We are continuing our Amplify series, where we utilize our platform to amplify the voices of Black artists within the atmos family. Meet atmos Philly team member Langston Wesley, our store photographer who has an eye for the perfect shot and an ear for some of the best sounds.
WHO IS LANGSTON, AND WHAT IS LADY BUG?
"Who am I?" is something I ask myself a lot, I feel like I won't honestly know until I'm like 45, but to simplify it I'm a nice dude with some nice dreams trying my hardest to be better and make the ones around me better every day. Lady Bug is a part of me that I love the most; It's the part where I feel the freest.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF MUSIC?
Growing up I was surrounded by Jazz music, and eventually started playing the trumpet at an early age. My parents introduced me to legends like Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, and the rest is history. It wasn't always jazz though, it was certainly a mix of genres, but when I think of the car rides to school in my early childhood, the songs "Loves Divine" by Seal and "I'll be there" by The Jackson 5 pop into my head so a lot of my love of music comes from those two songs.
IF YOU COULD LISTEN TO ONE ALBUM FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE AND WHY?
That's one of the hardest questions ever for me because the answer depends on what I'm going through in life. So right now, it would have to be either "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" by Ye or "Swimming" by Mac Miller. Both albums are special to me in their own way because they both shed light on the power of emotions. They helped me realize that there are so many emotions between happy and sad. Shit is crazy, and I love it. R.I.P Mac for real, though, gone way too soon.
WHEN CREATING THE PLAYLIST FOR ATMOS, WHAT WENT INTO YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS?
I want people to feel motivated when listening to this playlist. Like something you'd play pulling up to the first day at a new job, or just something to play when you're feeling yourself. For me, I love intense music, but I also really love some smooth things because that just me, so I added some chill tunes in there to help when it's time to decompress.
WHO IS YOUR DREAM COLLABORATION?
Without any hesitation, my dream collaboration would be to work with Pharrell Williams. That man has contributed to a lot in my life without even knowing it. From his history as a designer/artist to his vast discography as a producer, working with him on a project of any sort would be a dream come true. Working with Rolex would also be crazy, though. If you know me, you know that I'm crazy about watches, so being able to rework either a Day-Date or a GMT-Master II would be insane.
YOUR STAGE NAME IS LADYBUG, WHAT INSPIRED THE NAME, AND WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Ladybug isn't a stage name; I like to look at it as something we can all relate to. I can remember the anxiety and doubt-filled moments that all went away because I happened to notice a ladybug in the room. Ladybugs instantly calm the space down and allow you to think and create freely, and if you allow yourself to do that, then there's really no ceiling to your success. I love seeing the ones around me flourish as much as I want to in life, so if I can be someone's ladybug, that brings me true fulfillment.
IF YOU COULD ONLY WEAR THREE PAIRS OF SHOES FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Air Jordan 4 'White Cement'
Air Jordan 4 'Black Cat'
Air Jordan 1 High 'Chicago'
IF YOU WEREN’T INTO MUSIC, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE DOING?
I would probably just be taking photos more, which I should be doing already. For me, music is almost a form of self-care. It helps me in many ways, but if I weren't into music, I would for sure be a completely different person.
HOW HAS PHILADELPHIA INSPIRED YOUR MUSIC AND YOUR VIEW ON ART AS A WHOLE?
Philly and the music that has come out of it is intense but intense in the most fantastic way. Like how can the song "Dreams and Nightmares" be played all around America, and people still know the lyrics better than they know the National Anthem? That's beautiful to me. Philadelphia is so inspirational, and depending on the part where you grew up in, as a musician or artist, you have a perspective that can help you create something truly incredible. Legends come out of Philly, and who says you can't be one too.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU LEND TO SOMEONE TRYING TO GET INTO THE CREATIVE SPACE AS A BLACK CREATIVE?
Be kind to yourself, pay attention to what's in front of you, and just be yourself. If you're holding onto work that you think "isn't ready" or you're just uncertain about it, DROP THAT SHIT! Be legendary and let your work speak for itself. As a black man, I've always been told you must work twice as hard to even be considered, so keep that in your mind too. You got this!
WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING NEXT?
It's still in the beginning stage, but I've been working on a photo series and some other cool things surrounding my family, so I'm incredibly excited about that. Hopefully, dropping in the fall, fingers crossed.
Check out Langston's mix that he curated in the player below.