Lakyn is someone who strives for creativity.
Born in Auckland but now living in Melbourne, Lakyn – the eponymous musical project of skateboarder-turned-musician Lakyn Heperi – has always used musicianship as an outlet for creativity. Since a skateboarding injury encouraged him to learn guitar, Lakyn has become synonymous with Australia’s genre-bending next generation; his 2018 EP & PAINS, for example, moulding together textures of indie, R&B, hip-hop and pop for a collection of tracks reflective of someone just beginning to hit their stride – both musically and personally.
Fast forward to current day, and Lakyn’s creative drive is reaching a new peak. After the release of & PAINS, he travelled to London for a songwriting trip to work with fellow producers and songwriters pushing boundaries within music, using the time to hone in on his skills as well as learn new ones, something reflected in the work he’s been making since. “I feel like it was the first time I’d been properly recognised on that scale for my music,” he recalls. “It definitely increased my confidence and inspired me to write what I’ve been writing since.”
Written and produced in London with Ant Whiting (M.I.A., Lisa Mitchell, SOAK) and Lucy Taylor (Friendly Fires, Dua Lipa). ‘Superhuman’ is the first taste of Lakyn’s new work, and it’s an exciting beginning for his next chapter. ‘Superhuman’ showcases the growth and maturation in Lakyn’s songwriting even within the space of just two years, bringing musical traits that have become characteristic of his work – his brooding, R&B-adjacent vocal; a rich, upbeat production – but intertwining it with new collaborators and influences which give ‘Superhuman’ that distinct, unique edge in his discography, and keeps Lakyn looking forward.
Musically, ‘Superhuman’ brings together Lakyn’s somewhat dark and low-slung vocal with flashes of warping electronica, which comes and goes amongst the uplifting, groove-filled production. It almost feels like a track plucked from Grand Theft Auto’s infamous, cutting-edge soundtrack; a nod to one of his favourite songwriting processes, in which he writes music based on what he’d imagine hearing on one of the video game’s cult-adored radio stations.
Deeper, you’ll find that ‘Superhuman’ is a result of the personal learnings that Lakyn has taken on over the last few years; the track being a little more introspective and mature than Lakyn’s past work. This sense of inner reflection and personal evolution displayed through ‘Superhuman’ is a byproduct not just of Lakyn surrounding himself with like-minded songwriters at writing camps (such as the one ‘Superhuman’ was written at), but also reflective of his own emotional growth, and lessons he’s come to realise in his time as a musician.
“It’s about how there are so many possible paths you can take towards the future, and if you aren’t seeing them because you’re in your own head, you might miss them,” he says on the single. “It’s a lesson I learnt that came out of nowhere, and I thought it’d be good to write down not just for lyrics, but as a note to myself too.”
‘Superhuman’ carries the sentiment that anybody can do anything they put their mind to; an idea that has been shaping Lakyn’s attitude towards music, and influencing his new work. “I feel like I’ve gotten all the mess out of my head and gotten rid of anything that was holding me back,” he continues. “I’m confident in what I’m doing and I’m confident in what I want for the future, and now I feel like nothing will stop me from making the best decisions for me, both musically and personally.”