His songs are all about revealing his personal struggles and lessons learned. A storyteller at his core, his thing is connecting people through focusing on the bond of our shared human experience.We are happy to introduce you to a talented a singer-songwriter – IAN LAKE !


[Blaster] Thank you for your time IAN! What music did you grow up listening to?

IAN LAKE: I was lucky that my parents were big music lovers with a great record collection. I think Bob Marley was probably the music I heard most as a child, and Neil Young was a close second. But there were other greats, like Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton. As well as great bands like Fleetwood Mac, Eurythmics, The Eagles. Then I’ll never forget when CD’s first came out, the very first CD my parents bought was ‘Mama Said’ by Lenny Kravits. That album got a lot of play in our house. Once I was old enough to buy my own walkman, I listened to casette tapes of bands like Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Green day. And then as a 16 year old I went through a phase where classic rock was all I listened to. Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd were the obvious choices, but i developed real love for Supertramp, which became my favorite band from that era.

 

[Blaster] How did you become involved in music production?

IAN LAKE: I had been dabbling in writing songs for a few years when in 2015 I was cast in a production of the broadway musical ‘Once’, playing the lead role. The story in that show is about a musician who has a bunch of his own songs, but hasn’t summoned up the courage to share them. It only felt fitting that while I was doing the show, I should get into the studio to record one of my songs and share it. Not only that, but I was playing and singing in front of an audience every night, and it felt like a good time to put something out there into the world. I recorded my first single ‘This isn’t my Day’, and that paved the way for more music production this past year. It took a while to get back in the studio, but it wouldn’t have been possible without that experience years ago.

 

[Blaster] How would you describe your musical style?

IAN LAKE: My style is a bit eclectic. I’m a singer-songwriter who likes to meld genres between folk-rock and pop, with a little blue-eyed soul mixed in. But no matter what the vibe of my songs, I always write from a place of vulnerability and emotion. I’ve always responded the most to sad songs, and usually when i’m inspired to write, it’s some expression of sadness. I started playing piano during the pandemic, and my singing style became a lot more soulful, than the folk songs I used to write on the guitar. I find myself writing a lot of pop-ballads, built for piano and strings arrangments. I plan to continue pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I’m back to writing more on the guitar, only starting with my electric guitar rather than my acoustic.

[Blaster] Who writes your songs?

IAN LAKE: I write all my own music and lyrics. I have a few friends that I play my songs for while i’m in process, for a bit of feedback, but I am still the sole writer on all my material. I would love to find a writing partner but I’m a bit of a control freak hahaha.

 

[Blaster] Is there a hidden meaning in your music?

IAN LAKE: well… there is a hidden message scratched into either side of my vinyl, for those people who might wanna look for that. But I don’t think my songs are too cryptic. I write mostly about what lessons I’m learning from the struggles I go through. But the thing that I try to do with my writing is make it ambiguous enough, that a lot of people can relate their own stories to it. That said, there’s definitely lyrics in all of my songs that are secret messages to specific people. I always wonder if the people my songs are about have any clue when they hear them.

 

[Blaster] Do you collaborate with other musicians? What is that process?

IAN LAKE: Well Matthew Barber is my producer, and has been my chief collaborator, with regards to fleshing out my songs once they’re written, and bringing them to life in full production. He’s an amazing resource, because he plays every instrument and hears things, musically, that I just can’t hear. He’s been invaluable in making my album. My other main collaborating friend is Noah Reid, who is a fellow actor, who also has quite a prolific music career. He is someone I bounce ideas off of, and play my songs for them in their early form. He’s a much better piano player than I am and he’s taught me a lot about how to find different notes on the keyboard. From a visual standpoint, I have several people I’ve developped collaborative relationships with, in terms of the content that I’ve made to go with the songs. Nicolette Pearse has really helped me curate many visuals, Natty Zavits has directed two of my music videos, and Rachel Cairns has directed another video and really helped me brand the music.

[Blaster] What skills have you learned that will help you in your music career?

IAN LAKE: The list is long. In this endeavour I have become a film producer, a graphic designer, a director, an editor, a photograper. I have worn so many hats, and had to develop new skills along the way. I now know my way around photoshop extremely well. I can make a budget, I can colour grade my own videos content, I designed my own album cover with my own photography. I’ve also edited all my own live versions of my songs. I’ve actually been hired a few times now to take promo photos for my other musician friends. That part of this whole process has been invaluable. AND to top it all off, I’ve learned how to colaborate with session musicians in a studio, and the process that takes. How to slowly build layers into a song to bring it to life. How to understand what a song needs.

 

[Blaster] Do you have a record label? Are you a member of any music organization?

IAN LAKE: No I’m not on a label, I’ve been producing my music independently. I do have a family of musician friends who have all put out indie records with the same producer, Matthew Barber, and recorded at the same studio in Toronto, Union Sound. We are all friends who know how challenging the music world can be, and we tend to help each other out where we can, or offer advice when needed. It’s important to have some support in this industry.

 

[Blaster] Where do you find your artistic inspiration?

IAN LAKE: That’s a great question. I have a lot of creative outlets, as an actor and a musician, and a visual artist. So I tend to draw inspiration from all kinds of mediums. sometimes a song will inspire the way I approach a charatcer I’m playing, and other times a painting or a movie will inspire me to write a song. Most of my inspiration for songs come from processing my own experiences. I journal a lot, and I go to therapy, and sometimes something I’m reflecting on will get written down in a journal, and then end up becoming the opening lyric or the hook of a song. But songs reveal themselves to me in different ways. A lot of ideas for songs come while i’m out walking. I have a dog and start every morning with a long walk, and that’s where a lot of what’s on my mind will come to the surface. Usually if I come up with an idea for a song on a dog walk, and it’s still in my head by the time I get home, that’s a good sign I’ve got something worth writing. Other times I’ll just record it in a voice note, and it’ll get stashed for another day, but i find those ones turn into real songs less often. And my first moment of inspiration is always different. Sometimes I’ll just hear a melody in my head without words, other times I’ll write lyrics that don’t have music to them. A few of my songs, I’ve written the end of the song first and worked backwards. The most important thing is just being open to ideas hitting you, and ready to follow them when they do.

[Blaster] What are the main topics for most of your songs? Do you think topics will change overtime?

IAN LAKE: I write a lot about loss and regret. And about the lessons learned. I’ve written a lot of songs about hearbreak, but my most recent batch of songs is about grief. Songs are like postcards to my future self. A little reminder of what I’ve been through. I sure hope my topics will change over time. I’d love to write some happy songs at some point! But it’s always just a reflection of where you’re at in life, so I know those songs will come

 

[Blaster] What are you working on right now? Did you release something in the past?

IAN LAKE: Right now I’m gearing up for the release of my album on April 22nd. It’s called ‘What It Is’. And I’m getting my next batch of songs organized and ready to go back into the studio, which I hope to do this summer. In the past I’ve only released one single, called ‘This Isn’t My Day’, but it seems to be getting a lot of love, now that i’m releasing new material.

[Blaster] What do you feel is the best song you ever released and why?

IAN LAKE: My newest single, ‘More’ is my favorite of my songs. It’s the most upbeat song on my album, it’s got a real pop-rock vibe to it, and I love how the lyrics came together. I wrote it on a beach in Costa Rica, and it’s the last song I finished for the album. I really think people are gonna love it, and it’s a bit departure from the slow piano ballads I’ve released.

[Blaster] Who are you inspired by?

IAN LAKE: I am inspired by a wide range of musicians. My biggest inspiration for a long time has been Glen Hansard. The way he writes and sings, have always spoken to me. I like to sing from the same place, deep in my belly, and let my voice ring out from a place of passion. Damien Rice is another one of those too. These Irish folk musicians who express pain so beautifully and sing with such feeling. Damien Rice is the reason I started playing guitar, I wanted to be able to play his songs. Then there are bands like Wilco, Arcade Fire, and the National, who really inspire my songwriting. Just the different ways in which they approach the creation of a song. Many of their songs can be quite simple, and yet quite profound. But I also try to take inspiration from artist who aren’t in my genre. Frank Ocean, Labrinth, and Dijon, are all artists who really drive me to make music that takes me out of my comfort zone. Hearing the ways in which they use their imaginations. From a singing standpoint, artists like Adele, Sam Smith, Hozier, really push me to use my voice in more ambitous ways. I think the place that I’m at musically, is defining for myself, amidst all these inspirations, where my authentic original style sits.

 

[Blaster] What would be your dream collaboration, with any musician or producer?

IAN LAKE: I would love to work with Robbie Lackritz. He’s produced so many of my favorite albums, for artists like Feist, and Bahamas, and I just love what he does. On the other end of the spectrum, I’d love to work with Labrinth, and to see what he’d come up with if I brought him one of my songs .

 

[Blaster] How do you balance your music with other obligations – school, hobby, job?

IAN LAKE: It’s tricky because the music industry really requires a lot of focus and time. It’s tough to juggle other things. I’m also an actor and I am lucky that I have a lot of free time when i’m not on an acting job. I took a bit of time away from acting to focus on the album release. They seem to go hand in hand though.

 

[Blaster] At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?

IAN LAKE: I’ve always said that I want people to recognize themselves in my songs. The biggest satisfaction in releasing a song is when people tell you it reminds them of their own story. I want people to listen to my music and feel like someone understands them.

 

[Blaster] Would you like to give any message to your fans?

IAN LAKE:
Yes! Thanks for all the encouragement and support over the past few months. I hope you enjoy the album when it drops, and make sure and share it as much as possible!

 

[Blaster] Feel free to share your contact information for possible collaborations with musicians and social networks links, so fans can follow your work and access your music.

IAN LAKE:  
I can be contacted through my website ianlake.com. All my news and info and social media links are there too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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