IN CONVERSATION WITH LØREN
Interview by ELENA LUPOIU
“MUSIC TAUGHT ME THAT IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY” – LØREN
Metamorphosis seems to be a way of life for the emerging artist LØREN (로렌, Lee Seung Joo). He has transformed himself from drummer to guitarist to producer, DJ, singer, entrepreneur and model. Numéro, of course, was eager to hear about his odyssey.
Your music career has had so many layers. How would you define yourself nowadays and who are you aspiring to become?
Becoming a songwriter was always what I aspired to, but it took a lot of trial and error for me to fully solidify the direction I wanted to pursue. I’ve always looked up to bands and have had a few myself but they ended rather quickly. DJing/producing was an alternative to continue doing music by myself. Eventually I figured out ways to make music on my own and still retain my character. I always loved rock music more than anything else, so I haven’t looked back since.
There is no doubt that your music tells a lot about yourself. But what do your tattoos tell?
Most of them are references to things I was influenced by: an event, a song or a movie. The few more personal ones are reminders to myself and how I want to live.
Inspiration is a key element when it comes to music and daily life. Where do you get your inspiration from at the moment?
Tough question. I think inspiration comes in such varying forms for each person that it’s hard to define exactly what it is for me. But I think the one constant thing that always drives me is the anxiousness to show people as much as I possibly can.
Your audience would be curious to know a little bit more about your approach to your lyrics and your songwriting. What are the principles behind your composition and how do you normally write?
I usually just start out mumbling with a guitar and flesh out themes and ideas as I go. Being a drummer myself I also put a lot of effort into drum parts and fills. One thing that always fascinates me with songwriting is how all the pieces eventually fall into place like they’ve always been there. My music usually reflects how I am (at the time) and I hardly ever write about something fictional so they’re essentially canned memories or time capsules of who or how I was.
Working with music has a big influence on other people and their lives. How do you want your music to influence others?
I think my ultimate goal is for others to feel what I felt through music. I always call it ‘fist clenching’ because that’s what I do when I hear music that’s just unbearably good. It’s hard to explain exactly what that is but if my song can bring someone there, that would really mean the world to me. On a side note, I also want to write songs people listen to when they travel. I have this odd obsession to become someone people listen to on the road.
What do you think fashion and music have in common? Does fashion bring you inspiration? What does fashion mean to you?
I think fashion and music are both some of the best ways to show who you truly are. A shirt or a song can say more about a person than an entire resume. Fashion definitely brought me tons of inspiration since fashion and music are really inseparable. In some ways, fashion is a part of music itself. My love for a band obviously roots from their music, but also includes what they wear, how they carry themselves, etc.
Your presence in the fashion industry is probably a key element to your career, especially becoming an ambassador for YSL. How did you experience attending the YSL Fashion Show in Morocco?
It’s a very humbling and exciting experience. I’ve always loved fashion but to be recognized by a brand as inspirational as YSL is something I never imagined. The show in Morocco was absolutely mind-blowing and beautiful. A day that I’ll never forget.
Do you have any example of a situation when music taught you something specific? What is the most important value that you picked up in your music career?
I think music, in general, taught me that it’s okay to not be okay. A huge part of what I write is from a place I didn’t want to be, but the outcome makes being there all worthwhile. An unexpected depression storm, to me, is an awful week but a good source of material. The one thing I learned through my career is that I can’t win ’em all. All I can do is make sure my head and heart are in the right place and go on doing me.
If you would have to give advice to your grandchildren after being part of the music industry, what would that be? Would you like to change something in the music industry?
Going back to my previous answer, I think knowing yourself is the most important thing. To be willing to stand for who you are, and what you want to create. I’m not sure what I would change in the industry since I’m relatively new to it, but more variety in music is a change I always wanted to bring.
How do you deal with the process of transformation?
I think I try to differentiate between things I can change, and things I can’t. I find it frightening how easy it is to get caught up with things that can never be changed.
With that said, I believe a change always comes with a good and a bad, so I try to make sure I’m not just seeing one or the other.
Talent: LØREN @lorenisalone
Photographer: Kim Hee June @kimheejune
Visual Director & Stylist: Kim Seajun @kimseajun
Hair: Lee Seon Yeong @leeseonyeong__
Make Up: Lee Young @leeyoung220
Nail Artist: Park Eun Kyung @nail_unistella
Coordinator: Lee Youngwoo @ywleeeee
Special Thanks to @anasorribas and @mgmtprjct
all clothing and accessories are SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO