- Words Josephine Amstad
Ahead of the release of his debut LP 'Fantasia', producer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ, LOELASH, chats about his musical journey, where he’s headed in the future and creates an exclusive mix for Notion.
Cementing his status on the London electronic scene, LOELASH is only going from strength to strength. Following the release of his EP ‘Prisma’ in 2019, which was met with critical acclaim, LOELASH keeps it moving forward with his latest LP, ‘Fantasia’, his debut full-length album.
The LP is a skillful amalgamation of sound, incorporating jazz, electronica, R&B, and even hip-hop. LOELASH is the first to admit that it is at this intersection of genres where the magic truly happens, and ‘Fantasia’ is a testament to this. It is a vibrant sonic journey from start to finish, with LOELASH’s kaleidoscopic talent undeniably shining through.
Speaking on the project, LOELASH expands: ‘I don’t think I have ever been more proud of a project I’ve worked on than ‘Fantasia‘…It is something that has been living with me every day for the past two years and has also helped my creativity through the pandemic. There are so many emotions and feelings stacked up in there – a true statement of yet another metamorphosis I went through as an artist and a human being, translated into music.’
Growing up in a musical family, LOELASH was surrounded by instruments. Classically trained in piano, LOELASH also tried his hand at bass guitar, before settling on his instrument of choice: the Saxophone. On “Somebody New”, his collaboration with alt-pop duo Palmaria, the viewer can see LOELASH flex his saxophone skills first-hand. The track channels saxophone breakdowns to enhance Giulia’s dreamy vocals, with chopped and screwed instrumentals lacing with upfront drops. “Whispers” is also brimming with delectable sax riffs, with both visuals embellished with neon illustrations that give insight into the aesthetics of LOELASH’s new era.
In LOELASH’s own words: ‘I don’t know where my sound is headed… but I’m sure it will never be boring!’ We couldn’t agree more, and we can’t wait to see where he takes us next.
LOELASH sits down with Notion to tell us more about Fantasia, give us a breakdown of his sound and let us in on what a Loelash party looks like.
Congratulations on your new album ‘Fantasia’. Can you tell us a bit about the project?
Thank you so much! I’m so excited to finally release my debut album. The concept of creating a ‘bubble’ of sounds which is also a safe space for me and like-minded musicians to express ourselves came to me during the pandemic, I guess also because it served as a mean to get away from all the madness that was happening around us. I’m planning to make it a series, the music of which will be composed with artists I meet along my musical journey, hopefully from all around the world!
How do you feel your sound has evolved and where do you envision it going in the future?
I’ve gone through many phases since I started making music back in 2011. From hip hop beats to more funky stuff, future beats and now. For me, crossing over genres is where I believe the excitement lies, and Fantasia is proof of that – in fact, I included many different genres in it, all reinvented and revisited through the Loelash sound: warm and lush chords, hard-hitting drums and funky bass lines. I don’t know where my sound is headed to in the future but I’m sure it will never be boring!
Are you able to pick a favourite track from the release?
Probably Whispers. It is the best instrumental I’ve ever made! The perfect blend of jazz and house. I remember vividly the night I made it, I could not stop jumping in the studio. I get excited quite easily when making music but that was on a whole new level.
Did the pandemic affect your creative process at all? If so, how?
As I said, the concept of Fantasia was born during the pandemic so it definitely affected my creative process. The first few months especially – I never made that much music in such a short time.
Could you tell us a little bit about your musical journey and how you got to where you are today?
I was born in a musical family, with my parents being classical pianists and composers. Whilst growing up, my ears were fed music all day, every day. From jazz to fusion, classical and rock, up until I started high school, where I discovered hip hop and the massive universe of electronic music. I picked up Saxophone and Piano at the age of 9, while Bass guitar came a bit later, pretty much when I got my hands on my first DAW too. After graduation at the local Music Conservatory in Brescia (IT), I moved to London to pursue music as a full-time artist.
As a multi-instrumentalist, do you have a favourite instrument?
Saxophone is definitely my favourite instrument as well as being my main. I also love Piano and Bass guitar and I want to learn Clarinet at some point too.
Your music spans a variety of genres. What is your richest source of inspiration when creating music?
I mentioned earlier that crossing over genres is key for me because I truly believe that it’s where creativity can really break free. So, for me the richest source of inspiration is listening to music that makes me excited, that breaks the wall between genres and melts together different cultures.
With club nights and gigs in full swing, what can we expect from a Loelash show?
If you’re based in London you can not miss Fantasia Live, my upcoming headline show as well as release party! There will be DJs keeping you on your feet and I’ll perform the whole record with the featured artists!
Are there any artists you would love to collaborate with?
There are too many to mention, but I can say I already have some sessions locked in with some of my favourite musicians in London!
Finally, what’s next for Loelash? What are some of your dreams and goals for the future?
Next year will be very important as a follow up to 2021 – I already have a lot of music to record and also want to start travelling to meet new artists and play gigs!