Getting candid on loss and denial on his new synth-heavy track is rising star L.A. Rochelle with “All Away”.

L.A. Rochelle
L.A. Rochelle

Opening up on thoughts of denial with his new therapeutic single is L.A. Rochelle with “All Away”. Crooning over a synth-heavy production filled with leading bass lines and powerful breaks, the artist gets candid on the grief that brought his world crumbling down, touching on everything from loss to heartbreak. Having dealt with trauma throughout his life, the artist uses this opportunity to illustrate his grief with heartfelt emotion and lyricism.

Speaking on the new single, the artist said, “‘All Away’ is about the various ways we distract ourselves from realising we are in denial. We party, we drink, we smoke…and for what? Beyond the temporary feeling of bliss, isn’t the point to escape and numb ourselves from a component of reality that we cannot bear to face?”

Having had his first step in the creative world writing for Tricky and recording vocals for duo Scratch Massive, the London-based artist is ready to break onto the scene with his own sound, and immersive himself in his music. Ready to start a new chapter with his sound, we caught up with the artist talking the meaning behind his name, being so candid in his lyrics and everything he has stored up for us.

Check out the interview below now…

Hey L.A. Rochelle! How are you? How has this past year been for you?
I’m really good, thank you. Especially now that the world is slowly re-opening! I feel my joie de vivre has come back and it’s such bliss to be able to DJ again, to listen to music loud in clubs, to dance and hug friends again.

With everything that happened last year, was your creativity affected?
It was extremely challenging, on so many levels, and I think it was the same for everyone. As a musician and DJ, having your entire livelihood being cut off was scary. I had no other choice than going back to live with my parents for a while. I know I’m extremely lucky to even have had that option. Especially as they live in Portugal (my mum is Portuguese). I flew there just before the borders closed, thinking I’d be abroad for a few weeks and ended up staying there for almost a year! Life was weird, secluded with no one around, working on music, going on runs, face-timing friends…and like everyone, mainly trying not to lose my sanity, which some days felt like a lot.

How did you first get into music, what sparked the interest?
One day, my older brother played a nirvana VHS tape at home and I remember seeing Kurt Cobain playing guitar and singing his heart out and I was like “THIS IS IT! This is what I want to do”. From then onwards I started to take guitar lessons and quickly was bailing on all my friends playing outside to stay at home and play guitar. There was nothing like the feeling of playing with the amp turned all the way up and bathing in this sound. I didn’t really like learning other people’s songs so I pretty quickly started to write my own songs and learned to play the drums, bass, piano, cello and then got into production. First making rock music, then singer-songwriter stuff… As a teenager I also got into classical music, and avant-garde and serialism stuff like Steve Reich & karlheinz stockhausen. It was great, I got into writing for orchestras and doing tons of mad recordings.

Where did the name L.A. Rochelle come from?
It has quite a dark story. The name was born from tragedy as I ran away from my flat in Paris where my best friend had taken the life of my other best friend…
Both were my flatmates and were hiding their relationship, driven to secrecy due to one partner’s fear of the judgment that would come with revealing his sexuality to his family.
It was such an extreme shock when that happened, that I felt the need to go away: FAR away. So I took a train to La Rochelle, my hometown where my parents were living. When I arrived there, I just felt like it still wasn’t far enough and I had to go further away. I always dreamed of LA: the sun, the palm trees… I thought I was gonna go there and make music on my own. So I opened google flight and started to look at how I could go to Los Angeles from La Rochelle, and ta-da the name appeared right there, between the ‘LA’ and the ‘Rochelle’. I didn’t even go in the end. Escapism; That’s what L.A. Rochelle is about. This ideal place where everything is ok.

You’re based in London which is a melting pot of culture, do you think living here has impacted your sound in anyway?
Completely. London gave me so much, especially after what happened for me in Paris. The city welcomed me and I love it with all my heart for what it showed me.
I used to be quite snobbish in my music taste, disregarding pop music. Moving here was like a rebirth: going out to so many clubs and hearing all this incredible music. Whether it was hard slapping 90s R&B, Garage or house and Techno… London allowed me to embrace it all and showed me that you CAN love it all at once.

And now you’ve just dropped your latest single “All Away”, take us through the production process?
This song was originally written on electric guitar with nothing else but my vocals on top. I loved its rawness and vulnerability in the lyrics. It emphasised how everyone is caught up in the same loop as me. One in which the ferocity of work can only be balanced by the extremities of raging hard. I liked it but it was just a demo and I needed it to excite me more. Always more! So I replaced the guitar with a synthesiser. I love to do this and see how far I can push a song sonically. Then just before covid hit, I flew to Budapest to work with my producer friend ‘Anatu’. We sat down on the floor of a little Airbnb and Anatu started to mess around with the lead synthesiser and that was it. Later that night we were out together in some clubs and couldn’t stop listening to the export we had made of ‘ALL AWAY’. Looking like total weirdos with our phone stuck to our ears dancing to our own music. Right there I knew that this was the excitement I had been looking for and we had found how the song was supposed to sound.

It has quite an important backstory, what was it like tapping into those emotions?
It was hard. For a long time after what happened, everything I was doing was so bleak and putting me in the darkest place. There were moments where I couldn’t work at all, sessions I had to cut short because it was just too painful for me. It was a long process of trusting and as Adele says in ‘Hello’ “time’s supposed to heal to ya”. That and L.A. Rochelle which became my therapy.

What do you want people to take away from your music?
We all already know it -and I don’t pretend to be able to give life lessons- but maybe a little reminder that life is short and that we should tell people we love them, and hug them.
Music-wise, for all the important moments in my life, the good and the bad ones, there was a song that was there with me like a friend, and it meant so much. That’s what I am trying to do now for myself, and that’s what I hope I can do for others. Create songs that make you feel strong when life is challenging. Songs that make you feel good and make you feel like you have a friend with you whenever, wherever.

You’re also set to drop an EP soon, what can we expect? What was your mindset approaching this project
There are three EPs in total and the first one is dropping soon! It’s a whole trilogy written In the process of healing. I recorded it, in real-time, following my journey through the 5 stages of grief. From anger to denial, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. Feeling like I have finally overcome the grieving process, I am so excited now to present the first chapter of the trilogy: DENIAL & ANGER.

Who are your inspirations?
The people around me. It sounds arty-farty but it’s so true. The biggest inspiration for me are the conversations I have with my friends and everyone I meet. Someone will come to me, ask for a lighter, we’ll start chatting, they would say something and all of a sudden I stop them like “wait, wait, hold on this is a song right there”. I always have my voice memo on. Capturing atmospheres, conversations, moments that stay with me. Music-wise, I am really inspired by R&B, Pop and Techno. It’s hard to pick one artist in particular because I listen to so much music and I never sit still with it. I guess lately I have been listening to a lot of Charli XCX, Summer Walker, Khalid, The Weeknd as well as Troye Sivan, Lauv, Pop Smoke and Britney -ALWAYS Britney.

What’s next for you, what are you most excited for?
I can’t wait to share more songs with the world! I am really proud of the 3 EPs I have coming up and the songs on them are some of my favorite EVER. I really look forward to starting to tour again, meeting people, dancing with them… Also doing more soundtracks for fashion shows, which is something I have been doing and really enjoy. Finally, starting this week and going forwards, every Tuesday on TikTok, I will release a Techno Remix (#TechnoTuesday) of some of the finest classic pop and r&b records. Pure ‘feel good’ music so I am really excited for that as well, it’s going to be a fun journey!


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