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July 29, 2022

Interview with LOKRE

We had the pleasure of interviewing LOKRE over Zoom video.

Toronto-based R&B singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist LOKRE as she gears up to release her debut album ELIZABETH in September.

On June 22nd, LOKRE releases her new...


We had the pleasure of interviewing LOKRE over Zoom video.

Toronto-based R&B singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist LOKRE as she gears up to release her debut album ELIZABETH in September.

Earlier this month LOKRE released ‘Something From Nothing'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQGtIWGF0Hk

‘Something From Nothing', is a relatable song on womanhood and strong motherly figures inspired by the immigrant story. Taken from her forthcoming debut album titled ELIZABETH which she co-produced with Adrian X (Drake, The Weeknd, Doc McKinney), ’Something From Nothing’ follows LOKRE’s June single ’Sun Don’t Set’ her first release in 2 years which acted as the springboard for her musical journey that is transformative, decadent and refuses to be ignored.

On the new single, LOKRE says: "‘Sun Don’t Set’ is an affirmation to press on in the face of self-doubt. The lyrics serve as a much needed reminder, a divine gift even, to encourage me to see the big picture and the temporary nature of pain. No matter how grey the sky, I can trust that the sun is there… even if I can’t see it. That’s the kind of faith I think life demands.” The single is encapsulated into a live performance directed by long-time collaborator and choreographer Caroline Torti filmed in the stunning countryside outside Toronto.

LOKRE (pronounced lock-ree) has been fiercely paving the path for her undeniable talent. Her sound was born out of the collision between her Indo-Trinidadian and Irish sonic mosaic and eclectic influences such as Sade, Alicia Keys and Nelly Furtado. Her talents have attracted a noteworthy list of collaborators including MNEK, Brian West, Ryan Ashley, Yetibeats, Adam Messinger, and Curtis Richardson to name a few.

Outside of music, LOKRE's passions lie in: poetry, meditation, wellness, yoga, mental health (she launched & produced a series with Jack.org called DeMystified), and streetwear/sneaker culture.

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Transcript

What's going on. It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieved stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with locker over zoom. Video lock was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and she talks about how she got into music comes from a very artistic household. Her mom is a singer and a dancer. Her grandmother was a very, very famous dancer in Trinidad, and she tells us the story of somebody actually contacting her during the pandemic to write a memoir about her grandmother. And this really sparked this deep dive into who her grandmother was. 3 (2m 8s): She had a bunch of conversations with her mom about it and her aunties, and it kind of became a huge influence on her debut album that is coming out in September, but she's a, multi-instrumentalist started playing piano at an early age. She was singing in the church growing up. She won a bunch of music, songwriting competitions. She tells us about that. Starting off on YouTube, having some success with different songs and cover songs she released on YouTube. She also tells us about writing this new album and her most recent single, which is a song called sun. Don't set. You can watch our interview with lock on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. 3 (2m 50s): It'd be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to, to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcast, it would be awesome if you follow us there as well and hook us up with a five star review, 4 (3m 7s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts, 3 (3m 13s): We're bringing it backwards with locker. Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for doing this. I appreciate it. 5 (3m 19s): Of course. Thanks for having me 3 (3m 21s): First off, born and raised, 5 (3m 24s): Born and raised just outside of Toronto, a town called Oakville. This is, this has been home my whole life. 3 (3m 32s): Okay. What was it like growing up in Oakville? Is it pretty big town or not so much? It's 5 (3m 36s): Kinda somewhere in the middle. It's quiet. It's it's suburban, which is, you know, I kind of being a bit of like a, I call myself an Omni, a little introverted, a little extroverted. Okay. Bit of both. So I kind of like being a little bit out of, out of the scene to be honest. 3 (3m 52s): Okay. And what about music? How did you get into music? Musical household? 5 (3m 57s): Yeah, my, my mom actually was a, a performer in her own right. Which we can get into for sure. But as a, as a dancer, predominantly, she also sang and, and led worship at my local church. And so that's kind of where I saw it on display at first. My dad was more so on the business side of the music. He he's from Ireland and he owned a pub and, and booked bands every night of the week. 3 (4m 22s): Oh, that's cool. 5 (4m 23s): Yeah, he understood like the business side of the music. So it, it it's a musical family for sure. In, in many ways, but I started taking lessons when I was around like four or five. 3 (4m 33s): Okay. For what? Piano? 5 (4m 35s): Yeah, I guess that's the, the common way to start to 3 (4m 37s): Go to. Sure. Yeah. Okay. So you started playing piano at four or five. Did you continue with piano? 5 (4m 45s): I did. I went all the way to grade eight RCM and failed that exam and oh, bummer. Never, never went back to it, but the classical training for sure is it set the foundation for me, I think to be able to like go to other instruments and, you know, even for like the production that I do now, I'm definitely grateful to have that foundation of training. 3 (5m 7s): And you said your mom is a pro musician as well, or you said dancer, but does she also perform as far as yeah. Does she play an instrument or anything? 5 (5m 17s): She sings. She sings. So I guess it's kind of the side of the family that I get that from, but yeah, no, she does not play instruments. I think she wishes that she could have had the opportunity to, so she would definitely take me to all my piano lessons and be like sitting in on them, trying to absorb what she could too. So that's cool. That's cool. Yeah. 3 (5m 39s): But she's the one that kind of puts you into to music or was that something that they just knew that you're kind of interested in? I mean, at four, I guess it's one of those things where they're like, I have a six year old, so, and it's like, try this and try this and kind of whatever sticks. 5 (5m 53s): Totally, totally. I think it was that it was, you know, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to just many different things and, and have the ability to gravitate towards what I naturally resonated with. And for me, for sure music was that thing. I was also in like acting and performing arts classes and musical theater. So I was definitely exposed to like the performance aspect of it from very young too. But I, I honestly kind of feel like, and this is a revelation more so now in my career, that, that the reason why my mom sort of put me into those lessons and, and was so adamant about me sticking with it is I think, I don't know, maybe it was kind of like I'm vicariously sort of living out her dream and what my grand, right. 5 (6m 38s): Like, well, like I was I'm, I'm okay with it. It panned out, but there's, I think that that, that aspect was kind of there as well. 3 (6m 46s): Okay. You said your album or I read your albums named after your grandmother. Was she a big, big musician or big into music at all? 5 (6m 54s): Yeah, so dedicated to, to my grandmother. 3 (6m 56s): Oh, dedicated. Okay. 5 (6m 58s): But yeah, she actually was a very well known Indian dancer in Trinidad. 3 (7m 4s): Oh, cool. 5 (7m 5s): And kind of paved the way for, for women in that art form before kind of like the Bollywood era was really so as a dancer in Trinidad, she passed that on to my mom and sort of, you know, my mom followed in her footsteps and then my mom, I feel like passed it on to me. So there kind of is this like lineage of, of that artistry being passed down, you know, on the natural lineal side. 3 (7m 30s): So you're a dancer as well. 5 (7m 32s): I can, I can catch and move, but I would say it's not really, like, it's not the thing, 3 (7m 37s): Not the passion, 5 (7m 38s): Something that I don't like to tell people, but I'm gonna say it right now is that I did Irish dancing for like 12 years, like competitive. Oh, 3 (7m 46s): Wow. That's awesome. 5 (7m 49s): Is it, 3 (7m 50s): It is, it kind is. I don't know. I don't know anyone else. So what a niche thing to do, 5 (7m 56s): Very niche river dance comes out, you know, when I'm drunk in an Irish pub, 3 (8m 2s): Love it. When, like, what ages was that? 12 years. That's a pretty good chunk of time. 5 (8m 7s): Yeah. I, I, I think I started when I was like five, maybe 3 (8m 11s): Five or so. So you were like up until like 17, you were like through high school doing this, 5 (8m 16s): Going, going into high school. Yeah, I 3 (8m 18s): Guess, or going into high school. Okay. 5 (8m 19s): Maybe I'm, I'm off slightly with the number of years, but, but it felt like a lifetime. 3 (8m 25s): What made you stop? 5 (8m 28s): It was intense, man. It was really intense like that they would make us go until our legs gave out. Like the training was really intense and you can't really take that, you know, too far. I knew for sure that music is obviously the direction that I was going in and didn't really see a place for Irish dancing in the grand scheme 3 (8m 45s): Thing. Wasn't a big career path, not a lot of options. 5 (8m 49s): Just really it's like river dance or nothing. 3 (8m 52s): Okay. That's cool though. And with that, like when were you writing songs? When did you just start writing songs? 5 (9m 1s): I started writing songs. I was, I feel like I was writing poetry as a child even, but I start, I wrote my first song when I was 12 vividly. Kind of remember that. 3 (9m 12s): Okay. What was the inspiration or what made you decide to write a song? 5 (9m 20s): I don't, I don't know if I could even tell you it, it was called it's funny. It's like the song was called in time and it was all about, you know, you'll see the bigger picture in time. It was very mature for a 12 year old to write kind of from that perspective. And I think, I don't know. I guess, I guess I was, it was almost like a little message to my future self, so I think it was just like an intuitive, an intuitive thing that I picked up. 3 (9m 46s): And did you write it on piano or how did you write the song 5 (9m 49s): For sure? Yeah, definitely. All of my early early writings, you know, from a young age were definitely on piano. 3 (9m 56s): Okay. And then you just wrote the lyrics and melodies. And then did you continue from after, like, after you wrote that song where you're like, oh, this is something I really enjoy, let's continue doing this or did you set it down for a bit? 5 (10m 8s): No, never set it down. It was like, once I started doing that, it, it was like, let me tell the world that this is something that I do. And I started to, you know, do these competitions, these songwriting contests. 3 (10m 21s): Oh wow. In 5 (10m 23s): Canada and the states. And I started to win contests. So I think that there was this kind of like affirmation of like, this is something that you are, you are good at. Like, I feel like competing in that sense really kind of lit a fire under me and, and just proved to me that, you know, it's, it was not just something that I love, but something that other people were also into 3 (10m 46s): Yeah. Like to have that sort of validation, like when did you enter, like, tell me about these contests. Was it something that, you know, you showed your parents the song and they're like, whoa, you know, you have some talent here. Let's try to, you know, put you in these songwriting contests. I haven't even, I, I haven't heard of a songwriting contest. Really. 5 (11m 3s): Yeah. I mean, if you, if well, Google search will take you far, they definitely oh, 3 (11m 7s): Sure. 5 (11m 10s): I think, I mean, my mom for sure has been such a driving force behind a lot of, of, you know, my growth as an artist. And in those times I think she, she was really on it with kind of what competitions existed, what kind of like conventions existed that I could go and gain some kind of exposure add. And also my teachers, like my music teachers were really instrumental in, you know, encouraging that kind of competitive approach. I had some very instrumental teachers that, that were the catalyst to that. So it started locally with just kind of like the local music school that I was at. And then I started finding out that you could win money at these contests. So I was like, let's, let's get it. 5 (11m 52s): And I, and I kind of started to, to that was like my, I guess first sort of gig was, was prize money, 3 (11m 59s): Prize money from these songwriting contests. 5 (12m 1s): Yeah. 3 (12m 2s): Wow. Were you always like, did you ha I mean, you're releasing a record, but did you write for other people I know I've seen on your Instagram, just like you have one with like BB Rex that like, are, are you also writing songs for other people or helping write with other people along with your artist career? 5 (12m 19s): Yes. Yeah. Okay. So recent development for me was signing a publishing deal. And that was kind of a, an exciting moment for me because while I, I mean, I'm, I'm writing a lot of songs all the time and I feel like maybe 50% of them I feel like are for me. And then the other 50, I'm like, well, what do we, what do we do with this? Or, you know, I think when I spend time in LA or in London, even, even here in Toronto, but more so my collaborations happen in those two cities. It's, it's, you know, it doesn't always have to be a song for me. I think there's like a liberating aspect of making music that way, where if it's, for me, I'm a little more precious about everything, about it, you know, saying or musically more meticulous, there's like more of a freedom when I feel like I'm I'm writing for someone else. 3 (13m 5s): Sure. Well, I was just curious, cuz if you were entering these contests as a songwriter, were you also using these songs to, to play gigs or like, did you have a set list of songs and you'd go do open mic nights or really pursue, were you pursuing a career as an artist as, as a musician singer or songwriter? 5 (13m 24s): Yeah, definitely. I, I would say like, it was, it was always what I was working towards. I didn't really start playing shows or playing live until, I guess high school age, just cuz you've gotta be a certain age to even get into these bars and places stuff. 3 (13m 39s): Oh, sure. Right. 5 (13m 41s): I did lean heavily on YouTube though. Like I was definitely a part of that era of YouTube covers. 3 (13m 47s): Oh, like covering okay. And posting up on YouTube 5 (13m 49s): For sure. That was, that was a huge kind of like door into accessing people and exposure. It wasn't so much playing live, but 3 (13m 59s): Well it's live in a sense. I mean, going on there and showing, you know, people how it's not like you're lip syncing to something it's like you're getting on there and playing a song and people are reacting to it or liking or watching it or whatever. 5 (14m 11s): Exactly. It's, it's so funny. It's like, we've just as artists who have been doing this for a while, the story is probably the same for everyone where we've just witnessed so many evolutions of what the main platform is for people to find out who you are. And it's like, it's a lot to have to constantly sort of keep up with. 3 (14m 30s): Yeah. You gotta keep adapting to whatever is, you know, continuing on that with talk or it was YouTube years ago. I mean it's still, YouTube's still one of the bigger ones. 5 (14m 39s): Yeah. 3 (14m 39s): Yeah. But yeah, it's interesting like with, with YouTube, did you, was there a moment, did something kind of click that, you know, you got a bunch of subscribers or like was what kept you going on? Like aside from winning these songwriting contests, did you have like a validating moment? Did you go to university for songwriting and then like tell me kind of how that your journey progressed outside of, I mean, well doing songs on YouTube and also with the songwriting contest. 5 (15m 6s): Yeah. Well it's, it's definitely always, you know, it's a competitive game. There's so many people putting up videos. There's so many people pursuing this, this career path and I think what's been affirming for me. Is there have always been like little moments that have been just like affirmations that like, Hey yeah, you're doing the right thing. You're you're being seen. You're being heard you path is your own, you know, if you start looking to the left and right. Of what everyone else is doing, I think that's sort of where, where the discouragement can come from. But even with putting videos up on YouTube, there would be moments where like contests again, contests that I would enter through through YouTube. 5 (15m 48s): The first video I ever did was a submission to sing on stage with a band that I really loved. And I, I won that competition through submitting this video. So that was my first time singing on stage in an, an arena here in Toronto. 3 (16m 1s): Whoa. Who do you mind if I ask who the band was? 5 (16m 4s): They're called Mariana's trench. They're 3 (16m 6s): You know the name? 5 (16m 7s): Yeah. Big in Canada. Okay. We're very big at that time, especially I was a little like punk rock fan, so 3 (16m 16s): That's rad. So you, you submitted for this contest, you won the contest and you got to perform. 5 (16m 21s): Yeah. Got to perform with them on stage when they had a show here and we've honestly stayed in touch since it's like it, it created really cool relationships as well. I feel, and you know, I don't like to go into it too much. So I feel like it's like my past life, but then this, yeah. Another cover got featured on this like Ryan CCR competition and that generated more exposure. So there was just always these like little moments that felt like, you know, affirmations to keep posting to, to keep sure. 3 (16m 50s): Yeah. I mean, obviously you're getting, like you said, affirmations that people are going wow. Or seeing what you're doing and appreciating and supporting it, then it's like, okay, let's keep moving forward. If you kept putting up YouTube videos and no one was paying attention, you might've been like after a few years, like, ah, you know, maybe I should, you know, get back to, to, to the dancing thing or do you know, do something else become a vet or I don't, I have no idea, but like to get those little moments that's, I'm, I'm sure huge, huge way to keep you interested in, in, in going forward. 5 (17m 22s): Yeah. And, and motivated, 3 (17m 24s): Motivated. That's a great word. 5 (17m 25s): And to, to believe in myself, to the point where I actually straight after high school deferred my acceptance to university indefinitely and just decided to pursue music full time, just really building relationships and dedicating myself, you know, fully to what I'm doing now. 3 (17m 45s): And what was that like? Like did you, was it okay, I'm gonna defer going to college or university and you're just gonna keep putting songs up online or did you like, how did the, like how long down the line does the publishing deal thing land or do you get signed to a label or what's the next milestone for you? 5 (18m 3s): It's all, it's always been independent for me, but I, I had, I had management at the time and was just, yeah. Steadily, steadily building and putting songs out in the world, building, building new relationships in, in LA, also in London. I, I think that a tipping point for me was meeting my main collaborator. Now his name's Adrian X based here in Toronto and he has been MD for Drake in the weekend and has toured with Nelly. Forta 3 (18m 36s): Huge, 5 (18m 37s): A lot of, a lot of amazing people who I, you know, really look up to as well. And that was really a tipping, a tipping point. I feel like to this world opening up where I, I met so many new people who were really doing it, you know, I think there's like a side of the industry that gets sold to you when you're just kind of exposed to it. That kind of sells you a dream, you know? And then you eventually find out that there's, you know, a whole lot of, of work that, that goes into it, you know, and, and really carving out your own, laying your own sound, your own space. And Adrian was definitely a big piece of finding that, that voice for me and yeah. 5 (19m 17s): Feeling like fresh outta high school, I had that support system, you know, where I could really pursue this career. 3 (19m 24s): That's amazing. And, and with that, do you start putting, once you have that kind of support system, do you put songs online and because I know you have one song that has three, 4 million streams on, on your Spotify, like obviously something like that was, is another, I would imagine milestone moment for you. 5 (19m 41s): Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It's, it's been a kind of consistent flow of putting things out there, again, more little affirmations that that song was featured in a romantic comedy. So it's like, you know, little moments like that for sure. Help, help along the way. But that was a cool experience, you know, as a songwriter to, to write a song for a film as well, and be able to like dive into that almost like scoring kind of mentality, which is something I would love to do more of in the future as well. 3 (20m 9s): Oh, so you wrote that song, you were asked to write the song for the film. Wasn't one of those things that the song was already out and they said, oh, Hey, can we use this for this piece? Yeah. It was written specifically for a certain part of the movie. 5 (20m 21s): Yeah. In that case it was 3 (20m 23s): Wow. That's really cool. 5 (20m 24s): Yeah. I had access to see the scene and I kind of knew the story and, and really just wrote something very specific for that moment. 3 (20m 30s): Was that difficult or just a different challenge is to writing a song. 5 (20m 36s): I loved it because I think otherwise the, you don't have really parameters, you know, the, there's just like a limitless amount of things that you can talk about a limitless amount of directions. A story can go versus when you're writing something, you know, really specific for a film or something like that, the, the parameters are kind of set for you. So it really just gives you some gives you tools to work with. And I actually think that I've applied that to, to writing other songs just for myself as well, is like to, to get really clear on the story and the intention and what I'm trying to communicate, you know, is that's really how songs materialize now for me, 3 (21m 15s): You, the most recent song you put out is sundown set and that's gonna be on the record, right. There are the album, but it had been a couple years between that one and the previous song that you released. 5 (21m 25s): Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, pandemic times, what do 3 (21m 28s): You, I was gonna ask you about that was that kind of, part of it. Were you like, where were you right before the pandemic hit and how did that change your artist's trajectory 5 (21m 38s): For sure. I was, I was in Toronto. I had this whole plan about these activations, these live spaces that I was gonna create around these EPS, these elemental EPS that did come out and we had one event, which was beautiful, this multisensory experience with like visual art and scent and music and just kind oh, that I envision around the music, got to do one of them and then the pandemic hit and it's like, okay, recalibrate the music is still coming out, but you know, we're, we're inside. So it was a, it was a challenge. I think, like I said, as someone who's had does have an introverted side, I, there were parts of me that did kind of love it. 5 (22m 23s): Like, okay, cool. There's nowhere I have to be. There's no, like we're all in this, but it did definitely take a whole, a toll, I think, on, on my mental health and, and just put me in a, a position where I had to just like everybody else recalibrate, figure out how, how I wanted to represent myself and my artistry going forward. And I'm, I'm grateful that I had that time to like go back to the drawing board and actually make this record that's coming out now, this is a, an in the pandemic creation, like collaboration here in Toronto, but also virtual collaboration we could do. 5 (23m 6s): But I think, yeah, certain aspects of the record came together in a way that they couldn't possibly have if we weren't in a global pandemic. So, you know, I think we, we, I made the most of it for sure. And, and used the time to just really go inwards and, and, you know, that was in therapy for the first time, which I feel like plays a huge part in, in the narrative of this record, in this music, which is really just like about coming to terms with myself and, and finding my confidence in my voice and, and just taking up the space that, you know, I, I deserve to take up. 3 (23m 43s): I love it. What made you decide on using, or why, why did you dedicate it to your, to your grandmother? Not that, I mean, I would dedicate so to my grandfather, cuz I he's my favorite person in the world, but I was just curious. Did, did, was there something that caught like made you decide to do that? 5 (23m 58s): Yeah, so I, I never really knew my grandmother very well, but over the course of the pandemic, actually I was approached by a writer in, in Trinidad who wanted to create a memoir of her life and her impact on the art. Wow. In Trinidad. 3 (24m 17s): Did you know that she was that impactful? I mean, you probably did just based off your mom 5 (24m 21s): Stories. I knew stories and I, I had pictures, you know, I've seen pictures of her, but I honestly did not know the depths of the story I had never seen. Like I uncovered interview footage of her from these like Trinidadian archive. Wow. That I 3 (24m 39s): That's really cool. 5 (24m 41s): Yeah. So I just had, I had like, it hit me like a ton of bricks just knowing, knowing her story and hearing her voice in a way that I never had before. And it just really put everything into perspective for me. Like my why, like why I do this? Why am the way that I am? Has it just, it was completely solidified hearing her perspective and knowing her story. She was a yeah, a well known Indian dancer in, in Trinidad and had to immigrate to the states just for a better life to provide for her family specifically in this interview, she says she immigrated to New York so that she could make enough money to send my mom to India to learn how to dance for training. 3 (25m 26s): Wow. 5 (25m 27s): And then my uncle had an accident here in Canada, which brought my mom to Canada and she never got the chance to go to India that she had to give up that dream in pursuit of immigration as well. So just sort of what I realize is I come from this lineage of these incredibly talented driven women who had to give up their craft and give up their dream, you know, in pursuit of, you know, responsibility and, and giving their families a, a better life. And that is not my story. You know, I have been afforded every opportunity to be here and to create and to pursue this dream with everything that I have. 5 (26m 8s): And so it's just like quitting is not an option. I don't have the option to wake up and be like, I don't, I don't really feel like it today because of the sacrifices, you know, that had made. And as long as I have that fire in me, you know, like the, the knowledge that, that knowledge really lit a fire under me to, to, to just pursue, you know, my truth and to, to just keep putting my voice out there in, in whatever capacity I think that's, that's definitely the, the driving force behind what I do. And that's why I decided to name this, this, or to dedicate this project to, to my grandmother also to my mother, which is why it's called Elizabeth, because that's the, the name that my mother gave me. 5 (26m 58s): And at the same time, moving forward with my artistry, I'm, I'm going by locker, which is a departure from, from that origin. So yeah, it's, it's homage to where I come from and like a dedication to what's ahead. 3 (27m 13s): I love that. So when this person reached out to you, that must have been such a cool kind of project to do that research on your, on your family and your heritage and your grandmother. 5 (27m 24s): Yeah. It was amazing the kind of conversations that I was having with like my aunties and, you know, sitting my mom down and, and voice noting her, just telling the stories of what she remembers and compiling the images and articles. It's, it's, it's just such a rich, a rich lineage to, to be a part of. 3 (27m 43s): Yeah. Wow. Were you able to then hand this information that you were gathering off over to the person that was putting together the memoir? 5 (27m 51s): Yes. 3 (27m 51s): Yeah. And did they have any of this information prior? Was it like, okay, we need to contact lock because she's the granddaughter. Maybe she has some information like, and that's just so fascinating 5 (28m 4s): For sure. It, it seems like he, he was, he was also in the art scene at the time that my grandmother was in her prime. So he did have information to begin with. Okay. Like holes in the story for him. 3 (28m 17s): Right. Was there stuff that he knew or learned that you were able to pass on to your maybe your mommy, your aunties or somebody that they didn't have any idea telling or they know it all? 5 (28m 26s): No, like on both sides, there were, oh, cool. Her stories coming up, like, you know, they, I think he wanted to know more about her personal life, which of course is like, he's, he's calling me to dig up the dirt, which we don't, you know, we don't, But yeah, there was, there was just so much to uncover and to learn through that process for sure. And, and it was, I guess, surrounding the, the anniversary of, of indenture kind of outstanding too, that like my lineage is indentured workers on, on my mom's side. You know, my great-grandmother was brought over to Trinidad on a ship from India as a child, pretty much to, to work there in the fields. 5 (29m 13s): And it's like, I just, I never had any real understanding of that prior to, to this interview, I guess. And so it sent me on this spiral and this vortex of research and, and deeper understanding and learning. But I think, you know, I, I also recognize the privilege that it is to know what those roots are because not everybody, you know, has the, the privilege of being able to trace that back generation. So it's definitely been a, a source of power for me. 3 (29m 47s): That's so cool. And then with this project, did that kind of open, you know, some of the ideas up to writing certain songs that made the record, or were you doing this like in, were, were they both happening kind of simultaneously? 5 (30m 2s): Yeah, I would say there's, there are some songs that, that were created years and years ago. Like even sun don't set was a song that, that was created four years ago, maybe in LA and, and just kind of took on many reincarnations to be what it is now. So there are, there are songs like that that have had a special place in my life for years that made the cut. But I would say anything that was made over the course of, of this chapter of my life, that that is on the record is definitely rooted in that kind of like generational story and narrative, even sonically, like incorporating more Indian aspects and even like Celtic, melodies, like I think a lot of that was just coming through me subconsciously. 3 (30m 48s): That's cool. And you said earlier that if it wasn't for the pandemic, you, some of the collaborations and some things wouldn't have happened on, on the record, like what are some examples of that? 5 (30m 59s): Yeah. Well, I would say just sort of people being, being in town for one thing, this, this upcoming single that's coming out was co-produced by a friend of mine named Jordan and he's in the group magic Jordan here in Toronto. And, well, they're not here in Toronto, they're global, but he was here in 3 (31m 19s): Toronto, but he was in Toronto and you're able to order them due to that. Yeah. Got it. 5 (31m 24s): So I don't know, you know, if that would've happened, if, if times were different, people are always on the run. So, you know, also virtual collaborations that happened and with peeps in LA and in London, I think people were just more available. So we got to kinda lock them in on our schedule, which I'm grateful for. 3 (31m 43s): That's exciting. And the records coming out, are the albums coming out in September? Is that what I read? 5 (31m 48s): Correct. 3 (31m 49s): Awesome. Are you doing any sort of tour or anything to support it? 5 (31m 54s): We're gonna, we're gonna see, we're gonna see how it pans out with these live shows, but definitely wanna get, get the show back on the road, for sure. I think it'll just be kind of some core moments, some core shows in, in different cities and yeah. Fingers crossed, keep you guys posted on, on how that kind of schedule pans out, but for sure there will be something happening happening here in Toronto, celebrate everything coming out. 3 (32m 19s): That's exciting. And what about, I mean, making a full album, especially nowadays, I mean, that's a pretty bold move I would think. I mean, I like it cuz I, I love that people do put out albums and there's something to be said about listening to a record and full and why you chose song number one and song number seven and whatever in their spots for, you know, telling the story. But you know, everyone's just putting out a song and hoping that that one will do well. And then we'll give it its moment. Then wait on to do the next one. Was that ever an idea or was it when you were writing this, you knew, okay, this is gonna be an album and not careless what the norm is doing. 5 (32m 58s): Yeah. I was talking to a friend about this today where I feel like kind of, it's a blessing and a curse that sometimes when, when I see things shifting in a certain direction, I do have a way of being like, okay, I'm gonna go the other way, which It works sometimes. But you know, it's, it's hard to, to sort of, you know, break the system, but definitely understanding that it's a, it's a singles game. It's almost like artists have to fight for the right to have a full project, you know, but at the same time have a lot to say. So, you know, I don't know that I can do that in the context of a song. 5 (33m 43s): So creatively, I feel like for me, for, in order for me to move on from here and evolve to the next chapter, I have to put this all in a body of work and I do actually have faith. I do have faith in people and their attention spans and you know, the, the desire that people do have to actually dive into something that's, that's more than just like a bite size piece. You know, I think that, like, I think that, that there is a, a side of consumers and listeners and there's, there's people who do care for a deeper story and to receive a body of work that makes 'em feel something like I'm reliant on that. 5 (34m 29s): I'm saying, I believe that they exist, cuz I'm really hoping they exist. I'm like, I've gotta find those people and they have to find me. But I believe that when they do, like there will just be a, a really a deeper understanding and connection to my artistry. 3 (34m 44s): Well, I love that. I think it's such a cool thing that, like you said, not a lot of people are you're, you're gonna go the other direction than what most people are doing with the singles and waiting it out and then a single and I respect the album and there's something to be said, like I said earlier about listening to an album full and hearing the whole story and the whole idea. 5 (35m 4s): Yeah, yeah. For sure. Like I definitely, I tried to do this thing where I listened to an album every day over the course of the pandemic. It maybe lasted like two weeks. I got, I got, oh, wow. All through, but 3 (35m 18s): What were some of, what were some of the ones that you chose and how did you decide on 'em? Was it just like, I love, you know, this artist I'm gonna put on this record. 5 (35m 27s): I wanted to listen to albums that I had never heard before. 3 (35m 30s): Oh. 5 (35m 31s): And even just like classics that, that I feel like are referenced a lot, but I would, you know, kind of be on the outskirts of those conversations. Cause I'd never really taken it in growing up. I wasn't really surrounded by a lot of music and pop culture just because it was more of a religious upbringing. So I feel like I was kind of a little behind in that regard where I I've had to like see things out myself, but I listened to like pink Floyd records and early BJO projects. 3 (36m 2s): Oh cool. 5 (36m 2s): Like very conceptual, like narratives, even like Jimmy, Jimmy Hendrix or like old school hip hop fives, like gang star records. I was 3 (36m 16s): Well moment of truth. That album is so awesome. 5 (36m 19s): Yeah. Like 3 (36m 21s): I love Gangstar full clip that's oh my God. Yeah. That's one of my, I love that era of hiphop. Me too. I'm such a nerd about it. Yeah. That's so cool. 5 (36m 30s): I wanna get lost in, in the vinyl section for sure. Of, of all of that era, just so much feeling and musicality and 3 (36m 40s): The beats were so good. Like I, yeah, 5 (36m 43s): Completely. And even like instrumental vibe, I was getting lost in a lot of di projects and literally just lying on the floor, like allowing, allowing these artists to take me from, you know, the beginning of their consciousness until they felt like, you know, like the closing chapter. And that is something that I just really desire to be able to give people like what, what a dope experience to pull people into your world for that amount of time. And, you know, I really value that experience. So I'm like, there's gotta be people like me out there. You know, there 3 (37m 18s): Are, there are 5 (37m 20s): There that there are for sure. 3 (37m 23s): Very cool. Well LA thank you so much for hanging out with me today. I appreciate your time. 5 (37m 28s): Oh, you too. I really appreciate it. 3 (37m 30s): One more quick question. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists? 5 (37m 39s): Nobody knows the way forward, better than you do. I think there's a lot of spaces where we look for advice and we look for mentors or even, yeah. People who are further ahead to tell us what the blueprint should be, but nobody's you. So we do live in a time where you get to kind of create the blueprint and be as unique as you wanna be. And I think that's can be a little intimidating, but it's also a really beautiful blessing. So it's, there's just never been a better time to be you, you know, really. And truly you Bring it Backwards.

LOKRE Profile Photo

LOKRE

Artist

LOKRE has been fiercely paving the path for her undeniable talent. Her sound was born out of the collision between her Indo-Trinidadian and Irish sonic mosaic and influences such as Sade, Alicia Keys and Nelly Furtado. The result: powerful and vibrant R&B, marked by dynamic vocals that are framed with lyrics inspired by passion and personal growth. Her growing list of collaborators includes: MNEK (Dua Lipa, Beyonce), Brian West (SIA, Nelly Furtado), Ryan Ashley (HER, Becky Hill), Yetibeats (Dojacat, SZA) and Curtis Richardson (Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Joss Stone) to name a few. LOKRE’s debut album ‘ELIZABETH’ - executive produced by Adrian X (Drake, The Weeknd) - offers a journey that is transformative, decadent and refuses to be ignored.