Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.: “Music Nowadays Is Hurting People”

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.: "Music Nowadays Is Hurting People"

America’s Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. has come a long way since being homeless and struggling “working regular jobs.” The crooner blew us away with his jazzy renditions of Dean Martin’s Ain’t That a Kick in the Head and Frank Sinatra’s My Way throughout the show’s sixth season. The reality TV star says he wanted to show the “younger generation what good music used to be like.”

The 37-year-old father-of-five gets frank with Celebrity baby Scoop about how “music nowadays is hurting people” and says he’s challenging other artists to rise above the oppressive lyrics. “I didn’t want to go out there and sing a song that was going to upset somebody or degrade any women,” he says. He continues to tell his inspirational story that led him to AGT, opens up about his “great” kids, and says music can be good again “if we started picking up instruments again and loving one another.”

CBS: Congrats on your America’s Got Talent win! How has life changed?

LEM: “Thank you so much. Life hasn’t changed too much. I’m just really busy, but I’m still myself.”

CBS: Tell us about how you got on the show.

LEM: “After washing cars and working regular jobs, I started singing in a blues band throughout West Virginia. I did charity events and things like that. While I was doing that, my mother in law passed away and my wife started spending time up at their place [before she died]. It got to the point where she didn’t want us to go home. Sometimes we would spend up to a week with her and one time when we went home, my door was kicked in and was wide open. Somebody had broken in and taken everything that I owned – all my clothes, all my furniture.

And then my blues band fell apart. So with that and the robbery, I remember just laying in my bed and asked, ‘What can I do?’ God spoke to me and said, ‘You need a bigger stage.’ And right at that moment, an America’s Got Talent comercial came across my TV screen and I just knew: ‘This is what I need to do.’ I signed up and I told a lot of my friends and family that I was going. Some of them laughed because I told them what I was singing. I told them I was going to stick to my gut. AGT is the kind of show that lets you be yourself. I told them the songs I wanted to sing, and they let me go out and do it. And I really appreciated that.

And I didn’t even go on the show to win! I just went to have a better chance at doing something. I really wanted to go to New York and sing Frank Sinatra without getting ‘booed’ – as a black male, I’m 6’4″ with dreadlocks. Either they were going to make fun or me, or they would like me. I chose Frank Sinatra because I didn’t want to go out there and sing a song that was going to upset somebody or degrade any women.

And then I wanted to bring back all the old crooners from my memories, and create new memories for generations to come just to show the younger generation what good music used to be like. And what it could still be like if we started picking up instruments again and loving one another.

I sang I’ve Got You Under My Skin. That’s the first one I sang on my audition.”

CBS: Do you like R&B and rap music?

LEM: “Yes, I like everything from motown to southern rock. But everybody’s doing R&B. There’s millions of rappers. I do it too; I do R&B and hip hop. But I just wanted to do something different. And plus, as far as the show goes, the winner headlines a show in Vegas. I was thinking about what was missing in Vegas… a crooner! That’s the only thing that’s missing in Vegas. So that’s why I chose Frank Sinatra.”

CBS: Are you in Vegas right now?

LEM: “No I’m at home right now and have some shows coming up including a show at the ESPN Venue in Indianapolis. I sold out the Clay Center which is the biggest arts center in West Virginia where I’m from. I sold it out four times in a row. No one has ever sold it out – Céline Dion has been here and no one has ever sold it out.”

CBS: What are your kids’ names and ages?

LEM: “Michael, 17, Marcus, 15, Morgan, 13, Terrick,18, and my stepdaughter Kyra is 15. They’re doing great. My son is about to graduate and he plans on going to college. He plays and sings also. He might play in some of my shows.

They can’t believe I won the show! I’m 37 and they think I’m old. They say, ‘I can’t believe you’re still following your dreams, dad.’ Why wouldn’t I?! Teenager think 30-year-olds are old.

I want to set the example for all kids. Or just anybody who has a dream to just go out and do it. I just got the West Virginia of the year award! There’s just a whole lot of stuff going on. It’s been a fantastic ride.”

CBS: How do you feel about Jay-Z ditching the word ‘bitch’ from his lyrics?

LEM: “He’s listening to me! That’s what music has to do. Music nowadays is hurting people, it’s not making things better. They’re talking about all the women they’ve had sex with, or that they can’t have sex with. And all the money and all the cars. People are getting tired of it! Why would you go out and buy somebody’s CD if they’re going to dog you in their songs? I don’t understand why women would buy a booty-shakin’ song when all they’re doing is dogging you in the video. They’re talking about you through the whole album and you’re at the club dancing to their song like it’s a good song for women. It’s not.

That’s why I chose the genre that I did. I could’ve come out and done the same thing, but I didn’t want to do that. I quit buying people’s music because they’re always talking about the same thing. When 2Pac and Biggie died, I just stopped buying hip hop.

My kids listen to Lil’ Wayne and Jay-Z. The point of it is, if I was to buy your CD or go to your concert and after the concert I feel like less of a man, there’s something wrong with that. I have to go out and try to rob a bank or sell drugs or do something to even get on your level, just to look good in my woman’s eyes or my kids eyes?! Why would I spend my last dollars on that? I don’t get that. I don’t understand why America does that. I really can’t see myself going to anybody’s concert unless they’re giving me a positive message in their song.”

CBS: Who inspires you musically?

LEM: “I like Beyoncé, Common from Chicago as a hip hop artist. I like Jennifer Hudson, Tony Bennett, and Queen Latifah has a jazzy thing going on now. There’s a whole lot of people who could be that way. Lil’ Wayne could be that way, he’s got enough followers.”

CBS: What’s up next for you?

LEM: “I want to focus on my goals for 2012. I want to give back to my community. I want to help out with my kids’ education. I’m trying to get our house built. And I’m working on a crooner album of my own songs. I also want to do a gospel CD and a Christmas CD.”

Filed under: Celebrity Interview,Exclusives,Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.

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  1. jacquie109

    It’s good to see that someone else recognizes this. It’s not just music either, this is also a problem with TV, there are barely any good shows that get recognition because everyone would rather watch reality garbage and talk about how much better they are than those people on TV. I’ve never been much into rap because all they talk about is drugs sex money and “ganster” life. Its very very sad stuff.

    Reply
    • Janna

      Exactly! And it’s not just reality tv either. Have you seen the most popular tween shows? My niece and nephew watched VicTORIous this weekend and I could not believe how the main character treated her entire family and her friends, interrupting them at every turn, backtalking her parents, sending them to stand in the rain, basically telling her friends to shut up. And this is the “heroine” of the show? Is this REALLY what you want your kids watching?

      Reply
  2. Heather

    I agree too. It’s so sad that every top song is about sex – and so graphic about it. Younger kids want to sing along just for fun, but nothing is ok for them to sing along to any more. I’m afraid for what music will be like down the road.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I agree 100%. Love him!

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I agree 100%. Love him!

    Reply
  5. SiervaMaria

    I loved him the first time I heard him and can’t wait for him to come this way because he will sell out. I now also can’t wait for the mentioned gospel and Christmas album. I can already hear him singing The Christmas Song.

    Reply
  6. Ludicka

    What a nice guy! He deserved to win and I wish him all the luck in the world!

    Reply
  7. Caddie

    We’ve seen him twice and met him (and his gracious wife Jennifer) in person–he IS wonderful, very sincere and very grounded. As a West Virginian I am very proud of him–he is a great entertainer in person too (very good with the audience). He DID sing The Christmas Song at his December concerts–it was warm and wonderful. I really really hope he gets a Christmas CD out for 2012–his voice was made for it. What he really needs is a “signature” Christmas song of his own–then he’ll “live on” just like Gene Autry, Crosby, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, etc. Go see him when he’s in concert in your area–you’ll love it–take the whole family for a great memory!

    Reply
  8. Jaye

    I think we should be seeing more of Landau on TV. Why isn’t this happening? I don’t get it.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    We won’t hear much about Mr. Murphy, he is too nice of a guy and black man that sings dead white man songs. Now he he shot someone or talked about negative things he would be affront and center. Needless to say the world would be much better off with more Landau Murphys and less of the entitled generation

    Reply
  10. Gordon

    I like this guy more and more!

    Reply
  11. connie

    Landau has a great voice, that is why he can actually sing. That other fast talking stuff is not enjoyable. It’s ridiculous! These people don’t really have a singing voice.
    That’s why they talk fast and have the nerve to call it “music”.

    I hope Landau brings the real music back to life………….I’m glad he has the guts to try!!!…. He’s a good person! I wish him luck…

    These young girls better get some self respect, and drop that horrendous “music” that degrades women.

    Reply
  12. Raine

    Just sooo proud of this man ..Hope he comes to Alaska

    Reply
  13. Carol Lavy

    It’s a New Year – - and was wishing over the holidays that I had a Christmas album by Landau, but couldn’t find one. Did he ever make one? I LOVE him and his voice! I never vote on any of these shows, but I DID vote for Landau on AGT the year he won! His voice is amazing!!

    Reply
  14. Joan Nicole Davis

    Landau, you are the best! Always stay true to yourself and your family. you are so right about music today. I appreciate your honesty. God Bless you and Your family@!

    Reply
  15. Joan Nicole Davis

    When will you come to the ATL! I cant wait to see you! Ihope that you will be in Vegas when I come that way! So proud of you!

    Reply
  16. Maureen

    Quite by chance I heard Landau singing “My Way”… Wonderful. He looks good, sings beautifully , and is someone who is a great role model. I listened also to an interview with him, and he spoke a great deal of sense. I hope he has time to come to
    England. We would love to see him here.I’m sure he would get a fantastic reception.

    Reply
  17. Doris Buggs

    LANDAU IS A VERY OUT GOING AND WONDERFUL PERSON, GIVING BACK TO WEST VIRGINIA AND HELPING OUT. HE IS A MODEL PERSON NOT ONLY THE YOUNG BUT ALSO THE OLDER PEOPLE. I AM SO PROUD OF HIM. I GOT TO SEE HIM IN CONCERT WHICH WAS A TREAT. I WILL BE BUYING HIS BOOK, AND ALL OF HIS CD’S WHEN EVER THEY COME OUT. I PLAY THATS LIFE ALL THE TIME. GOD BLESS HIM AND HIS FAMILY. THEY ARE A BLESSING TO ALL OF US.

    Reply
  18. Patricia J. Nunez

    I think Landau’s story is great…. He is an amazing singer. When he got on stage, I never expected to hear how amazing he sounded. And his song choices are great. I am glad he wasn’t just another rapper with nothing to say.
    Good luck Landau

    Reply
  19. GOLD O.B.A.

    Mr Eugen is an amazing act and i wish we have more of his kind in this clime. Pray and hope he climbs to the real top where he could use hid God giving talent to make things happen. ALL THE BEST EUGEN

    Reply
  20. Reg Tarrant

    I’m a pensioner from England and grew up with the likes of Frank Sinatra, got to like the Harry Connick’s and Dianna Krall’s of this world, then BANG, along comes this breath of fresh air in the shape of Landau Eugene.————What a joy, this modest unlikely looking star is. You lucky Americans can actually see this guy perform live and I envy you.—–Please America, [DJ's especially] and keep supporting him. I just hope he doesn’t go down the same road that the once excellent Michael Buble has gone? Who now sings, dare I say, ‘Rubbish’?
    Ret Tarrant
    Sussex England

    Reply
  21. carrie ruff

    Why can’t he come to Pittsburgh? We are only 1 hour to the W. Va. Border! We love him!

    Reply
  22. John Davison

    Landau, just found your first audition on youtube.

    Whenever I want some uplift I watch it again!

    Greetings from the UK.

    :)

    Reply
  23. --

    Quote :Why would you go out and buy somebody’s CD if they’re going to dog you in their songs? I don’t understand why women would buy a booty-shakin’ song when all they’re doing is dogging you in the video. They’re talking about you through the whole album and you’re at the club dancing to their song like it’s a good song for women. It’s not.

    Quote : if I was to buy your CD or go to your concert and after the concert I feel like less of a man, there’s something wrong with that. I have to go out and try to rob a bank or sell drugs or do something to even get on your level, just to look good in my woman’s eyes or my kids eyes?! Why would I spend my last dollars on that?))
    ———————-
    He is absolutely right ,, thats what logic says. ^_^

    he is a great singer .. i wish if he sing : ring of fire, by Johnny Cash… it would be amazing ^_^

    good luck for you Mr.Murphy and hope you will be one of the greatest.

    Reply

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