Leandro’s label Konglomerat sent his moving and through provoking EP that raised questions we needed answers to.
Hi Leandro, tell us about you.
So I recently turned 21 about two weeks ago. I was born in Bonn, Germany but had to move quite immediately thereafter due to my mother’s work with the UN. We ended up moving every 4-5 years so I had the blessing of living in places like Zimbabwe, Chile, and Panama among others. I’ve always been a music geek but I got hooked on production when I was about 14 years old when I still lived in Panama. In hindsight, I think the main thing that got me hooked was the awe I felt when I first started listening to electronic music. The medium itself seemed (and still seems) so limitless and free that I quickly grew quite enamoured by what it was conveying to me.
A lot of artists totally lose themselves in Berlin. What’s been your coping strategy for trying to stay normal lol? Have you always lived there? If not, how has it affected you?
I don’t necessarily know if you can “stay normal” in any big city. I personally love the fact that you can talk to anyone from any place in the world, exchange stories, ideas and always be running into new and interesting things. But I can see how you can get lost in several different ways in Berlin whether it be in context to music making or life in general. When there’s so much room to explore and experiment, it can become quite easy to drift off into tangents that sometimes lead to making hasty decisions. With that being said, the biggest epiphany I’ve had since living here is to strive to auto-reflect and learn about myself while trying to experience as much as possible.
How would you describe the Leandro sound and philosophy towards your music for those who haven’t heard your stuff before?
Leandro: I currently still find myself experimenting a lot, so I’m hesitant to define my sound at this point and time. But that being said, there are a few motifs that seem to be constantly present in my music that perhaps come from my approach to writing. I love to submerge when listening and writing which often pulls me towards very drawn out music that evolves in a sort of patient manner. As my label partner and good friend, “Kossov” says: “It gets there”.
Which artists do you feel have most inspired you?
Leandro: There are too many and for such different reasons. Musically, I’m inspired by any artist that can take me on a journey of thought and emotion with his or her art. But in some way I think that says more about them as people rather than just as artists. Off the top of my head, a few examples of that could be Architectural’s “Amour”, The Doors “The End” or “Wandering Aimlessly” by Robert Hood. On the other hand, some artists inspire me more with their message and character than anything else. Last weekend, for example, I went to a talk with Morton Subotnick. The man is now 85 years old and I found it so inspiring to listen to the motivation behind his career journey and his vision of the future.
Talk to us about your latest release which and can you share the inspiration behind it?
Leandro: The EP as a whole revolves around the concept of death and rebirth and how the spirit of life will always find a way to persist in one way or another despite the fact.
Metaphorically, it’s a reminder to always remain positive and to realize when an old version of yourself needs to die so that a new version can come forth and aid you in your growth. And while the process can be quite torturous, the sun will always shine after it has rained.
But the metaphor perhaps became most obvious to me with the passing away of my father which happened around the time of writing the EP. I needed some sort of an outlet to cope with the fact and release my emotions into something. So the EP is dedicated to the continuation of his spirit and the mark he’s left on me.
Can you share more about what the end of track we premiered ‘Bewegt’ is trying to say? Is there a poignant meaning behind it?
Leandro: The whole phrase is meant to represent the self talk that goes on in my and other people’s heads. The vocal does have a tone of sadness but it is also meant to conclude in peace and give hope that everything will be alright. I’ve noticed, at least in my experience, that we tend to go about life searching for answers as to who we are and what we’re doing here and these questions can become quite overbearing if not handled appropriately. We always want to fit into something or feel like we are part of this world, when in reality we are all visitors, or “immigrants” as it says in the phrase. And truth is we are all just passing by, so why not live it in acceptance and appreciation? Hence the vocal concludes by apologizing for any harm done during the time here and accepting that “this too shall pass”.
So you’re also part of the Konglomerat team, which we feel is a really cool new label project. Can you tell us more about it?
Leandro: Thanks, glad it has resonated with you. We just recently jumped over the year mark earlier this month and I’m happy with what we’re doing. Konglomerat started from small get togethers in my apartment late last year. Pretty quickly, the vibe between everyone who’d show up, be it to DJ or just hang out, was so nice that it just organically became a thing. We first started only wanting to stream our DJ sets onto Youtube and give people a chance to pre party with us wherever they were. It dawned on me that we were all making music anyway aside from the fact that we all shared a similar mind set and so we decided to start the label.
What’s the goal from all this and what other gigs do you have lined up?
Leandro: The main goal of starting the label was to give ourselves a platform to express and experiment while growing together with people we really respect and like. And my goal with music is just that, to express, experiment and enjoy. So we’ll see where it leads.
What can we expect from you and the team soon
Leandro: As far as Konglomerat goes, Ornery and Kossov both have solo EP’s coming out in the near future. We are also currently looking for a place to host weekly or monthly nights here in Berlin where we can showcase the music we like and make. And on my end, I’m always writing, so there’s much more music to come.