What do you call a sound that draws inspiration from genres as diverse as alt-pop to R&B, afrobeat and EDM.
For Cologne-based Georgian songstress Eka Laki, this remains the question. Her music is like a rich tapestry, intimately woven from the fibres of the myriad of musical styles she utilizes in her music. Although for other artists, too diverse a sound can dilute the finished product, Eka Laki demonstrates how you can successfully meld them instead.
Naming musicians such as Pharrell, James Blake and Rosalia as influences, Eka Laki’s music is, at different times, a mix of soulful, velvety smooth vocals, dark electronic beats, repeating melodies and harmonies.
'In My Reality,' Eka Laki's debut album, sees her continue to push the boundaries of her sound in an increasingly refined way. Amazingly, she finds a way to achieve this while simultaneously exploring her musical identity, mixing and bridging the divide between genres in a way few can. Ambitious but flawlessly executed, the album’s storyline can be described as a love story turned sour.
Tracks like the opening “Make You Feel” see Eka Laki flying high off the magic of a new romance, enthusiastically singing lines like “And I love the way you make me feel / I’m living in a dream.” This blissfulness continues for a little while as Eka Laki revels in her romance, singing lines like “ Little by little / I feel getting to you closer / Little by a little” on “Close to You.” However, “Have Faith” in me, the track after “Close to You,” shows signs of potential trouble in paradise.
Starting from the latter parts of “Have Faith in Me,” the album's mood noticeably changes; the sound becomes darker and more cynical as the love Eka Laki has found unravels. “Devil Boy” sees Eka Laki start to realize that her lover is just playing games, pessimistically singing, “ You were fooling around / There was nothing to be found / There was nothing to be found / your heart is empty.”
From there, 'My Reality' descends into darker territory, as Eka Laki succumbs to pessimism and misery on “Different” as she sings, “I fought for your love until I dropped / Tears on my chick, your heart is so cold.”
Although she holds out somewhat on “I am Still Waiting for You,” an acute sense of melancholy belies a gut-wrenching feeling that love is dead. Eka Laki is a survivor, though; she picks herself up and stands up for herself in “I Give You Take,” calling out her ex-lover with lines like “I know you will deny it, but your love was a lie” and “You took all I had / you took what you needed / you took what you wanted.”
Although there is a little push and pull, “I Give You Take” signals 'In My Reality' is quickly racing to the conclusion, as the titular track sees Eka Laki stuck in her head before the outro “Cycle” sees the project loop back to the start, signifying a fresh start and new love to be found.
Eka Laki’s 'In My Reality' is more than just an album; it's a story. An incredible story of love and loss, of rebirth and new possibilities. Whenever you’re ready to be in your feels, tap in and stream Eka Laki’s romantic masterpiece, 'In My Reality,' out on February 14th.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Eka Laki! Wow. We were blown away by 'In My Reality;' the story aspect was terrific and well executed! We have to ask, where did the inspiration for this project come from? What made you decide to incorporate the story into it?
Thank you very much for having me. And thank you for these words. As an artist, these types of compliments make my day! The storyline emerged while working on the album. At first, I just wanted to produce songs that meant something to me, but I started seeing the patterns as time passed. Generally, I look at my art as if it was a puzzle.
I want to make something, but the complete picture is not clear to me yet. When the first puzzle pieces fall into place, then the entire image slowly starts to emerge. While working on my debut album, I consumed as much music and art as possible. Every time I got the inspiration for something I listened to, saw or experienced, I would go to my producer and ask him: "how can we incorporate it into the album?" I noticed that each song represented a distinct phase of my life. And then it hit me: this could be a storyline of falling in and out of love. Like in life, there are always cycles; the last song of the album loops back to the beginning to start a new love story.
What was your favorite part of bringing this project to life?
My favorite part was opening my mind to creativity and understanding the importance of playfulness. Sometimes, we take ourselves way too seriously. I still do it. I am guilty of it.
This project allowed me to play around with various genres and incorporate any weird idea I had into it. It allowed me to think outside the box and engage with the world differently. I stopped judging my creative flow. I experimented as much as I could and had fun while doing it. I do believe that the process gave me tremendous growth and confidence as an artist. If you had a favorite song off of 'In My Reality' and if so, why? They ALL all my favorites, but if I had to pick one, I'd choose "I give, you take." That was the last song I worked on, and I had more tools to express my artistic vision fully. This song is one of the purest and most honest expressions of my feelings. It is raw and unapologetic. We played quite a lot around the structure of the song, and I think it turned out to be quite interesting. You mentioned you’re currently based in Cologne. What is the music scene like there, and how has it influenced your growth as an artist? I moved to Cologne around two years ago, but the first year doesn't count, as everything was on lockdown due to the pandemic. But I have to say; this city has been treating me very well. I met many inspiring artists and musicians. Here I met my producer Diggi. TV. We are already planning our future projects as well. Germany is my fourth country, and Cologne is the first city that feels like home. So, this also might be the place where I would like to stay. We'll see...
What’s next for you? Do you already have an idea for the next project you want to put out? I have a few projects in mind, but I don't know how long it will take me to execute them. First of all, I'm working on finishing the eight music videos of this album. Creating these videos was a very creative and intense journey. I made all the costumes, wrote the script, hired the actors and film crew, and found the shooting location in Georgia, my home country.
Somehow, we managed to shoot eight videos in two weeks! It was a crazy amount of work! I will never do something like this again in such a short timeframe -- but it was a learning curve. I made mistakes, but I also got some beautiful shots! Apart from it, I am creating versions of my songs and other covers that I can perform live on my Looper Boss RC 505 MKll. Meanwhile, I want to release original singles and have fun performing live. Let's see how all these planning will fold out.