INTERVIEW: Lake Folks

Lake Folks is the project of French singer-songwriter Martin Costaz. Having recently moved to London, Costaz is busy exploring the alternative folk scene and making his mark with delicate, dreamy new single Astronaut.

I caught up with Lake Folks to find out more about his journey so far…

Hey Martin! Can you tell me about how you first got into making music?

Hi! If by ‘making music’ you mean just playing music, it all started my parents put me in these music lessons designed for kids when I was around 5, and I started learning the piano. Now I can’t thank them enough for that.

If by ‘making music’ you mean composing, I started composing music when I had my first band back in high school. When it ended, I always felt like I was struggling to compose by myself, and it took me a few years before I was finally able to make my own music by myself. It actually took place when I wanted to go to play to this open mic that only allowed people to play originals back when I lived in the Netherlands. So I forced myself to do it and… it worked. This is when Lake Folks really started.

What’s behind the name Lake Folks?

I come from the French Alps and in my region there are quite a few big and beautiful lakes, including in my home town (the ‘lac du Bourget’). This type of landscape has always been very inspiring, so this is why I thought it would make sense to include it in my stage name. It’s also a pun with ‘folk’ as I’m playing folk music. But yes, it comes from me literally being a person from the lake.

How did you write / record your new single Astronaut?

The song talks about an imaginary love relationship with an astronaut (Spoiler: this isn’t a true story…). I actually wrote this as I was starting to see a girl, and I watched the movie ‘Gravity’; the mix of both has apparently been very inspiring.

The song was recorded as part of a full EP (which is coming out soon on March 18th) at Mattison Studio, which is the studio of Julien Baraness, my guitarist on the EP and on stage. We recorded this in a very live set up as it was the sound we were going for.

You moved to London last year. How are you finding the music scene here?

It’s great. It’s very big with so many very talented people, which means it is very challenging to stand out. But at the same time, it’s a very good thing as it pushes you to always work harder and to find new ideas.

It’s been also amazing for me to meet people that would play similar music or people to play with. That was the main reason I moved to London and I’m really not disappointed. There’s not much of a folk scene in France, so it’s a bit hard. But here I’ve found friends that share the same taste in music, the same struggle in trying to make it in the music business, and that’s very much comforting.

If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

I’m probably not going to be very original for an ‘indie-folk’ lover, but I’d say Bon Iver. He’s definitely one of my favourite artists and has been such an inspiration for so long that yes, it’d be quite a dream.

Are you performing live anytime soon?

Yes! I am actually doing an EP release gig at St John’s Hoxton, a beautiful church in East London on March 16th (from 7:30pm).

It’s actually 2 days before the release of the EP online, so this is an occasion to get the EP before everyone else.

What are your plans for the next year or so? Is there more music on the way?

There’s still some work to be done to prepare the release of the single and the EP. Once this is out, I’ll see where it takes me. I would like to do some touring to promote the EP.

And yes, it’s going to be music, music and music. Keep going, writing new songs, maybe playing with new artists. I may have a collaborative album which I worked on last year coming out at some point as well, so that could be interesting!

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