Saint Lane on Authenticity, Kanye, and His Recipe to a Good Show [Q&A]

Offering ever-growing diversity and range, Saint Lane (Lane Muir) surges forward with spontaneity, a chill flow, and a promising potential fuelled by his ambitious drive. Emerging from the sun-soaked Gold Coast, Lane Muir has had his fair share of domestic and international support, playing shows with J.I.D., Lime Cordiale, Earl Sweatshirt, and more.

His character outlined by a friendly smile and a laid-back persona, Saint Lane is a man of many talents, covering all areas from musician, radio host, disability worker and entrepreneur.  Wanting to "create a really inviting and open space into [his] music," he flaunts over two million streams on Spotify and has earned praise from the likes of Billboard, GQ, and NME. But it's his punchy bars and witty anecdotes that are all encompassed into each song that have earned him his growing fanbase. His debut release "Compliment My Shirt," parades a light-hearted, lyrically sonic track, drawing listeners to admire his hustle and growth.

Lane spoke with Ones To Watch to give us an inside look into his inspirations, favourite moments, and the secret to creating a thrilling show. With a pending EP to be released soon, signaled by  newest single "bootleg jordans," this is shaping up to be Lane's year.  

Ones To Watch: So good to meet you, Lane! Give us a snapshot of who you are.

Saint Lane: Well, my name's Saint Lane, I'm a recording artist originally from New Zealand but now I live on the Gold Coast in Australia.

How would you describe your music?

My favourite artist of all time is Kanye. I even have an 808s & Heartbreak tattoo on my arm. But I also love John Mayer, who's my other favourite guy. I'm trying to be the love child of these two and collide both of those worlds. So, a lot of rapping, cool production and also a lot of singer-songwriter stuff. Honestly speaking, just making tracks that connect to people.

What kind of music do you typically lean towards when making music?

I never really intended to make super sad music. That wasn't the goal, but then the thing is, when you make sad songs, especially when I released my first record in 2020, they get really attached to it. I've got happy songs too now that are a bit more upbeat. The next record is a good balance between the two.

Having that range is great! Is there an artist you could compare your music to?

Whenever I play a show there's always two things' people say. I'll leave the stage so sweaty looking like I just left the UFC octagon, walk off the stage and someone will say "man Mac Miller vibes." I love that, especially since I'm a huge Mac Miller fan. I also get a lot of people on the internet saying I look like Dominic Fike.

But being compared to two really dope artists is amazing, I love it.

Those two artists are huge, so it'd be hard to complain.  

How would you separate your music from theirs?

All my music is autobiographical. It's things that have happened to me. The first couple of records were about the time I was at university. I was living pretty wild and reckless when I was a young. In 2019, a bunch of heavy stuff happened to me - like my dad passed away unexpectedly, which was pretty much the foundation of the first record If I Leave You In The Fire.

Do you find that it's more valuable to have music made with real-life experiences?  

I guess the problem of it being so autobiographical is that I'm pretty much showing the people I know my diary. Especially, if I make a song based on what I'm feeling at that right moment, during that process I don't think about whether the people I see all the time hear it.

Is authenticity important to you?

If I was to strip that away and say something more reserved or censored than it wouldn't be authentic. People can hear that coming through the record if it's fake.

Everyone loves hearing other's walks in life, and it's amazing that you find comfort in it. Is there something you love most about creating music?

When I'm making music, I actually don't like being in the studio (laughter). I know most musicians love it, but I hate repetition. You know? Doing the same thing over and over again. So, I try to smash what I need to do in one take.

Are you the same when playing a show?

Even when I play a show, I'll do a different set with different songs. This originally stemmed from when I opened with an artist called 360 in 2019. There were these girls at every single show, right at the front row and I thought man they're watching the same show all the time, I should give them some variation. There's just something about not knowing what a show is going to be like

Exactly! That spontaneous feeling from the crowd is all it takes.

That's exactly right! I like the feeling of no security, the feeling of taking risks. Even in the studio, taking creative risks that might not even be beneficial to the song on a commercial level, but it adds more flare to the listener. I just like constant new creative energy. It's just a journey or it's the sound that's evolving and growing. I always say if you want your art to outlive your life you need to evolve.

It’s exciting that live shows are coming back. Is there a sort of way you like to put on a show?

I love the outcome of a spontaneous show. I make the setlist once the audience is in the room. Very last minute, just to get the feel. I think I'm a great vibe reader in general and with crowds. I've mastered these songs and I played them so many times and I know everything about them. I look at it like a sport, where I have to put my game on.

Like your game plan?

Exactly, right! There are photos of me in the studio wearing sports jerseys everyday like I'm about to play a sport. My mind is like "I have to kill this; I have to win!" I can't be like "oh, tomorrow I'll nail it." No, it has to be today.

Is there a favourite song you like to perform?

I've got a song called "Toothbrush," which every time I play that I tell this five-minute extensive story about what it's about, and how these kids stole my car and some other events. So, when it gets to the performance, people hear all the annotations and all the parts of the story that come to life.

I'd love to watch and hear that all go down. Is there anything you're up to musically?

There's a couple of things. I spent seven months making a new EP, specifically for vinyl. I finished it, contacted the distributor and the turnaround went from six weeks to fifteen months in that period. There was so much backlog, so I said cool, no vinyl then. So now, I'm going to put out USB's. People buy the USB, I send it out and on it is the new EP. I just want it to be partly physical.

That's sick! Do we get a little teaser?

Yeah! I'm putting out a single from the EP on streaming services.

You're a busy man!

Yeah, I'm busy, but my main priority is to make really dope music and innovative records. I want to inspire the next generation of artists.

Is there anything you want to say to welcome new listeners to the world of Saint Lane?

If you've never heard my music, the best starting point is to listen to a track called 'When Did We Grow Up," I feel like that's the track that sums up the vibe that I've been putting out. If you like that you'll get the whole thing. If you don't, listen to another!

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