You might know Byron Langley from his YouTube fame or Netflix’s ‘The Kissing Booth’, but now he’s taken a step in the musical direction and released his debut EP ‘Light On’. Challenging genre tropes and creating a beautiful musical hybrid, the songs perfectly capture every emotion.
We caught up with Byron to find out who his biggest musical inspiration is, the meaning behind his songs, and his plans for 2020.
Hi Byron, thanks for speaking with us! How are you today?
Hey hey! Thanks so much for having me. I’m all good thanks, I hope you’re good too.
Your new EP ‘Light On’ is out now and we love it! How long did it take to create the EP?
Ah you legend, thanks so much. It has been a long time coming, the debut single for the EP, Light On, was released in October 2018. I had to go back to my home country, South Africa, for 5 months to film the Kissing Booth 2 earlier this year which put a bit of a dampener on music stuff, but as soon as I was back in August I finished up the EP. All in all it’s taken about a year, the next one will definitely not take that long haha.
We see a mix of styles throughout the EP and even in songs themselves, we love how the electric sounds combine with the piano in the ‘Higher’ – would you say this fusion of instruments is a key part of your style?
I’m stoked you like it. Yes I would like to say it’s part of the style. I grew up loving “audio” based music and didn’t really listen to anything electronic. Now in the modern music era, electronic music seems to be overshadowing audio-based recordings every season. I love playing instruments and would never want that element to be missing from any songs I make- if it’s got to be a hybrid then so be it.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
Tyler Jospeh is my biggest musical inspiration. I wouldn’t say he excels in the instrumentation part of music, rather in the songwriting and performance, which I love. His mixed bag of sounds and changes he throws in mid- song through key switches or genre- whiplashes is awesome. It’s not easy to pull those off yet he does it time and again.
How would you describe ‘Light On’ in 3 words?
Breaking the surface!
Is there a particular message you’re aiming to convey through the EP?
The over arching message of Light On has a lot to do with my battles with addiction and depression. I have never been one to talk about these things, even to those closest to me. A lot of the times it felt like it would be audacious to assume anyone would want to hear about it because everyone is going through something, right? If listeners would find some bit of inspiration to open up about their own struggles through these songs, then that would be awesome. If that doesn’t happen, then it would be great for these songs to take you back to some happy memories in your life, just like so many songs do for me.
How have you found the step into music compared to YouTube? Has music always been something you wanted to pursue?
Music felt a lot more natural to me than YouTube. YouTube is so hard to understand, sometimes you feel like you’re doing things correctly and then the next day it doesn’t work anymore. Music felt like I had an open canvas to do whatever the heck I wanted to, no algorithms or likes deciding on who gets to listen to the song (to a certain extent). I also enjoy making music more as a passion than I do YouTube videos, mixing the two has seemed the best way to go about things.
Are there any similarities between the YouTube and music industries?
Yeah for sure, I think both fundamentally come down to entertaining an audience and then retaining them. Once that audience is retained it’s about growing as a community and genuinely getting to know who each other are. The best artists and Youtubers are the ones who have managed to do this correctly, to the point where you start dressing the same to shows/meet ups, sharing interests etc.
We know it’s like picking a favourite child… but what’s your favourite song on the EP?
Haha, for me my favourite song is Westside.
What’s coming up next for you? Can we expect to see any live performances soon?
2020 is all about live performances. I’ll be hosting monthly live streams on my channel where I will be performing with others, as well as hitting the road and playing as many shows as I can.
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