An Interview With Loraine James

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British musician Loraine James produces experimental electronic music with hints of pop and R&B. Together, we engaged in a chat on the young artist’s pandemic-influenced new record Reflection. You can read it below, and check out the interview’s Turkish version here.

I find it spectacularly fitting that you have chosen to name your new record Reflection. On the title track, you have these lyrics: “This is a reflection/just mine, not yours.” How has the pandemic, isolation, and your self-reflections helped to create this new set of music?

I definitely never thought I’d make an album in a pandemic, nor did I know it was gonna be as personal as it were. Reflection is just about me and my thoughts and feelings in a pandemic – my best outlet for that was music.

A friend of mine recently made an analogy about life in the pandemic, which really lead me to think about what we have been through all over again. They suggested that living in isolation is like witnessing your own life as a spectator, as if you’re merely watching a film or a TV series. There is a fast-paced global string of events that we all find hard to digest, and then there’s your inner world reacting to it, but you can’t really catch up on your own emotional journey either, because there is often too much to face. Hence, you become a spectator to your own life. Do you think this speculation resonates with how you updated your approach to music in any way?

Definitely, things crept up on me during the pandemic, stuff that was sort of buried for a while and stuff that I didn’t react until much later on.

The art scene has been one of the hardest-hit sectors globally through this period. You have some really talented fellow guest musicians on the album. Did your interactions form a sense of solidarity?

Yeah – we’re all in the same boat.

In creating such an unhinged, genius compound of genres, how much average time do you spend on a song before feeling you’ve really done something special? 

It really ranges. It can be from like 30 mins to a few days.

Beyond all these amalgamations, your music also embodies a certain pop spirit. Reflection could simultaneously be your most and least accessible work to date. There also seems to be a rising interest in the experimental scene. In other words, what is pop and what is out of reach become harder to define. Do these labels mean anything to you, or do you wish we could just eliminate some of them?

Yeah I see Reflection as my most accessible work, but also reading some comments it has also been confusing for people. I think the line between pop and experimental has definitely blurred a bit in recent years with genres such as hyperpop. I generally hate labels because I find it hard to describe my music.

You have tour dates planned on your slate. Fingers crossed that all goes well without another lockdown. Do you have specific plans for these gigs? How emotional will they be?

I just hope to play. I’ll be pretty nervous.

What further plans and projects do you have for the foreseeable future?

I’m just going to chill for a bit.

You can check out Loraine James’ Bandcamp profile here.