We are excited to present you Collected, a new series of interviews and mixes from artists closely related to our collective. We’re kicking off the collected series with Le Lion, who prepared a fresh mix for you filled with dubs and a tasty interview to go along with Eyesome Collective owner High Dude.
Le Lion Interview
How do you perceive yourself today?
How I perceive myself today… hmm … I’d like to perceive myself as someone that is a positive influence in this world. Someone that is … hopefully inspiring to others – but definitely inspired by others-, to better myself and the people around me. In the past, I was a very idealistic person (still am by the way), with a utopian purpose. I have this very deep sense I need to help achieve world peace before I die. It’s a really unrealistic view when you look at the world right now.
I know it might be impossible for me to achieve that in this lifetime, which was very hard for me to accept. Because, if there’s absolutely one thing I do not like, it’s the reference frame of “this is possible”, “this is not possible”. Like… who the fuck are you to tell me what’s possible?! I’ll decide for myself, you know. But for a thing as world peace, there are obviously more things involved than just me and my opinion. But I still have this … core feeling; that it’s going to be achieved, no matter what anyone in the world tells me, no matter how insecure I feel at some point. I think that is who I truly am, that positive stubbornness.
I want to go back about the influence you can have on someone, and the influence someone can have on you. Could you name a few people that were influential in the growth of your music? Or in the growth of your art in a more general perspective?
I do get inspired by people. But I don’t really have this mindset of “this specific person is inspiring me”. It’s more situations that arrived, which contain people (laughs). Those kinds of things inspire me. But even little things. Animals. The little things in life. The things you don’t notice… when you are not aware of what you have. What you love and what’s loving you back, you know? So, those moments are the moments that inspire me. I couldn’t tell you a specific name of an inspiration, but all of my friends inspire me, all of the people around me, that I love, that I like to evolve with. Everything that I love to do inspires me, and inspired me back… That’s it.
Even this cat here (caressing the beast lying on his back). She inspires me. She inspires me with her playfulness. She’s born deaf and had a lot to deal with ever since, ‘cause she’s been a street cat from birth. But look at how playful she’s is. She’s so lovable! She just wants love the entire time. It’s the exact unconditional love that we need in order to create a better world with each other. That’s why animals inspire me so much. That’s what I like, the ‘I don’t give a fuck about you’-ness, the ‘I don’t give a fuck but I still love you’ feeling that I get with cats. So cats inspires me very much for instance, more than humans to be honest.
You worked on a very nice interview with Clownsville a couple of years back… Can you describe your musical evolution since that moment?
Definitely. I believe I became a quite more balanced person than I was before. Not that I’m not explosive anymore… I like to take my time with the stretches that I make, to think it over. I’m a bit more of a perfectionist than I used to be. And that’s a pretty big step for me, ‘cause it takes some sort of discipline, which I lack a lot with most of the things in my life. Once I grew older, I started to ground more. ‘grounded´… I think it’s a nice definition to describe my music right now, but also how my music reflects me at the moment.
I make a lot of deep [dubstep] stuff as well. The sub bass in this really reflect the ground, the earth… It brings back to me my roots too. The bongos and shit. All of the percussions that I use in my tracks at the moment, it’s all a reflection of me growing older and going back to my roots. And roots are a literal definition for being grounded. So, with my music I try to go on an adventure, a focused adventure where I try to balance the explosiveness with the roots. I’ve also been thinking about trying to expand more with my music, and not keep it just as ‘dubstep’. I have a djembe standing over here. I’ve played djembe for all my life, but I rarely just recorded my own sounds. I feel I wanna expand to a more realistic sound in my music. But that’s something from the future. Something that will come over the years, with the age.
So basically, work with acoustic samples you’d record yourself?
Yeah. It would probably be 140BPM, but it wouldn’t be the generalistic ‘kick-snare-kick-snare’ kind of sound you would normally hear. It would be some fucking sick subby music with incredible percussions and stuff. Maybe invite, I don’t know, people around the world to join me with a live set or something. Make things up on the spot. That would be fucking great to do. (…) But I also feel you must use Ableton for that shit, and fuck that! Reason for life!
No, no, no… Ableton for life mate!
Fuck off, this interview is over (laughs).
In your opinion, what’s your personal release that properly describes your universe and vision? And why?
I’d have to go with ‘Le Lion & Friends’ on The Pack, and ‘Prophecy EP’ on Blacklight Audio. They are both EPs very close to heart, and of which I had a lot of creative freedom. I drew my artwork for Prophecy, and the ‘Friends EP’ really represents a perfect combination of blends to me. All artists on that tracklist are fire!
But in all honesty, I don’t think I would be able to pin point a specific release, because each and every tune represents a certain chapter in my life, an evaluation if you will. I listen back to them frequently and feel as if I’m in a time machine. I can always re-feel the emotion behind the experiences that I’ve had, they are the initial source for my music. So, it’s really an evaluation timeline for me personally. All art forms are…
You talked about the ‘Le Lion & Friends’ release… What are your plans for your own label this year?
I’m gonna stick with the inner circle this year. So Rygby, High Dude, Krimma, Audiak, Frank&Celli, and a few newer ones you’ll be getting more info about shortly… We’ll probably throw a couple of take-overs too, but I’m not that much of a planner. Let’s see what the universe has in store for us. I’ve very consciously never been a man with plans. I just envision myself having mad fun with all the homies by expressing our art. The rest will follow.
A little earlier, you evoked how you perceive your own art and how it helps you to evaluate past parts of your life. What does your music experience (or art experience in a more general way) bring to your life’s perception?
Connection. Literally in every way, I meet so many likeminded people and get inspired so much! Also, the crave for expression within me is strong man, I need to have a couple of outlets to just let go, you know? I’d go crazy without. Art, just like humor, defines freedom for me.
Could you describe in one word what would be life for you if there were no possibilities of expression?
We already exchanged some of our own poetry so I know a little bit about that… and sometimes you also share drawings on social medias. How would you describe your other artistic ways of expression?
More personal. My poetry is so extremely close to heart I often feel insecure about sharing it with other people. However, if the vibe is there, and I feel it’s the good timing to share, I always will! Like I said in my Clownsville interview, I see life as an MMORPG. You get born into this world with a particular set of skills and you have an entire lifetime to get all of those skills to lv 99. I want to be able to get everything at 99 when I die or at least be able to say I did my very sincere best.
What’s is that “everything”?
I would say my musicality, acting, poetry, mental coaching, and my loving. Unconditionally love.
Let’s talk about Eyesome a little bit. What’s your vision of this collective/label and what kind of stuff do you want to release on this platform?
I love Eyesome´s theme and feel. I´m normally not one that enters collectives because I feel more of a loner in a way, you know? You see all of these crews forming up and I’m thinking to myself: ” Wouldn’t it be best to join forces in order for me to have the most effect? “. But I’m also very critical of which circles I enter and engage, and Eyesome is truly one I support.
Aren’t we all loners in the Eyesome collective?
Last year, you released a single on Eyesome called ‘The Syrian’. What’s the story behind it? If there’s one to share.
It’s just an alien race some people wrote books about and it interested me for a short time, hence the tune. The tune is the story. Check out my Soundcloud bro.
Let’s conclude this interview with two questions. First, do you want to give some shout-outs to a few people or structures in the scene?
Yeah always! Shout outs to Rygby, Krimma, High Dude, Preeroz, Kai Li, FaceSplit and so many many many more it’s unbelievable how much talents the underground scene has to offer. Open your damn ears and eyes people. I recommend everyone has a glance at my liked playlist on Soundcloud. I go fucking crazy on there. There’s a lot of quality around. https://soundcloud.com/leliondub/likes
Second, do you have one last thing in mind you wanna share?
Never discredit your own art. It’s your child.