1. Could you introduce yourself and tell us where your artist name comes from and a little bit more about your debut as an artist ?
My name is Tyler Gelrud and I go by the artist name "Lyonn" I named my artist name after the French city Lyon, but I added an N to make it more like a name/less like the city. I also liked the name because its pronounced Lee-Own, and I am a Leo, and I am Leonardo Dicaprio (in my head). My debut EP "Knivsta" is named after a city in Sweden I am obsessed with as well! I spent my last summer in Europe, and as you can tell it had an enormous influence on my music.
2. Your EP "Knivsta" striked me because it was simple and complex at the same time, which makes it so much different from what we can usually hear. What's the story behind it and what messages are you trying to convey through it?
Wow, I stopped going to college to focus on music, but this is what I imagine a college question to be like! Very dense, I like it, good work Cécile. Well first off thank you for the kind words, I really do hope that my music is unique. The acoustic genre can be quickly generalized and I hope to make my own niche in this scene. This EP is just raw. I think it is the most honest music I have ever written and that really is the only thing I am trying to convey. Honest music is probably the hardest thing to find in today's industry.
There is a formula now in music, the pop genre uses this formula with EVERY song. I enjoy pop music though, it is really catchy and fun, but I couldn't write that stuff if I tried. I hope people can listen to my stuff and form their own stories, read the lyrics and place themselves inside of it and fill in the gaps so it relates to them. I like music I can put myself inside of, songs that make me feel like I am there too, songs that soundtrack a perfect night, a break up, a drive home. I just want to write real music for people who feel real emotions, it really is that simple.
3. What kind of artists do you usually listen to? Are they a source of inspiration for you?
I listen to a good amount of music, Spotify has let me just shuffle through millions of new artists and songs and I am in love with it! As far as my favorites go I would say Coldplay, a huge inspiration to me regardless of their formulas, Ed Sheeran, Passenger, Paper Route, Bjork, Utada Hikaru, it is infinite honestly. I think that just day to day experiences influence my music much more than other music does. Travel, falling in/out of love, crazy nights, movies, so many things inspire and influence me to write the music I do.
4. When you compose, do you start with the music or the lyrics? Where does your inspiration come from?
My writing changes with each song. Sometimes I will write a fun chord progression and add a melody to it, but most of the time I have lyrics first that I add instrumentation to. A lot of times lyrics hit me in full at random times. Out of nowhere I will get blindsided by an entire song that just writes itself, those are always the best songs too. I will be showering, or at Disneyland, or sleeping, and a song will just kind of pop up, so I quickly write it down and record the melody on my phone. If anyone were to steal my phone and open my voice recorder, they would be EXTREMELY confused by the amount of random lyrics and melodies I recorded at 3 in the morning! I kind of answered the second part to this question in the last question, so reread question 3 everyone!
5. Have you ever performed in public? If yes, what are the best memories you keep from these performances and your fans ?
In past bands I have performed hundreds of times, but Lyonn was officially started in November, so I have not had as much time to perform solo yet. Luckily all of 2014 will be live shows. I have a lot lined up through California, Tennessee, and Montréal and I couldn't be more excited. Playing live is the best feeling in the world, there is nothing quite like it. Some shows are full of so much energy from the audience, and that moment when the entire room is feeling the same thing at the same time is life changing! I have endless amounts of memories on stage, from silly mistakes, to my old guitarist walking out on stage in only his boxers, to crowd surfing!
I think the funniest story ever was when my old band played the House of Blues in LA, we covered the song "California" by Phantom Planet which happens to be the theme song to the TV show "The OC" Well before we played it I said "I want to dedicate this song to my dear friend Marissa Cooper who passed away in a car accident" A lot of people did not realize I was referencing a fictional character in the show who passed away in a car accident so they said "awwww :(" but one of my friends in the audience started cracking up, and everyone in the room was FURIOUS! It was awesome (if you have not watched the show, crawl out from under that rock and Google it) !
As far as love letters go, nothing (excluding my mom)... I honestly think I just grew into my looks recently, so now I am like a 4 on the 10 scale, so maybe I will get a love letter or 2 as Lyonn. I am immensely excited for the new memories I will make at these upcoming shows.
6. What was the craziest experience you lived as an artist?
I think the craziest thus far was a tour I did in 2010 with an old band I was in. We went up to San Fran, Vegas, LA, and a few other cities. It was just wild. I cannot talk much about it in case my parents read this ;) My band member ate 10 hamburgers in a hamburger eating contest in SLO, WE PARTY!
7. What’s your favorite song to belt out in your car/shower/bedroom, at the bar or for karaoke?
"Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus
8. You chose to share your music for free under Creative Commons licenses on Jamendo. Why did you make this decision?
Nobody buys music anymore. If 99 cents is going to hold someone back from listening to my music, then I will give it away for free. It is that simple, I want people to hear my music. Through downloads, remixes, shares, etc as long as it is getting into peoples ears/pants I am stoked! I will get their money eventually through concerts and merch muaahahaha!
9. Do you have a fun anecdote that your fans don’t know about and would be surprised to hear?
I am not really Leonardo Dicaprio everyone.... sorry to fool you :/
10. Anything to add?
Everyone be sure to check out my debut EP "Knivsta" available to download free off of Jamendo, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Jamba Juice, etc. Head over to the links and listen away, and please follow me through all my social network sites you can find on LyonnMusic.com I hope to see you all at future shows this year all over this beautiful continent. Thanks so much for the support!
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