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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Zallo

Artist to Watch Graham Lake Shares “FOCUS”

There’s always more territory to discover. Graham Lake pushes the envelope as he explores the outer reaches of pop, fashioning an unpredictable and undeniable signature style underscored by guitar-driven production, dancefloor-ready beats, and downright unshakable vocals. The Stockholm-born singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist never stops searching for ways to break the mold as evidenced by a series of singles for EMI Sweden. The first single to be shared by Graham Lake is ‘Focus’, just released this month.

“We experience so many feelings in life, and I want to incorporate as many of those as possible into my music,” he states. “I try to add an edge to pop and tell an unpredictable story. Some of my songs are uplifting. Some of them are sadder and darker. What they have in common is I believe there’s always something new out there. That motivates me to make music.”

In some ways, he was predestined to make music in the first place. Born to musician parents, mom played classical piano on tour as she carried him in utero. During the first few years of his life, she even fed him in between sets. His father played trumpet, guitar, and sang opera. Both parents taught music in Stockholm. At five-years-old, Graham picked up cello, playing it until the age of fifteen. By the time he entered high school, he had discovered Martin Garrix on YouTube and experienced another musical revelation. “In the classical world, you had to be 50- or 60-years-old to be a rockstar,” he laughs. “It was pretty eye-opening to watch Martin headline an arena at 17. I decided to DJ and make my own music at that point.

He downloaded production software on his computer and started to cook up electronic instrumentals. At the same time, he DJ’ed at weddings and family parties. During his last year of high school, he went through “real love, a breakup, and heartbreak” for the first time and channeled those emotions into lyrics and vocals. Around the same time, he blindly reached out to infamous Swedish rap collective ODZ in order to potentially produce or write together. They invited him to a writing camp, and his music made its way to Linus “Style of Eye” Eklöw of iconic GRAMMY® Award-nominated multiplatinum duo Galantis.

Linus took Graham under his wing, sharing wisdom and developing his talents in the studio.

“I’ve learned anything is possible,” he smiles. “It’s crazy how one thing can turn your life upside down. Linus showed me no dreams are too big. I feel like there’s endless potential.”

He begins to scratch the surface of that potential with his debut single Focus’. Co-produced with Linus, a hummable riff wraps around a glitchy beat as the bass-boosted momentum builds towards Graham’s instantly chantable hook, “I’m gonna keep focusing on me.

“It’s about focusing on yourself during a toxic relationship, changing jobs, or anything in life,” Graham explains. “The only way you can go about solving a problem is by focusing on yourself.”

In the end, Graham continues to explore.

“When you listen to me, I want you to feel something,” he leaves off. “Music has always been such a big part of my life. I’m not afraid to show emotion. Hopefully, it helps you do the same.”

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