“The All-Improv, DJ-Style One Man Band.”
Creating a unique experience with every note, LKHD uses his skills at spontaneous composition and multi instrumentalism to craft unique sonic experiences ranging in genre from synthwave, trip-hop, house, hip-hop, nu jazz, and more on the fly. With his musical foundation formalized at Duquesne University, where he also met his perpetual collaborator Rhetorical Artz, LKHD was introduced to the music scene as a saxophonist performing with Peace Ike (r&b, singer songwriter), Billy the Kid & The Regulators (electric blues), and The Old E. Allstars (funk, rock) in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Honing his skills at the Tuesday night open mics hosted at the former Shadow Lounge, Mr. Kelly experimented with keyboard, vocals, and poetry.
Some time ago, Langston found himself inspired by the idea that anything a person might do may be understood as a skill and, therefore, if honed, can be done with expertise and even, perhaps, in an entertaining manner. He also desired to find a way to combine his duel love for performing and composing. With these in mind and noticing a lack of expertly produced improvisation in the music scene outside of jazz music, which though heavily reliant on improvisation is generally only partially improvised, he decided he wanted to develop his skills in the art of "winging it." Eventually, Langston and Rhetorical Artz became the improv storytelling duo known as Speak Life Storytellers. 'Twas in the course of this work that Langston, at the suggestion of Mr. Artz, began playing with a looper and eventually, along with any instruments on hand, used it to extemporaneously create soundtracks for the tales woven by Rhetorical. Thus was born Langston Kelly Human DJ, the all-improv, DJ-style one man band. During this time period, Mr. Kelly expanded his musical horizons performing with groups such as The Freedom Band (reggae), Guaracha Latin Dance Band (salsa, meringue, cambia, latin), and The Afro Yaqui Music Collective (indigenous music, jazz, funk, hip-hop).
In 2016, he and Rhetorical Artz retired Speak Life Storytellers, Langston toured in Algeria with El Foukr R'Assembly, and Starship Mantis was born seeing Mr. Kelly as a front man for the first time. The next year, LKHD released his first fully improvised album "I am" and subsequently, just a few months later, his second, "Prodigious Bipedality." Following the 2018 release of "Stop Being Dead," his most lengthy work to date, Mr. Kelly sold half of his gear and took a hiatus from LKHD to meet the increasing demands of Starship Mantis. In the spring of 2019, however, LKHD returned with new equipment, new ideas, and skill sets sharpened by the Mantis. He has since released his fourth album, his first all instrumental release, "Sunset" and now on the road.
05.31.17 "LKHD...released his debut album “I am”...and it’s nothing short of amazing, a response expected from an artist who’s stage show is entirely improvised and boasts he 'never plays the same thing twice'."
10.22.19 "LKHD’s new album, Sunset, features a series of instrumentals that were recorded live in one take, no overdubs, no backing tracks. Songs unfold naturally and blend into one another, atmospheric synth washes complimented by bubbling percussion and subdued melodies that vary from track to track but remain a cohesive whole. The cinematic..."