Peel your ears towards Atlanta’s surrounding cities long enough and you just might fall in love with hip-hop again. At least, I did. I was minding my business in Albany, a city three hours south of Atlanta where Rick Ross once played football at the historically black state university nestled into downtown when rapper blipped onto my radar. Surrounded by creatives, Retro Landy’s new project Casio Vintage Collection came out on November 9th, 2021.
The passion in his verses is undeniable. He is lethal with his intonations, intent on relating to listeners with his Southern twist on lyricism and enunciation. The mixing is crispy.
We had the special and long-awaited opportunity of interviewing Retro Landy. We discussed everything from his start in music to where he is now to. Check out the full interview down below, and make sure to stream Casio Vintage Collection.
What’s your earliest memory of music?
My uncle had a music collection. He had let me listen to whatever I wanted to for how long I wanted to if I put them back. I spent a couple of summers listening to something new every day. That is how crazy the collection was.
How musical is your family?
Not much but they love listening to music a lot. From cookouts to cleaning the house to washing the cars, music was not far.
Are you the first in your family to pursue music?
Hell yes. It took a while for them to accept it but after I was like damn nigga it was y’all fault I love this it was like ok let us see what this nigga talking about.
Who was the first person to call you Retro Landy?
It started as a joke because I always played oldies at the spot. So, one day, one of the homies called me Retro Landy and it has been stuck with me since then.
What do you remember about the first song you ever recorded?
I wrote a verse to Kid Cudi’s Hyyerr and it was so bad. I do not remember anything other than that. In my closet on my laptop using the headphones with the microphone attached on some call center shit.
Were you a music fan growing up?
Before I had a chance to figure out what I like to listen to, I felt like I had heard everything. Rap, Gospel, Rock, techno, alternative, Jazz, and R&B. Everything.
Where are you from?
The home of Ray Charles and Field Mob: Albany, Georgia.
What was the music scene like there?
It was lit when it was. Field Mob had it fuck’d up for a minute.
Were there people you looked up to in music as a child and if so, who?
I listened to everything so my list of people I looked up to is all over the place. Outkast, Field Mob, UGK, Master P, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Curtis Mayfield.
What made you want to start making music?
I started just writing about how the music made me feel. Over time, I started to write about how my days went. After a while, I would find empty spaces on random songs and add my own lyrics to them. That’s how it all started.
What is your label and management situation?
I am 100% independent right now. Joining a label is a commitment that I would be willing to make if it makes sense. As for management, everything is looking great. We are taking shit to another level with every move. I have great people around me that understand my vision.
Where did the inspiration behind the title Casio Vintage Collection come from?
The Casio Vintage digital watch was my first favorite watch. Received it as a gift on separate occasions from two different people years apart. Although they never met each other they shared similarities. TIME. They would always stress to me that there is a time for everything. There is a time to be happy, there’s time to be excited, sad, mad, or however you are feeling, there is a time for it. And while in that moment of time it is important to live in that moment by taking it for what it is and not what I want it to be.
What was the first song you made for Casio Vintage Collection?
Retro SZN was the first track we put together for CVC. Retro SZN was almost the name of the project.
What was the last song you made for Casio Vintage Collection?
TBOP. Before we even started working on this track, it was a conversation I had with Mon about a lot of shit dealing with life and the shit that comes with it from time to time. So, when he came to me with the beat, it was like a journal entry. The importance of loving yourself, learning that everyone is not for you, and stuff like that.
What was it like locking in with Mon P on the production side?
It is fun, entertaining, and challenging more than anything. Mon has an interesting ear. His energy is always on ten when we lock in. Keeping up with him and matching that vibe is always a wild time in a good way.
Which plays did executive producer David Luke run for Casio Vintage Collection?
David had his hands on the whole project. He is a genius and what’s crazy to me is that the role he played in this project was bigger than the title we could’ve given me. That is all I will give.
How collaborative were you with the cover art for Casio Vintage Collection given Shawn Johnson’s artistic input?
Everything starts as a conversation when I create with others. We respect each other’s work and work ethic. When it is like that, collaborating is easy. We talked about the project and ideas for some time before I sent the project over. Once he heard the project, he created what he felt.
Where did you record Casio Vintage Collection?
The spot. The homie Gary really gave us his crib for a weekend and left. I did not see him at all throughout the sessions.
What is the creative process behind your music?
I go off feelings, emotions, and moments. Whether they are mine, the people around me, or people who have been around me. It is like an experience for me.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is a collage of everything I have listened to, the bridge that connects all of the genres I’ve dabbled in from the beat choice to the lyrics.
What’s next for you?
More shows, getting on stage, and giving people a show. More visuals, music, and merch.