December/January 2017

by Jack Woodbury

Fresh Talent: Lukas

by Jack Woodbury

Fresh Talent: Lukas

“I used to think, ‘if you don’t get anywhere when you’re young with music, you’re not gonna get anywhere. You need to start building a foundation now.’”

Referencing the upcoming release of his ‘Comfort Clouds’ EP, 20-year-old rapper/producer Lukas Martin has only just started to take music seriously. ‘I’ve had heaps of jobs, played heaps of different sports, and even had heaps of different friends. I’ve never really been able to stick to anything apart from music.”

Currently residing in Hamilton, the Nelson-born rapper is preparing his six-track effort while also working as a teacher-aide.

“I could release it right now, but I really want to build a bit of hype for it. I didn’t want to have an exact date set… but I do want to say either next month, in the middle of the month. If not, definitely at the start of next year.”

Delayed by the addition of some last-minute tracks, Lukas says the EP can only get better from here. Supported already by It’s Late (feat. Fullish), Hollin It Down, and the title track Comfort Clouds, Lukas’ second EP is shaping up to be a further development of his brooding, trap-influenced sound.

It’s Late is a notable highlight, its melancholy piano melody, and re-pitched vocals earning comparisons to contemporary US pop rap. Lukas produced the EP himself.

“I don’t feel like I can rap unless I’m rapping on my own beats… I feel like rapping on someone else’s beat isn’t me.”

In addition to his first EP, Lukas has a wealth of loose tracks uploaded to his SoundCloud.

“They’re like, when I wasn’t ‘doing’ music, wasn’t really trying to get anywhere with it. Just kind of, like, how I was feeling at the time. My journey in music and the way my music is [themed], it’s kind of dark… You might notice since I’ve been making music over the last couple of months, that stuff’s starting to get more party or better vibes, because everything’s started to work out.”

Those songs are important artifacts of a developing artist, Lukas saying he only really started to take music seriously about six months ago.

“I’d never actually gotten to know myself. From the day you’re born until you turn 18, you always have someone around. But I just isolated myself… I went into this just, weird kind of limbo. I moved to Auckland just before I turned 18… I was like, ‘I don’t even like Nelson, I’ll go to Auckland and get famous.’”

After crashing on a couch for a few months, Lukas moved back home briefly, before landing in Hamilton, finally ready to start his career. Currently he is also working as a founder and member of the Small Fortunes Crew, a recently established art collective. With them, he aims to host a selection of release parties, following the EP’s publication.

“I’m hoping there’ll be enough buzz or whatever to just kind’a have a couple of release parties… a couple in Auckland and one in Hamilton. I’m pretty sure it’s just gonna be up from here.”