TODAY is dedicated to female artists…
and the finest in music today. I have been speaking with LAMIA - who is a Berlin-based artist impressing fans and striking curiosity. Her latest single, Falling Apart, is around and I wanted to know more about it. I query whether there is more material afoot and what the coming months hold; what the Berlin music scene is like – and whether its fabric and environment is why so many are locating to the German city.
LAMIA tells me about her past and musical tastes; some new artists she would recommend to us; how her touring plans are shaping up – and whether she will be in the U.K. anytime soon.
Hi, LAMIA. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! Yeah, I’m good, thank you. My week’s been very busy.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
I am a twenty-two-year-old female producer and vocalist from London - based in Berlin.
Falling Apart is your new single. Can you tell me the story behind it…?
Falling Apart is about creating illusions to hide weaknesses and living in two minds.
It’s about the separation of your inner-thoughts from what you present to others. I wrote the track when I was on a really intense creative high: staying up until 7 A.M. writing, gigging; going into university; being signed to a label and going out a lot. It was really thrilling, but I knew that it was slightly out of control.
I got really good at separating my thoughts and feelings to keep up appearances - so, all the stress came out in my music.
It is mixed by James Kenosha. What is it like working with him?
James is an absolute wizard at mixing and producing...
Working with him is very inspiring because he is very efficient - but also relaxed and patient.
There are Hip-Hop, Pop and Jazz elements in the song, Is it fair to say you grew up on a range of different sounds/artists?
I’ve always listened to a broad range of different genres and styles.
My opinion is that, as a creative person, the only way you can really tap into your gift is by being open and allowing small moments of inspiration to accumulate into big ideas…but, in order to do this, you must keep open-minded - listening and digesting everything in equal stature.
I like the Jazz aspects of Falling Apart. Is it a genre, in your view, that does not get the respect it warrants?
Jazz as a genre is really interesting because I find the culture surrounding it has strong connotations with ‘high-culture’ - and is generally perceived, by people within that field, as a style that is above Pop music in terms of its authenticity and technicality.
Having gone to a conservatoire; I’ve spent time with Jazz musicians and really respect their values of achieving an exceptionally high standard of musicianship - but think that - at the same, this can stifle the appreciation of styles that are, perhaps, not as complex (but still highly creative).
In addition to songwriting; you are a skilled producer. What was the reason for getting into production?
I initially started producing my own music as an act of defiance - after being told that, as a vocalist and songwriter, production was not my role - and should be left to a formal producer. Following this, I single-mindedly taught myself. When everyone went home for summer at music college; I stayed in the empty flat working during the day - and producing six-eight hours at night. I did this for around four months and, six months later, I was signed to a label.
I found it completely fascinating and thrilling because it opened up a new world of opportunity: I could make any sound that I heard in my head and didn’t have to wait for anyone to help me.
Is it important for you to have that control of your music?
I believe that, if you can’t control your music, you can’t control your own path. I am a very ambitious person - so this is very important to me.
Do you remember when music came into your life? Who were the first artists who took your heart?
I think my first musical experiences started when my mum used to play C.D.s in the car. We had loads of them because we used to drive to London to see my dad - and buy them from the bargain buckets at petrol stations.
I would always sing along to the C.D.s - especially Billie Holliday and The Carpenters.
Berlin is where you are based. You were raised in London. What was the reason for reallocating? What are the differences between the music in both nations, would you say?
Berlin is a very exciting place because it has an atmosphere of optimism and interest in anything that pushes boundaries and tries new things. Berlin attracted me because I think this openness allows really exciting things to develop.
I wanted to be inspired by the music scene here - and implement the sounds into my own production.
Your music has gained attention and love from the likes of BBC Radio 1's Huw Stephens and CLASH. How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel great.
My music is very personal and is an outlet for my thoughts - and it really excites me when people connect with what I’m doing.
Can we expect any new material in 2018?
Yes. There are lots of very exciting things in the pipeline.
IN THIS PHOTO: Smerz
Which new artists do you recommend we check out?
I think Smerz are fantastic. They are a new two-piece Techno/Pop duo from Copenhagen and have just signed to XL Recordings. They are just themselves - and I really respect that.
Also; A/T/O/S - although they are not so new - always blow my mind. They are signed to Deep Medi and combine really cool bass music-influenced beats with R&B vocals.
IN THIS PHOTO: A/T/O/S
Are there any tour dates coming up? Is the U.K. going to be part of your future plans regarding gigs?
I would love to perform in the U.K.; although my focus right now is moving forwards within the Berlin music scene. I am looking for management at the moment, as I think it’s key to work with someone that can speak German.
I am planning on doing a string of shows next year following the E.P. release.
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Tame Impala - Currents
It is probably going to be the soundtrack of my early-twenties. Somehow; I always go back to (listening to) it - even when I think I’m sick of it.
Burial - Untrue
It changed my perception of production - and got me into Future-Garage.
Life of Pablo - Kanye West
This opened my mind to erraticism and the idea of going against the listener’s expectations.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Get enough sleep and exercise…
Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already - or will you be busy working?
Christmas is nice because it gives you downtime to reflect.
I usually write a lot of music around that time, because it allows me to process the year that’s past; where I am now - and where I want to be in the future.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
A/T/O/S - Variations