The last time we covered Langston Bleu, he had just released his sultry single Slow Down, a track that quickly got us addicted to Langston and his elusive nature. Since then, he’s been working on putting the finishing touches on this debut EP. After much anticipation, it’s finally here. Slowly unveiling new facets of his character, Langston Bleu shares his debut self-entitled EP BLEU.
BLEU arrives as a collection of songs that showcase Langston’s undeniable vocal strength and songwriting abilities. At seven songs, Langston’s vocals are passionate and unwavering in their conviction. From the mesmerizing ballad Love on The Rocks to the more upbeat 1-800-BONE, each track draws on the diverse musical influences that lead to Langston’s distinct sound and style. Langston has mastered the art of slowing sound down with his soulful drawl, skittering R&B beats, and thoughtful songwriting. We had the chance to catch up with him and talk about the debut EP, The Dream, and where he sees R&B headed. Check out the new EP and interview down below.
The EP has been out for a month now. How have things been for you since the release?
Things have been super impressive. I exceeded every expectation I had for this project before we even dropped. A lot of new opportunities are coming that I can’t wait to announce soon. It’s always a nerve-wracking experience when dropping new music, so I’m appreciative of all the positive responses. I think this project did an excellent job of letting the world know I’m here.
With this being your debut, can you talk a bit about how it came together?
Quarantine changed the way this EP sounded. Initially, I was in a different headspace, but while stuck in the house, I revisited many of the male R&B I grew up on, like Usher, Mario, Omarion, etc. I wanted to bring that type of male R&B back and pay homage to the R&B that raised me. I found these two dope Canadian producers online named Sagii and Jon Mario, who produced a majority of the project, and with the help of my writing partner Jé Griffin, we brought that vibe to life.
Did you already know what direction you wanted to go in with your sound, or whether it was all spontaneous?
I was a songwriter before I was an artist, so it took me a minute to figure out how I wanted to sound, which is still a work in progress. What you hear on BLEU is way different from the vibe you heard with my debut single, Waiting. My biggest concern was doing a cohesive project I was proud of that represented me well vocally and lyrically. Ultimately, I’d like to be somewhat of a male Rihanna, where I can make any record, and it bangs.
“Love on The Rocks” is probably my favorite song off the EP. How did the song come about?
My whole vibe is that I like to drink and sing songs. So it was the day after we finished Motel. Me and Je Griffin were drinking at my crib, and we decided we needed a drinking song. We wrote most of the project drunk, but Love On The Rocks was an extraordinary moment. The music just flowed right out. We did it in maybe two hours or less. It’s one of the records I’m most proud of. I’m happy the people like it.
Something that really struck me was the maturity of the songwriting on this project. How long have you been songwriting?
Since I was a kid, I think my first song was called Jesus Loves The Lord or something like that. I used to write my remixes over popular instrumentals. Growing up, I didn’t think I had a look to be an artist because I had a gap and suffered from eczema, so I stuck to the songwriting path. A lot of times, I like writing more than singing, if we’re being honest. I’d love to write for some of my favorite artists.
Earlier you had talked about how Sagii and Jon Mario produced a majority of the project. What did they bring to the project and what did they enable you to do as an artist?
I’m constantly shaking with how well the internet connects people. I reached out to Jon Mario and Sagii and was like, “I like what you guys did on Slow Down, and let’s do the whole project together.” Outside of the music, just having their support was amazing. I don’t have a team or anything like that, so seeing them throw themselves behind a stranger they met on the internet was crazy, but Jè Griffin was the glue that brought this project together.
I hear a lot of different influences in your music. You spoke on this a bit but who have you been influenced by and have you always had that breadth of musical inspiration?
The-Dream! I’ll say this till I’m blue in the face. We both live in Atlanta, and I’m waiting on the day we run into each other and work. He’s such a force and changed the landscape of pop and R&B music, and the Dream is the one! Outside of him, I’d have to say Usher and Rihanna helped influence me a lot. When the budget kicks in, you’ll see that Missy is a huge influence as well.
You said you’re still figuring out how you wanted to sound and that it’s still something that is a work in progress. You sounded extremely confident on this EP. Where did that come from?
I got over the idea that everything had to be perfect. A lot of times, so many artists sabotage themselves waiting for perfection. The perfect mix, the ideal single, the perfect rollout. One thing 2020 showed me is that time waits for no one. I knew I had something to say, and I knew people needed to hear me. That’s where the confidence came from.
What do you hope listeners take away from the EP?
There’s this weird misconception that R&B is dead, but I think it’s alive and well. I want listeners to know that R&B is still here. We’re singing our assess off still, and we’re still releasing quality shit.