As the music and art landscape is shapeshifted by “AI” and the algorithms and as it seems the world we live in is trans-morphing into a scary part of the cyclical repetitions of history it’s hard to find genuine and authentic artists, people who have genuine need to strive for something unique and act upon. LeoNaro from his group the Freeloadas is one of them. We took the time to exchange some thoughts. An while you are reading the interview, here is one of their best songs ‘Thru the Rubble’ to listen:

Music Authentic: Welcome to Music Authentic! How are you, and how are you bearing the swelter this summer so far?

LeoNaro: I’ve been good. It’s been great pool weather.

Music Authentic: How can you keep your sanity in a world where common sense, love, compassion, and genuine connections seem to be fading? Is there a routine that helps you stay on track?

LeoNaro: I really like Neil Howe’s book “The Fourth Turning.” History is cyclical, and at the end of these tumultuous times in American history, there’s a lot of Renaissance and good spirits. There’s a lot to look forward to; you just have to survive long enough. I’ll panic when the historians panic.

Music Authentic: Your new album, ‘Broken Memes,’ represents an evolution in music, style, and delivery.  Is there a secret that only your most devoted fans know, or was it an artistic decision to revisit certain tropes and topics?

LeoNaro: I stopped making music for a bit, raised a couple of kids, and really started listening to podcasts more than music. When I got back into the music scene, I wanted to create a podcast in musical form. Something more well-thought out than what I used to make. You can be the judge if I succeeded.

Music Authentic: How has the reception been for your latest album since its release?

LeoNaro: People dig it. They instinctively know that Hip-Hop needed a shot of adrenaline to wake it back up. We’ve gone through cycles before. In 1997, Will Smith was telling people to get jiggy with it, and three years later, M.O.P was telling everyone to “Ante Up” and give up their jewelry, and Eminem killed his ex-wife on a rap song. Hip-hop is going through something similar now with its identity crisis. That’s why the Kendrick Lamar and Drake beef was so interesting. They were fighting for the soul of hip-hop. Kendrick seems to have restored order for now.

Music Authentic: How has the group dynamic within Freeloadas changed since you started out?

LeoNaro: When we just started, we were rhyming whatever sounded cool. Now, we have individual belief systems and different interests. Sometimes it takes a long conversation to get on the same page before we write a song. I wish we recorded those conversations; sometimes they’re better than the songs.

Music Authentic: Freeloadas defines itself as “post-genre music.” Is it a kind of nihilist answer to the music scene’s glass ceiling, or does it reflect a belief in standing united as humans?

LeoNaro: I just want the music to match the zeitgeist. The mood of the country is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. A large percentage of Americans think we’re heading towards a Civil War; ten years ago, they didn’t even poll that question. Populist hothead presidential candidates are on the ticket, and Americans are not in the mood for a standard-fare Mitt Romney. It seems like we’re being gaslit and lied to every moment, and I just want some music to match that mood. Music singing about peaches and watermelons feels like more lying and gaslighting. I want someone to tell the truth in music. Stand-up comedians have figured it out; there are unique stand-up specials that could only have been produced in today’s political climate.

Music Authentic: My go-to songs from your new ‘Broken Memes’ album are ‘Thrive’ and ‘Thru the Rubble.’ Do you have a favorite?

LeoNaro: Thanks, man. I feel like ‘Thru the Rubble’ encapsulates what I’ve been missing in music, so I’m really glad you like that song. We put ‘Thrive’ as the last song because we didn’t want to end on a low note. Sure, the country has lots of problems, but the right mindset is to stay positive and do more than survive. I really like the title track, ‘Broken Memes.’ If you like this interview, I think you’ll like it too. It’s basically everything I’m saying now put to a beat.

Music Authentic: I’ve just watched Dua Lipa on Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, and she said that was a dream come true. What are your goals with the Freeloadas, and where do you see yourself in 2030?

LeoNaro: In the people zoo because AI put us there. Seriously though, AI is getting crazy, and it’s all impossible to predict. You can make a four-bar loop, and the AI will finish the whole song. I’ve had AI use lyrics from ‘Broken Memes’ and make its own version, and it’s scary good. It still lacks soul, which AI is probably working on. I wrote a movie about simulating souls to make better music, and it’s nominated for several screenplay awards. Please check out our journey at I’m not in full-blown panic as a creative. We’ve invented guns, and we still have boxing matches, so we’ll have AI music and human music. I try to stay on the cutting edge of it all. There’s a natural advantage to being first. Sometimes I beat myself up when someone else comes out with an AI idea that I should’ve thought of. Long story short: the people zoo.

Music Authentic: Eminem made a huge number one again with ‘Houdini.’ If you could choose from the top shelf, with whom would you want to work together?

LeoNaro: Dr. Dre or Kanye West. I know I would learn a million things in a session with them. I’m a big André 3000 fan, but I’m not ready to be on a flute album, so I’ll wait till he starts rapping again, and then it would be my dream to collaborate.

Music Authentic: You’ve mentioned ‘The Entropy Code.’ Where is that project now, and when will the public have a full night experience?

LeoNaro: If you go to my website at, you can see our high concept trailer. The e-book is available on Amazon. While we are working on the actual short film, which has incredible animation, I have a blog where I put out a web series called ‘The Simulators’ with not-so-incredible animation that I did myself. If you put your email into the website, it will give you the opportunity to join the Facebook group so you can interact with me. Would love to have you!

Music Authentic: Thanks, will check it out! What are your plans for the second half of the year? Any gigs, tours, or follow-up songs?

LeoNaro: It’s been pretty frustrating because since ‘Broken Memes,’ I’ve had amazing producers reach out to me with some of the best beats ever, but my sponge is pretty dry, and I have very little to squeeze into the music right now. I take long breaks between albums, and I feel like I said a lot that I needed to say, so it’s time for me to let my sponge start absorbing again. Mostly, I’m going to be working on ‘The Entropy Code,’ which has been consuming me recently. The movie is about music, so technically, I haven’t abandoned music. Kendrick seems to have saved Hip-Hop, so I don’t have that frustration about peaches and watermelons not matching the zeitgeist as much anymore.

Music Authentic: Thank you for your time. Wishing all the best luck for Freeloadas!

LeoNaro: Cheers and thank you for your time.

Follow and listen to LeoNaro and the Freeloadas on their





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