Interview: Jake Lancer Talks Wistful Pop Treat ‘Paris’, Gaga and Wicked Musical Inspirations, Upcoming EP

We chatted to rising pop talent Jake Lancer who is fresh from releasing his single Paris – a track stemming from a romance cut short by fate. Drawing inspiration from nineties pop and classic dance music, Paris asserts Jake as a pot talent on the rise blending wistful lyrics and smooth production.

Paris follows Jake’s previous single Feel Your Love, a track nearly hitting an impressive 15k on Spotify. Both tracks are set to feature on Jake’s upcoming debut EP, which he gives us some exciting early information about.

Thanks to Jake for speaking to Culture Fix. You can connect with him below:

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Hi Jake! Thanks for chatting. I’d love to know about the first music you discovered in your youth and what effect it had on you?

Thank you for taking the time to chat with me! It’s funny because I always thought my deepest connection to music is/was my love for Gaga but as cliche, as this may sound it was my mom who instilled the discovery of music in me from a young age. Through countless drives to school, the beach, I mean anywhere my mom went so did I, she was consistently sharing her passion for music with me and my sister. I was always obsessed with the theatrics of music so tracks like Knock On Wood (Amii Stewart), Free Man in Paris (Neil Diamond), and Somebody to Love (Jefferson Airplane) became instant favorites. I love music that transports the mind, body, and soul, that allow one to play make-believe, no matter the age. I truly believe the theatrics of such tracks and the decadence of sound that was the 70s and 80s will always influence me and my longing to create music that ignites escapism, storytelling, and the need to dance.

Was music always a goal for you?

Music was always a goal for me. From a young age, I was that kid (the classic story we all know too well) dancing and singing on tables to artists like NSYNC and Brittney Spears. In high school, I really began my journey as a song singer/ songwriter. I would produce these explosive tracks on Garage band and share them with family and friends. I remember my family being concerned for me because I would channel all my anxiety and trauma into these tracks (Yes, I was that 13-year-old writing about drugs and my personal demons). In my pain, my grandfather saw something in my creations and took me to what was the old Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia where I truly began my musical journey. The sound of Philly really fostered my passions and gave me a platform from such a young age. Around 14, I recorded my first record and never really looked back.

Could you narrow down your three all-time favourite albums?

 It’s truly an eclectic mix or maybe just a lot of Gaga. No shame though. I really listen to a lot of pop and Broadway music. I love theatrics! 1. Born This Way (Lady Gaga) 2. The Wicked Original Cast Album 3. ARTPOP (Lady Gaga)

What was that feeling like of putting music out there for the world to hear? I guess it must be quite a vulnerable sensation.

Putting music out is frightening and as you said continually makes me feel extremely vulnerable. Putting Paris out hasn’t been easy. In comparison to my first single Feel Your Love. You know, when you write about love, true and deep love, and then losing that love, it’s like a constant rehashing of that story. This past week, I have been rather sad. I lived this story told in Paris, wrote about it, and it was mine. Now anyone who listens to Paris has a little piece of my heart and whether they like the track or not, they now possess a piece of my story. The process is exhilarating though, it’s like a massive dopamine rush, sharing something you’ve worked so hard on for so long. Paris has been finished since November, so it feels nice to let this one go, it’s time to heal.

Going into as much or little detail as you like, can you tell me about some of the thematic inspiration behind your single Paris?

Paris is about a boy I fell in love with. We met in the Hamptons, and I remember thinking “this boy is beautiful.” I think we were both nervous to talk to one another so instead, we pretended as we didn’t like each other, or at least I pretended as if didn’t like him. We matched on Hinge a week later, started chatting, and went on the most romantic first date. It was so cute, we picked up dinner from one of my favorite restaurants in the West Village, walked aimlessly, and sat on the West Side Highway for hours talking about life and watching the sunset. Things escalated quickly yet very appropriately. Around two months into dating, he told me, he wanted to move to Paris, and I just broke down. We sat in his living room crying, staring at one another, holding one another as the sun came up. It was honestly the greatest intimacy I have ever felt. “The Soho sun shined in your eyes, unsure what it could have been.” – Paris I remember that moment knowing I couldn’t not be supportive of his decision to move to Paris as his growth meant more than my own pain or longing for him to stay. So, the song is the dialogue I wish I could have had but didn’t as I couldn’t be selfish. He had to go, and I had to heal on my own. That’s honestly why I waited so long to put Paris out – man, I loved this boy.

Can you give us a little run-down of your upcoming EP? The sound, the inspiration, its collective themes?

Take Off! is inspired by all sorts of sounds, feelings, and music. So, you have Paris which is very inspired melodically by the 80s but structurally it may read more like a Years and Years or Troye Sivan Track. I like to think the album is a compilation of what inspired me about music from the past (the 70s-80s) to the present day, Bowie to LANY. Thematically the EP is about love, self-love, loving another, and the things that may come with exploring love like sex and intimacy. The EP begins with Feel Your Love, a dance track that speaks to my longing for physical intimacy – it’s a beautiful fantasy. Paris, finding love, not wanting to lose it. Leading into what is my Tiktok / Love Simon track TAKE OFF! which has this epic hook, about actually saying goodbye to my lover. That one is special to me. TAKE OFF! is very literal but really takes you on a journey. Finally, Tomorrowland is my celebration. A celebration of my friends, my existence as a gay man, and happiness knowing its temporal but to savor the joy when I have it. What is your favourite part of the musical creation process? My favorite part of creating music is how it makes me feel. My brain activates in a way that is like hyper speed in Star Wars when I’m writing, VROOOM! I can make sense of things and dig into my sub concise to a level that is greater than me. I love it! I do have to say sitting in the booth and working the tracks is so special, hearing my visions come to life is a constant reminder to keep plugging. Keep creating music but also to keep pushing during the toughest times in life. It’s rough and emotional work but there’s truly a creation to be made in our all hours both in the darkness and in the light!

Who is currently inspiring you creatively?

I love this new artist Mel 4Ever. She is so fearless with her work, and it is so inspiring. I want to be Mel when I grow up!! Gaga, for sure. Gaga really studies while she creates. There is a moment for everything in every track. I aspire to of preciseness and her ability to be unapologetically her. Gaga will always be a rock and inspiration of mine. She’s my day one. Finally, the Broadway scene is perfection to me. Albums like Wicked and Hadestown are magical yet so contemporary. With a harder beat, the radio could belong to Elphaba (the green witch in Wicked). I love that I can close my eyes and see the worlds that all three inspirations provide for me. Again, if I can’t close my eyes and see the track, I won’t put it out.

As a website that covers film as well as music, we would love to know if you have a favourite film and why it is special to you?

At this moment Disney’s Soul has really spoken to me. The story to me is all about understanding life’s purposes. Why we do the things that we do and like me I often forget that my purpose lies in everything I do. From practicing as a therapist in NYC, my own healing, curating my music, to simply making my bed in the morning, there’s a purpose for everything. I don’t think at this moment I could have one without the other. I’m learning so much about myself and even when life gets noisy, I know that my soul is living out its dreams and passions, with some fear but with greater love. Shall we TAKE OFF!

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