We had the good fortune of connecting with Hongbin Xu and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hongbin, what inspires you?
My inspiration comes from things in my life, such as people, art, experiences, and places. Whenever a random memory flashes back in my head during the creative process, I will respond to it in my music. The outcome always turns into something very personal and important to me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started to mess around with the piano and write songs when I was seventeen until I was lucky to study piano and keyboard professionally at Musicians Institute four years ago. It has been an adventurous and thrilling experience for me. I got to make music with my band, Lanigan. We released two studio-live videos on Youtube and a studio EP ‘Strut’ on streaming platforms. I experienced life as a session player, carrying and setting up gear to play for different artists. I also had opportunities to help produce other people’s songs, such as Jellyeeee, Tambor, and more. Recently, I released a personal project on SoundCloud and Bandcamp. It’s called ‘…After All’.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love art, the first thing I would do is to see if they want to visit art museums, like LACMA, The Broad and Getty Center. There are also lots of live shows happening in LA that I can just easily look up on google. Walt Disney Concert Hall is a cool place to check out if you like classical music. My favorite coffee place is Alana’s Coffee Roasters. They have great espresso and they sell their own roasted beans if you are into pour-over coffee! Restaurants like Otus Thai Kitchen & Coffee, El Compadre and Wokcano are my favorites!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am very grateful that my parents sent me here to study music all the way from China. They worked so hard their whole life, influencing me to do the same. To have the motivation to practice and create music. However, often times I would feel lost and uncertain about pursuing music as my career. One time, I went to my private piano instructor, Jeff Colella, an unbelievably amazing Jazz pianist. He said, ‘At a certain point, you have to trust that what you bring to music is unique to you and just as valid as anybody else.’ I’m lucky to have mentors like them in my life.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hongbinxu_/

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