If you’re into Gold Coast music at all, chances are you’ve popped onto social media recently and seen one of the city’s favourite musical sons hip-hopping his way around the streets of LA in a brightly coloured outfit, to a track named ‘Compliment My Shirt’. Said favourite son is none other than Lane Harry, of Lane-Harry x Ike Campbell fame, currently going by the lyrical moniker Saint Lane.
Far from saintly, the lyrics of Lane’s latest offering ‘Compliment My Shirt’ traverse the depths that he had to descend to, in order to stay financially solvent while a poor university student on the Gold Coast. Let’s just say it involved the exchange of cash for illicit substances – but all in the name of artistic licence, of course.
“It’s all just creative licence, it’s just a song, just things that rhyme,” Lane insists, to anyone who feels like coming a-knocking.
Fortunately, the only people beating down Lane’s door have been music industry juggernauts. Following the runaway success of Lane x Ike’s 2017 hit ‘The Dash’, major labels began shooting through offers. With no new music in the works and with Ike not far away from taking an extended overseas trip, the duo agreed that Lane would head to Sydney solo to work with producer Danny Duke on coming up with some more songs. As it turns out, this was the right place, at the right time.
“Dan got called into a session with a big name rapper and producer who were working on a track together, and he asked if I wanted to come along. And I ended up, totally unplanned, writing some lyrics and working on the track. Then this great industry songwriter Dutch Duke [no relation] really liked what I was doing in the session and suggested the three of us get together and work on some tracks.”
The resulting single ‘Zip Code’ took off worldwide, and Lane and Ike decided to put the duo’s record deals on ice while Lane flew down and made a whole solo album with the Dukes.
“We actually made the whole album in February 2018, but I got an offer from a label that took six months to finalise, which is why the release was so delayed.”
Now finalised but with the label not yet able to announced (it’s a biggie), the deal includes several releases, and bagged Lane a trip to America to shoot the colourful video for ‘Compliment My Shirt’ as well as the single covers, and best of all, the chance to work with Kanye West’s production team. With Kanye being Lane’s biggest idol, it was a surreal experience.
“It was really sick actually, just being in that room!” he explains. “I’ve seen so many photos and videos of him around the place. I’m like the closest I’ve ever been to Kanye, and I know everyone that is in his circle.”
Speaking of circles, it feels like things aren’t only heading upwards for Lane, but coming full circle as well.
“So years ago, in 2015, I did a freestyle rap video where I said ‘Call me Saint Lane like I play from New Orleans’, and it always stuck in the back of my mind. So when we wanted to rebrand I thought Saint Lane would be cool. Then it turned out [the label] chose to shoot all the single covers in New Orleans.”
Now back home, Lane is busy putting together a new winter wear merch line he has designed for his label, doing random stand up comedy gigs for fun and spending all of his cash on “dumb shit”. (“My financial advisors hate me,” he declares.) Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to go back to his old (imaginary!) uni job. Most excitingly, he’s awaiting the release of the next single, ‘Sugary Sweet’.
“I think it’s the best song I’ve ever made. It basically sounds like ‘Compliment My Shirt’ on cocaine. It’s very intricate and really, really intimate. And there are some really sick features on it as well, with really cool people.”
Be sure to keep your ears peeled, Gold Coast.
Saint Lane plays next in Sydney for VIVID Live on 6 June. Keep up with his socials for new music and other exciting announcements.
EDIT: Sugary Sweet is out now.