Interview: Five Minutes with Kevin Lake

By: Niki van den Heever

Swedish electronic pop artist Kevin Lake has a mind to cultivate like-minded people with whom he can share and experience art and stories. He has a very strong sense of community and a firm belief that no one is ever truly alone. It’s this theme in combination with his indie/folk roots that’s inspired his pulsing, rhythmic foundation, undeniably catchy melodies and smooth vocals. Lake’s received support from Youtube channel La Bella Musique, gaining close to 100 thousand views, as well as on Cassiopeia.  

Kevin Lake is a busy man and promises brand new music for the year 2019 but still took some time to talk to us about what makes him the artist that he is.

Set the tone for us. Why did you choose the arts?

I chose the music/arts because there is nothing else in this world that I enjoy more to do. It makes me feel free and gives my life a purpose.


Tell us about your process. What comes first: The concept or the sound?

I would say it can differ a lot from song to song, but most of the time I would say that the sound comes first. So when I have found the melodies and the right feeling, then I start to think of the concept of the song.


What lead you to electronic pop?

I think that I got influenced by artists such as Troye Sivan, Lauv and Chelsea Cutler and then I started to listen to a lot of more electronic pop music which made me feel like ‘This is the type of music I want to create.


What kind of music are you listening to these days?

I listen to almost every genre of music these days, but my main category is definitely Pop and R&B


What would your dream show look like?

My dream show would be at a small, more intimate venue with my most dedicated fans where I play all my songs live only with my guitar and my vocals. Then after the show, I get the chance to talk to everyone, hear their stories and connect with them.


Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Depending on where we are in the process of making a song it looks different but a day in the recording studio could look something like this: I get up early to meet my friend and producer at his place. We talk about the plans for the day and then listen to the song we currently are working on. We write down all the vocal stuff that we need to record during the day and then start to record. We usually have to record all day starting with main vocals, backing vocals, ad-libs and so on. We also take a few short breaks during the day to let the vocals rest and to get something to eat but otherwise, it is recording, recording and recording.


Is there anything you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

I always keep a water bottle close by while playing a set but other than that I don’t have anything else that I can think of right now.


What inspires you to get creative?

A lot of things. Everything from Movies, reading a book and random things that happen in life to new music and people sharing their stories with me.


Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

I think I got the feeling that ”this is what I want to” when I had a pretty bad knee injury knee in 2015 and during the rehab (which lasted a year) I got the chance to play the guitar and sing almost every day which made me realize that I don’t want to do anything other than this.


Are there any emerging artists on your radar?

Right now there are two emerging artists that I believe will make a change with their music and take the music industry by storm. The first one is called Anson Seabra and the other one Ruben.


Tell us a bit about the techniques you experiment with to get your original sound?

I experiment with many different types of sound. Recently I have been taking inspiration from the rhythm of hip-hop/R&B and been looking for interesting yet simple sounds to build the foundation of my tracks. Something I always go by is ”less is more” which might sound cheesy but often works for me when I create my original sound.


Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I use a MacBook Pro and Logic Pro X with an Oxygen61 midi keyboard to work on my music. I have 3 guitars but my favourite one is the Yamaha LS 6 which I have written most of my songs on. For the recording of my voice, I use the Shure SM7B microphone and a Yamaha AG 06 mixer. I use the Yamaha HS8 monitors and I also have one electric guitar, a Fender Bullet Stratocaster which is my most recent bought.


If you could perform with anyone dead or alive, who would that be?

Frank Ocean for sure.


How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

Since I entered the industry I’ve definitely improved the quality of my craft by working with more technical producers, learning what works and what doesn’t work for my voice and letting half-hearted songs go while focusing on the ones I really believe in.


Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

In 2019 I will release a lot of new music. I have an EP that I am currently working on which hopefully will be released soon and then I will start playing more live shows while working on my next project.


Famous last words?

To be weird is not a bad thing.


Listen to Kevin Lake ‘Only Knew’ right here.

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