Nice Of U 2 Turn Up: Leng Hock Guest Special
The Pilerats Records R&B king steps up to curate our Turn Up playlist this week.
Having formerly performed under the moniker of Floria, Chinese/Australian artist Leng Hock has re-emerged with the latest visual for new track Same, on our very own Pilerats Records, reintroducing himself to the world as his newest musical identity. Speaking on his name change via Twitter, Leng Hock said:
Why the name change?— Leng Hock aka Floria (@iamlenghock) July 4, 2016
Leng Hock is my name
Leng 令 is related to life. Hock 福 means blessed, prosperous.
Blessed Life pic.twitter.com/c4nXAOExWt
It feels right and means much more.— Leng Hock aka Floria (@iamlenghock) July 4, 2016
It's still me. Still Floria. Still singing sweetly about hitting your girl over my emotive beats
An alternative R&B effort highlighting Leng Hock’s talents both as a lyricist/vocalist inspired by artists such as The Weeknd and Justin Bieber, and as a producer inspired by the works of Mssingno and dubstep’s origins, Same still stands apart as highlighting the unique artistry of one of Australian music’s hottest young talents. Stylish and modern, while moody and menacing in equal measure, the sounds of Same might recall the talents of vaguely similar artists such as the aforementioned Weeknd, or PARTYNEXTDOOR, but offer a narrative uniquely identifiable to Leng Hock’s personal history, upbringing and attitudes.
Of Same, Leng Hock said:
“I guess I wrote it in a really dark place. I was just in this big rut in my life, and felt really stuck in Brisbane with just kind of the same thing day in and day out. It's kind of weird because now I'm fully dedicated to my music so I'm just isolated for a week, and then I go out on the weekend with my friends. And it would just be that every time. It's just kind of like the extreme lifestyle that comes with that dissatisfaction, you know, I do things that are pretty out there just out of sheer frustration. The hook is, you know 4000 which is Brisbane’s post code, '4000 it's all the same, fuck it, I'm going insane.'
Continues Leng Hock: "And then the whole thing is just about, you know, my relations with girls and just buying expensive clothes and shit to just go out and floss because it makes me feel alive. It makes me feel more alive in a situation where I feel a bit trapped sometimes. But I mean that's what it [Brisbane] is, like its a commercial city, it's an industry where if you aren't becoming a lawyer, or a finance manager or whatever, you feel like an outcast. Being an artist there, it's really weird, while if I had have chosen to be an investment banker and go to uni, and have a tight friend clique, and then do whatever Brisbane expects you to do, I would have felt more comfortable. But I'm not going to do that because that's not me, I'm just going to be me at the end of the day but it's a hard place to be myself. To be a guy with piercings, a septum piercing and coloured hair, in a city where most people… That's really not an attractive look because it's not that kind of commercial look. But then I went to LA and it was crazy, people fucked with me heavy and that was cool. I mean it sounds like I disdain Brisbane, but I don't, I have a lot of love for Brisbane. It's a big part of my life, I've been there for like… Seven years or something. So I definitely have a lot of love for that city, of course, because it raised me for that part of my life.”
In celebration of the highly anticipated debut of Leng Hock’s latest visual, the 23 year-old has joined forces with Pilerats staff writer James Schofield for the latest special edition Leng Hock curated Nice Of U 2 Turn Up Playlist, based on sounds and songs that have marked admitted influences on the young star’s own art:
Kiss Land - The Weeknd
Leng Hock: If I didn't include The Weeknd it wouldn't make any sense, so... I remember hearing it on the radio, triple j premiered it, and that was when I was at the peak of my… All I could listen to was The Weeknd, so I couldn't wait for it. And it just turned out to be the darkest, seven minute trip, and I'm driving in my car down the highway from the Sunshine Coast back to Brisbane and it was just like… It was just the perfect moment, it was so dark. And from there I've listened to it a hundred times, like that's one of my favourite Weeknd tracks, for sure. Even though it's a kind of refined taste, like that wasn't everyone’s favourite Weeknd song, obviously. Or album, for that matter.
James Schofield: In thinking about it now, this was probably the best song on that album.
LH: Oh, yeah, for sure.
JS: I know what you mean with the whole dark element, but also so sensual and sexy, as well.
LH: Yeah. Yeah, the lyrics are just so… He paints a picture so well, I think lyrically he's my favourite lyricist of our generation. Like he sings “White Russian when the sun hits” - he's drinking Russian vodka in the morning. And “White Russians with tongue tricks” - Russian women with tongue tricks. Even just those two lines, it's just what the fuck? You can just imagine, and it just paints the picture so well for me.
Look Alive - Rae Sremmurd
LH: I mean Rae Sremmurd have influenced me since No Flex Zone came out. I remember just hearing that. I used to go to a hip hop club all the time in Brisbane and they were one of the first places to put that song on rotation, and I was just… I actually did a really good Swae Lee impersonation of that song. When we’d go out my friends would go outside to smoke and I would just do the impersonation on the street and just be like “what is this song?” And I think that's how everybody else reacted to it because it just blew up on Twitter and everyone was just wondering who they were. It just has that high pitched voice and I just love that, I thought it was so different. And then of course No Type came and was just massive, and I just remember one night I was in the club and just kind of bored and over the night, thinking I might just go home. Then that song came on and it completely changed my mood and it was just the strongest feeling, and it's just so powerful for it to be able to do that. And then the fact that I got to tour with them just goes to show that manifestation is real, because I always just focus on who I want to work with in the future. And then that kind of just came to me, and was so crazy. I mean we’re pretty tight, I still talk to them every now and then. I saw them in Texas and hung out at their house in Texas when they were at SXSW. But yeah, I decided to put Look Alive in because I think their newer stuff is even better and, I hate to use his word, but I think that it's just matured. Their old stuff was super catchy, but there new stuff now is catchy but also cool. I mean it always was cool but I just think they've put it to that next level of cool.
Money Longer - Lil Uzi Vert
LH: The production is all the same that I love, so that's an instant… I'm instantly going to love it because it's like Metro [Boomin], it's like Sonny Digital and then he's also got his guy [Don] Cannon which is sick. And of course he's Money Longer. But the fact that he kind of just does that kind of menacing, melodic “When I'm with my girl”, it sounds like he's teasing you. Like he's taunting you. And then he'll go into that kind of fast… And it's like that Uzi, and that's why he calls himself Uzi Vert because he has that fast kind of flow. That was so unique for me, it's just that melody I'm in love with on Money Longer in the middle of the song. That's it, pretty much. It’s weird though because he's kind of so grounded, like you watch him in interviews and he's like “yeah, whatever, I'm just doing me”. So I think that's kind of cool, as well, it's kind of refreshing.
JS: Yeah, no, I know what you mean. Like he released that song a couple of weeks ago when he broke up with his girlfriend (Stole Your Luv).
LH: That's crazy, I didn't even know they broke up. I mean I was just about to say that's what I like about him so much, that he's not afraid to sing about how much he loves his girl all the time in his songs. I think, to me, that is really refreshing because finally it's not always about trying to fuck as many hoes as you can. It had some real essence to it.
JS: Yeah, and I quite liked the song too because when have you ever heard of a trap artist speaking about… You know, about a break-up sort of thing. And I really connect with that bravery, and that element of just not really giving a fuck, in his music.
LH: Yeah, he really just expresses himself in whatever way, which is really refreshing.
All That Matters - Justin Bieber
LH: I will put him in there because he's a huge influence. I guess I would just say vocally he's one of my favourite vocalists. Him and The Weeknd… He's definitely, as a singer, I prefer him to The Weeknd. His licks are better, you can definitely hear Usher in there like… You can hear those super soulful R&B licks and that's what I like to do in my music, is to have that kind of soulful sound to it as opposed to it… I mean, to be honest, Same sounds kind of more like The Weeknd in that it's sort of more monotone rapping, although it does go all over the place. But as you hear more stuff that I've done, there’s a lot more soulful vocals in my music as well. And that's the kind of Justin Bieber side. I just like how All That Matters is the ultimate love song.
Fones - Mssingno
LH: So this a guy that is like the biggest influence on my beat making. Even though my stuff doesn't really sound like him, because he does more of a pretty sound where my stuff is more sinister and dark. He is my number one producer. Actually, he toured here and I actually went to… I flew to Sydney to make beats with him at the dude from Flight Facilities' bedroom studio. But we just made two beats together, but I don't know what happened with them… I haven't heard from him in ages. I think he might have lost them and just feels bad, and that's the hunch I have. And he must think that I'm so cut, but I'm not cut at all and I still fuck with him so… He's just one of the biggest influences on my producing. And the fact that I had a chance to work with him is fucking awesome. Every producer knows him, like he's not that big yet [in the mainstream] because he hasn't released much stuff, but any good producer you’d know, I bet you he would be one of their favourite producers.
Africa VIP - The Others
LH: Yeah, so that's actually… I just picked my favourite song from that whole mix, but it's got to be that whole mix. Caspa and Rusko’s Fabric Live 37 is like… My favourite mix, of course, if not album of all time, if you can call it an album. I remember finding it on some random ass torrent when it was 2008, the year after it came out. I have no idea how… I used to just find so much new music, back in the pre-streaming days, and just find weird-ass shit that I didn't even know if it was good or not, but I would just get it and… So this was just some random thing I found and thought holy shit. So this was like the birth of dubstep, like these are the guys that came after Benga and these are the guys that invented it. Before Skrillex came out, way before Skrillex came out. So to me it was just the craziest thing ever hearing dubstep for the first time before it was this big thing. So you can imagine, it is literally a new sound and I thought that I had never heard anything like this before. And I showed it to my friends, my best friends… We had a little trap house kind of thing near the QUT Uni in Calvin Grove and we would just get so high and listen to it from start to finish. And we would do it at least three times a week for about two or three months, and we wouldn't do stuff while we were listening to it… Actually when it got further down the track, about three months in when we were super familiar with it, we would play Super Smash Bros on Nintendo 64 with the sound down so we could listen to the album. But the first month, we would literally just sit there and just listen to it, and smoke weed. Like just listen to the whole thing, and it was just a whole experience from start to finish, it's just such an amazing thing. Of course dubstep blew up and I thought okay this is lame now, but now I've come back to it a few years later, about two years before now, and again thought this was just awesome. Even during an interlude in a set, like I played Jack Rabbit Slim's in Perth and I just played a song from it in the interlude and lit up two joints and passed it around to Casper and Rusko’s Mix. And then I just went back into my set again. So yeah, that's just the essence of me, you’ll hear in my sound a UK vibe which all stems back to Casper and Rusko, of that era. Because to be honest, last in life they got a bit whack, I think they tried to compete with Skrillex and go hard when… And they started distorting their synths and stuff, which made it just sound like yucky dubstep when back then it was really more like grime music with just a little bit of wobble on the synths. So it was really just more stylish, really stylish.