Artist of the Month: Leo Bhanji

February’s artist of the month is London-native musician and model Leo Bhanji.

 

 

 

Age

19

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Location

Islington, London

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Do you have a nickname?

No.

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What’s your star sign?

Cancer and it fits.

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What’s your motto?

I always have a phrase I’m overusing; right now it’s “at the end of the day”. I really hate that, but it happens. I have “I CAN’T EXPLAIN IT WITH WORDS” written on my wrist and I think that’s the coolest shit ever. It’s from a Shabazz Palace’s song and it means more than I can say with words.

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What are your biggest influences?

Musician-wise, Future, Lou Reed and Frank Ocean are the main artists I look at analytically and try to emulate, like, every day. I learned a lot from the production and mixing on Travis Scott’s projects. Before I got into music, my dad’s records would be about rhythms and like cool sonics; older music without a lot of melodrama or with it stated less keenly, but I really need the drama. I imagine the Pitchfork review of a song while I’m making it, because their articles shaped the language I use to understand music. I should start checking who the writer is so I can keep track of the greats.
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett gave me an idea of what kind of older adult to become… so did my parents. I feel like Masashi Kishimoto – the writer of Naruto – also had a huge impact on me. Naruto and American Gods made me think about what an individual person can amount to, and what to aspire to be in life.
I used to wish real life could have the lucidity of a written narrative – one thing leading cleanly and predictably to another. Nowadays I think I prefer writing to reflect real life, as if I have a better grip on it all now. People in London too, just on buses and after hours and stuff, or at school. I used to look up to other members of 237 but I know them too well now.

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Who are your favorite artists?

I realized recently I listen to music like a student now, I am always trying to learn something. Before that, I was trying harder to listen to more women or feminine influences, but I stopped forcing it. I like Lana Del Rey, My Chemical Romance, Shlohmo and Jeremih, Teddy Pendergrass, Virgil Hawkins, and all the 237 members. My favorite rapper changes a lot but has been Isaiah Rashad many times, including now. Second place is Lil West.

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What is your favorite album?

I don’t have one but Flagrant Death changed my life.

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What is your favorite song?

Just Like Bruddas by Future.

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What is your favorite film?

Rango. I don’t really recommend it to anyone, but it’s part of my little teenage thesis that I draw from sometimes to make art.
That includes Naruto as well; I think of myself as one of these heroic protagonist characters that get fleshed out solely by how they interact with others. Kish! said he thinks of himself as a superhero too; I think we all have a bit of an inner fantasy.

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What is your favorite series?

I love Marble Hornets on Youtube and the SCP Foundation wiki page. I’m worried that I gave the impression that I’m a total baby with being mostly into things I liked when I was 11… thinking about it, those two aren’t even going to change that impression, they’re just scary.

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Why do you make music?

For attention.

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Do you have any upcoming projects?

I’m dropping my EP Heart of Gold with Donalee and Virgil Hawkins, two 237 members, on February 10th. I have stuff to drop after that but it’s less organized.

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What is one thing we should remember about you?

If you choose to support me, I won’t embarrass you.

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@leobhanji