IN CONVERSATION WITH JOOST LAMÉRIS
Interview by Nadia ten Hove
In his debut EP, ‘How My Dreams Are Made’, Joost Laméris takes audiences on a transformative journey. This musical odyssey, set to release on November 10th, is more than just a collection of songs. It’s a reflection of personal growth, a narrative spun from the threads of resilience and self-discovery.
In this EP, Laméris delves into themes of love, mental health, and letting go, creating a compelling and relatable narrative. As he opens the door to his inner world, listeners are invited to explore the complexities of the human experience.
In an exclusive interview, Joost Laméris shares the inspirations behind his music, the challenges he faced, and the profound moments that shaped his artistic expression. Join us as we unravel the layers of his creative process and gain insights into the making of ‘How My Dreams Are Made.’
Congratulations on the upcoming release of your debut EP, ‘How My Dreams Are Made’! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this project and what listeners can expect from it?
Thank you so much! ‘How My Dreams Are Made’ is inspired by how I decided to embrace change and let go of certain people/situations in order to find happiness again. Writing these songs was a therapeutic experience for me and it helped me deal with hardships in a healthy manner. Each song represents specific experiences of mine, or broader realizations I’ve come to. Listeners can expect a different range of emotions: loss, sadness and hurt but also hopefulness, acceptance and self-improvement. With these different feelings, I also touch upon different genres, from alt-pop to indie-pop to singer-songwriter, to symbolise that variety.
Your EP delves into themes of love, mental health, and self-discovery as a queer man. How did your personal experiences shape the lyrics and emotions expressed in the songs?
Without my personal experiences the songs wouldn’t be what they are. I always write from a feeling or emotion, caused by something I’m going through or thoughts I’m dealing with. Oftentimes, I then play piano/guitar to find chords that translate that feeling into sound and I sing gibberish to find an initial melody. Subconsciously I often sing certain words that describe what I’m feeling in that moment and from there I start building the lyrics. I then just keep writing and producing until I have a finished product that I am content with.
‘How My Dreams Are Made’ seems to chronicle a transformative journey. Can you share some specific moments or events in your life that influenced the creation of this EP?
Ever since I can remember, I dreamt of releasing a bunch of my songs together as one product in the form of an EP or Album. I was always writing and creating music, but the idea of releasing my own music seemed unrealistic and like something I would do in another life (which I don’t even really believe in). At some point, I was quite unhappy with my life in regards to relationships and dreams that I had set aside. This feeling forced me to listen more closely to this desire to release an EP and I realised that if I don’t put in the work to create it now, then I would never do it. At the same time, I knew that creating this EP would be something that would fulfill me because I would finally make those creative sounds/visuals I had been envisioning since I was a child come to life. I am so proud that I am releasing this, as it’s turned out even better than I thought was within my reach when I started this project.
The song ‘Watering Your Tree’ is described as unique due to its dreamy electronic sounds. What was the creative process behind this track, and what message do you hope listeners take away from it?
In ‘Watering Your Tree’ I compare giving and receiving love with providing water to a tree. Just like trees need to be fed water to grow, I believe love requires the same care and attention. I sing about how within certain relationships, both romantic and friendly, my people-pleasing habits often take over and make me lose myself just for the sake of preserving peace and avoiding conflict. However, I also realise that this tendency is backfiring on me. In ‘Watering Your Tree’ I ask the other person in the relationship to leave some water for myself, so that I can feed my own tree again. I hope listeners take this lesson from me, and that ‘Watering Your Tree’ serves as a reminder to not forget about yourself in any type of relationship. Because ‘Watering Your Tree’ is such a personal story, I really wanted to create a music video that emphasised the story through symbolism, fashion and artistic movement. I worked with directress Anna van der Velde and an amazing team of creatives to create a music video in which we symbolise empty promises and unbalanced love through an ice sculpture of a person that eventually melts, a reference to the Greek Mythology of Sisyphus and a play on physical attachment to another person. It all plays on the meaning of ‘Watering Your Tree’.
Your journey as a musician seems deeply intertwined with your personal experiences. How has music been a tool for your self-expression?
It’s been my favourite and most healthy tool for self-expression, I love it so much. It’s a way to have complete freedom to create something that forms from within myself and allows me to turn my feelings into art. Creating music also helps me to let go of thoughts and feelings. Simultaneously, it also allows me to retrieve certain feelings. It’s funny how that works, for instance, sometimes before a live show I can be quite nervous but then I remind myself that the music is there for me to hold on to. I simply focus on the songs and what I feel when singing them (which is often the same as what I felt when I wrote the song), and it brings me peace because it’s something that I fully stand behind. That feeling of support from my own music allows me to shut out all the noise from outside.
‘How My Dreams Are Made (Intro)’ sets the tone for the EP. Can you elaborate on the significance of this track and how it encapsulates the essence of the entire project?
I am so happy you asked! ‘How My Dreams Are Made (Intro)’ is the title of the EP for a reason. It’s a very raw song with just piano and vocals. In it, I sing to the dream version of myself. I sing about how I envision myself with ultimate freedom and no restrictions to completely be the person I’d want to be. I chose this title for the EP, because by doing exactly that (dreaming about who I wanted to be), I allowed myself to create this EP. Without giving myself this freedom, I would not have created this EP, and then I wouldn’t have made this dream of mine come true.
As a musician who also appreciates art, high fashion, and architecture, how do these diverse interests influence your music, both sonically and visually?
Whenever I can, I try to create music videos because it allows a bunch of my interests to come together. I love the multidisciplinary aspect of music videos, where sounds and visuals come together. It’s a chance for me to express the stories I sing about in a very abstract visual way. Besides that, the whole process of shooting a music video is so inspiring. It’s a beautiful thing to see creatives from different fields come together to create a product that displays each and everyone’s expertise.
Looking ahead, what do you hope listeners will take away from ‘How My Dreams Are Made’? Are there any future projects or collaborations in the works that your fans can look forward to?
I hope that ‘How My Dreams Are Made’ can help listeners process their emotions and thoughts, as that is exactly what listening and creating music does for me. I hope it helps them calm down when they are stressed, helps them feel free when they want to let go of their worries and that it helps them dream to escape reality when needed.
I am already working on a second EP so I am doing my best to finish this soon so I can share those songs with listeners, and it’s in the plans to create some more music videos to go along with it. Other than that I am planning some live performances so we can sing the songs of ‘How My Dreams Are Made’ together!