17 year old from Kensington Market might be Toronto's next big thing
Toronto has seen a lot of talent rise up over the last few years, and now Kensington Market native Langston Francis is looking to make his mark on the city's music scene.
Langston has been gathering steam with the release of his single “Fall From Grace” back in April. From the sounds of this swirling, hypnotic R&B pop mashup, you would never know it was by someone still in high school.
"Growing up, I was a kid who was always on the Internet," he said. "Always on YouTube and stuff."
"All the artists whether it be like The Weeknd, he was shooting videos in Toronto. So, seeing them doing all this stuff in the neighbourhood that I grew up in, it just inspired me to wanna do that make my own mark in the Toronto scene."
Tracing his progress until now, Langston began playing instruments early on, receiving his first guitar at age two.
It wasn't long before Langston's natural talent came through, and he began performing at local festivals around the neighbourhood and busking downtown.
“It was basically me like, before I even hit puberty so I had a little squeaky voice and just with like a mic and an amp at Queen and Spadina, in front of the CIBC there on the north corner.”
“It’s like the weird thing with busking, though, is you’re performing for so many people, right? But than at the same time you’re kind of performing for no one. Cause it’s like no one asked you to be there. No one asked for this kid to be screaming in their face.”
Two years in, he was discovered by his now-manager at Sony and has since begun undergoing artist development while continuing to perform at local spots like The Drake Hotel and Burdock.
I caught up with Langston before his set during this year's Canadian Music Week where he was quick to note the difficulty some artists face coming up among Toronto's notoriously fickle musical landscape.
“I’ve definitely heard that Toronto crowds, like even—it’s just known to be—even if there’s someone out there that’s like really feeling it, they’re just kinda like zhipp. So it’s something I’m prepared to deal with.”
He and his team have been working hard to promote him, including his singles on several Spotify playlists and getting him better gigs alongside bigger artists like Hayley Kiyoko and Toronto's own Sean Leon.
Langston is hot off the release of his newest single "Circles" and is currently on a small national tour, before returning home for his first headlining show at the Mod Club on November 29.
Steve Carty. Styling by Kat Flanagan.
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