Words by Keane Fletcher
Sydney-based Lachlan Gilkes (aka El Gilkso) might be new to the music scene, but that doesn't mean he's taking things slow. On the contrary, 2020 has seen a steady stream of releases from this up-and-coming young singer-songwriter, tracks that channel his past hurts and his current inspirations into some cruisey, blues-tinged alternative-rock that's perfect for the warmer months.
'Growing up with rock influences from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Creedence Clearwater Revival etc., I’ve always gravitated more towards blues music...I fell in love with the simplicity and beauty behind the blues genre, with it being such a huge influence on the music I make today, my musical influences include legends such as J.J Cale, John Lee Hooker and Lightnin’ Hopkins each with their own unique style and rhythmic flow.'
Recalling some of Angus Stones' earlier work, Gilkes' song bristle with intimacy, ranging from the heartfelt, acoustic warmth of 'Cherry' to the swampy, ominous blues of 'Dead Man's Rise'. With his the completion of his debut EP just around the corner, Gilkes is definitely an artist to keep an eye on, and we here at Hipland can't wait see what he cooks up next!
We recently caught up with Gilkes to talk all things music, inspo, and why 2020 has been his most creative year yet. Check it out below!
1- Where in the world are you based at the moment?
Currently I’m based in Sydney Australia, Born and bred baby absolutely love it here.
2- How would you describe your sound? Who are your musical influences?
Growing up with rock influences from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Creedence Clearwater Revival etc., I’ve always gravitated more towards blues music. From 17 onwards I fell in love with the simplicity and beauty behind the blues genre, with it being such a huge influence on the music I make today, my musical influencers include legends such as J.J Cale, John Lee Hooker and Lightnin’ Hopkins each with their own unique style and rhythmic flow. This inspired me to develop my own individual sound to which I would describe as Coastal/Alternative rock.
3- How does the song writing process usually work for you? Do you have a routine when it comes to writing and recording, or does inspiration for a song take you by surprise?
Usually I wouldn’t sit down and plan to write a song, I guess if I have a process of any it would start with playing covers until I move into the fuck around territory, and from there anything can come of it. Inspiration for songs I’ve released and haven’t released, stems from a rollercoaster of emotions from the past couple years, going through hardships from the loss of loved ones, and a couple broken hearts here and there, the only way I got through such hardship was through song writing, being creative through music allowed me to express myself in ways that words couldn’t. Helping me in my own way understand the indecipherable.
4- 2020 has seen a steady release of tracks from you including 'Sunflower', 'Dead Man's Rise', and 'Lost & Found'. Has the COVID-19 pandemic afforded you more time to be creative? Any plans for an EP?
2020 has been an interesting year all round, during the pandemic I definitely bought myself some time to be creative. Around the time I made 'Lost & Found', I was exploring just about every possible outlet of sound design, searching for a unique sound. Coming out of isolation, it allowed me to hold a fair few cheeky tracks up my sleeve to work on in the future, but as Australia moves closer toward a pandemic free country, I find myself working on tracks as well as enjoying the freedom each month unveils.
5- How do you feel the internet has affected your career as a songwriter? Do you believe streaming services like Spotify and Soundcloud are making things easier or harder for artists?
Considering I’m only just starting out in the sense of releasing songs publicly, Soundcloud has been a breeze when it comes to releasing music as well as getting initial recognition. However, the music industry is quite saturated with artists, making it harder to get recognition across a range of all platforms such as Spotify and Apple music etc.
6- Who would be your dream collaboration?
Angus Stone hands down mate, from his early days working with Julia, to his Dope Lemon music he releases now, he’s always been a huge inspiration behind why I make music, at a time of my life when I was searching for direction, his music was a big part of my own personal growth. Gotta pay homage to that dude.
7- If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be?
If I could change anything about the music industry, I would want it to move more toward an industry of collaboration, rather than an industry of charts. It would be cool to see the artists focus on their own style rather than imitation of others, from there come together with other musicians to create beautiful music
8- What's next for you?
I guess what’s next is to finish this EP I’m working on then to expand across other platforms, releasing more music on Spotify and Apple music, with a couple gigs lined up at some local bars, I’m keen to share what I’ve been working on, as well as to see what the future holds.
Thanks for stopping by Hipland!