Down home with Lamont Landers

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Lamont Landers performing at 412 Public House in Cullman this week (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

‘America’s Got Talent’ contestant performs at 412 Public House

CULLMAN, Ala. – “America’s Got Talent” contestant Lamont Landers brought his talent to a busy 412 Public House this week. It wasn’t the first time the talented Decatur native has performed at the restaurant, but it was first time since appearing on the popular television show.

The Tribune caught up with the soul and R&B singer to talk about his life, career and his experience on the program.

Landers was born in Decatur and graduated from Decatur High School before heading to college at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Now 28, he and his wife, Amber, call Huntsville home.

Landers has a full band but said, “Sometimes when you have to make some money it’s easier to pick up solo gigs around town.”

The Lamont Landers Band appeared on “Showtime at the Apollo” several years ago, which Landers described as “really cool.”

He explained, “They (America’s Got Talent) wouldn’t let me bring the band, so it was just me. It was rough.”

Landers was scouted by AGT after the success of a few of his YouTube videos and caught the eye of the casting director. Landers received an email inviting him to appear on the show.

He said, “About 80% show up in hopes of making the show and 20% are contacted directly, at least that’s what I’ve been told.”

He said the experience was fun for the most part, but it had a downside, explaining, “It’s a little disgusting. Like someone tricking you out. It’s a little gross, but you trade that for the exposure.”

It wasn’t his first time performing in front of Simon Cowell, either.

He said, “I met him when I was 19. I did ‘The X Factor.’ but it never aired. He said that he loved my voice but ‘I wish it was in a different body’ when I was 19. This time I knew what to expect with him. He didn’t remember me at all. I didn’t want to give in and let him, because he does it to people all the time, he bullies them. He turns it up for the TV for sure.”

Landers performed “Dancing on My Own” on AGT and received a standing ovation from the audience.

He was praised by the judges with Gabrielle Union telling him, “I’m the president of the Lamont Landers fan club.”

He performed the song somewhat unexpectedly.

He explained, “I was about ready to leave and this producer lady said that Simon wanted to meet with me in private.  I said I guess I’ll go upstairs and speak to him in private, and he recommended the song. I was super unfamiliar with it so I had to go learn it in 30 minutes. I had a guitar string break while I was learning it. Somehow, I got through it.”

Landers has been working in the music industry for close to a decade now and has no plans to stop anytime soon.

He said, “I only play the stuff I like. Like Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, a bunch of old soul, Al Green and old blues. There’s some contemporary R&B that I really like. D’Angelo is one of my favorite artists of all time. My dad listened to blues and my day was R&B so I got the guitar stuff from my dad and the soul stuff from my mom.”

Landers plays gigs wherever and whenever he has a chance.

He laughed, “I’ve done every gig you can imagine. I’ve done grocery store grand openings. If there’s a check involved, I’m there.”

The Lamont Landers Band is working on getting more opportunities in Nashville.

“We put out an original EP back in December. It’s on Spotify. It’s on anywhere you can listen to music. I am working on our first full-length album right now.”

Landers said he isn’t sure when the new album will be completed. He takes the song writing process seriously.

He said, “I’m trying to expedite the process and up my output, but writing is kind of hard. It only feels right if it comes to you organically. For me, I feel like if it comes too easy then it’s not good. If I have to pull teeth to get it to work, then it’s gotta be a good idea.”

He is hoping to have the album out before the end of 2020.

Landers said he doesn’t want to rush the process, but at the same time, he feels some pressure at the age of 28.

“I feel the grains of sand moving a little bit faster, especially as a musician,” he said. “There is a finite lifespan as a musician, so I’m trying to up my output and get out there on the road and do it the right way.”

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com