Langston Love wants to inspire people.
The 5-foot-7 Tates Creek senior wants to be a music producer and dreams of one day owning a record label. He’s already come up with a name for it, too — Renaissance Records. It’s a fitting moniker from a young man who grew up taking piano lessons and includes Beethoven among his warm-up tunes ahead of track meets.
One of his favorites? “Fur Elise.”
“It goes duh-na-na-na-na-na-na, that song,” Love said with a laugh in a phone interview. “I feel like everybody’s heard that classic song. That’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever had to play. I always use it when I’m running the 400. It starts off slow, it’s like peaceful, you have a rhythm and then it slowly builds up.”
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The track standout, who also played football for the Commodores, has committed to the University of Louisville track-and-field team. He plans to major in business and minor in music and new media, a program for which he had to audition two weeks ago. He was worried that he wouldn’t get in — he was told after the 20-minute audition that he would be notified in a couple of days — but received word that he got into the program on Monday night.
Love, who because of track stopped taking piano lessons as a sophomore but never stopped playing, adores the production of music but believes studying business will open more career pathways to him in the event music doesn’t work out. He doesn’t lack the passion to make music work, though. Just take a scroll through his Twitter profile — at least one teacher at Tates Creek did so for two hours, he said — where dozens of videos live of him tickling keys.
“For me, music is the best way to reach more than just people that you think you’d be able to reach,” Love said. “I can listen to music that’s from some other country and I can still find that interesting. It’s crazy how music can make you feel a certain way. There might be that one song that you hear and everytime you hear it you’re like, ‘I love this song.’ I want to be able to make music that people hear and it might make them happy or make them feel sad or make them laugh. I don’t know if I can explain it. I really want people to be inspired by my music when I make it.”
He wants his songs to mean something, too.
“I don’t want to be putting out music just to say, ‘Oh this song, it doesn’t have a meaning to it but it sounds good,’” Love said. “I want it to sound good too, but at the same time I want people to be able to get stuff from my music in the future, if that makes sense.”
Love admits that classical isn’t his favorite style to play but said learning to read and play that builds an irreplaceable foundation from which one can branch out into other genres. John Legend, a pop artist with piano music in many of his songs, and hip-hop artist J Cole are two of Love’s biggest inspirations. That’s in part because of how “real” their music is.
“A lot of artists now, a lot of them like to go to the computer sounds and stuff like that and not actual music,” Love said. “I’m not putting them down like, ‘You shouldn’t make music on a laptop and stuff,” but in my opinion real music is when you can take a violin player, and you take a saxophonist, and then you take a piano player and a drummer, and you can make a piece off of that without any computer or technology.
“You just straight take it and say, ‘Hey, can you play this note?’ And then ‘Since he played that note, you try to play something off of what he just played,’ and to me that’s what real music is.”
Love ultimately wants to work in the hip-hop industry but is keeping his mind open. For a long time country music was the one genre he didn’t for which he didn’t have fondness, but friend and fellow Tates Creek athlete Dion Compton recently helped soften his stance on twang.
“The more I started listening to it I was like, ‘This is not too bad,’” Love said with a laugh. “Chris Stapleton, “Friends in Low Places.” I hear a lot of those songs and I’m like, ‘I can turn this into something different and give it a hip-hop beat.’”