It’s been a pleasure watching Louis Futon progress as a musician. We first covered him back in 2013, and now, six years later, he’s finally at the point where he’s ready to present his anticipated debut album. The project is called Way Back When, and it contains 14-tracks that are just bursting with pure soul. We also got a chance to catch up with Louis, where he filled us in on what the album means to him, expanding his musical chops, collaborators and more. Interview below.
At this point, it would be plain foolish to deny Louis Futon’s extraordinary musical talents. If you’ve been following him at all, you’ve got to witness his work first hand through his highly acclaimed ‘Beat Challenge’ videos, where he’s flipped tracks from Childish Gambino, J. Cole, James Blake and perhaps most famously, the Stranger Things theme song, documenting his progress throughout.
There’s no doubt these challenges have forced his hand at becoming a better producer, and his growth is something that we’ve enjoyed watching over the past six years. He’s matured a lot since the days of his breakout single “Wasted On You” from just three years ago. These 14 tracks off of Way Back When are a testament to that growth, as Louis branches out into many different genres, executing effortlessly on all of them. Not only do we get to see Louis’s skills on display here, but he’s also enlisted a variety of talented artists for collaborations such as DUCKWRTH, Ashe, NoMBe, Reo Cragun, RKCB, Ariel Shrumpet, Armani White, and more. The full project features previously released songs like “Bad Habits“, “Supposed To Be“, “Fall On Me” “Royal Blood” and more with the full project sounding incredible.
Listen to the full album and check out the interview below. Enjoy!
Louis Futon – Way Back When
Congrats on the new album! How does it feel to get this out there?
It feels surreal (no pun intented). I’ve never released this many songs into the world at once before and I’m excited to see what people’s reactions are going to be and stuff. These songs mean so much to me and I’m extremely proud of every single detail that went into this project.
What is the story and meaning behind this new album ‘Way Back When’?
All of these songs were made after this rebirth I experienced with myself. It was almost like I had to learn how to make music again and reconnect with my 10 year old self who fell in love with music in the first place. Sonically, I think it tells that story. It starts off really joyful and happy and then ventures into more dark territory until it slowly makes it’s way out and delivers a triumphant finale. I’m grateful to be able to collaborate with such amazing artists and use their voices to give the listener such a wide range of emotion, and ultimately this album means whatever you want it to mean.
You’ve worked with some amazing collaborators over the past couple years. How did you get involved with the community and have these collaborations affected your own sound or songwriting process?
Being open to new things is the most important characteristic you can find in someone who is willing to expand their sound and collaborate with more artists. 3 years ago I wouldn’t have been able to collaborate with someone like Nombe unless I took a deep dive into the alternative/electronic space and fell in love with it. I’ve always prided myself on not being bound to one genre or style, and I genuinely love making all kinds of music (except country) so naturally I’ve been able to collaborate with a wider range of artists.
We’ve noticed your growing versatility as you’ve been expanding into the hip-hop realm as of late. What direction do you see your music going from here?
It’s hard to say. As of late, it feels like I’ve really been honing in my sound. I’ve made it a point this past year to re-up on my chops and really expand my music brain overall. I think I’m naturally attracted to hip hop and jazz and can foresee myself exploring more in that territory.
Did you approach this album differently than your previous works?
Definitely. I wanted to paint a sonic landscape that represented this rebirth of myself that I experienced. I wanted to use each collaborator, each instrument, and each synth as a different color in order to paint vastly different worlds you can get immersed in. It’s a different process when you’re thinking about the bigger picture.
Is there a particular moment or song on the album that is a favorite to you?
They’re all my children. But yes. “The Beginning” is definitely a favorite of mine because it just kicks you into 4th gear right out from the get go. “All My Life” is also a great moment because it brings back certain motifs that were used earlier in the album and transitions it’s way out of the darker territory into a triumphant place.
What’s next for Louis Futon?
This year I want to take a lot more risks, both musically and with my video content. I want to experiment more with my sound and work with artists who are similarly willing to try something new. I’m excited about the new live show I’ll be debuting with a live drummer and more instrumentalists. I’m just stoked about everything I’m doing right now and grateful to even have the platform to talk about this stuff. Thank you guys!!