2020 was a defining year for talented young hip-hop/r&b/neo-soul practitioner Lemaire, which saw him reach public consciousness with his Triple J endorsed track ‘Roll Call’ as well as breakout single ‘Where’s Up’ (featuring Jay Orient & JK 47).
And the new year has seen him continue his upwards trajectory in the form of a feel-good, groove infused number ‘OneNotTwo’, in which he collaborates with vibing collective Namaste.
Lemaire tells us how the collab came about.
”Namaste actually first came in contact with me after hearing my track ’20 Dollar Wine’ on triple J Unearthed. They reached out to my emails and shot me a couple of beats, and we started working on a few songs together.
“A few months later I was fiddling with some neo-soul guitar chords on my Instagram story and Namaste replied saying they liked it and wanted to work on something with them.
We went back and forth over the next few months exchanging lyrics and beat ideas and eventually landed where the song is today.
Being that the song is a self-confessed sappy ode to his fiancé, I asked Lemaire what her reaction was when she first heard it!?
“I write a lot of songs about her so she’s pretty used to it ahahah! But yeah she definitely enjoyed this one, it’s the first time I’ve put into words how we actually met so it’s cool to have something that reminds us of how it all started.”
Not one to rest on his laurels, Lemaire has set himself the ambitious goal of releasing a new single every month during 2021. An ambitious project for sure, and I asked him if he had a stockpile of songs up his sleeve to call upon or if he would be madly channelling his creative juices on the fly this year.
“I spent pretty much all of 2020 locked in my studio writing music and producing songs so I have a few up my sleeve! I’m gonna be doing a lot of writing between the releases as well so the music keeps on coming. The song a month idea just seems like a good way to put out as much music as I can without having to drop a debut album (yet).”
Whilst his current muse is still very much in the nascent phase, Lemaire has been following his musical dream for much longer, having spent time here and abroad busking from a young age. I asked him if he was channelling more of a singer-songwriter vibe back then, and if those formative years on the road helped shape his current musical journey.
“Yeah, I definitely started off as a singer/songwriter. I’ve always loved hip-hop, but never really thought it was something that someone like me could actually pursue. Growing up in the Byron Bay area, there wasn’t really a hip-hop scene, and if you wanted to make money busking, you played folk music.
“It wasn’t until I started travelling, especially during my time in London, that I realised I could make whatever goddamn music I wanted. When I returned to Byron/Gold Coast, I was shocked to hear that people actually liked what I was doing now – maybe because it was different to what they were used to. Either way, it felt good to make the music I wanted to make.”
As far as upcoming live shows go, Lemaire is keen to leverage off the invigorating vibe he channelled at his most recent performance in February.
“I just played my first show of the year at Burleigh Bazaar on 6 Feb, now with a five-piece band. I was ridiculously nervous for it, as it’s been so long since the last time I got on a stage – but as soon as we started I was reminded how much I loved it. It was also the first show I’ve ever played where people in the audience knew the words to my songs, and there is honestly no better feeling than hearing that.
“I’m definitely trying to organise some more shows around the Gold Coast and Byron Bay Area, and might even start looking to Brissy or Sydney for dates?? I don’t know, what do you reckon?!”
We reckon a resounding “Yes!”, and in the meantime be sure to check out Lemaire’s memorable new single, ‘OneNotTwo’, via streaming services and on his Soundcloud page.