German artist LLUCID has been actively teasing the release of his debut album ‘Deep Blue Dreams’ (June 9th) with a new single every month since the beginning of 2023.
We got to chat with the rising rapper about the release of his latest track ‘Wasting Time’ in collaboration with Kimbra.
What’s the story behind your stage name?
Most of the time people seem to have these exciting stories about their stage name or are just born with a cool name. With mine, it kinda had to grow on me. A friend randomly started calling me Lucid one day for some reason (my real name is Lucas) and when I was thinking about my stage name in the early stages of my project, this came to mind again.
Honestly, I feel like an imposter, I haven’t even had a lucid dream haha, but the name kept growing on me and I loved the concept behind it, as there’s so much meaning to it. The need for control, the parallels to meditation and mindfulness, as well as the imagination activated when dreaming, endless possibilities. It’s deeply tied to your subconscious and that’s the case with my music too, so this is why I stuck with that name.
Can you tell us more about your collaboration with Kimbra on the single “Wasting Time”? How did you approach her for the project and what was the experience like working together?
I’ve been a fan of Kimbra’s music for a while now and randomly became friends with her Keyboardist Jacob Bergson (aka Taut ← make sure to check out his artist project) around two years ago when he moved to Berlin. We’ve been making some music every now and then and at some point when I was working on my album, I asked him if he’d be down to send her 2-3 tracks of mine and ask her for a feature. I had my parts written and recorded already, but the productions weren’t entirely finished so there’d be some wiggle room for creative collaboration.
Three weeks later Kimbra hit me up and told me that she really liked one of them and that she had already written a part. As she was going on a world tour in January, rehearsing in Berlin, we were actually able to meet and record her vocals at my studio. It was such a fun process as she’s (obviously) not only an incredible singer, but also had lots of cool ideas to polish the track! I actually got invited to support her on the European tour leg too!
“Wasting Time” is described as a personal song about a relationship that has hit rock bottom. What inspired you to write such an emotional track, and how did you translate those emotions into the music?
Well, I’ve been in that situation. Probably a lot of people are or have been too and I like to write about stuff that emotionally affects me in one way or another. Writing songs about situations I’ve been in helps me to reflect and get stuff out of my system, that I maybe wouldn’t say otherwise. I do journal, but sometimes I just write a song and try to be honest about my feelings.
You mentioned that you made multiple versions of “Wasting Time” before refining the original idea. Could you take us through your creative process and how you arrived at the final version of the song?
Sometimes I get a whole song done in one sitting, but most of the time that’s not the case, like with ‘Wasting Time’. In that scenario I usually revisit my ideas every now and then and see if I get inspired to work on them again. I try to be as unattached as possible with old ideas in that process, so sometimes I’ll delete anything but the bass line if that’s the only thing that excites me at the time & then I’ll build from there.
I actually went back and looked it up for this interview: The oldest version I could find was made in March 2022 and I had a lot of the core elements in there already, like the pitched vocals you can hear in the intro of the song, or some of the drums, as well as the chords. I had also written some lyrics to it, that I entirely scratched though. After a lot of back and forth and letting the song rest for some months I had a version, that almost sounded like the one that’s released.
After we recorded Kimbra’s part though, the deadline was approaching and I got unsure about some stuff, so I started dismantling the whole song, up to a point where I had almost everything taken out that you can hear on the current version & composed some new parts to it, including some piano, drum breaks, etc. Luckily I came to my senses and went back to the old version, but there are basically 1-2 remixes of my own song sitting on my hard drive haha.
Your debut album, “Deep Blue Dreams” set to release in June, is described as having a melancholic, danceable, and cathartic vibe. Can you share more about the themes and inspirations behind the album?
Making ‘Deep Blue Dreams’ has been super important to me as an artist. I’ve made music all my life, but allowing myself to put my own artistry first has been a relatively new thing to me. It still feels strange at times, being naturally introverted, but also pretty good to have an outlet where I can be unapologetically myself. My first EP “Getting In Touch” has been the beginning of that process, but with this album, I really started to take this whole thing seriously.
Besides that, my album marks a turning point for me as I feel like I arrived at a place where, after years and years of honing my craft, I’m starting to have the tools that I need to express myself in music. That being said, this album touches down on a lot of topics that are pointed inwards, such as self-doubt and acceptance, reflecting on toxic behavior, and letting go. But also with a
positive outlook and things like manifestation and doing what is good for you.
Even though a lot of the topics have a melancholic stance, I love energetic music, so this album is me combining these two. But it’s actually not just me. Lots of people that I’m lucky to call friends have worked on this album with me and I think that’s what I’m the happiest about!
As a newcomer in the music industry, how do you feel about the reception to your music so far? What are your hopes and expectations for the release of “Deep Blue Dreams” in a few weeks?
Even though LLUCID is a relatively new project, I’ve actually been in the industry for some years now, producing for other people.
With the expectations I try to keep it to the stuff I have control over, so commercially I don’t really have big expectations for this release, but the most important thing to me is, that this album helped me grow so much and I’m really proud of it. Like, I would not hesitate to show it to artists that I admire and that’s what I’m doing this for.
Looking ahead, what are your plans for the future? Do you have any upcoming projects or collaborations that you’re excited about?
I think two weeks after the album was finished I was already making lists with demos I had laying around and wanted to work on and I think my objective for the next couple of months is to up my songwriting game and just make as much new music as possible! When I’m not working on my own songs, I am producing for other artists.
There’s a new Samy Deluxe album coming out this year, which I am proud to be a part of. He’s a legend in the German
HipHop scene and I have been a fan of his music since I was a teenager. I’m also working on some new music with MADANII, who I have already released 2 EPs with as MADANII and LLUCID in the past and I’m super excited about her new songs! We took a break from our project around two years ago and being able to produce for her again is super wholesome. I feel we both levelled up and these new songs are just unapologetic!
Besides that I’m working on some music with two super-talented German rappers, one is called Bush.Ida and the other one LAMI. So yeah, tryna stay busy!
Listen to Wasting Time (feat . Kimbra)