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Real Talk With...

IRK Magazine talked with 11 creatives (from music to fashion) about how isolation and loneliness affect their life and their work, how they had to innovate their way of working during the lockdown and about the importance of self-care in times of crisis. No filter, honest real talk only!

article written with by @martinmanuelry & illustration made with by @sandroryry


The American singer, songwriter, and record producer Lauv already wrote songs for artists such as Charli XCX and Celine Dion. His debut album ~how i'm feeling~ was released in 2020. The record deals with topics that are more relevant than ever such as loneliness. In an exclusive interview, the singer revealed how loneliness and isolation affects him and his work and how he manages to stay sane in such difficult times.

(Photo: Lauren Dunn)

How are you spending the current lockdown and what are the challenges you are facing at the moment as a musician?

I am actually trying to focus as much as I can on making new music which has been really productive and I am having a lot of fun doing that. I am trying not to focus on the obvious negatives of isolation. I am talking a lot more with my family since the lockdown which is amazing, working on my foundation ( which I am proud of, and finally something that is really helping me right now is consistently meditating and focusing on a positive mindset.

Several of your songs are dealing with loneliness (Modern Loneliness, fuck, I'm lonely, lonely eyes...). What are the moments you feel the most lonely in your life and how are you facing them? 

I feel super lonely when I’m having fun with people and then I am totally alone again that always messes me up. Every time I am in a low mood or when I am feeling sad I am ending up feeling lonely. I think anytime I don’t really have a lot of stuff to do I am feeling lonely. I don’t know if that is good but that is just the reality.

If you could choose 3 other musicians to spend the lockdown with, who would it be and why?

I would say Kevin Abstract because he is super interesting and talented. Troye Sivan who is also incredibly talented, super sweet, and a good person and a good friend. I would also say Drake so I could learn how to be that fucking great.

What are the activities you are pursuing to keep you sane and happy during the current lockdown?

Creating a lot of new music. Also with some friends, we took a little trip together. We got an Airbnb in Joshua Tree which was a nice little escape with a pool in which we swam a lot. Also meditating, which is really helping me, watching shows, doing research on the things that are interesting to me, and talking to the people that I care about.

Dorian Electra

"One thing I realized that I’m trying to combat is how dependent I feel on others often to complete my art." The singer, songwriter, video artist and pop sensation Dorian Electra about self-reflection, adapting creative work during times of crisis and performing via zoom.

How would you describe yourself as an artist and what is the quintessence of you and your music?

I make experimental pop music. I love pop music because at its core it’s accessible to anybody, fun, uplifting, but I also have fun experimenting with it, pushing the boundaries and challenging it musically, conceptually, and aesthetically. 

How did you spend the lockdown and how did isolation influence your creativity and your work as an artist in a good and a bad way? Is temporarily being alone helpful for you to find new ideas and inspiration? 

I’ve come to really appreciate this time that I have to try to be creative in new ways, listen to more music, talk to more people online and challenge myself in new ways creatively and personally. It’s definitely hard but I’m trying to stay positive and make the most of this bizarre and unique time.

Did you enjoy performing online via live stream or do you belong on a real stage? Do you feel like you can better live out the visual and aesthetical aspect of your performance (such as dressing up and playing different characters) on a real stage than via live stream?

I love real stages and being physically with people and feeling the electric energy of a room. but honestly, I have really loved doing virtual DJ sets like over Zoom where you still get to see people’s faces  “in the audience” - I especially love it when people dress up in cute looks, it makes me feel like I’m really at the club. 

Did you reflect a lot on yourself during the isolation? What aspects of your personality and you as an artist do you appreciate and is there anything you would like to change in terms of behavior or way of thinking after the quarantine?

I’ve definitely reflected a lot on myself and one thing I realized that I’m trying to combat is how dependent I feel on others often to complete my art. I feel super independent in many many ways too, but sometimes that feeling of - I can’t go to the next step in this project until I get x, y, z from this person or that person can make me feel a little helpless sometimes. That’s also part of the process of collaboration of course, but I’ve also been learning to do more things on my own and that also feels great.

Sofi Tukker

"This lockdown has felt like a lot of things." The genre-defying electro-pop duo SOFI TUKKER who already performed their Grammy-nominated songs about empowerment at shows such as The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and X-Factor about how they spend their lockdown, disconnecting and creativity. Their new single "House Arrest" feat. Gorgon City with the ironically perfect title for an isolation is out now.

(Photo: Squid)

Did this lockdown feel like a house arrest for you or more like taking a break?

This lockdown has felt like a lot of things. It goes in waves but we are definitely very privileged to be taking advantage of this time while we continue to grow and create, just without the travel. It totally is a break from jet lag. The part that feels like house arrest is not being able to hug or be with all our families and friends. 

How important is taking a break and disconnect (from life and social media) for you and for finding new inspiration? 

We are both really different in this regard. I (Sophie) am more of an introspective introvert. I get a lot of energy from being alone and I need silence and time away from my phone to feel my best. Last year, I took ten days to do a silent meditation retreat and the best part of it was probably being away from the noise of my phone. But Tuck loves being surrounded by people all the time. We get inspiration from everywhere but a lot of it has to do with our travel and our interactions with people around the world.

If you could choose three other music artists to spend the lockdown with, who would it be and why? 

LP Giobbi. she's our best friend and we miss her so much. She's a joy.  Stromae. It would be amazing to learn from him and be around such a legend.  Bomba Estereo. They're good friends of ours too and we just vibe so well together, musically and personally we share a lot of the same values. Nora en Pure. Also a good friend, and we're such huge fans of her music.  Also Mahmut Orhan.... gosh, we could keep going. We want to be on lockdown with so many artists! 

What three songs were on your playlist during the lockdown?

Yael Naim

"The fact that everything collapse awake some survival instinct that makes me want to find solutions and stay creative". The Israeli-French singer-songwriter (who became an overnight sensation after her hit single "New Soul" was used in an advertising by Apple) about the importance of finding solutions in difficult times.

What changed for you in your everyday life and for you as an artist since the quarantine? What challenges are you facing because of it right now?

What changed for me as an artist was the fact that I had to do an album release from home, doing live stream and promotion from home, also the fact that eve