L'Orange Interview - OurVinyl

An Interview with L’Orange

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Quick Artist Bio: L’Orange is an eccentric and unique producer from North Carolina. Both a poet and a musician, L’Orange prides himself on originality and creativity. Drawing influence from the 1920s-50s, he embraces the feel of Film Noir to create his music.

Q: What was the concept behind creating The Mad Writer? Was it influenced by a particular event or did it come together naturally?

l'orange interviewA: The Mad Writer was a story that I came up with earlier this year. I was going through some troubles working on the concept behind the project. I had tons of material I was working on, but I was stuck on an idea that I’ve had for some time. Most of my concepts come from a line or two from my own writing.

I had a story behind the phrase, “How do you Impress the Earth?”

I built an elaborate story (set in the 1940s) about a couple that find themselves at the exact point that the world begins to end. Slowly, the sky rips apart from itself in front of them. The characters are faced with panic, fear, and eventually deceit. They are in a world without consequence and battle to find purpose in a world with a finite amount of time.

I finished that album, and decided it wasn’t ready. I then took off a couple weeks and refocused. I returned to my original concept, eventually named, “The Mad Writer”

L’Orange’s “Alone” featuring Blu

Q: Can you give us the lowdown on the creative process of this album? How did something as conceptually sound as The Mad Writer actually all come together?

A: Usually when I’m working on a project, I seclude myself in the studio. I start to lose sleep and don’t eat that often. I don’t go out; some might call it going crazy. I began to think about what would happen if I never stopped, if I just continued to work and never released anything. I started to think about the relationship between the art and the listener.

That led me to a story about a man who starts writing alone with no vision of a reader. He loses site of an audience and the line between what he’s writing and reality start to blur. He becomes the main character of his work; he falls in love with the femme fatale. Eventually, the madness becomes less cheeky and takes him over.

Only people who bought the vinyl would know, but the album is divided into three chapters:

Chapter One: Escape!
Chapter Two: The Forth Wall
Chapter Three: The Poet and the Thief

l'orange interviewQ: How do you write these sampled-filled, dubtastic, jazz-induced songs? Take me through the process of writing such profound tracks.

A: A while ago I stopped thinking of music as a linear path from good to bad. There’s a perspective that I try to bring to my music more than the notes. I try to invest myself in my production, because I think that’s what could separate me from the next artist.

I think a producer’s influences shine through in their samples and production. I don’t work with songs that don’t move me. I find music that I admire and try to feel where the song goes. Sometimes that’s just a sound or a word that reminds me of my life, or something in a story that I’ve been thinking of. Past that, I work to make everything fit together in my head. Sometimes I’ll use something that sounds off because I think it will cause the reaction I want, or represent what I want it to.

Q: How did you approach this album differently than Old Soul and The Manipulation, your two previous efforts? Did you take it on differently?

A: This was a much different process. The Manipulation EP came out of a revelation about my relationship with music. It was my first story and I was still feeling out what my style sounds like. A lot of it came from personal experience. With Old Soul, I felt like I knew what I wanted the project to sound like, and was inspired by my favorite artist of all time, Billie Holiday.

So, essentially, I had done an autobiography and a biography. It was time for me to write a fiction novella. I thrive when I put limitations on myself, and the freeform nature of the concept made me over-analyze every detail.

L’Orange’s “The Mad Writer” featuring yU

Q: This album features yU, Blu, Erica Lane, and Has-Lo. How was the collaboration between their parts and your production?

A: This was an amazing project to work on for a number of reasons, but working with some of my favorite artists made it a humbling experience. I’ve been listening to Blu and yU for years as two of my favorite MCs.

Anyone that’s heard Old Soul knows that this is my second time that I’ve worked with yU. He is one of the best MCs alive, and a great human being. He treats songs with a tremendous amount of care and respect, and worked with me on the concept. I could tell he immersed himself in what we talked about.

I started listening to Has-Lo shortly after his album In Case I Don’t Make It and I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it. He has a personal touch to his work and flow that create a connection with the artist. Erica Lane is one of my oldest friends. She and I have known each other for a long time. I can’t say enough about her- she’s one of the most talented, kind and complete people I’ve ever met. She lives in New York now and is working with a band called, “The Hunting Party” (www.facebook.com/TheHuntingPartyBand)

Q: Do you have future projects or concepts you’d like to share? Anything for us look forward to? What’s in the future?

A: I have some things in mind, but I’m not sure I’m ready to release any info. I’m still reeling from the last release, but I’ll be releasing some info before long.

Q: Any last words?

A: “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”
-Charles Bukowski

To learn more about L’Orange you can visit www.LOrangeProductions.com

Click here to purchase The Mad Writer (which all hip hop fans should do).

Interview conducted and written by Dylan Tracy

OurVinyl | Contributor