up, touched his rings and immediately said: “Fearless.”
That showed me just how excited he was to release this record.
All the songs on it can be linked to the noir-wave genre, but they also have ties to others,including synth-pop, rock, electronic, R&B and pop music, to just name a few.
He has carefully and successfully created a story throughout his songs, where the listener can be lead into the mind of a lovesick man, through songs such as Body of Work, Langa Lami and Your Princess Is In Another Castle.
Lvndn’s album also features a collaboration with electronic maestro Spoek Mathambo on Body of Work and Northing’s Ever Perfect, which shows the well-orchestrated chemistry between the two musicians, not just on the two singles but also across the album.
“Spoek is really dope because he and I just create music that we send to each other and it’s always fire when we listen to what we’ve created,” said Lvndn.
However, this is not the first time the two have collaborated on a song.
Lvndn featured Mathambo on his debut EP, Hikari, both on the title single and on production.
Lvndn has also worked with fellow noir-wave artist Petite Noir on his EP.
When asked who he hoped to collaborate with in the future, Lvndn said: “I really dig Simphiwe Dana.
“I might approach her to record another version of one of my singles on the album, because she has an enchanted, mystical and soulful sound, which I really like and attributed to my song Langa Lami.
“Another artist I would like to work with is Riky Rick, because I think he is not just a hip-hop artist, but a versatile artist in general who creates and produces great music.”
Apart from being a versatile musician, Lvndn is also a graphic designer, which helped with the visualisation of his album and the video for his leading single, Kill her Killer.
“I wanted to create something totally different from the song itself.
“I had so many ideas for this video that included cops, the red and blue colours from the Super Mario game, and the lovestruck boy and girl in a hostage situation,” he said, relaxing back into his chair.
“I had so many ideas for the video that I almost wanted to make it longer, almost into a mini-film that would explain the motive of the hostage situation and understand the guy behind it all,” he says.
The music video for his lead single definitely tells a different story to what you would hear, but it would leave you curious to hear what happens to the lovestruck guy and the girl he is chasing after in the rest of the album.
If Lvndn were to describe himself in five words, they would be: light, dark, formidable, fearless and you.
The first four adjectives are easy to understand when you listen to the album because they have links to the themes of love, insecurity and despair. The last adjective is directly linked to Lvndn’s growing fan base.
“I would not have this album, or be doing what I am doing, without my fans,” he said.
“I am them.”