New Zealand’s Lontalius is ready to take over the music sphere dropping his latest ear worm and accompanying heart warming music video for “Make My Dreams Come True” following the shocking announcement of his forthcoming sophomore album titled “All I Have” set to be released on October 4.
“Make My Dreams Come True” is an ocean breeze of nostalgia and confidence bringing forth the unavoidable, not yet seen before, unusual artistry of Lontalius. We spoke with the LA based multi-faceted artist about his native New Zealand, his experience working with Roy Blair and Mr. Hudson on “Make My Dreams Come True” in addition to exciting details about his upcoming new album.
The story of Eddie Johnston, better known by his stage name as Lontalius, began in his teenage years in his native New Zealand. “My name is Eddie, I’m 22 and I grew up in Wellington, New Zealand. I started doing sad lofi covers of pop songs in my bedroom in my teens and putting them on Soundcloud. That eventually lead to releasing my debut album in 2016 and moving to Los Angeles.” The most intriguing element of hearing his music is the incredible vulnerability oozing out of his lyrics and out of this world soundscapes impossible to simply label it as Alternative pop and R&B without leaving out a kaleidoscopic group of music influences bleeding from each note. Lontalius describes how being from New Zealand influenced him to experiment freely with his own music without worrying about music genres and music labels, “Because NZ is so small there aren’t really defined music scenes. I would play shows where there’d be DJs, rappers, and punk bands on the same bill. I think you can hear that in my music now, a mix of everything I enjoy. What do genres mean now anyway?”
Lontalius’ song making process consists of writing his song ideas on his phone and on his guitar. “I write a lot of notes [in my phone] of lyrics but I usually start with music first. I prefer writing on guitar because it’s what I’m most comfortable with. I’ll often use my guitar to make a drone or ambient sound, then loop it on my computer and sing on top of it.”
“Make My Dreams Come True” was inspired by moving to sunny Los Angeles, Lontalius recalls; “It was inspired by wanting to get out of LA, a classic story. Feeling the pressures and wanting to go away…with someone beside me, of course.” The track has a heart thumping pop soundscape giving a crisp balance to the exposing story of the lyrics. It means a lot, lyrically. It’s very honest and I can listen to it and feel exactly as I did at the time. Lontalius reflects what the song means to him, “Musically it means even more, just because of how much work I put into it. It’s very Pop, very upbeat, which is out of my comfort zone. It took a lot of work to get it there.”
Lontalius is an artist who doesn’t hold back on writing about his personal experiences delivering a sense of empowerment to anyone who can relate. “Being honest and open has been my MO for a while. When I was younger I wrote songs about nothing, just writing words to try sound like my heroes. As I got a bit older and had some more real world experiences I started to feel the joy of writing about these things.” Lontalius strives to share stories rooted in an unsettling uncensored space, “There’s a real empowering feeling, turning something sad or uncomfortable into music. I specifically use male pronouns whenever I can, because being open about my sexuality brings even more honesty into it.”
The making of “Make My Dreams Come True” was a intricate experience bringing together a ultra talented pair of music producers, Roy Blair and Mr. Hudson to assist on making the pop track. Lontalius remembers how the song idea began on a late night hang with Blair. “Me and Roy were hanging out a lot, I’d just moved to LA and we knew each other from the internet. Late one night we started this song, it was just an instrumental but we knew we were onto something. It was really tough to work out what to do with it though, I think we were trying to match the structures to other pop songs we liked. It didn’t really get anywhere.” The song would eventually be revisited later after meeting Mr. Hudson. “A few months later I was introduced to Mr Hudson and we had a session. I played him this song and he went and sat at the piano and played that piano freak-out. I think it was one take.”
Lontalius hopes his listeners can relate to the familiar feeling of staying afloat in one place for a prolonged period where you wish you could move forward to the unknown roads of life, “I hope they relate to that feeling of wanting to get away, feeling stuck. I also hope people hear it and think, “Oh, this is really strong.”. I’m really proud of it.”
Fans can expect more music on the way before the album drops exploring Lontalius’ experiences in LA with an intimate look at a variety of emotions including anxiety,“There are a few more songs I want everyone to hear. The album, All I Have, is a collection of songs that sort of detail my experiences in LA, being 19/20, being away from home…experiencing more. It’s full of love, longing and anxiety. I’m really happy with how it turned out”