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Hailing from SE London, Lakuna are a collective of musicians drawing inspirations from soul, jazz and hip-hop, all the while crafting their own unique sound. SUM sat down with lead singer Esme, lead guitarist Ben and Producer/Manger Stan (who also heads the futuristic SouthSpace Label) to hear about their new EP ‘Where We Go’.
How did you guys link-up with Stan?
Ben: He first heard our old EP Evening Gold and did a remix of one of our tunes.
Esme: Yeah he’s always supported us from the start really.
Ben: When no-one else did!!
Stan: I approached Ben first about doing some things in the studio, then reached back out with the idea of taking up more of a managerial role. I’ve been in the music industry for a little bit, I wanted to use whatever links I had to push Lakuna.
We got in the studio but then obviously Covid hit, it was a bit of a weird one, it was a long time of writing and some of the early tunes ended up getting cut. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing tho, it’s good to experiment.
And what’s the process, how do your songs get written?
Esme: It changes from tune to tune, but I’d say usually Ben comes up with some chords, I’ll send over some vocals and then we’ll get into the studio for Stan to do his thangggg. Sometimes it comes from a Jam or a beat, something a bit more organic. But during lockdown times it was a bit harder.
Stan: Yeah it was great when we could get back to doing things in person. You can still get stuff done remotely but it’s a LOT slower and feels way less natural.
Did you find any positives out of Lockdown? Obviously you’re locked-in for days on end with nothing else to do but make tunes
Ben: Obviously to be deprived of actual connection, seeing your friends, it can take it’s toll on how you’re feeling.
Esme: I definitely think some of my lyrics are lockdown-inspired, channelling those feelings into the music.
When I listen to the EP I wouldn’t say it was exactly a happy, good-vibes record. It seems more dark, atmospheric, do you think that reflected the mood you were in at the time?
Stan: I think it’s also about escapism, a lot of the tunes are quite dreamy. It might not be necessarily a positive tune but it’s trying to help you escape reality.
Esme: It’s been a year and a half since the we started making it, so I think it encapsulates quite a rollercoaster of emotions.
What’s your favorite track from the EP ? Is it something you can all agree on?
Esme: For me it’s probably first in line, although Golden Intentions is like our baby, it’s come so far. We started working on it between lockdowns, but before the bleak winter one when shit got dark. We decided to make a video because its just vibes.
Stan: It was one of the early tracks on the EP, and getting Poppy Daniels to come and do her thing on that track. She’s super busy so it was great to have her.
So how was making the video for it ?
Esme: It was amazing, we had Eleanor Graham as our Creative Director, she’s got a very clear vision and was so easy to work with, so it all went very smoothly. One of my Uni mates came and danced for us. It was very hit-and-miss with the weather, but luckily Eleanor manifested us some sunshine!
And now the EP and video are out, what’s next for Lakuna?
Ben: I’m just in the mindset where I want to make more music. I think I’ve felt the least inhibited in the last year to make music and release it, so I just want to make more of that.
Esme: I think we want to try experiment more, try different vibes and sounds… switch things up. We’ve got a sound which has evolved from the last EP, but there’s always room to grow and develop.
Is there anyone you would love to collaborate with?
Ben: I’d love to start working with different artists and producers, try to reach out to people outside of our genre
Stan: There’s a Dub producer Scientist who’d id love to work with, maybe remix one of our tunes, but who knows.. I think as we progress cool collars will just naturally come out of the wood work.
Ben: Definitely, we’ve already worked with so many amazing artists. Theres been the king-of-sax Solaariss, Louis Keating who played some amazing keys on a couple of our tunes, Max Fraser who’s featured on two of the tunes and will be back working with us soon and then obviously the amazing Poppy Daniels.