What happens when the relaxed, joyful feel of the Hawaiian Islands is expressed through music? The result is “A Dollar Short and a Minute Late,” the debut full-length album from 20 year-old musician/Ford model/pro big wave surfer, LANDON MCNAMARA, released on Sea Major Seven Inc. LANDON blends his own brand of reggae, rock n’ roll and blues to create a musical combo platter of positive and relatable music.
His debuted album was released on December 2. The album has already reached #1 on iTunes and #5 on Billboard’s reggae charts. Feature articles have already popped up in such publications as Surfing, Surfline, VMAN.com, and many more.
LANDON grew up on the North Shore of Oahu and was raised in a pro surfing environment. “My dad and my uncle are both professional surfers, so I grew up in a surfing family,” LANDON explains. “I grew up right by the beach, so I was in the ocean every single day, one way or another.” He always felt encouraged to be himself, and this freedom of expression can be heard in practically every song on the album. “My family and friends are big influences to me…I definitely wouldn’t have had the nerve to go through with everything I’ve done without them having my back.”
Growing up listening to Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, LANDON also cites his neighbor Jack Johnson as a musical influence. “I grew up with him living a few roads down from my house. I surfed with him a lot and watching his career taught me that it’s possible to be able to surf and do music, to do two things you love simultaneously. He’s successful at doing both at the same time, so he’s definitely one of my main inspirations.”
“A Dollar Short and a Minute Late” is comprised of 11 songs, all written by LANDON. “I write all of my own songs and I play the guitar. I first write the skeleton of the songs, then bring the rest of the band in and figure it out from there. So it starts out with just me and my guitar in my bedroom.” He writes mostly about his own personal experiences, with some observations about everyday life. “I try to keep it as versatile as I can and not be trapped in one genre, but there’s a pretty strong reggae vibe throughout the album.”
The first single, “Don’t Go Away” starts off with deft acoustic guitar playing, and is a heartfelt ballad with a reggae beat. It is about first love, and having to be separated. “It’s about a girl, my first love. We were living on different islands, so that was always the top of my mind when we each had to go back home.”
The first song on the album is called “Promised Thing.” It kicks off with lush harmonies and has a happy, funky feel. “I remember exactly where I was when I wrote that song. I was like walking around on the beach, contemplating life and its purpose, and I just came to the conclusion that death is the only promised thing in life, so do what you do to make yourself happy because that’s all that really matters at the end of the day.”
“Jam With You” is pure, unadulterated reggae at its finest. “Me and my friends (The Late Ones), who actually introduced me to everyone that I know right now in music, were just playing music on the, jamming with each other, so I just decided to write a song called “Jam With You.”
“Time To Waste” is next, and the breezy, happy tune truly showcases LANDON’s smooth vocals. “I was just in a good mood and realized that’s what my life is; ‘I’ve got a whole lot of love time to waste,’ so I try my best to stay happy and do good things.”
Even “Spare Change,” LANDON’s homage to a good friend of his, who overdosed when he was 17, is still a positive spin on a tragic event. “I always try to roll with life and create something good from something bad.”
“Most of my songs have a positive message. What I’m trying to get across to people…I want people to feel good inside when they listen to my music. I don’t want people to feel depressed!”
In addition to LANDON’s music, he also recently signed a modeling contract with the prestigious Ford Agency in Los Angeles. Thus far, he has done a big ad for American Eagle Outfitters, and also is one of the faces for their “We All Can” campaign, is the brand’s new platform that celebrates young America’s unique voice and individuality. The campaign also features actress Hailee Steinfield, musician Raury, model Xiao Wen Ju and many other up-and-coming, talented millennial artists.
When it comes to big wave surfing, LANDON is known as one of the best of his generation. He feels as comfortable riding waves from 30 – 50 feet as he does playing music in his bedroom. “I just got invited to the most prestigious big wave events there is in the world, the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational to honor legendary Hawaiian surfer Eddie Aikau. Growing up surfing in Hawaii, that’s the biggest honor I could dream of getting so I’m very excited. I’ve been surfing since before I can remember, and that was one of my biggest dreams in my whole life…and it just came true!”
Next, LANDON plans to take his music out on the road and unleash it on the masses. “Touring is the best way to get the music out and share it with the world. I want people to really feel the music and I think playing it live across the country is the natural progression.”
“I’m just proud that the album is finally done and out. I’m proud of my whole band, my whole entire team and myself. It all happened really quickly, like within a few months of just meeting everyone, we had a whole album on our hands. I definitely feel like this is all meant to be. We’re going to keep the ball rolling and keep our sights set on bigger and better things.”