[Interview] Lous & The Yakuza – The dog days

A week ago, the Brussels based artist Lous & The Yakuza released her new project. A 10-tracks EP currently available on Soundcloud. We met Lous in order to talk about her feelings after the sharing of this project, what were her main inspirations, the producer she worked with and many other things.

Dear Lous, how are you doing this morning?

Hi, I’m feeling as usual, bittersweet. It’s a mix of happiness and nostalgia to me. And that’s mostly how I feel every day of my life since I can remember. I know it’s a bit awkward but I guess I am weird like that.

You called your EP “The Dog days”. Is it because you worked on it during the summer? What were your most important inspirations for this project?

The fact that I worked on this EP during the summer and that I called it “The Dog Days” is a pure coincidence. I called it this way because I was going through some hard times, just like any other human being, and it felt like a heat wave. I couldn’t breath sometimes… And It burned my heart. Just like the sun burns your skin during the dog-days.

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For how long have you been working on the project? How does it feel to share a project on which you have been working for such a long time?

I started working on this EP, I think, at the beginning of august 2016, so basically 3 months ago only. My friends and family call me “the machine” for this reason I guess. This year I’ve worked on more than 10 different EP, mixtape and albums but this one (The Dog days) felt like the right one to put out. And it felt “a-ma-zing” to finally share it with everyone that has been following me because I live every day of my life with this urge to express myself and my feelings but since I can’t do that easily in real life, I write songs. So If I don’t put out songs, I feel lost and heavy all the time.

Personally, I really love when Lous sings in French. What is decisive in your language choice? What makes you choose French or English?

Oh Thank you so much! I just sing in French when I want to hahah! I don’t really think about anything when I write a song, I mean when it comes to the language of course. I write in whatever language I feel like expressing myself. Sometimes it’s English, sometimes French, sometimes Kiswahili, sometimes Kinyarwanda, sometimes Dutch, sometimes Latin, and sometimes Japanese. It really just depends on what I want to say and in which language i feel the most comfortable to explain the story I want to share.

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What are your current musical influences?

My current musical influences are : Banks, Kaaris, Ikue Asazaki, Yoshida brothers, Solange Knowles, Prince, Florence and the machine, Disiz, Booba, Kendrick lamar, Ndongo Lo, Travis Scott, Orquestra Aragon, Joke, Ismael Lo, Mac De Marco, Tame Impala, Imogean Heap, Cocorosie, Glasvegas, and Yael Naim.

And of course my people : Don Moja, OPG, Enael, Taste 252, Damso, Moko, Youn, Seven, etc.

By the way, which Belgian artists you are currently following?

Don Moja, OPG, Taste 252, Nagatif Clan, Damso, Seven, Caba & Jean Jass, Krisy B, Hakool, Bobox, Hamza, Roxy Rose, Jones Scruipy, ODC, Romeo Elvis, Stomae, Malik, Youn, Roomsha, Tad Fray, Les Alchimistes, Gan, Oscar and The wolf, Selah Sue, Esther&Fatou, Shooga, Le Colisé, etc etc

Oh lord, I can’t even remember all of their names, there are so many that I love…

All tracks are really well produced in your project. And I think you have mainly been working with Belgian beatmakers. Could you tell us a bit more about your relationship and work with them?

Let’s start with Don Moja : I think I have a thing for crazy people. This guy is completely crazy. A crazy genius I would say, it’s like he lives in my brain. We don’t even need to talk, we always in sync. And he is always soooo excited and full of joy ! I remember the first time we met to make music, we didn’t even made one song, we talked for 10 hours at the studio. That’s how I knew, we were going to be more than just co-workers. Now, he is one of my bestfriends. I love him to death.

And then I will say Dolfa: Dolfa is a damn Genius. I don’t understand how his brain works. This guy can do who knows how many beats in a day.  If there was a camera in the studio when we were creating all the music we did together, people would think that something is missing in our head. We were jumping, laughing, screaming, getting emotional, etc  it was like a zoo of bipolar human beings. All I can say is that Dolfa is like a big brother to me, a bestfriend and sometimes even a father hahah. I’m really happy ang greatful that God put him in my life.

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Lous & Dolfa

And then there is Enael: Enael is like a magician to me. We never decided to work together. I know it sounds a bit crazy. But this guy was actually just there in the studio and we started working together like that. With him, there is always a part when I fall asleep for like 2 hours at the studio (I only work at night so there is always a moment when i pass out) and then when I wake up : MAGIC IS DONE ! He is so talented. When I wake up I always find a BRAND NEW track, he changes everything and make it more special, more beautiful and crazy. I couldn’t believe what he did for “Simsalagrim” on the chorus and for “Scared” on the end, it blew my mind. That guy is just the magic maker, i call him like that.

And then there is Moko: He is one of my oldest friend of Brussels. Actually we worked together already in one of my previous tape, on the song “Escape”, so we knew how it was to work together already. We created together “Sad Boys Anthem” and 2 other tracks that didn’t go out. And we understand each other a lot, it was peaceful. Tad Fray even came to put some nice funky bass on the track. It was really really fun ! With Arthur, we always talk for hours on our way back home. He is one of my bestfriend too and the best and most serious sound engineer i know. 

You are actually close to many Brussels based hip-hop actors. Are collaborations on the way? 

Yes, that’s actually what my next Ep is about.

Do you like performing live? What was your favorite live experience?

That’s my favorite thing to do! I’m really happy on stage, even though I am a little too shy sometimes.. My best experience was the last “Sofar Sound” session I did, I think.

Some people cried, I cried too. It was beautiful.

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Lous at the Sofar Sound

What is your opinion on Brussels? In which neighborhoods do you feel the most at home and why?

I feel at home In Anderlecht and St Josse, probably because that’s where I lived from 2000 to 2005. And Matonge as well because of the diversity going on there. 

Recently I felt at home In Molenbeek too, I think it smells like life and reality over there. I often go have walks there, it’s incredibly comforting. Don’t ask me why… 

Last question: for which activity do you put your cellphone on « airplane mode »?

My phone is on airplane mode ALL THE TIME. No matter what I do. I don’t like when people call me or message me, I never answer when I see my phone ringing, I answer messages after 5 or 7 days. I’m really awful when it comes to communication, my family and friends hate me somewhere in their heart for that particular reason. Hahah, But sorry not sorry.

We advise you to put your phone on airplane mode as well and listen to the wonderful Lous project: 
https://soundcloud.com/lousandtheyakuza/sets/the-dog-days