Destin Laurel does it all himself on his new self-produced EP.
Destin Laurel is a breath of fresh air in the new wave. From his wholesome demeanor to his refreshing hybrid sound that blends R&B, hip-hop and neo-soul, this 19-year-old Atlanta native is doing things differently.
Westin Wednesday Vol. 1 is entirely a DIY production from Laurel. Named after his recurring series of weekly releases broadcasted from his bedroom, Destin has his hands on every piece of WW Vol.1 1. From producing, performing and recording all the music himself to creating the visuals, cover art and music videos — which includes a hilarious trailer starring his father in full character — he also somehow selected all of the nostalgic samples that accompany each track (some older than he is).
What originally started as a series of weekly Soundcloud releases coined “Westin Wednesdays,” culminated in a sample-fueled DIY masterpiece. Everything on the tape is from Destin’s own hands, with the only exception being a hand from his father behind the camera. Along with a killer feature from fellow genre-bending star Xlovclo on the official release of their fan-favorite collab, “respect’” — back by popular demand after racking up over 150K plays on SoundCloud — the tape also includes the previously released “walkin’”, an upbeat gospel-infused cut that’s proven to be one of his most popular songs to date.
Throughout the 10-track project, Destin walks listeners through a range of emotions; from aspirational flexing to somber introspection as he shows off a refined sonic command over samples far beyond his years. Fun upbeat tracks like the Phantogram-sampling “fall’” and “tru’” contrast calmer cuts like “k4ci’s interlude” and “im ready’”. His lovable, earnest disposition shines throughout, as he channels the spirit of the original samples while creating something that feels wholly original.
A major highlight would have to be “love & confessions,” where Destin elevates Rihanna and Future’s “Loveee Song” (which as a reminder, released when Destin was 7 years old) into a standout that is equally as catchy as it is meaningful — beautifully articulating his current position as a talented young artist-producer feeling the weight of his family on his shoulders as he reaches for the stars from his bedroom.
“…I can’t wait to tell em that I’m on
So I can give a crib to my mom
I have yet to put my brothers on
Until then I’m staying in my room
Knowing I don’t do this for myself…”Destin Laurel — “love & confessions”
Rather than feeling like a DIY novelty, Westin Wednesday Vol. 1 feels like a cohesive, well-rounded project that stands alone whether or not the listener is aware of Destin’s self-production or killer sample selection.
More than ever before, Destin seems to be finding his stride as he continues to pull away from the trendy sounds of the day in favor of the soulful hybrid he’s developed on previous releases like “i suppose’” and Searching for Klarity. As he continues to add layers and evolve his sound, it really feels like we’re watching the early stages of something great.
Listen to Destin Laurel’s ‘Westin Wednesday Vol. 1’ below!