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Louie Kason Wants To Change The World With His Music

Written by on August 2, 2021

Multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer and songwriter Louie Kason uses his wide range of talents to bring freshness and flavor into his brand of alternative music.

Originally from Toledo but now residing in Chicago, Louie Kason draws influence from many genres and crafts songs that cannot be placed easily into one label. His recent single “save yourself” was featured in Vocalo’s In Rotation playlist and got regular airplay in July.

We talked with Kason about growing up, his musical journey, and what Chicago means to him.

What was it like growing up with a father involved in the underground DJ scene? Do you feel like that influenced you to pursue music? Why did you choose to go a different direction than your father in terms of your musical aspirations?

I grew up around music my whole life, my dad had (and still has) the biggest record collection I’ve ever seen. He always had music playing in the house so it was inevitable I went this route. Ya know growing up with a single dad a lot of the times meant I had to go with him everywhere – So I felt like I was always out with him in the art scene around Toledo as early as I could remember. Just being around dope artists & people, bar owners, other DJ’s etc. Looking back now, the individuality of the people and the relationships the people had to the city always stuck with me. As far as my music aspirations, I DJ as well! I actually started DJing first and then transitioned into making music, just because I felt I could make the music I was spinning at shows. BUT before all this I went to Toledo School for the Arts which also had an overwhelming impact on why I’m pursuing music to this day.

When and why did you decide to start pursuing music professionally — was it a pivotal moment in your life or has it always been a goal?

I started pursuing music professionally when I was in college. I was doing shows almost every weekend. The music wasn’t that good tbh so after college I really tried to hone in on my craft and find myself artistically. Music started to become a goal in that transition period out of high school and into college. I started pursuing music because I needed an outlet to express myself and my friends around me encouraged me to do so. Life was also difficult at this time so it made things seem ok for a little.

You’re also one half of the indie duo Bye Dad. Do you prefer working alone or collaboratively, and why?

I enjoy working alone and in the duo. They both have their time and place for sure – it’s easier working alone haha, but some of the shit that Bye Dad comes up with is some next level music. I never really pushed my artistic boundary until I started working with Willie (other half of Bye Dad) so being in Bye Dad definitely helped me evolve as an artist. 

Is your creative process different when you’re working alone than when working with others? If so, how does it differ?

My creative process is usually the same.. I often times like to take control, because I have a vision in my head about the direction of the record. I play guitar and bass so I usually start with that for the beat and let everything else come naturally. It usually takes me around 40 minutes to craft a beat because I don’t over think shit haha. Lyrics obviously take longer but I try to provoke a feeling with my music that I want the listener to feel. I gave you the long answer, but I’m pretty parallel when it comes with collaborations and my solo music.

How long have you lived in Chicago? What drew you here?

I’ve lived here for about 2.5 years now, but I would always come up when I was at UIUC. I graduated December 2018 but I actually lived up here summer of 17′ – worked at a couple bars and threw my first event in Lincoln Park. The bar I was working at (Tobacco Road) had an upstairs room they let me throw an event at. We had fashion designers showing clothes, artists performing, and a couple DJ’s spinning.

Do you prefer the Chicago music scene or the Toledo music scene, and why?

I prefer the Chicago music scene, and frankly I moved from Toledo when I started high school so I’m not as familiar with it as I am with Chicago’s. There’s so many talented artists in Chicago, truly a gem in the mid west.

What do you like most about Chicago?

The food, the people, the music. I love the diversity here. Nothing like it.

I know this question is controversial … but what’s the best pizza place in the city?

Not going to lie I don’t even eat pizza like that but from what I remember Lou Malnati’s…

What’s your most irrational fear?

PLANES. I’ve developed a lot of anxiety on planes these last couple years. I’ve been flying my whole life and have loved it, but idk these last couple years have been rough. I just get bad thoughts in my head when the plane takes off and that turbulence hits haha.

What has been your proudest moment so far as a musician?

Opening up for Rae Sremmurd as my first show! I got lucky as hell – I was in this group in college called MMC and we got picked to be the opener for Rae Sremmurd. I performed my one song at the time and was nervous as could be.

Something you’ve had to overcome as a musician?

Sounding like everybody else and writers block. At first we try to imitate our favorite artists when making music, but you get over that after a while. Like I mentioned earlier, being in Bye Dad really helped me explore my flow and cadence rather than sticking to what was most comfortable for me.

What’s one song that always gets stuck in your head for no reason?

What You Won’t Do For Love” by Bobby Caldwell

Do you have any hobbies people would be surprised to know about?

I’m a tennis player – I actually played in the traveling team at UIUC. People always get surprised when I tell them haha, but I’ve been playing since Highschool. I almost made it to state my last two years and had D3 colleges looking at me to play

What’s one subject you just can’t seem to shut up about?

Border Disputes abroad and China. Socialism/Communism and the costs and benefits yada yada.

What are your words to live by?

Figure out how the world works, then change the world. My dad always told me this in car rides as a kid. It stuck with me so that’s what I intend to do.

What should listeners know about, is there anything you want to shout out?

Be on the lookout for new music this summer/fall. I have some exciting features and collabs in the works! More visuals & hopefully some show announcements in the fall. I’m also throwing a Dj show next Friday (August 6th) at Podlasie Club. Bye dad is hosting it, so come out and dance before we get locked back in by this delta variant. 

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