“Currently sitting on millions of social media followers and over 50 million accumulative streams.
Leo Black latest music credits “On The Beat” from Four Vibes Ep. has reached over a million streams on SoundCloud. Leo used the catchy song to break down how to make a beat in under a minute on Instagram. The video clip has since gone viral and has a new music video to watch.”
Leo’s introduction to the hip-hop industry was being embraced by Grammy award winning artist Jay Rock. Picking up traction on the west coast touring with Mustard and featuring artist like Joe Moses on mixtapes early in his career. Leo subsequently took on dubstep, inking single deals with Never Say Die Records “Buss It” debuting #1 on Beatport, and broadening his fan base. Leo produced sounds parallel to Travis Scott, Childish Gambino, and Skrillex and latest producer credit with OG Parker “Heard About Ya” on Four Vibes ep.
Where are you from and how was life growing up? I’m from south central, Los Angeles. Life was good growing up as a kid but, as I got into my teenage years, I had to grow up fast. Being in the struggle so long, I started to become a product of my environment. I stop taking school seriously, started gang banging, and selling dope to make a living. It took a near death experience for me to get my shit together. I eventually went back and finished high school and some college. I remember taking some college courses early to catch up and get my high school diploma. My first college course was like 95 percent women in the classroom, and that all it took for me to enrol lol.
Where does the inspiration come from for creating music? Artist like Jay Z, Dr Dre, and lil Wayne paved the way for me. One year I had moved with family in Compton, and I did not have my paperwork to enrol in school, so I was just in the streets in survival mode. I ended coming across a Jamaican plug and running up a bag, but he was also stepping on toes of the gangs that was selling dope at the carwash on the same block. Eventually, he got put out of business. I then went on to sell crack with my cousins to make money, which was the worst decision of my life but, Jay Z blueprint album helped get through it and forced me to think bigger at the time. Dr. Dre the chronic was always played in my household and the productions made me want to produce. Lil Wayne is the goat lyricist and was consistent new music to listen too.
What kind of support do you get from your hometown/state? I get love from my city. Jay Rock and Joe Moses was the first mainstream artist to show love and collaborate with me that was on the radio stations. The Jay Rock collaboration just came from being connected through the streets of Los Angeles. I got some close friends that Jay Rock grew up with in Watts projects. When you are part of a team it’s like if one makes it we all make it so everybody puts together resources and that was a move that helped further my career. The song did what it did, but it was the power move behind it that made people pay attention to who I was and listen. Jay Rock had just got off tour with Kendrick Lamar performing “Money Trees” all over the world. I remember him telling me do not let up in that studio session, like have patience and your time will come. Fast forward today and he is a Grammy award-winning artist, and I could not be prouder of him. Joe Moses kind of the same thing but family having hood ties to seal the deal.
If you were not rapping, what would you be doing right now? I would be a creative. Branding and ownership are key, now it is cool to be an independent artist, but I chose to be independent when it was lame. I could have signed a deal, but I believed in myself enough to take the stairs and trust the process, that way I could hold myself accountable. I wanted to emulate career-wise, like Roc-A-Fella, G-Unit, Murder Inc, and Ruff Ryders, who oversaw the labels that they signed to. It is about understanding the business advantages that those individuals had based on their business arrangements. I bought equipment, built studios, and bought infrastructure. It might have been time to buy cars and jewellery for the age I was and the mindset of that age but it’s about believing in what you’re doing to the point that you invest in it.
What really makes you stand out and different from other artists? I am an experimental artist that cannot be boxed in. Like right now I am checking out my analytics and most of my listeners are women, so I am releasing a lot of music catered towards women. I am like the Vybez Cartel of LA. Even when things are going wrong, I try and make things work to my advantage. Shedding a positive light, that is what it is all about. I released a song called “Have a Great Day” and when I saw the sales come back, I was like damn, I guess I am not the only one who is wanting some positive vibes. At the same time if you watch the video, it is transparent to who I am, humour, and all, it showed a shift in my career as a successful artist. People want to see that growth as an artist, especially being active social media fans are going to see you for who you are so you might as well be transparent as an artist. I also got videos like squad where I am upping the poll through the whole video and my fans get it, it is real.
What is your biggest goal in the music industry? As my team grows larger at in scale we managed to diversify and challenge ourselves with new content, Music and TV. we managed to land a few meetings with several big television studios and expand our budget for new projects, we decided to go with Dame Dash studios for our first venture deal, producing television shows and album track list at scale. We recently just finished “The Leo Black Show” Season 2 virtually done on zoom due to covid restrictions but, we were still able to get interviews from artist like Soulja Boy and Trina. I have a project called Four Vibes featuring OG Parker that is helping expand my producer career. I think the pandemic put the entertainment industry on pause but, I just look at it as a minor setback for a major comeback.