NewTracks New Artist: Saint Lane

NewTracks New Artist: Saint Lane

He’s firmly Aussie-based, but Saint Lane is still very happy to call Auckland home, and clearly happy with life, despite its many challenges. He learned the guitar early in primary school and admits to always being a music nerd, but it wasn’t until late teens that he began to think seriously about making music. A budding career as a stand-up comedian (often imitating rappers) got in the way, and certainly helps explain why his hip hop is so jaunty, buoyant and fun. Witness Sugary Sweet, Compliment My Shirt and his track Pitbull Type Beat, a wildly humorous revisiting of a night out that led him to discover an unexpected love for Miami rapper Pitbull. A cautionary tale of sorts… Pitbull Type Heat was featured oo NZ On Air Music‘s NewTracks compilation in September.

What’s your full name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

Lane Harry Muir. I’m from Auckland and I play guitar and bass.

Was there any high school or other music training that was important to you?

I studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music at Griffith University [Brisbane]. That’s where I really was able to get focused on creating music, learning more about music and meeting like-minded creatives.

What other projects might we know you from?

I was in a duo called Lane-Harry x Ike Campbell. We released two albums and an EP and had one really successful track called The Dash.

What’s the background to how Saint Lane came into being?

I loved the duo, but I wanted to make some more playful experimental solo stuff with elements of multiple genres. I teamed up with Falcon Ultra and the three of us made whatever we wanted to make, with no genre limits.

How did you come up with the name for the project?

I did this freestyle years ago as Lane Harry and I said, “Call me Saint Lane, like I play for New Orleans,” in reference to the NFL team. It was a pretty cool full-circle moment because the first Saint Lane photoshoot was in New Orleans!

How has your music evolved from your beginnings in songwriting?

When I started writing I was thinking, ‘What would people want to hear,’ which is the wrong state of mind to write in. Now if something is authentic I’ll talk about it. In my new song Pitbull Type Beat I talk about throwing up in a swimming pool at the hotel I used to work at. I wasn’t comfortable or confident enough at the beginning to be so transparent.

What makes Pitbull Type Beat stand out for you as a single?

There’s no song like it right now. There’s neo-soul chords, a 2000’s pop chorus, croony autotune, and a true story that’s fun!

Okay, so what is the story behind Pitbull Type Beat?

Just a drunken night where I did a bunch of really silly things, and in a moment of peak intoxication realised I loved Miami rapper Pitbull. Everyday stuff really.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

“Never liked Pitbull before… but now I totally get it.”

Who did you write/record/produce the single with and where? 

I got to meet MXXWLL who is one of my favourite producers ever. Me and Falcon Ultra and Max all hung out at Dennis’ (of Falcon Ultra) home studio, and Max just play this progression that sounded so nice, and then threw this filter on it that sounded woozy – and it reminded me of what I did the weekend before.

In one sentence, what do you want listeners to take away from this song?

I would love people to hear this song and just have a great time. It’s a bubbly fun song in a time where there’s not too many fun tracks around.

How do you work out what song would make a good single?

I want every single to sound refreshing. I don’t have a song that people could say it reminds them of this or that. If we think the song is unique and special and a moment in my discography then it’s a single.

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for?

I have a song on the way with two rappers. It’s mental. That’s all I can say right now. But it’s big…

Can you name three other local tunes that should be on a playlist alongside yours?

I’m such a fan of Benee. I think everything she’s doing is fantastic. Playlist her whole EP, she is waving that Kiwi flag worldwide and I love it.

Have any of your previous applications not got funding or included on NewTracks? Got any advice?

I don’t think I’ve ever had funding on anything, so I am not the dude to ask unfortunately

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

I always check out TheNeedleDrop. People take what Fantano says as bible, and sometimes they wait for his opinion to make their own which is super wack to me. I think he has a lot of music knowledge and great taste though, so I’m always interested to see if we agree on certain records. Shawn Cee keeps it very real which I love, if something is lacklustre he is the first to call it out but he’s also got great high praise. Shoutout BigQuint the OG YouTube music legend too.

How can we find you on social media?

@lanethesaint on everything

Any last words?

I really wanna tour New Zealand and I’m sure it will be happening in the next 12 months.