We Talk with America’s Got Talent Winner, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.
Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. has had quite the whirlwind year. Before auditioning for America’s Got Talent back in April of 2011, the young artist was homeless, with “nothing to lose.” After being declared the winner of the show’s sixth season, however, Landau has become a national sensation and has since recorded his debut album That’s Life. Now on tour all over the United States, Landau took some time to chat with Short and Sweet NYC about his humble beginnings, plans for 2012, and how he is handling his newfound fame.
Landau, you have come so incredibly far this year. Can you tell us where your story begins?
How did you get your start in music?
I started singing as a child, performing in the living room with my brothers and sisters, and as I got older, started performing at school. My mom’s parents were ballroom dancers and my grandfather on my dad’s side was a singer in the twenties who was in a quartet.
So you had music in your genes it sounds like. Now, I know Frank Sinatra is one of your idols and is a big influence on your music. Do you remember the first time you heard him?
Haha. Actually, the first time I heard Frank Sinatra was on the TV Show, Married With Children. When I was a kid, it was on in the primetime slot along with In Living Color and The Cosby Show.
Did you ever take any lessons to hone your craft?
Nope. I taught myself. Took it from the living room, to the shower, and then to the basketball court. I would sing Frank Sinatra songs instead of trash talking. Like if I made a slam dunk I would dance around and sing, “Fly me to the moon…!”
Haha. I love it! So who are some of your other influences musically?
Growing up in West Virginia, I was exposed to country, bluegrass, and standards as well as Michael Jackson, Run DMC, Biggie, and Tupac. I had to figure out who I was and find my niche. And looks like the only thing the world was missing was someone like me.
Do you have any advice for up and coming artists?
Gotta be yourself, go with your heart, and trust your instincts.
You went from having a small community of fans to being in the public eye on a national scale. How do you deal with all of that attention?
I know where I came from and I hold onto my humility. All the fame and all the money can be gone tomorrow. I just want to empower people with my music and my story.
So any big plans for 2012?
Oh man. I’m touring and working on a new cd with a few originals. I’d really like to collaborate with Tony Bennett, Queen Latifah, and Jennifer Hudson. I’d also like to record a gospel album and a Christmas album before the year is out.
Wow! That’s mighty ambitious. Any plans to do a concert in New York City soon?
I will be in New York City soon although no dates are set yet. But when I do, I’m definitely going to sing “New York, NY” for all of you.
That would be fantastic. Looking forward to it! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with Short and Sweet NYC, Landau.
No, thank you, Jennifer. The pleasure was all mine. See you guys soon!
To find out where to catch Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. play next and more, visit http://www.landaumurphyjr.com/.