Though Landry Cantrell is only 22 years-old, he has just released his fifth self-titled album. In fact, he has been cutting records since he was as young as 15. While many of his peers were still fighting off puberty blues, Cantrell has already composed and produced a full-length musical, "The Rich & The Wretched," which enjoyed a successful hometown run as well as touring through 10 California cities from Eureka to Bakersfield. On top of his prodigious musical outputs, Cantrell has completed a three-year curriculum to receive a Master's Certificate in Music Technology and Production from Berklee College of Music. He also serves as a recording engineer at JNP Studios and a worship leader at his church, First Pentecostal Church of Hanford.
We are so honored to be able to catch up with Landry Cantrell as he talks about his new album for this exclusive Hallels' interview.
Hallels: For our readers who may not be familiar with you, can you briefly describe for us who is Landry Cantrell?
I am a singer/songwriter from Central California. I wrote and produced my first album when I was fifteen, and now seven years and five albums later I am so excited to be able to share my latest project, which is self-titled. Music is such a huge part of my life that it is hard to talk about who I am without mentioning it. According to my family I have been singing ever since I could speak. I fell in love with writing somewhere along the way and now all I want to do is write music that can uplift people. My lyrics are very personal, so my songs are like little windows into my life. I guess like any young adult, I'm just trying to find my way and discover how I fit into God's plan.
Hallels: How would you describe your style of music?
I think that my style of music is a culmination of all the music I grew up listening to as a kid. If I had to classify my music in a genre I would say it's pop, but with definite influences of R&B and electronic music. Recently I have been really into the pop music of the 80s and I think that bled through a little during the creation of this album.
Hallels: You started releasing records while you were young, how did you discover God's calling into this ministry of music?
I wouldn't say that it was something that hit me in the face, or that I knew my calling overnight, but music is something I fell in love with early on as I was developing my relationship with God. It was not only a way for me to express my worship, but also a way to share my questions and fears. When I see people finding comfort in the lyrics I have written and relating to my real life experiences, it really puts things into perspective.
Hallels: Tell us about your latest album "Landry Cantrell," what do you think is the take home message of the album?
The main idea behind this album is trusting God. A lot of times as human beings we like to be in the driver's seat of our lives, but we can only take ourselves so far. There comes a time where you have to throw your hands up and realize that you can't do it on your own, and that is where trust comes into play. God was really teaching me to trust in Him while I was writing these songs; it is the reoccurring theme that runs throughout the album.
Hallels: You also wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the record, if you have to pick two songs that mean the most to you, which would they be? And why?
The two songs that mean the most to me on this album are Chasing Stars and Two Steps Back. Chasing stars is just a very transparent look at the where I am now, which is a place that I think a lot of people can relate to. It's easy to let our own dreams and desires get in the way of what God wants for us. The lyric "I've been chasing dreams, that don't mean anything, when all I need is you" sums up the entire message of the song. It's so important to remember to keep Him first.
Two Steps Back is important to me because it talks about the moment when I was finally tired of beating my head against the wall and trying to do it my way...the moment when I realized that I didn't have all the answers and that it was okay because God does. More than anything, I pray that people can see themselves in the lyrics of this song and that it will offer them a little bit of hope!
Hallels: In your free time, which artists do you listen to?
I like a lot of different music so this is a hard one for me to pinpoint. Growing up I listened to a lot of gospel music like Kirk Franklin, Kurt Carr and Deitrick Haddon. In my early teens Stacie Orrico, Rachael Lampa and Plus One made me fall in love with pop music. Lately I have really been into Royal Tailor, Jimmy Needham, Hillsong United's Zion album, and of course the music of the 80s.
Hallels: If our readers would like to purchase your new album or find out more about you, where can they go?
You can connect with me on my website www.LandryCantrell.com, or on Twitter and Instagram (@LandryCantrell). The album is available for download on iTunes and Amazon.
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