Montreal-based singer-songwriter laye is the goth queen you’ve been waiting for. Often described as a melancholy mixture of Billie Eilish, lorde, and Halsey, the twenty-three year old has been luring listeners in with her dark and dreamlike aesthetic on her own terms. Her debut record lonesome, is coated in ambience and secrecy, and encapsulates her abilities as both an artist and multi-instrumentalist. With her emotive lyrics and haunting imagery, laye is sure to leave you wanting to be in her world. Carly recently had the chance to catch up with her, and talk about everything from her latest music video to post-show rituals. Check it out below!
Photo by: Anthony Tuccitto
GMAT: I read somewhere that you spent a majority of your teenage years without electronics. How did growing up without a phone or laptop impact the way you approached making music?
L: I don’t think it made too much of a difference, because at that point, I was in high school and not as focused on music. I’d be interested in doing that now, though - not having a phone- because I think it would definitely affect my work and self for the better.
GMAT: What was the most impactful album or artist for you growing up?
L: I never had music that I was aware of for a while, so what my parents had playing was what I listened to. Dido was someone my mom played a lot, and some of the first songs I remember singing.
GMAT: You've stated before that your aesthetic plays a big role in your musical identity. How has it developed over the years? How do the visual aspects of your career, like album covers or music videos, merge with your identity offstage?
L: I think that my aesthetic is a reflection of myself - as me and laye. I want it to represent all facets of who I am. The closer my aesthetic and myself are, the better. In that way, it’s developed a lot because I’ve developed a lot. I think that the root has always been there, but I’ve grown more comfortable in who I am and in showing it. I’ve found ways to express myself that I didn’t know of before. My visuals and cover art help share and tell the stories of my music and words, which are ultimately coming from me. We’re all one.
GMAT: Take us through the process of making the "sicker" video. Was filming it or coming up with the general idea any different than your previous music videos?
L: It was a really great experience! The song itself is a sort of note-to-self reminder to love who you are as others are able to love you, but not based on how they love you. And in this video, we loosely focused on that, with myself and three other individuals together, confident in who we are and with each other, but with a fashion editorial twist to it. It was all directed by Summer O’Grady, who made the whole thing come together in such a special and beautiful way.
GMAT: You’ve worked alongside a lot of amazing producers and artists over the years. Is there anyone else you would like to collaborate with?
L: The Weeknd, Bon Iver, Francis and the Lights, and Frank Ocean.
GMAT: You've talked before about how you're still getting used to the performance aspect of making music. How is that journey working out for you?
L: It’s going good! Ultimately, I think I’ll be happiest and most comfortable once I have a band and full on production behind me, but in the meantime, I’m learning a lot.
GMAT: Do you have a preference between writing or being onstage?
L: Probably writing right now, but I haven’t done enough live shows to make that decision yet. I can see myself really liking the live aspect.
GMAT: What's the most important thing you've learned about yourself through performance?
L: That I’m persistent.
GMAT: Do you have a go-to way to unwind/relax after a show or tour?
L: Wine and sleep!
GMAT: If you could live in any music video, which one would it be?
L: Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart.
GMAT: Lastly, is there anything else you would like us to know?
L: Stay on the lookout for tour details!
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