1883 Magazine
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The incredibly talented Reggie, aka R.LUM.R, is one of a kind. An artist that has remained incredibly down to earth and humble, seemingly unaware of the cult following of great music lovers he’s attracted.

His ’framily’, as he explains to me, is strong, full of people who inspire him and allow him to create the songs he does by following their lives, their interactions, their stories. We sat down with R.Lum.R to get the low down on his new single ’Close Enough’, hear his story, and to watch him perform.

What and who inspires you?

I read a lot, I talk to a lot of people. I think I get most of my inspiration from living and talking to people because I take a lot of things I think from my conversations - I don’t know, I mostly think it’s just my own life, I guess I’m just writing stories and characters, whatever I’m thinking, feeling, or trying to process I guess.

Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met in your career so far?

The one most interesting person in the whole world? I don’t know, um, it really comes a lot from watching my friends develop, and just the stories there. I mean my friend Chris who’s my manager now, we’ve known each other since we were 16 so I’ve seen him at many different stages of his life and we’ve all been in similar and not so similar places together, so just thinking about him and observing his life is really interesting. And also I think my family. I guess I’ll treat them as a whole. 

You often refer to your fans as ’Framily’ - what does that mean?

It’s friends and family combined. I think for me I kinda grew up more with my friends than my actual family, you know I haven’t lived with them since I was 15, so just kinda moving around doing my own thing and they become those people that you get to choose to be in your life, you know what I’m saying? The whole blood relative thing I think just means a whole different thing to me cos of my experiences. But this ’Framily’, friend family, those are people you get to choose to be with you and who choose to actively be in your life. Not out of any familiar obligation. Positive people and people who reciprocate, who prove that they want to be around in your life. So, that’s that.

Because you definitely don’t fit into one singular genre, how would you describe your music to someone whose never heard it before?

I’d tell em to listen to it! Ha ha, it’s always a difficult questions that everyone asks. I still think of it as singer songwriter music, that’s just the process I go through.

This is your first ever show in the UK - do you still get nervous after performing for so long?

Uh no. I mean, I think I do, there’s too much to be excited about to be nervous and I could be a nervous energy but I can channel it in to focus on the song. There’s only so much energy to go around especially when I’m jet lagged! But there are those particular moments when the show’s about to start and I’m like oh shit do I know these songs? I have an ’oh, wait’ moment and then once you sing that first song you’re like ’oh, ok. I’ve been doing this for a month on the road, this is my job, I’m good’. I’m just excited that we could come to a whole different country and there are people that wanna sit and talk to me about these things and my thoughts. It’s cool!

How do you prepare for a show?

On the road I’ve come up with a relaxation routine. I had a friend in Chicago tell me about this steamer that boils water and you just sit there and breathe in moisture on your vocal chords. That has been a super upgrade. 

So you’re not a pre-performance-party kinda guy?

Oh no, oh my God no. That’s the thing you know, people back home and stuff, I guess there is the rock star element that people superimpose onto you, drugs and all the crazy stuff - but not really! I like to do a show and go back to my hotel. Haha, might have a drink or two but one thing that I’ve learnt from being in the UK particularly is that a pint is a lot more alcohol than I thought. Lot more than I thought. I had a cider yesterday and was pretty woozy on the ride home. 

Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?

I think it was a lot of feedback from a many people telling me that the things I was doing were effective and could be something that was more than just playing with friends. There was never a moment like ’I should do this’ or the heavens tell you you should. But it was just a lot of small serendipitous things like when i first started playing guitar when I was living with my Father, right at the time when I was at high school - there were two high schools I could’ve gone to, the one to play football or the more arty one, Charter House which i ended up going to. I was in that rebellious phase that was like ’I’m not taking orders from no football captain, I don’t wanna blah blah’ so I’m going to the other school. I started the guitar and just wrote songs about girls just like every 14 year old does or whatever, and my friend convinced me to go do a show, and then I did, and people liked it. After many shows i eventually got to college on a guitar scholarship. And then, in my last year my friend Tom Carr said there was a programme where you can record, learn about pro tools and key base and I spent the entire time with him in the studio with him all the time, I wasn’t even in that programme. Eventually I auditioned and I got in to the course. I did well, got writing and my recorded my final project. It was another serendipitous opportunity, not life and the universe telling me to do one thing. 

You released a single on July 14th, ’Close Enough’, tell us about the song?

The song is about you as me.  Sometimes you get in that position of denial - you are trying so hard to be involved with a certain person, you wanna be in love with her, you want it to reciprocate to you, but you’re willing to create these excuses, a veil of denial you need to exist with yourself so that it’s a good thing for you. You just know it’s not, and you know you’re just doing these things to yourself and it’s a pattern and a cycle and it’s all bad - but you just focus on that one thing that you can pull away like ’oh, she’s nice to me when I bring her...pie’. You focus on that one thing to overshadow the rest and your expectation is for it to be close enough. That one I think is the best example of trying to be in the mind of that person’s denial about the situation they’re in.

We’ve all been there! But now you’re in London, it’s a new chapter - what can we expect from you in the next year?

The after-Image EP comes out August 11th, the pre-order for that is already out, I’m gonna have a bunch of new songs I’m playing tonight, and then we’re doing more booking for October and November for the east coast of US, and then I’m doing much more writing. Then I’m doing the Jimmy Kimmel thing which should be cool, should be crazy, and people in my home town didn’t think I was famous, they’re going to now! Haha. Doing a lot a lot of writing, flying about doing more press stuff, it’s gonna be a busy year. So yeah, doing a lot of that I guess.

 

R.LUM.R’s Ep ’Afterimage’ is out 11th August and you can preorder via iTunes.
For his latest updates head to www.werlumr.com.

Interview by Kerri Stolerman
@kerri_stolerman

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