It’s always good to catch up with today’s artists and musicians. By far, Leondro is one of hip-hop’s best. Hailing from Toronto, otherwise known as The Queen City, his story is truly one of redemption. Not unlike many of the musicians he’s been so blessed to grace stages across the world with, he’s had what some would call a colorful journey. That’s all to say that he’s dealt with many of the same struggles that most encounter when pursuing their dreams, not just in entertainment, but any profession. Is journey has been anything but easy, but for him, it has definitely been worth the fight. He’s on top of the world with his album which released a few months ago, and now he’s on the road with none other than Peter Jackson, another entertainment mogul hailing from Toronto.
We had a brief moment to talk with Leondro about his road to get here, his faith, and of course the tour! Check out the exclusive right HERE!
Urban Grandstand Digital: I want to thank you so much for taking the time out to talk. I’ve followed you for much of this year. I know you released “Low” earlier this year, and that has done so well for you. Your career continues to flourish which is so amazing, and that’s why it’s even more amazing to connect with you.
Leondro: Man, I appreciate you having me.
Urban Grandstand Digital: Now, you’re on tour, and doing shows with Peter Jackson. We’ll definitely touch on that, but I also want people to have a sense of who you are, so talk about your beginnings, and upbringing in music. I know it’s been a journey for you.
Leondro: It all started with me growing up on Reggae music. My grandparents are half Jamaican. My mom is half Cuban, and my dad’s people are from Panama. The way Reggae is, it’s so diverse. Back in the day, you had someone like Barry Sandman, but you have other artists like Yellow man and Beenie who sound so different. Growing up on Reggae conditioned me to look at music overall. They did a lot of covers for certain songs, and growing up with that helped me to always have an ear for music. My dad worked at a record shop, and my brother was a DJ. I’ve always been around music. When I was 9, my friend and I said we would do this fully. Thank GOD I’m here to tell about it.
Urban Grandstand Digital: It’s good to know the background, especially for people just learning of you. There’s so much hip-hop in Toronto, and the community is much like any other urban community. You’re surrounded by so many things, including violence of the urban communities. How have you been able to stay away from that side of things?
Leondro: GOD. My father God. So many people around me, my age … nobody is in any type of great condition. I saw a friend who made sure I stayed out of trouble and wasn’t outside smoking, and now he’s homeless due to certain circumstances. One of my closest friends is doing a murder bid. The closest people around me have gone down for certain things and decisions. Growing up in the hood you see other things where it’s not just about being arrested. You’re 6 years old seeing dead bodies. It numbs you to the world, and instead of taking that and turning it into a negative, I wanted to do something else so the other generations see that’s not the route you have to take. I wanted to be an example for the next generation. You don’t have to follow that path. You can make something of yourself. You have to do what you want to do.
Urban Grandstand Digital: I think it’s amazing, and it’s good to hear someone of your level of fame speaking on those things. That’s what our generation needs to hear. They are really beginning to get it and understand. Kids today are more aware of their dreams, and they are making it happen. You’ve really pushed things in your career, and have been doing this for 20+ years. How has you album done for you?
Leondro: It’s doing very good. Things went well. I was happy to be in that position for people to hear it. Getting spins in Russia and Europe is amazing. It was a great feeling, and gave us the opportunity to be on a bigger scale and get the message out to more people. A lot of people strive hard in this industry and don’t get the opportunity to release something on this platform. It’s been a big blessing, and I feel blessed for the opportunity. Things are different though.
Urban Grandstand Digital: I think it’s good. Your response says how much you love this. So many artists are fascinated with sales, and obviously that’s a big part of everything, but your goal has been to expand your platform and get your music out. That speaks volumes in comparison to how most people think. Tell me about the tour with Peter Jackson?
Leondro: To go on tour with Peter Jackson is great. I’m not going to shy away from the truth. Peter puts in a lot of work, and while we haven’t spoken personally, he’s well respected. He’s brought a lot of artists to the city. A lot of artists look for the opportunity to be on his shows, and that was my goal. He’s pretty dope. To have this opportunity when things are different, and to be on tour, it’s a blessing and a reality check as to where we are with music. I’m excited for this tour and being able to spread what the GTA can do.
Urban Grandstand Digital: This tour speaks volumes of both of you and your character. There’s so much unity it seems. I think a lot of artists can learn a lesson from you. Now the tour started November 10th. How can everybody keep up with it all, and you as well?
Leondro: I’m at Leondromusic.com, and they can see the dates. We got the east coast now, west coast next, and we have a few other things brewing.
Urban Grandstand Digital: Any type of final thoughts, words of encouragement?
Leondro: I live by faith in self, and faith in God. With those things, everybody is unstoppable. Live your life the best way you can and do the right things. It doesn’t always happen in our timing. If you really want it, remain patient and keep at it.