Grey Area: Luís [Interview]
WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN FOR YOU WITH MUSIC?
My parents are both musicians, so this attachment to music began really early on, as they would always sing and play their favourite artists around the house. At 6 years old, I already knew I wanted to become an artist, and that’s when I started studying piano and getting involved in musical projects.
DID YOU EVER THINK OF HAVING A STAGE NAME?
When I started putting out songs online I just figured I’d use my first name, even though I do have my fair share of ideas for horrible stage names.
HAS THERE EVER BEEN A BIG MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE THAT SOLIDIFIED YOU WANTING TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
When I was 6 I took part in a singing contest in my hometown and that first experience of being on stage really made an impression on me. From then on, I would obsess over being an artist and writing songs pretty much every single day.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE LYRIC YOU’VE EVER WRITTEN?
I write a lot of lyrics that mean a lot to me, but I really like “filthy laughs and cigarette scars / sharing souls and painting stars” from a song called ‘december’, just because it reminds me of sleepless nights where me and my friends would just talk for hours on end.
WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS WHEN IT COMES TO BEGIN WRITING LYRICS AND WRITING MUSIC?
It’s different every time, sometimes it starts with a cool beat that I came up with, and other times I can’t sleep until I write about that one specific topic that is stuck in my head. The interesting thing about songwriting is that songs write themselves in a way that it just flows off of me and onto the paper.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRODUCING? AND DO YOU PRODUCE ALL OF YOUR SONGS?
I first started messing around with DAWs when I was about 12 years old, and ever since then I have produced every single song that I’ve written.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC?
I would say it’s a mixture of natural and more electronic elements, it’s about finding that balance between the two worlds, while also keeping it modern and raw.
WHERE DOES THE CONCEPT OF YOUR ARTWORK AND VIDEOS COME FROM?
I usually go with the subject matter of the song and the picture it is trying to paint. Production also influences the vibe of the visual, whether it’s a light or a more moody song.
WHICH ARTIST, MUSICIAN, PRODUCER CAN YOU RELATE TO THE MOST?
Right now I would say Jeremy Zucker, I love his approach to music and I really relate to his work and producing style. Kacey Musgraves is also a big inspiration at the moment, specifically the way she writes and how she words things in such a way that makes them truly resonate with me.
IF THERE WAS A FESTIVAL THAT YOU WERE ASKED TO HEADLINE, WHICH WOULD YOU WANT IT TO BE?
I would love to headline a music festival in Portugal called “NOS Alive”, as it is one of the biggest in the country. There’s also “Super Bock Super Rock”, which I’m going to this year, and that one would also be a dream to play.
WOULD YOU CONSIDER DOING ANY COLLABORATIONS WITH OTHER ARTISTS?
Until now, I’ve had this DIY approach to my music, but now I really want to start writing with other people. One cool thing about university is how easy it is to collaborate with other students, so that is one of my main goals.
PORTUGAL HAS A LIVELY MUSIC SCENE. WHERE IN MADEIRA IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO PERFORM IN?
I used to play on the streets with a few friends, and that was a really great way to connect with all different types of people. I also had the opportunity to play for a crowd of thousands at one of the biggest parks in Funchal, so I would say that’s one of my favourites.
DOES YOUR MUSIC HAVE ANY INFLUENCES FROM PORTUGAL?
Subconsciously, I think I take a lot of melodic and rhythmic influences from Portuguese music. I used to play traditional Madeiran folklore so I guess that type of music shaped how I construct my songs.
AS A DIY ARTIST, WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SO FAR? WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST LESSON THAT YOU’VE HAD ABOUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to trust my instincts as hard as I can, because at the end of the day, only you know how you really feel and how you want to express yourself.
WHAT’S YOUR GOAL FOR THIS YEAR?
I want to do a lot more gigs around London and get my music to as many people as I can. I also want to start collaborating with other people and testing out different production and singing styles.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU SOON?
I have just released a two track EP called “Midnight Blue” on Spotify and Apple Music, and I’m currently working on a lot more new material. So hopefully I get enough songs done by the end of the year and release a full length EP!
Interview by Eethan Bello