Interview

Get to Know Lubalin [Interview]

Liam Benoit

Lubalin does it all. From becoming a viral TikTok sensation with over 200 million views, to pushing sonic boundaries with his most recent project, whose love, there seems to be nothing that can get in the way of his artistry. Get to know more about Lubalin below:

How excited are you for your project, whose love? You produced and engineered almost all of it. What was that process like?

I’m so stoked. A lot of this music has been sitting on a hard drive for a long time waiting its turn while we processed the mayhem of what happened on TikTok. So much time passed so I decided to rebuild some of those songs from the ground up. I learned a lot and have grown a lot in that time, so I am excited about the level I was able to bring to the music. I’m just stoked to see what people think.

What message do you want fans to grasp from the project in general?

In general, I like the idea of whatever your interpretation of it is, just have fun deciding what it means for you. Have fun exploring and trying to piece it together. 

What was the inspiration behind the project, the visuals, and everything else?

It was all me sitting down like, “what if I do this?” I do a lot of production so a lot of it comes from a lot of production experiments. “What if I use this plugin and loop it into this?” Every now and then as I am playing around, I get a lyric and one leads to another. The subject matter ends up being where my head is at that moment. I’m the kind of guy who asks questions that lead to more questions. There is a lot of that.

You’ve already had three songs come out this year. Take me through the reception you’ve gotten this year from your fans?

It’s honestly been great. “Dougie Jones” did well. “Nobody Else” did well. We did this insane video for ”Dougie Jones.” The “Nobody Else,” video came very quickly and was our most ambitious one. It was this insane storyboard. “Never Gonna Let It,” seems to be doing well too.

What is your creative direction with your videos, as you’re super involved with them?

When I make TikTok’s, I make them with my partner, Denise, and she is actually the funny one and brings the quality to them. For the music videos, I work with JB Proulx and Antoine Ryan. They have an insane sense of aesthetic and great creative ideas. Oftentimes, I’ll be like, “alright, whatever you guys think. Tell me what to do and let’s get it.” On “Nobody Else,” we spent two 10-hour days generating ideas and cutting it down.

2020 and the last two years have been insane for you. What goes through your head when you see your TikTok’s going viral?

At first, I was very thrilled. I was very excited. Then you get addicted to the numbers because the numbers are juicy. It’s like, “oh yeah, give me those sweet millions.” It’s toxic. It’s poison. It’s important information you need to know, but it is also rotting your brain from the inside when you are checking it 20 times a day and it has no purpose. I have been trying to learn now to only look at it when I need to know.

Would you say it affects your creative process? How do you put it aside and make music for yourself?

It’s tricky. To some extent, with the way the world works, you have to hit certain marks because the numbers are important for making it a viable career. I feel like, what I’m realizing, is that it wasn’t exactly what I was doing in the beginning. What I did at the beginning was to make something I thought was going to be fun to discover. Once the numbers come in, you almost forget. I’m trying to get back to what I like doing. We got, “Internet Drama,” so it’s like, “What’s next?” I like doing different things. 

All your music does sound very unique and true to yourself. How did you find your sound over time and what works best for you?

It’s years of doing stuff and listening to different music. I like putting the “Discover Weekly” playlist on and letting it feed me random music. Even if the song isn’t particularly enticing, but there is one idea that is cool, I’ll apply it to another idea I found. Over time, you tune into the voice inside of you.

On a day-to-day basis, who or what inspires you to stay creative and keep you going?

A big part of it is having the time. If I know I only have an hour, I will just be beating my head against the wall racing against the clock. A lot of it is just having the right environment, constraints, and context to get creative which is tricky when there are a million things going on.

Obviously, TikTok blew up, but what got you into music in the first place to where it’s at now?

I’ve gone through phases. I’ve been into it since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to make my own things even when I had a guitar teacher. He asked me what song I wanted to learn and I told him I didn’t want to learn a song. I wanted to learn how to make them. I vaguely remember as a kid imagining being on the Tonight Show and also reality checking and knowing I have to do my thing.

Where do you see yourself in five years with all of this?

I’m trying to think about it because I feel like it is important to know where you’re headed. I think I am always asking myself what I want, what I am doing, and where I am going. I am realizing now at 31 there is no final answer. It’s a good thing. It’s always valuable to try and answer the question. I want to keep making cooler stuff. Yeah, just more cool stuff.

More short term, what can fans expect that you can talk about?

I’ve been streaming every week on YouTube, and I plan on continuing that. It’s a lot of fun and cool to hang out with people in the chat. I’ll be working on new songs. I’m writing with Charlotte Cardin for her next project which is really fun.

What do you do to escape music and social media?

That’s a good question. I don’t know how to rest. When there is free time I’m always questioning what I should be doing and what should be done. I love programming. It’s sick because, unlike music, it either works or it doesn’t. You always get that answer. Music you’re always like, “Is it good? I don’t know.” Programming is fun because it’s a different level of creativity.

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