Louis Futon Breaks Down Feature-Heavy Debut LP ‘Way Back When’: Exclusive


Why make an album within the period of singles? Some artists merely love and respect the format, however some others really feel the decision after they discover a story to inform. Philadelphia-bred producer Louis Futon has been placing out work for a stable 5 years, however as quickly as he wrote the observe "Surreal," he felt a change that demanded consideration. He listened to the voice inside, and what got here streaming out however a joyous, heat and wealthy assortment of tunes to be enchanted by.

Way Back When is playful and extremely cohesive. It opens with screaming horns and tinkering toy keys, bridging some form of hole between youthful exhuberance and soulful knowledge. it's instantly charming with wonky R&B, summer-time melodies and '90s hip-pop tropes wrapped in jazzy instrumental brilliance and so many shades of soul. Billboard Dance caught up with Louis Futon to get the total story behind every of his debut's 14 tracks. Read on beneath.

"The Beginning"

I wished to make a observe proper off the bat that wraps you in a heat blanket of brassy goodness and hits you with a wall of sound. This one actually units the entire vibe of the album. The predominant horn line can be a motif that references one other certainly one of my songs that a few of my followers would possibly acknowledge.

"Surreal" feat. RKCB

This was the observe that made me need to make an album. It actually signified a change in my sound that was completely different from the remainder of my discography, and I believe it helped formed my sound transferring ahead. RKCB and I immediately meshed and created this mesh of R'n'B/digital sounds that I fell in love with.

"Rewind" feat. Armani White, Ashe

I’ll always remember strolling down Spruce Street in Center City, Philadelphia, listening to a automotive bumping this one Motown tune because it drove by. I instantly ran again to my house, made the beat for "Rewind," then referred to as up Armani White to put down a verse. When I moved out to LA, Ashe and I wrote the hook and verses collectively, and it turned certainly one of my favourite songs to this point.


I made a beat problem video the place I went right down to the Venice Beach boardwalk and sampled some road musicians on my subject recorder. The predominant sax line was the consequence. I just about constructed the entire tune round only one melody, after which Ariel Shrumpet came visiting, and we wrote an insane center part and stuffed out the gaps.

"Silk Jam" with Masego

I had a session lined up with Masego, and it was the primary time I had ever met him in particular person. Within ten minutes, we had virtually the entire observe finished. The sax on this tune is definitely the primary and solely take he performed, and I cherished it a lot, I wished to maintain it and switch it right into a jam.

"Supposed To Be" feat. Duckwrth, Baegod

This was one other a kind of songs that simply got here so effortlessly. Baegod despatched me over this concept she had someday, and I simply swagged it the fuck out. I had been actually deep in a west coast and g-funk binge on the time, and wished to make one thing with an insane swing. Me and Duckwrth later met up in Brooklyn to put down his verse, and that was a wrap.

"Up in Smoke" feat. Reo Cragun

I had been a giant fan of Reo Cragun and knew it was solely a matter of time till he exploded. I had this beat concept that I knew he was good for, so I despatched it to him and fell in love with what he despatched again. We ended up refining the thought in LA, and the ultimate product turned a colour that was actually lacking on the undertaking. The simplicity of this one mixed with the emotion that Reo delivers is one thing I can get misplaced in over and over.  

"Restless Sea" feat. Opia

Ever since I heard the tune “Falling,” I knew I wished to make a tune with Opia. I’m a sucker for screaming guitar strains, and their model was one thing I’ve by no means heard earlier than. I had made this tough concept I used to be amped about and referred to as them up and was like “Yo, you guys gotta get on this observe!" Shortly thereafter, we met up and wrote "Restless Sea."

"Bad Habits" feat. NoMBe

It’s humorous, as a result of I really feel like I’m repeating myself once I say I used to be a fan of whoever I collaborated with, however that’s precisely it. When folks ask who my dream collaborators are, I often checklist everybody who I’m already working with. This one was no exception. I really like NoMBe’s model and wished to enterprise into the choice world. The consequence was one thing I had by no means actually made earlier than.


This was the primary tune me and Ashe had ever labored on. She despatched over this tough acapella, and I used to be vibing with it a lot, I despatched one thing again inside a pair hours. There’s one thing actually calming about this tune. I believe it is likely to be the metal drums.

"Country Roads" feat. Matt Zara, Anomalie

Matt Zara (certainly one of my favourite guitarists) was on the town someday, and we wrote this observe collectively in an Airbnb I used to be staying in on the time. We have been each stoked on it and wished to ship it to Anomalie, who we’re each fanboys of. Anomalie laid down one of many craziest piano solos I’ve ever heard, and all of us knew this observe was particular. There’s undoubtedly some heavy jazz and Robert Glasper vibes on this one.

"All My Life" feat. BXRBER, Bellah

The undertaking begins out with joyful really feel good vibes and form of ventures deep right into a rabbit gap. The tone constantly grows extra eerie and critical, each sonically and lyrically, and begins to comes out on the opposite aspect with “68" and "Country Roads." I wished to make a observe that really transitions the listener from being of their emotions to feeling larger than themselves. “All My Life” is the observe that begins to carry the undertaking full circle, and even quotes some underlying themes earlier within the album. I can’t reward Bellah and BXRBER sufficient. Their voices and writing helped me create precisely what I wished to convey.

"Royal Blood" feat. Keiynan Lonsdale

Besides the heavy R'n'B affect of this observe, there’s one thing actually stunning about the way it got here collectively. Me and Keiynan Lonsdale had by no means met earlier than, and we had a session collectively in LA. I keep in mind making the total tune in a few hours and dancing round, screaming of pleasure like a madman. The vitality within the room was loopy. He thought I used to be actually bizarre and immodest at first, however we turned finest mates shortly after.

"Fall On Me" feat. BXRBER

The observe that rounds off the entire album and makes you wanna tackle the world. BXRBER is an absolute genius. Listening to this observe makes you are feeling such as you’re climbing Mt. Everest, however in your manner up, a wild yeti tries to get in your manner and cease you from going the remainder of the best way. Despite the acute climate situations, lack of meals rations and a wild Yeti standing in entrance of you able to tear you down, you overcome the percentages and make it to the highest.

Way Back When is out now on all streaming platforms. Want extra Louis Futon? Catch him at The El Rey in LA Friday, April 26, or at San Francisco's The Independent Saturday, April 27. Study up on the brand new grooves by listening to his triumphant debut album beneath.