Interview: Lorand Kis
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
When I was little, I would always sing to the music in the house and in the car. My parents noticed that I had a decent voice, signed me up for music classes and the rest is history. My parents have been unbelievably influential in my music, they have always supported me in my passion and I could not be any more thankful and grateful to them.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Something that I really enjoyed undertaking during the making of my new single was creating my own cover art. Recently I've been exploring other mediums of art and it's been incredible to be able to look at things from different perspectives, now that I have more of an opportunity to express myself in different ways.
How long has your band been around?
I have always pursued my music as a solo act which I have been doing for about ten years. Although I never really pursued music as a career with a band, I always love to surround myself with incredible artists to collaborate with.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I grew up in Toronto, Ontario. At a very young age I was surrounded with a lot of great people and cultures. In such a big city it presented me with a real wide pallet of opportunities to explore and experiment with anything that I felt was a passion.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I remember the first time I played at a festival. I remember the shock from the number of people compared to small venues and open mics. It was really special, singing a combination of covers with my original music. The mood of the crowd was incredible and everyone enjoyed the time there. I also remember the show I put on for my first album release, I had brought my high school band there to do the background vocals and instruments and it was such a special feeling sharing the stage and moment with such special people.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I love playing at Dundas Square every year for the YouthDay festival. Multiple streets are closed down right in downtown Toronto and from the food to the music to the people, the atmosphere is perfect to perform in and it’s just the place to be. As for where I would like to perform at… if I ever get the opportunity I would absolutely love to perform at the Skydome in front of a packed crowd… yeah, that is definitely the dream.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
The lineup would probably be The Weekend, Shawn Mendes, Drake, Justin Bieber, Daniel Caesar and myself, and it would be in downtown Toronto. There is a good yet harmonious variety in the genres of music, and they are all legendary artists representing CA.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I would tell them that the craft has to come first. We can get so caught up in trying to get ourselves heard that we forget what we are trying to say. Understand who you are as an artist and work on producing something you are proud to call your work.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself to not let up a single second on writing music. There are times I put writing second to better myself in terms of vocals or in the use of instruments, and although there are worse reasons to take a break from writing, I have found that there was nothing more rewarding for me personally after crafting a project that you can call your own.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I don’t feel as though there is one song that I am more sentimentally attached to. Looking back at every song I wrote takes me back to that time in my artistic career, and it is incredible to see how far I’ve come since then. However I am most excited about the improvement of my music, my new single, and the songs that I am currently working on.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My all-time favorite song to perform is Who Says by John Mayer. I remember playing it at a cafe-style venue at my high school with my old band. Everything from the soothing riff to the deep bass to my singing to the incredible mellow atmosphere in the venue just fits perfectly. It's a song that I always love to try out with a smaller crowd and everyone always seems to enjoy it.
What is the creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
The way that I wrote my new song “Where We Are” is similar to how I usually write my songs. I essentially started out with developing a chord progression on the piano. I found this mellow, echoed piano on Studio One and I started to make this chord progression that I thought was very interesting sonically. From there I had the vibe of the song that I wanted to portray. I really wanted to make this single feel like you could play it in your car when you're driving at 7:00 in the morning or 7:00 at night. Along with the mellow, easygoing feel of the song, the lyrics were generally focused towards portraying the message of being unsure, being unsure of where you are, being unsure of where you're going and simply not knowing what the right path for you in life is right now. I really felt it helped a lot to contrast such a strong message with a more mellow tone as it just further drove the message of letting people know that it's ok to not know, and its ok for everything to not be perfect in your life. After finishing a couple of preliminary tracks in my basement and finding out how I wanted the general structure of my song to flow, I sent the tracks over to a good friend of mine and former high school band member, Vega Bimasakti Purwantoro (Everyone just calls him Bima). I knew that with his incredible production talents he could give the song the direction it needed to sound like a polished record. From the pianos to the guitars to the lyrics “Where We Are” is meant to invite reflection in a way that we can move forward and enjoy the moment we're in.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Every song is different and has a new story to tell. I always try to uplift, tackle pressing questions and inspire everyone who listens to my music. For “Where We Are” the lyrics were generally focused towards portraying the message of being unsure, being unsure of where you are, being unsure of where you're going and simply not knowing what the right path for you in life is right now.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I have many plans. Now that COVID-19 restrictions have lifted I am excited to return to performing live for people, but I am also excited for the new songs that I am working on. People should be on the lookout for an acoustic version of “Where We Are” and expecting new songs to be on the way.