Enjoy what you’re doing, stay present in the moment, and don’t just think about what you’re working towards. There are amazing things happening in that entire process to get there and if you aren’t paying attention you’re going to miss those things along the way. So live in the moment and let yourself enjoy where you are and what you are currently doing.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Layke.
Layke is a ground-breaking artist that delights in pushing boundaries both musically and in her socio-political beliefs. This star on the rise, complete with signature lavender hair, sees it as her life’s work to help others find their voice and live unapologetically. This could not be more relevant than in these tumultuous times where people are polarised, and human rights are under threat. Her latest single is the politically charged ‘Going Out On A High’ from her forthcoming EP ‘Frequency’- out end of January 2021. Lakye, who identifies as pan/bisexual, is a staunch champion of the LGBTQIA+ community and an activist for openness and inclusivity.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/0ce8f3606f58183c8b109433b5488caa
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I was the first person in my family born in the US. All three of my sisters were born in Toronto Canada. My father is originally from Italy and my mother is originally from South Africa and they immigrated to Toronto and met in college.
I never really fit in in Dallas. I was always a different child I felt things very deeply and was very sensitive. I was also very artistic and wasn’t really in an environment because I went to private Catholic school that fostered that but I was always involved in dance from a very young age so that was a great creative outlet and that eventually led me to getting into music.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was about seven or eight years old, I took every summer the summer program at my dance studio in Dallas. And my teacher that taught me top also had been on Broadway for many years before she started teaching, she had a summer class for singing. And I took it and after that she told me I should get into music because she was, like, “you have a natural talent!”- and that was the first time it really resonated with me. That definitely sparked the fire to drive me to where I am now.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I think working with Snoop Dogg definitely has to be able to top of the list. He was so nice and so cool and made me feel so at ease on site when we filmed the video for our cover of “Happier”. He’s a really stand up individual. It was a really surreal experience. I got to play basketball with him and I got to hang out in one of his really cool cars. It was just really awesome.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t know if I can really remember one. I’ve been on stage since I was very little (literally three years old) so there’s been many funny moments in being a performer my entire life. I’ve fallen flat on my face in front of people. I’ve had wardrobe malfunctions. I’ve missed notes. I’m human just like anybody else and at the time these things seem huge but you just get up and keep going, literally or figuratively LOL.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Currently I am in the studio working on new music. I’m really digging into mental health issues in some of these songs, specifically anxiety. I’m diagnosed with anxiety and I think a lot of people struggle with anxiety and depression and things like that and I want to touch on that and my own personal experience in a couple of the songs that I’m writing currently. So, it’s a very vulnerable moment for me. But I think that’s important and I always write from a place of what I know and what I’m going through, so I think it’s important to be honest with your listeners.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Representation is huge. Representation matters so much. It is so important for individuals to see themselves represented in film and television and throughout pop culture. It’s so important for young children and the younger generations to have that experience so that they are hopeful and they dream and that they know that they can dream and that through hard work and perseverance their dreams are attainable. And not just for some but for everybody. Representation is the most important. Which is why Kamala Harris now being Vice President is just so important here in the United States.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
First of all, say yes to every opportunity. Don’t be too good for anything because you never know where it will lead.
Secondly never stop learning. The more knowledge you have the better you will be at your art or your craft. And knowledge leads to power so go out and get it.
Thirdly always be humble. Don’t let yourself get a big head no matter how well you’re doing. Take the little wins but remember to always stay humble and working hard towards your next goals.
Fourth always keep trying to evolve in who you are. Remember that complacency is the death of creativity so always keep pushing your comfort zone and your limits because that’s when you really get somewhere amazing.
And finally enjoy yourself. Enjoy what you’re doing, stay present in the moment, and don’t just think about what you’re working towards. There are amazing things happening in that entire process to get there and if you aren’t paying attention you’re going to miss those things along the way. So live in the moment and let yourself enjoy where you are and what you are currently doing.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Listen to yourself. If you need to take a break take a break. You don’t always have to be constantly being supposedly productive or constantly working. Sometimes it’s good to unplug and disconnect. To take a second and just get out in nature or take some time to yourself just to relax. Otherwise you will burn out. I know people talk a lot about it, but self-care really is important. And it can be like tiny things or big things. Just make sure you’re doing some things for yourself outside of work. And if your work is artistic remember that you have to separate yourself from it sometimes- otherwise you’re working all the time and that can get messy.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I think there are a lot of amazing movements currently going on. And I just want to be an advocate for those things in any way that I can. The LGBTQIAP+ community is very near and dear to my heart as a bisexual/pansexual individual. I advocate strongly for BIPOC. And we all need to care about climate change or there won’t be an Earth left for us. So I think there’s a lot of things to get involved with, a lot of strong movements that are already there that people have put work into to help get behind and to advocate for as much as possible, especially if you have a platform of any kind and even more so if you come from a situation of privilege ie white people. If you are a white person with a platform and you are not doing something to advocate for marginalized communities then you have a serious problem. That’s just inexcusable to me. I can’t imagine having a platform and not using it to try to do any good that you can. That just doesn’t make sense and it’s abhorrently selfish.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’m extremely close with my father. He has always been an enormous mentor in my life. What was instilled in him by my Nonni Guilietta he instilled in me which was to always treat everyone with respect and dignity, to always persevere and work hard towards your goals, and to enjoy life. He’s always been my biggest cheerleader when it comes to music and I really do feel blessed to have him in my life as a father and as a friend because I consult him for advice on many things quite often. We talk multiple times a week. I’m just really lucky to have such an amazing father and such a great example of a human in my life.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Don’t underestimate yourself. You never know what you’re capable of until you try. And that really has a lot to do with the industry that I’m in. If you say no to things you limit yourself so there’s no harm in trying. The worst is you fall down and you get back up. It’s not the end of the world just remember that. However, missing an opportunity can be.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Rihanna. Hands down. First of all who wouldn’t wanna have breakfast with her??? She’s just so fascinating to me and so inspiring between her music and how she’s diversified herself into the fashion and beauty industries and just so many areas. She’s just so talented and she also just seems like she’d be super fun to hang out with so definitely Rihanna.
How can our readers follow you online?
You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Spotify, Vevo, You Tube everywhere @laykeofficial
Also my website is www.laykeofficial.com and I’m on every streaming platform from Spotify to Apple Music to Tidal etc under Layke so look me up and follow me, y’all !
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Thank you so much! It was really great chatting and I really appreciate you taking the time. Take care and stay safe :)))