100% Lealani: the Cal­i­forn­ian artist has found her alien-self

Lealani is the art-pop musician summoning an extraterrestrial atmosphere

While study­ing at Cal­i­for­nia Col­lege of the Arts, Lelani has been devel­op­ing her own aes­thet­ic uni­verse. She’s cre­at­ed film scores, illus­tra­tion and ani­ma­tion, and ear­li­er this year she released her com­pelling album Fan­tas­tic Plan­eta col­lec­tion of min­i­mal­ist songs built with drum machines, Casio key­boards and synths that hov­er and hum like a UFO. Writ­ten, com­posed and record­ed between the ages of 12 – 18, there’s a youth­ful ener­gy which glows through her dis­tinc­tive melodies. 

Immerse your­self in Lealani’s world via our 100% Q&A below.

10% Where were you born, where were you raised and where are you now based?

I was born and raised in Pomona, CA. I go back and forth between the Bay Area and SoCal. I’m in the Bay for col­lege, but my home­town is in Pomona.

20% What kind of emo­tions and expe­ri­ences are influ­enc­ing your work?

All alien emo­tions from my home plan­et, Fan­tas­tic Plan­et! My expe­ri­ences of dis­cov­er­ing my alien-self also have influ­enced my work and cre­ates the sto­ries that are con­tained with­in my music.

30% At what point did you realise you’d found your own sound?

When I wrote my song Lone­ly Stars. It was the first time I felt I actu­al­ly wrote a song that was 300% of who I am. 

40% What can you tell us about your current/​next project?

From what it looks like right now, it’s going to come from a place of anger; but that could end up chang­ing in the process.

50% Break down your typ­i­cal day at work…

I wake up and eat bananas with oat­meal, or some­times I’ll have my left­over veg­an piz­za. Then, I go back to my room and start cre­at­ing music or art; or I go to my col­lege class­es. I come back home and then go back to work on what­ev­er projects I’m focused on in my room. But, I do take breaks in between! I’ll go for a walk, dance to music in my room, eat yum­my snacks, or talk to myself like a crazy lunatic. 

60% Who would you most like to see on the cov­er of The Face?

Eric Andre.

70% You can only lis­ten to three albums for the rest of your life. What are they?

Por­tishead – Por­tishead

Jon­wayne – Oodles of Doodles

Dam­aged Bug – Hub­ba Bubba

80% What’s the venue/​bar/​restaurant in your city that’s clos­est to your heart?

A Café called Full of Life used to exist in down­town Clare­mont. I would go there and get THE BEST tofu sand­wich in the world. They had amaz­ing bread and it was the most per­fect sand­wich a veg­an could ask for. In high school, I would always go there before going to the Pomona Col­lege radio sta­tion, KSPC Clare­mont, to do my week­ly radio show. Also gave me great ener­gy as a radio host. They unfor­tu­nate­ly closed down just before I left for col­lege. I tried ask­ing for the recipe for the bread in the sand­wich, but it’s a secret!

90% How did you cel­e­brate your last birthday?

Alone in my dorm room, as I was study­ing and work­ing on col­lege finals. I had a nice din­ner to myself though! Ate veg­an fried rice and veg­an fried shrimp.

100% Love, Like, Hate?

Love the Beeps, Like the Bops, Hate the Boops. BEEP BOP BOOP!


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