Since recently reviewing Lakeway – ‘Frozen Nerves’ EP on Med School, I have had the pleasure of interviewing the man behind it all. It only takes a quick glance at Lakeway’s work over the last few years to see just how rapidly he has progressed his unique sound, and the future continues to look positive for the young producer.
He speaks to us about the new EP, his musical inspirations, as well as giving us an exciting glimpse into his future plans. Have a read below!
First things first, how did the name ‘Lakeway’ come about?
It’s a bit of a strange story. Basically I grew up in this tiny little village in the middle of nowhere. Not a whole lot going on, at the time anyway which is probably what made me start producing. But one day the unimaginable happened. Someone decided to open a takeaway, the absolute legends. I would rinse that place, so much that one of my mates started calling me Takeaway. So when I needed an alias for my music I put two and two together. Liam + Takeaway = Lakeway. Ridiculous, I know. I suppose it’s better than Loner Kebab. Or Jalapeno Lepper. Okay maybe Lakeway is alright.
How would you describe your style of music to someone that hasn’t heard you before?
Weirdo cinematic grime infused drum and bass with a load of nonsense coursing through its bloodstream.
Are there any artists that have inspired your own sound?
I think when it comes to Drum & Bass, my main influence has been Rockwell. When I was in college I was listening to D&B all day every day and completely over did it, ruining it for myself a bit. It was however around this time I discovered some of Toms radio shows, which really helped to open my ears up at the time. I think it was his Radio 1 residency that was happening at the time which really opened my ears up to stuff in and beyond the 170 range. Going from there I started expanding my taste as much as I could. Recently however, I think artists such as Iglooghost and Lapalux have definitely influenced the way I go about writing. Also people such as Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, Sinjin Hawke. They all have their own unique sound which is the biggest inspiration for me really.
So you’ve recently been signed on to Med School which is a huge move! How did that happen?
I have indeed! It all started a few years back when I was in university. I received an email with the offer, however at the time I was stuck on a uni course which really wasn’t for me resulting in the old mental health being all over the shop so I had to initially turn the offer down. In hindsight that was definitely the best choice at the time, because fuck knows how it might have gone during those days! We of course stayed in touch and a year or so later I was lucky enough to be able to re approach the idea with a much clearer head (and a much more intimidating amount of tunes in the dropbox).
Can you tell us a bit more about your new EP released with them, ‘Frozen Nerves’?
Well, when trying to decide on the tracks for a debut EP it was important to hit hard but also to try and showcase the variety of styles that I make. A bit of grimey stuff, a bit of jungley stuff, some cinematic stuff, even some bizzaro jump up jazz! All the tunes were already there, it was just a matter of picking the right ones to create a package which said “Yeah this is me”. A lot of the styles on there are a fair bit different to my previous releases, and hopefully a semi-decent showcase of how I have progressed and expanded my sound over the last couple of years.
Some of the tracks on the EP such as ‘Death Becometh’ and ‘You’re The Broken Winter’ have somewhat cinematic elements. Did you have any musical background prior to your work as Lakeway?
To be honest, absolutely none. I mean I tried to be in a few bands with schoolmates and play guitar from a very young age but that never really turned into anything aside from terrible Blink-182 covers. Probably for the best that. When I started producing as Lakeway, I didn’t even know what a bpm was! All the songs would be at 120 just because that was the DAW’s default bpm when I started when I was in year 9 in school, so I must have been about 13. I suppose that can blur the lines between alias and person a bit. Because of this I have always just learned along the way. I went on a fantastic music technology course back in college, but apart from that it’s been 100% self taught.
You’ve produced an array of bootlegs for various grime/140bpm artists, including Kahn & Neek, Wiley and JME. Would you try your hand at producing some more grime again in the future?
Oh definitely! Grime is a genre which really opened up my ears. There’s so much more to it than most people seem to realise. I would love to make some 140 at some point, and there’s a few grime vocalists that I would be very eager to collaborate with.
Your DJ sets have been making a lot of noise recently, especially with the newly launched party, Hospitality on the Beach earlier this month. What has been your favourite set to date?
Oh that is a tricky one! I suppose I have got to say the Hospitality On The Beach set. I have never played a festival before, let alone one abroad so the whole experience was pretty surreal for me. Amazing vibes, the crowd were fantastic. Yeah, that whole experience was mad.
How about your favourite song you’ve produced?
Oooh, in terms of tunes which exist publicly, possibly Borderlines. It’s definitely one of my more out there ventures. In terms of unreleased stuff, there’s a song I have done with Becca Jane Grey which I am very fond of. It’s about as downtempo jazz inspired as I have ever gone, hopefully we will get that out there before the year is up. There is also a song sitting on my hard drive called ‘Real Love’ which has a certain sentimental value for me.
Your collaboration with Whiney for ‘Last Contact’ was a successful track. Who’s next on your list for a collaboration?
Thank you! I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to reveal but there may or may not be a little something in the works with someone previously mentioned in this interview, but that’s all your getting on that. There’s also a good friend of mine who goes by the name of Lapsung, we’ve been talking about it for a long time but now seems the perfect time to actually go ahead with it. Actually funnily enough last night I had a dream where me and Ross From Friends did a collab. That was weird, maybe it means something? Who knows.
What came first for you, the DJ’ing or the producing?
Definitely the producing. Originally I only really started mixing as a way to showcase my own productions, but soon found my love for it after doing a couple of sets.
What tips would you give to people looking to start producing that you wish you were told when you first started?
Never try and be your heroes, be you. One man’s art is another’s shite, don’t focus on that one bad comment on Youtube.
Any up-and-coming producers within the genre that you think people should keep an eye on?
Basically anyone involved with The Dreamers camp. An amazing label with some really fresh talent! A.Fruit is making some incredible stuff at the moment as well. There’s also a guy called Leo Zen making some pretty nutty hard stuff!
Drum and bass has been going for such a long time now, and has changed massively since its beginnings. What future do you see for the genre?
It’s already one of the most diverse genres out there really, but I hope to see that expand more and more. Maybe eventually we will just call it “music which happens to be made in or around the 170 mark.” Doesn’t really have the same ring to it though, I suppose.
Finally, what can you tell us about your plans for the future?
There is plenty to come in the future already. As well as Med School I am still working with Diffrent. A few collabs here and there with some fantastic people. And eventually, a debut album which I am pretty excited/terrified about. You only get one debut album!
Thank you to Lakeway for conducting this interview with us! It’s amazing to grab an in-sight from someone high up in the Drum n Bass Scene, and also to find out what the future holds from them.