Interviews

Interview: Łaszewo – We Don’t Know How To Pronounce It Either

Everyone has that one song that is so heavily rooted in core memories that when it’s played, the nervous system is flooded with utterly blissful nostalgia. One that carries with it an explosive vitality to dance and surrender to the chorus.

Reintroducing that energy to modern-day music is indie electronic trio, Łaszewo.

The group, composed of Matt Ehrlich, Justin De La Fuente, and Keeva (Kiki) Bouley, is gaining massive popularity by bringing refreshing layers of depth to electronic music.

The artists’ first release in 2018, “Up In Flames“, has now rightfully gained over 10 million streams on Spotify.

Although the group doesn’t typically conform to any specific style of music, the predominant Łaszewo energy has won them spots at festivals like Lights All Night, EDC Orlando, and Splash House.

Starting as strangers and quickly becoming best friends, Łaszewo has a pretty incredible story; including the running joke that nobody knows how to pronounce the group’s name.

Read on to hear more about how Łaszewo navigates electronic music and the inspiration behind the band:

Left: Matt Middle: Kiki Right: Justin Image courtesy of: Bella Valentini

EDM Maniac: How did you all meet? How did you start making music together?

Kiki: We all lived in Santa Barbara, but we went to different schools, so we didn’t know each other.

I used to live with a bunch of girlfriends and, I didn’t know it at the time, but Justin was my neighbor. And so my roommates and I would joke around with this incredibly terrible karaoke machine.

One day I was singing and [Justin] knocked on my door and he was like, “Hey, I make music with this other guy, and I heard you singing. Do you write your own songs?”

I said yes, and I played him some songs on the guitar. And from there, the rest was kind of history. It was just crazy because he was right next door.

EDM Maniac: You guys talk frequently about bringing a nostalgic sound back into electronic music. What exactly does that mean to you and what is your inspiration behind that?

Matt: That’s the vibe that made us fall in love with music, the early 2010s sound. We want to be able to do for others what was done for us. Bring that sound back in a new, more modern sense.

Kiki: The music back then was so like anthemic, so feel good.

Matt: It’s all the music that you hear even 10 years later and the second you hear it, it’s so reminiscent of a very specific time in your life that takes you right back.

Photo courtesy of: Alden Bonecutter

EDM Maniac: With the progression of electronic music, there are so many different genres, I mean there are even sub-genres of sub-genres; it’s hard to keep up. Have you found it to be difficult to find your niche in electronic music?

Matt: We’ve never really decided on a genre.

Justin: We have moods though; periods of time that we will write in a certain way.

That’s what we like about it. We don’t want to be defined by one genre.

Matt: I think that’s the result of our very diverse music backgrounds. We come from such different tastes in music that it would be very difficult for all three of us to come together and stick to making one form of music.

As we continue to grow and start releasing longer length projects, we want that diversity to come to the forefront; while still keeping it within our cohesive Łaszewo sound.

There are still so many things that we can show people.

Kiki: We’ve never really limited ourselves in the creative process.

EDM Maniac: So, you’ve played events like EDC. When you get slotted for these bigger festivals, do you ever feel timid that you don’t conform to a specific genre?

Matt: There’s a lot of adapting that needs to take place. Especially on an EDC-type stage or EDM-heavy festival, you know.

Because, I would say, our sound is more chill, so sometimes that can be a challenge. Translating that onto a bigger, heavier stage, just seeing how that plays out, it’s been fun. Especially because people will be there front row waiting for the heavy bass-step artists after us and gauging how they’re vibing keeps us on our toes.

Justin: Having Kiki come out and be a live singer is refreshing I think for a lot of people.

It’s been rewarding because we have met a lot of people who have loved our sets because [Kiki] is one of the few singers in the EDM field, so I think it’s special for a lot of people.

Matt: Yeah, you don’t really go to a festival and expect an artist to sing. A lot of DJs will bring up a vocalist for one or two songs but I think we surprise a lot of people, especially from a group they may have never heard of before, that Kiki is singing the entire set.

EDM Maniac: Electronic music has come so far, and it’s become progressively more mainstream. People in EDM hold our community and space very sacred. How do y’all feel electronic music is changing; good and bad?

Matt: Wow, that is a great question.

Justin: Yeah, seriously. I think it’s progressed both good and bad in certain ways. You know, good because everyone’s more used to electronic music. There are big names like Fred Again.. that everyone’s heard of.

Back in the day, EDM was just ‘robot sounds’. So, it’s more accepted I guess. But also more mainstream.

Kiki: There will always be like these heavy EDM artists that are established and will be around forever because they’ve built their name around that sound and people want that from them.

For us, we just have the opportunity to keep changing our sound and evolving because we’ve already shown fans that we can and will do whatever. I think they expect a lot of diversity from us.

Photo courtesy of: Bella Valentini

EDM Maniac: If you could bring back one thing from early 2010s music or culture, what would you bring back?

Kiki: You know, you said earlier that electronic music is changing, and it’s very much focused on house music now. There’s less focus on a melodic sound and more focus on the beat.

I miss the melody and the meaning. Songs with a lot of weight and complex ideas instead of a beat to just keep the club going.

EDM Maniac: One of the first times I had heard of you guys, actually, was on TikTok. How do you feel like that platform has changed your career and your fanbase?

Matt: I think we’ve really only had one song go viral on TikTok which was “Til U Hate Me so I don’t think we can be classified as TikTok artists by any means but I’m a big fan of everything that TikTok and Reels has done for artists.

It’s how the music landscape is evolving. Some people won’t like it and will disregard it but it’s the reality that we live in.

Kiki: I think our relationship with it has really changed so much. Because, like anything, if you start to do it for other people, and then the response you hope for isn’t there, it becomes horrible. It’s so different than making music because we just do what we love when we perform.

EDM Maniac: I would even say that it’s especially beneficial for you guys because people love watching you on stage. People love your personalities. So, to get to showcase that as much as possible on socials, you’re going to grow and retain a fanbase.

Thank you guys so much for taking time to talk with me! Do you have anything you want to say before I go?

Kiki: I will say I’m feeling pretty nostalgic. It’s the last show of our first headline tour. I think we are all feeling just so grateful. I feel just off in the clouds at the moment. It’s hard to believe this is real life.

Matt: You only have one first headlining tour and it’s been crazy. It’s going to be a fun night!

Featured image courtesy of Alden Bonecutter.

Written by
Katie Katuscak

Katie is currently working as a travel nurse with a specialty in Pediatric ICU but has a deep passion for electronic music. She's been going to festivals since 2017 and loves the free-spirit energy that comes with festivals. Her favorite artists are Zeds Dead and Subtronics. If you see her at a show, please come say hello!

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