A Present Retrospective: Lamonte French

It’s been a few years since we last sat down with Lamonte French and it’s true what they say, time does fly. Especially if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture. That’s usually when you recognize how much someone has grown, and what they’ve overcome. Progress after all can be difficult to measure. There is no scale by which to calculate how far one has come, or to measure the trajectory of ones success. It’s only when you revisit what they have done that you really get an idea of the extent one has grown. It’s not really our job to measure that progression, but instead respect and appreciate it. We have never been in the business of speculating. It’s so much more respectful to let the artists work and philosophy speak through them. Which is why it is so important we do what it is we do. So we say our piece sure, but we also let the artist say theirs.  The only thing we can say with absolute certainty about Lamonte French is that he has been busy and focused on his future.

Last time we spoke to Lamonte it was still early in his artistic journey. Even then hearing him talk you could see his vision. You understood he had a plan and he was determined to see it through. In that regard I suppose not much has changed. Alot can be said about consistency and persistence, to stay steadfast on a path and sticking to a plan. The plan that bore fruit from almost conception. We got to hear more about his plans for the future and what he has on his itinerary. What I found more engaging was his ideas for how his style would evolve. Instead of sticking to the neo expressionism he has made his signature he plans of going past that, and I think if you are a fan of his work you will appreciate that change. Often we get so wrapped up in a specific period or phase that an artist goes through we forget to appreciate what the artist goes on to do. Everyone loves Miles Davis from his Bebop days but a lot of people overlook what we think may have been his more influential era, which is his fusion era. Bitches Brew, In A Silent Way, and albums like that were equally as important to the jazz movement. Perhaps in the same way we may find that Lamonte’s growth in style has an equal importance when looking at the big picture.

Black Thought from the Roots has a bar in one of his songs (Twofifteen). “No man is an island but I’m a cast away….” is the line I believe. I mention the bar because I thought of it when Lamonte so readily gave credit to his team he put together for helping him succeed in the ways he has. It’s important to have a group of individuals we work with in this community of the arts that is often treacherous to navigate. We are all “islands” in our own right I suppose, but we can’t do it all alone. The artists life is often isolated, secluded and maybe a bit hidden from the public. When you are so engulfed in your work it helps to have a trustworthy team to help on the mission. It was refreshing to hear someone so focused and driven recognize that it’s not just his hard work, but help from others that play an equally important role.

Lamonte is still early in his career, but I’d be remiss not to show respect to what he’s accomplished in such a short period of time. Vision and persistence are traits he may have gotten from his days of being an athlete, but he has evolved and grown into an entirely new version of himself. One that expresses freely in the hopes that it reaches everyone willing to experience it. We will continue to follow his journey and we hope you do the same.

The kid is talented after all.

“You have to have a vision that you can hold on to for a long period of time…”  – Lamonte French  

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