Lance Washington, better known as Lando Chill, is a Chicago-born poet, singer songwriter, and rapper. The Mello Music Group signee made his debut with For Mark, Your Son, a laidback yet emotional boom-bap LP deeply rooted in the life of the young poetic craftsman who lost his father at the age of three. As can be heard on the terrific collection of singles from his forthcoming full-length, Lando Chill has made leaps and bounds as an artist and lyricist but his soulful vibe and firm message in his works remain unchanged.
Lando Chill comes to Zone One at Elsewhere on 10/5 for a co-headlining performance with founding member of Cibo Matto Miho Hatori. Lando Chill’s new album, Black Ego, comes out October 12th.
You originally went to Arizona to study film in college. Has film in general impacted the way you present yourself as an artist in any way?
I think my love of film and it’s ability to encompass so many emotions and vehicles for those said emotions pushed the art we create to incorporate every bit of artistic fiber we have so as to equal the visual representation and interpretation of our songs through music videos and openly sourced art forms that feature our music. From a technical standpoint; we approach songwriting like screenwriting, either focusing on a particular character and their experiences within that emotional or circumstantial spectrum or a specific emotion that is built upon by the listener. I’d honestly say the focus that has stuck with me the longest; was the most integral to my music and personal beliefs; & is something that I will finish my degree in would be anthropology. Film school was a pipe dream made from the wreckage of childhood trauma and a love for the art of film. Anthropology & critical race theory are what evolved the critical thinking i already employed and the open mindedness in which I didn’t have but was wholly capable of. Shout out to Jennifer Roth Gordon.
You began poetry for self-betterment and countering depression, which led to your songwriting as a carer. Do you still write poetry on your own time that don’t get released as songs?
Oh most definitely. I perform my poetry from time to time; & it would be incredible to be able to solely do so separately from music. There’s a different atmosphere during poetry readings that feds an addiction I think a lot of us have; the need to be HEARD. & I think poetry audiences, in my experience, LISTEN. they are there to get hit with an emotional sledgehammer; uninhibited by sauce & pride, ready to bend and break and become remade. There is the capacity for renewal; the capacity to listen and actually hear at music shows and venues; but the combination of this pervasive drinking culture and the kind of music consumed really allows for a shallow experience that nine time out of ten we end up not truly remembering if not for social media’s knack for eternity.
Your 2017 album The Boy Who Spoke to the Wind was inspired by “The Alchemist” from Paulo Coelho. Are there any other books you strongly recommend to your fans and the people around you?
Kill the Black Body – Dorothy E. Roberts
She – Saul Williams
Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. – Luis J. Rodriguez
The People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn
What can your fans expect from the rest of your new album Black Ego coming out on October 12th?
Incredible musicianship from Lasso and lyrical content beyond any project I’ve had a hand in prior to; not only from me but from every single feature on the record. it’s a masterpiece.
Any cities and scenes you wish to perform in after your new album comes out?
Don’t Come to LA & a residency somewhere in LA, NY, and or my hometown CHICAGO. I’m shootin for the stars. No cap but we’re the shit.
Interview by Sean Clements
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