IDTB contributor Taylor Flom chops it up with one of Tampa’s most promising creatives before diving into a new music exclusive.
The tail end of a Florida summer is characterized by a heat that, in the day time, rivals a vacation in hell. Just before the night pours in over the famous Tampian sunset, though, you’ll find cars rolling through the city, windows dropped with according vibes emanating from every sound system. During one of these dusks, Louis Junior casually pulls up to my house in a green ’95 Jeep Grand Cherokee—lightly blanched wood panels running along the length of the car—with Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” (on cassette) crawling out of the factory speakers and onto my front porch.
This is going to be a good time.
It only makes sense to meet up with Louis on a Sunday afternoon. He epitomizes the weekend persona we all look for: Laid back, cool and breezy—an easy going guy with an infectious smile and mesmerizing personality. Roll that with a clear heart and open mind, and you have a man who can inspire your soundtrack whenever you need escape.
Louis has a uniquely universal sound. His nine track LP Nothing More, Nothing Greater is filled with singular songs with no regard for genre or traditional continuity. His introspective persona, ear for melody, and eclectic tastes in beats are quite wonderful and refreshing. Whether it be “Frfr,” “In My Mind,” or “Ten80,” he makes sure to keep the listener on their toes. The textures he selects for his musical portraits are only enhanced by the masterful stroke of his vocals. Louis simply has one of the most reposeful voices in Tampa right now, with soul and surface reveled by blues and pop records of the past. (Imagine a blend of Muddy Waters and George Michael, dipped in a glass of Hennessy.)
The record “Fading” puts his scale, emotion, and ear for production on showcase. A tranquil, harmonious first two minutes blend into a gritty transition, as Louis croons:
“Faded from liquor creating a buzz, lost in my mind I don’t know who to trust, maybe it’s me maybe the drugs, maybe the combos a little too much.”
As he travels through octaves, I find myself checking my phone to make sure it is the same artist and not my Spotify sneaking into “radio” mode. The range is in incredible. These kinds of records are what make Louis Junior so damn relatable. Whether you partake or not, we have all had our battles on those rough days.
“It’s fun but it’s a release,” Louis tells me. “I get a lot off my chest, it’s definitely therapeutic.”
When we discuss upcoming projects, he manages one of my favorite sentences to come out of an artist’s mouth.
“I’ve been in the studio.”
At last, new music coming our way soon. After some light pleading, I convince Louis to preview a brand new record with us, titled “Outside.”
“For me it’s a reflective piece,” says Louis. “It’s about feeling alone in a crowded room. It’s being inexplicably tired all the time. It’s fighting a losing battle with your voices. I wrote ‘Outside’ in a moment where I was really sad and I had no idea why.”
Truth. Reality. The end of a beautiful weekend.
Please enjoy this exclusive preview from Tampa artist Louis Junior: “Outside” (produced by Freek Van Workum), coming to all streaming platforms soon.
More music from Louis Junior:
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