It was a bright sunny day in Los Angeles, the kind that begs for a ‘Gram’. A man and a dog cruising the streets taking in the scenery. I had decided to let Spotify’s radio take control of the 1’s and 2’s. That was the moment that LRKR and ‘Chilean Sunset’ first entered my life. I needed more! After diving further into LRKR’s first EP ‘Wait Too Long’, I discovered that there was much more lying beneath the surface. Luckily I had the opportunity to virtually sit down and pick the brain of LRKR, the creative mind behind ‘Chilean Sunset’ and new EP ‘Getting Along‘. Too lazy to read? Check out the live stream or grab a download of the live conversation below.
How are you today?
I’m great man!
Chilean Sunset and Journey have amassed 3.3 million plays. Has the success of your following triggered a response by your fans and the public?
Definitely I’d actually say that Spotify has been the real driving force for any sort of fanbase whatsoever. As soon as those songs started climbing I also started seeing Spotify followers increase over the years. Since 2015 I’ve actually now reached almost 2,000 followers on Spotify. Which is wild. Then I’ve used those numbers to sort of expand and be able to pitch to other people to show that I’m a little bit more legit. I don’t know, it’s always a fun thing to bring up that no name artist has that many plays on Spotify.
You just released your second EP, Getting Along. How is this release different from Wait Too Long?
I was trying to incorporate more acoustic instruments into ‘Getting Along’. You notice that the first song is a piano instrumental that includes mistakes and I did that on purpose because the rest of the album is sort of structure based around drums. Perfect drums, not perfect perfect but lined up according to a grid. With this EP, I wanted to make it a little more organic, so after I recorded everything, all the electronic elements. I took some time to record some piano and percussion including a ride cymbal here and there and other random bits of percussion, just to make it a little more human feeling and unique. I would say the big difference is just the sounds that I used. And then the other one is that high ended a relationship I had, so that I could focus on music more. And as sad as it was to do, this process has also helped me with that.
What is your favorite instrument that you play, and did you incorporate that more in your second release?
I would say my favorite instrument to play is the drums. And I did record drums for every track, but I didn’t end up using them. I just felt like I was trying a little bit too hard. The beat was already there, so I didn’t want to overdo it with acoustic drums as well. I think what I’ll do is I’ll try to make a more acoustic record next. But my favorite thing to play on this record was definitely the piano. The first song is completely ad libbed, nothing written, it was a one take thing. So that to me was special.
If you could collaborate with any artist in any time, who would you choose and why?
Probably Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, because he is my idol. I look up to him so much. Growing up I listened to Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Radiohead and other bands that my cousins and my siblings told me about. Then I really do into Trent Reznor’s process, and I learned that Nine Inch Nails isn’t five musicians all writing their own parts. It’s Trent Reznor and then Atticus Ross occasionally. He’s basically making the entire thing, and then he hires a band after the fact. So if I could collaborate with him or like play a show live with him, I would flip out. That would be a dream. He’s just to go get her, and he works alone. I also work alone and I appreciate collaboration more and more I’m open to it. But yeah, he definitely inspired me to be able to do this on my own.
Aside from other music artist, what inspires your music or what inspires you as an artist?
I would say getting out of the city definitely does, nature inspires me, my family inspires me, my peers inspire me. UberVice is the co-founder of novice records, and he also just released a great EP. He remixed ‘Blue Love’ on my EP. We have been best friends since high school and we basically push each other. He’s got an incredible work ethic, one of the best work ethics of anyone I know. He would get really really good at something then I would say like “oh damn it”, Evan is so good at that, I need to be good at that, I need to be better at that. So then I would try to learn it and get better, and then I’d release an EP and then a couple months later he’d release an EP. So we sort of feed off of each other’s energy in that way.
What is your music spirit animal?
I’ve never thought about that before, I don’t know. I was trying to think of something that’s simultaneously welcoming, but also a little bit mysterious or dark, because that’s kind of what my music embodies. I’d saying maybe a wolf. I don’t know, maybe a wolf or a bear, because on the outside they sort of seem one way. They could seem very friendly, but then there’s also a darker side and I definitely have a darker side to my music.
What other Genre of Music which you aspire to work in aside from the one you’re currently working in?
That’s a good question, well I’m really open to anything and everything. I play with different musicians every week and we play something new every week. It can be a beat that started on an 808 and then guitar comes in. Or I can be a beat that started on a drum kit and then the guitar comes in. So I’m really open to anything, but so that you have an actual answer. I would say that it’s electronic music mixed with acoustic. So like trip hop type music, or hip-hop that has piano elements and guitar elements. I’m really inspired by Nils Frahm and Jon Hopkins. John Hopkins and James Blake they are really good at blending organic sounds, vocal sounds and piano sounds, string sounds with electronic elements.
What can we expect next from LRKR?
Currently I’m just working on promoting the EP, I’m working on possibly getting some sort of sync licensing Maybe to be in a commercial or something, because I’ve had other people use me in their YouTube videos, their blogs. So that’s something I’m currently doing, but I’m always trying to play shows. I’m playing a show on July 8th at Gold Sounds. I’m trying to play shows in New York. I’ve had a bunch of successful shows before the album, like Bowery Electric and that Left Field, but I’m already making more music. There are two or three tracks that I initially wanted to put on the latest EP, but for one reason or the other it didn’t fit, or the production wasn’t up to my standards, or some other reason that I didn’t include them. Sorry I already have a few tracks in the can that I’m going to build off of for the next EP.
Any advice for other music artists or other general life advice?
Definitely, man I could go on for days. I work in the music industry as my day job as well, so I think I have some insight there. I would just say that anything is possible. You’re going to hear the cliche advice, but that’s because a lot of it is true, and anything is possible. I didn’t think that I would have almost 4 million plays right now on Spotify. I never thought that would happen when I first joined as a listener years ago. So always shoot for the stars. Never be afraid to ask for help. Always reach out. If you have contacts, if you have friends, reach out and ask for help, and get other people’s ideas and collaborate with people as much as possible. Maybe a final thing I would say is try to find your own lane. Don’t try to copy other people, because everyone copies everyone you know? That’s fine, sampling is great and I think a lot of sampling is done tastefully. People chop them up, reverse them, etc. I do it, but that being said we still have to be unique and you shouldn’t just try to make a banger constantly. You shouldn’t just throw on trap horns and all that junk. You got to have your own lane. So whether that’s putting a didgeridoo on your track, which is something I do. Or you know, recording a stream that’s in your backyard. In your favorite vacation spot, recording birds. Like that’s unique in itself, so maybe it’s weird, but that’s my outlook. Always try to find something from your personal experience to offer something unique to your music.
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