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Meet John Constantine of The Hound in DTLA

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Constantine.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been performing since I was a kid. Some of my earliest memories are of first grade talent shows and putting on concerts in the rec room of the mobile home park I grew up in. Luckily, I have a mom that encouraged me to pursue music and I’ve been on that course ever since. I attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, studying voice, composition, and opera. While many of my peers went on to conservatory, I went to Musicians Institute for Music Business, Audio Engineering and Production.

After college, I moved to San Francisco with my boyfriend and together we formed the band Orchid and Hound. We released two studio albums and an E.P. and played at South by Southwest with One Little Indian Records.

I moved back to Downtown Los Angeles in 2014, and last August released the single Can’t Let You Go as a solo artist. My debut album will be released later this year.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No one’s life is a smooth road, whether the bumps and mountains are professional or personal. My life has been no exception.

Being a musician today can be tough. There’s no clear path to a steady career, you have to take risks and break the rules (and learn them before you do.) It’s even harder for marginalized artists like those in the LGBTQ community. It’s gotten better for us in the last couple of years, especially for younger artists, but we’re still struggling for equality and visibility.

The music video for my single Can’t Let You Go was age restricted twice on YouTube, and once taken down completely, for no reason other than it has two men kissing. Meanwhile, every heterosexual artist can capitalize on their sexuality, pushing the boundaries with mainstream audiences and are applauded for it. Take Tove Lo’s Disco Tits or the video for Kanye Wests Fade, they are both unapologetically erotic and empowering, and also labeled on YouTube as appropriate for all viewers. There is no way an LGBTQ artist could release similar content that’s put into the same category, it would immediately be flagged and slapped with an age restriction. YouTube is aware that their algorithm unfairly targets LGBTQ and POC content creators, but they still have a long way to go to fix the issue. I’ve experienced this kind of discrimination my whole life, and as a cis white gay man I’m the least targeted of the LGBTQ family. Imagine what my trans brothers and sisters experience…

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Hound – what should we know?
These days, it’s rare to be the only one in a room who has an album out or who is “working on an E.P.,” especially in Los Angeles. What is unique, however, is someone’s life experience, their perspective, and how they tell a story. My music as a solo artist and in my past band is vulnerable and raw, and almost always wrapped up with a pop sensibility. I’m not a fresh faced 18-year-old and I’m not a veteran, I’m a 31-year-old with life experience, failures and successes, training and rule breaking, and I’d like to think you can hear that in my music.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My album coming out this year is called Under the Influence, and among the many meanings behind it is the influence of artists and mentors I’ve had in my life that have made me who I am today. The album will have some covers of musicians who’ve made a huge impact on me, like Björk and Kate Bush, and I’m including some unreleased songs from my previous band that I’ve reimagined now as a solo artist. The music I make is a direct response to those who have inspired me.

I was raised by a single mother who worked three jobs and always encouraged me to sing, dance, act — whatever it was that I was passionate about growing up. Without her there is no way I would be where I am today.

I’ve also been incredibly blessed with a handful of teachers in my life that have been invaluable mentors to me. One of them is my opera director Stephanie Vlahos. I never thought I’d study opera, let alone as a teenager, but Stephanie made me a fiend for the craft and gave me roles that she knew I would dive head first into. She not only taught me how to sing and act, but also how to tell a story and tell it beautifully.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Jeremy Lucido
Akeem Pina
Matinee Idol

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