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Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: Landon Thomas

Scott Benning

Landon Thomas is a Pittsburgh R&B singer who sounds like he could have a song on TRL back in 1998. “Won’t Stay Home” is a classic break-up song, full of remorse, pain, and a yearning for something more, soaring with lush, layered vocals. Landon Thomas recently spoke with WYEP’s Joey Spehar.

This conversation may be lightly edited for content, clarity, or length.

What’s your musical history up to this point?

My family is a family of musicians., so I grew up singing. I would sing to girls at school. Me and my friends started sneaking into the studio after school and staying there. Then, when I had enough music, we would put our music on DatPiff and create the album art on Google. Soon, we started doing shows and collaborating with artists we met at the Shadow Lounge. This gave me the chance to open for some major acts here and just create with very talented people.

How do you describe your sound?

Hmmm… I would say very, very 1998. I definitely pull from past R&B a lot, with guitar and more ballad-based songs. Based on just the music and my environment.

Tell us more about the song “Won’t Stay Home.” What inspired you to write it?

So, it’s a song about grief and a break-up. We all went through it where we felt down and had to pull ourselves out of that mindset.

What was the first album that really changed your life? 

I would say "8701" by Usher. That album made me want to sing and recognize that I had a talent.

Can you talk about what it means to be a Black artist in Pittsburgh?

So there are so many of us in Pittsburgh that are talented and from the same spaces. There’s a lot of black history here between jazz, hip-hop, and more. We need more spaces for that to be taught, of course, and more opportunity here. I want to contribute to what’s already here and help grow this space.

Which Pittsburgh artist(s) do you wish more people knew about?

I got a list, haha! Fred Louis, Livefromthecity, Big Melle, Pittsburgh Hendy, Tomlinese, Jrouz, Jkj, Samurai Velvet, Benji. Cam Chambers, CPx3, Chandra Rhyme, Inez, Sierra Sellers, Latia, Latasha Marie, Clara Kent, Simone Davis, Dejah Monet… SO MUCH MORE… I know a lot of names, lol.

Any other super interesting things we should know about you?

I have a cool 8-year-old daughter who wants to play the guitar and I have a new project coming out in the springtime!

Learn more about Landon Thomas:


Check out previous Pittsburgh Artists of the Week here.

Joey Spehar is a Pittsburgh native who started as a volunteer D.J. at WYEP, fresh out of college in 2006. He took on any job they’d let him do like editing audio, engineering remote broadcasts, and shoveling snow.