My name is Brandon Russell, I’m 21, and I make music under the moniker lessur. I’ve been making music since I was 12, but I started lessur when I was 17. It originally started as a joke, starting out with comedic leaning songs made on my iPhone just for fun in highschool, but eventually became a more serious genre hybrid project where I write about my mental health struggles as a form of therapy. I make everything in my bedroom, mixing, mastering, and producing it all myself (minus one song so far, shout out Jolst).
Where are you based?
I live in a small town nearby Lansing Michigan but I’m originally from Clarksville Tennessee.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve had multiple music projects since 2011, but I started releasing music under the name lessur in 2016, and it’s since been my music priority. I started out producing all the beats and recording all my vocals on my iPhone and eventually got FL Studio to start taking music more seriously. I didn’t have an actual microphone or interface until the middle of 2019, and basically had to relearn how to mix music and produce vocals. I didn’t really care how it sounded, it was just super therapeutic to create.
What genre would you consider your music to be?
I guess my current genre would be “emo rap” to most, but I just consider it alternative. It has influences from rap, alternative, rock, with some of my older material having metal influence. Basically I just make beats with a lot of guitar work in them that I rap, sing, and sometimes scream over with pretty personal lyrical content.
What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
I’ve always had an incredibly deep passion and love for music, so when I finally began making my own I was instantly addicted. Once I started implementing vocals and lyrics I had written in high school about my struggles with depression, self harm, suicidal thoughts, my weight, etc. it just turned into a form of therapy that I hope one day will connect or maybe help other people.
What are your biggest musical influences?
I would say twenty one pilots, nothing,nowhere, and guardin are my top three influences for sure. I love how much they all implement different genres and keep their music completely genuine. I respect how humble they’ve all stayed post stardom as well.
Are you signed to a label or are you an independent artist?
I am independent and have always been independent. I had my own little ‘record label’ me and my friends put our music out through, but that’s it.
What have been the biggest challenges in your music career?
Honestly, it’s been learning how to put vocals on songs since I started out making only instrumental stuff. Otherwise, it’s been hard to consistently stay motivated when I doubt myself or when other people do. I’m not a big artist and I’m not worried about getting that status, so those have really been my only challenges other than making music on iOS devices for like 5 1/2 years.
How many songs or albums have you released to date?
I wanna say I’ve officially released 12 albums, 8 EPs, and a good bit of stand alone songs in my lifetime. A lot of the material isn’t online anymore or isn’t easy to find. But, lessur has 2 albums, 2 instrumental EP’s, and a handful of stand alone songs currently out!
Can you tell us a few things about your latest release?
My latest album “Life Is Moving Too Fast” is basically what I wanted my debut album “I Lost Myself” to be. This is my first release done with an actual DAW (digital audio workstation), and music equipment. I also had my own money to spend which helped a lot. I rented an airbnb for a few days in May earlier this year and cranked out the last few songs I had to do for the album, which I could’ve never done before. The album is about my move from my hometown of (almost) 20 years to a state I knew basically nobody in but my roommates and some of their family. I struggled a lot mentally, financially, and eventually had a relapse with self harm after being clean for 4 years. On top of all that, just being in a new place trying to learn to be an adult was stressful and a bit tough. There’s lyrics in the album where I talk about sleeping on a shitty air mattress for months, our water tasting and smelling like copper, having a washer and dryer in my bedroom, smoking a lot of weed to try and cope with my mental state. The album is just about 2019 and 2020 going by super fast and the mental struggles I faced being in a new place as a grown adult.
Any plans for new music or upcoming projects we should know about?
I’m working on a lot of new material right now that in my opinion is leagues ahead of my other music. The plan is to drop some singles for the rest of the year, drop an EP late this year, then get back to work on album 3 which is already partially written and produced. I have a lot of material floating around that I’m still not 100% sure what to do with yet, so once I figure it all out and finish it up I’ll have a lot of new music out!