- Words Notion Staff
- Photography Keegan Burckhard
Lutalo shares their musical firsts, from their first instrument to their first officially released song and more.
Music was a crucial family activity for Lutalo growing up. Their father helped to educate them on the Black experience in America through some of the greatest art produced by Black Americans in history – hip-hop, jazz and more. Meanwhile, one of their first inspirations came when they were taken to African drumming classes by their parents.
That exposure to great Black art has interwoven with Lutalo’s kaleidoscope of experiences growing up in Minnesota, travelling across the state for school, and in spending time as an adult in the beating heart of New York City. Now, they’ve made their peace with urban life and moved to a new locale entirely – the quiet green land of Vermont, where they have focused on building a small community that can be passed down to future generations.
It’s an ethos that has fed directly into Lutalo’s latest work, a transfixing fusion of bustling urbanism and the tranquility of rural life – a fitting theme for an artist who has just toured with Adrienne Lenker of Big Thief. In doing so, they aim to probe the two highly diverging sides of America, and see whether a gap can be bridged between them.
On the EP, they say, “I tend to grapple with a lot of existential questioning, I wanted to capture what it feels like to be a twenty-something in this time period, reflecting on our relationship with technology, the internet, relationships, world governments, housing… All while discovering what it means to be an adult and how our definition of what that looks like begins to shift. The vision I have for this project is not so much genre-based as it is sound-based, and that sound is just a reflection of me. I didn’t want any boundaries because I’m not trying to replicate anything that’s come before, I only want to be adding to music in some way.”
We caught up with Lutalo to find out about their musical firsts, from the first song they ever made to their first iPod Nano to the hardest obstacles they’ve faced.
First song you ever made?
I don’t know but I just went to Star Wars world at Disney and that was pretty cool.