Interview: SHADES LAWRENCE
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
What got me into music was a love for the style of hip hop. I can remember in the 6th grade, listening to hip hop over the lunch hour. From the start, I loved the style. If I had not gotten into music, I probably would have found a way to do something music-related, like production, or mixing.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I’m not making music, I like to cook. I find everyday tasks such as cooking, help creativity.
How long has your band been around?
I have been active in music, for about the last 3 or 4 years.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am born and based out of Montreal, Quebec. I think the active live music scene here in Montreal, has had a positive influence on many artists.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Shades is a nickname I had since playing Division I basketball at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I was given the nickname because I had so many pairs of sunglasses.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
One of my most memorable shows was in Calgary at Femme Wave Festival, the crowd was really responsive. My other favourite show was opening for Princess Nokia, and Big Freedia, at Fierté MTL/Pride Montreal, with other Montreal-based artists. Every show is memorable in its own way.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I really enjoy the outdoor concerts, with that setup.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Ms. Lauryn Hill, Jean Grae, and Shades Lawrence.
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?
To a younger artist, or to my younger self, I would say, release the music when it’s ready. And keep going.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Find what you love. Do what you love.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Every one of my songs hits different for different reasons. That being said, right now, I’m really feeling my single, called, “Love Ting.” Something about the beat, and the way the flow goes with it, with an emotional vibe.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
“Love Ting,” is one of my favourite to perform, and it does get requested frequently.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The creative process involves just sitting down, and putting a beat I like on repeat, and waiting to write what comes to mind. I love that aspect of the creative process, and most everything about creativity.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I like to write music that I can feel, and that resonates on an emotional level. To me, that means connecting on levels that everyone can relate to.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
My plans for the future are to continue to make music that hits emotionally. I’m currently working on some new music, so keep an eye on my Spotify channel, under the name Shades Lawrence. Or sign up for my mailing list at shadeslawrence.com to catch the upcoming releases. Thank you.