Wonderland.

PREMIERE: LAYKE

The avant-garde artist gets candid about how her move to LA fostered a creative awakening and the release of her new track, “No One Can Stop Us”.

Layke

Photography by Quinn Tucker

Layke
Photography by Quinn Tucker

Friday is officially in full swing which means that the weekend, and more importantly, the dancefloor is calling. And, if like us, you are planning on spending the next few days partying away the troubles of the past week, we think you should do so along to the sounds of avant-garde artist Layke’s “No One Can Stop Us”. A party anthem at its core, listeners are treated to a buoyant beat on the track that is met with pensive production and a hedonistic narrative, all of which promise to take over and practically force you to groove along to its infectiously electric sound.

When taking a moment to discuss how the song came to fruition, the artist explained, “I never go into the studio with an objective of any kind. My producer, Adrian Gurvitz, is a creative genius and we just love to have the best time and play with fun toys like synthesizers and drum machines. We love to let the sound take us where we’re supposed to go, so when we started writing ‘No One Can Stop Us’, it was just a really natural thing. That day the vibe was really upbeat and fun and what we started creating began to turn into a dance bop, and then it turned into all this energy of being in the club and feeling incredible and seeing someone on the dance floor.”

Upon the release of her new party-ready track, the artist took some time to get candid with Wonderland about LA’s positive influence on her craft, her want to live in the present and invoking emotions through her music. Head below to enjoy our conversation with Layke…

Hey Layke, how are you? How has this past year been?
Hi! I’m doing very well, thank you! The past year or so has definitely been a rollercoaster, but I think that’s true for a lot of us or probably most of us. Personally, I’ve experienced a lot of growth and I’ve learned to let go of a lot of things in order to really step into my own power. It’s amazing what can happen when you let go of things that you’ve been holding onto that no longer serve you and I feel like the pandemic really allowed me to sort a lot of things out and push what’s most important to me to the forefront. As an artist, I feel more vulnerable and exposed than I have ever felt with this body of work but at the same time, the freest and the most powerful.

With everything that happened during the pandemic, was your creativity affected?
Oh, most definitely. I feel like it’s hard to go through what all of us have gone through with the pandemic and not have it affect you deeply. So personally, as an artist, it created a huge shift in how I do that. And, that’s what really pushed me to be more vulnerable and open and more exposed than I’ve ever been with my music. Talking about my mental health struggles, which is something very private and personal to me, was very difficult, but I’m really glad that I did and the circumstances of the pandemic really pushed me to do that. Because so many people were dealing with so many things and it really shed a huge light on people’s struggles with mental health, I thought it was time to really let that side of myself show.

And how did you first get into music, what inspired your journey?
I’m the youngest of four in my family and all my sisters were in dance. From when I could talk, I was very vocal about wanting to dance as well, so my parents put me in as a very young child. So. from a very young age, I had a love and appreciation for performance. It came very naturally to me and then that led to me being involved in summer programs through the dance studio that got me involved in musical theatre. I also had a teacher that saw something in me, who told me that I had a voice, and told my parents about it and from that point they fostered that. I was really lucky that I had parents that exposed me to the arts from a very young age, which allowed me to find music which became my personal form of self-expression.

Talk us through your hometown, do you think it inspired you in any way?
I grew up in Dallas,Texas. Texas is an extremely conservative place and even though it’s changed a lot since I moved, with everything that’s going on with attacks on Trans rights and LGBTQIA+ rights in general, it makes me feel like sometimes nothing has changed at all. And the main reason, why I left Texas was because I felt like I never belonged and no one ever really truly understood me. I was queer and I never had anyone in my life around me that was an example of what that meant. I was an artist in an environment that did not foster creativity, so moving to California really helped me find myself. While I appreciate where I come from because I wouldn’t be who and where I am without living that experience, it is definitely still a source of a lot of pain and struggle because of everything I had to overcome.

And now you’re about to drop your new single “No One Can Stop Us”, talk us through it, what was your mindset going into it?
I never go into the studio with an objective of any kind. My producer, Adrian Gurvitz, is a creative genius and we just love to have the best time and play with fun toys like synthesizers and drum machines. We love to let the sound take us where we’re supposed to go, so when we started writing “No One Can Stop Us”, it was just a really natural thing. That day the vibe was really upbeat and fun and what we started creating began to turn into a dance bop, and then it turned into all this energy of being in the club and feeling incredible and seeing someone on the dance floor.

What do you hope people take away from your music?
I hope that people feel something when they hear my music, whatever that is. I mean isn’t that the point of art? For better or worse, for someone to feel something. But of course, I hope that they feel that my music provides a place where they can be themselves, authentically and unapologetically. A place where they can revel in the beauty of who they are. A place where they don’t need to be anyone but who they are. I want people to enjoy themselves and dance and have fun and I want them to feel loved and at home. I’m just a human being doing my thing and I write about my personal experiences and my interpersonal relationships. I feel like a lot of people can relate to that because these are things we all experience.

Who would you love to collaborate with?
In an alternate universe, it would be Freddie Mercury because he’s my ultimate influence; I just relate to him on a lot of levels. But since that can’t happen in this dimension, I would love to collaborate with Janet Jackson. And then what would be even more amazing would be collaborating with Rina Sawayama and Charli XCX.

Who inspires you?
My Nonni and my dad, both of who I’m named after, are my biggest inspirations. I feel a strong bond to my Italian roots, I always have. My father was born in Italy and is the youngest of four children and really overcame a lot. My family came from very humble beginnings and I’ve always been very inspired by their tenacity and strength. It makes me want to carry that energy forward and define my life on my own terms just as they did.

What are you most excited for? What’s next?
To be honest, I’m just really excited to be here and be doing what I’m doing and to be able to continue creating music and art. Everyone’s always asking artists what’s next, what’s the next thing on the horizon? And I get that because that’s the natural thing to do, to say what we are going to be doing next, let people know what we are leading to and what we are going to be accomplishing next. But I think this pandemic has taught me to appreciate where I am and to be present in the moment.

PREMIERE: LAYKE

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