Lánre, 40, lives in London, UK as a singer songwriter and has been performing and writing music as a solo artist for about five years. At ASLI we are big fans of the singer and her music, having had the pleasure to see a performance live and follow her career since 2013, we approached Lánre as soon as we decided to do our first issue of the ASLI Magazine on women, this is due to the fact that this artist is not only an inspiration to women all over the world but is a influential force within the music community and is always expanding in her creativity. The soulful sounds take you on a journey through the musical storytelling of Lánre’s life and we could not recommend this artist more.
What motivated you to deal with the subject of female stereotypes in your art?
“I deal with several subject matter in my music but when it comes to the issue of female stereotype, I wrote the song ‘Beautiful’ as I imagined what I would go back to tell my younger self. I will tell her how beautiful she is and that every aspect of her physical being that she feels uncomfortable or less than pretty about is actually beautiful.”
Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?
“Music has always been in my life in some form or another. I sung in choir for years, I was part of a collective for a while and then I learnt to play the guitar which has really helped me in expressing my thoughts and ideas. To be able to share that with people is a blessing.”
What is your process when creating?
“Most times, the words or phrase comes first. I can sit with an idea for a while before the rest of the song starts to take shape and other times, the idea and the whole song come in all at once. It’s amazing when that happens.”
Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?
“A good story either in book form or film inspires me, a conversation. I eavesdrop a lot, on trains, in buses, cafe’s. Just people watching and making up stories is also a good one.”
What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?
“I don’t like labels so for me, I stand for equal rights for all people. I think that’s what feminism is.”
What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?
“I always like to be a part of any movement that helps promote positivity through art.”
Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously? Do you have any experiences of this?
“Not sure if it’s a question of women ‘have to’ but more like some women have no choice but to conform to sets of rules and norms. As much as we like to believe or say that we now live in an evolved society, in several parts of the world women and men are not treated equally.”
Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?
“Equality among men and women has come a long way but to say every one’s now equal and we can now hold hands and sing kumbaya will be burying our head in the sand. For instance only 13% of all PRS (Performance Rights Society) for music writers and performers are women. So we’re saying for every 100 songwriters and composers only 13 are women? I know it’ll be a sweeping statement to just say there aren’t women writers and composers. More needs to be done to raise the profile of women musicians.”
What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?
“I have in the past supported ‘Crisis’ the organisation that helps young homeless people in the UK. I also wrote a song for ‘Gele Tea’ an organisation that supports the research and support for dementia patients and their carers.”
What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?
“I have had a few instances where music has really helped me find my way out of a dark hole and I know a handful of people that art has been a saving grace. I always question if it’s the art itself or whether it’s the intention behind the art that comes through to ‘save’ I always conclude that it’s important that we who create art use it positively as a platform for change.”
How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?
“It still brings us back to art and its intention. There’s art just for the sake of art and there’s nothing wrong with that. But also there’s art with the intention to effect change. I always want to create music that sheds light on no so pretty issues or give voice to those who aren’t able to do so themselves.”
What are your goals as with your art?
“To inspire, motivate and encourage.”
What is your next project or piece that you are working on?
“I am currently writing for a new EP that will double up as a performance piece. Still working out the songs so nothing is set in stone yet but it’s looking interesting already.”
Find out more about Lánre:
Download music on on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/lanre/id466810921