Canadian based Lhasa Petik is blossoming into 2021 for her signature tendencies of lo-fi pop and flying away with her secrets.
Beyond her travels and joys, the Winnipeg singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist entwine a fresh sound of intimate husky vocals and dreamy bedroom soundscapes that's putting her on the music map.
With already amassing over one million to her name, the not so hidden gem is ready for her next rollercoaster and catches up with Vibez to talk about 'Here and Gone', travelling the world, and everything in-between.
Firstly, congratulations on your latest release, 'Here and Gone'! What has the start of 2021 bought you, and how have fans reacted to new music?
Thank you so much, super happy to have it out into the world! ‘Here and Gone’ is the second song of the year, and it is the start of a new era of Lhasa. Overall the response to ‘Here and Gone’ has been really positive, but it’s different from previous releases, so maybe not what people would expect. I think that I have matured a lot in the last couple of years, and I want my sound to reflect that (I also like to keep people guessing). I’ve found a style that I really like, and I’m pumped to keep growing as I release more.
Speaking about 'Here and Gone', what is the overall theme and what do you hope to achieve from it?
‘Here and Gone’ is a darker track because I wrote it a couple of months ago when I was having a rough go. Being stuck at home has had an impact on my mental health and has forced me into my head. Instead of avoiding the lows or turning to vices to cope, I’ve been forced to appreciate them for what they are and just kind of sit with them. As I have done that, I've started to realize that you can’t appreciate the highs without the lows, and contrast is necessary for life.
I think any artist aims to make art that people can relate to, and I am no exception. Music has helped me through a lot of bullshit, and I want to make music that can help other people as well. If even one person can feel something when they listen to my music, I feel like I have done my job.
In other news, you've slowly picked up attention across the world, but how did your music journey start?
I’ve had a long journey with music, but it all started when I begged my mom for violin lessons when I was four. From there, I was classically trained for 12 years and took lessons on various instruments, including double bass and bassoon as well as violin. However, I did hit a bit of a roadblock because classical music has some limitations in a creative sense. This led to me picking up a guitar and teaching myself. Eventually, I started writing a bit, and it has all snowballed from there.
Growing up in Winnipeg, Canada, who did you look up to whilst growing up and have your influences changed over time?
I actually don’t really remember who I looked up to while I was growing up, just because the vast majority of my memories were related to playing in an orchestra. The first artist I looked up to in middle school was definitely Lorde. I remember playing dodgeball in gym class, and Royals came on. I was blown away by it, but it wasn’t until a couple of years later that I dug into the whole Lorde discography. I think my general influences have stayed fairly consistent, or at least the general vibe of them have stayed the same. I relate most to artists that are on the edge of pop music in any direction. This includes people like Lorde, Sebastian Paul, Verzache, Billie Eilish etc.
You've also experienced time away from Canada and stayed in Australia over 2019. What did those ventures offer, and how have you taken those experiences into your music?
Australia was definitely a turning point in my life in general, but musically as well. I bopped over there for what was supposed to be five months but ended up staying for almost a year. I settled in a place called Airlie Beach, and it was the best time of my life. It was my first experience being fully independent, and something was freeing about being able to do whatever I wanted. But it was also super pivotal on the music side. I built up a lot of confidence there because I was playing tons of gigs. They were just little bar gigs, but they exposed me to the idea of pursuing music as a career, and I haven’t looked back since. Although I didn’t write much while I was there, I had tons of material to write about when I returned to Canada.
On the other hand, what has it been like for you personally pursuing music in such a time of confusion, and what have you learnt from this period?
Honestly, it has been tough, but I think I was lucky with the way everything was timed out. I did get a little bit rowdy while I was in Australia, and I went to England and Montreal almost immediately after. In the end, I was travelling for almost two years straight, so I was extremely burnt out when I landed back in Winnipeg. I’ve been trying to use the lockdowns to reflect on my experiences, and look forward to what the future will offer, but it has been dragging on in recent months. I always crave stimulation and craziness, so being stuck at home has definitely been a little bit of a shock, but I think moments of calm are incredibly necessary for me, and I usually use those times to reflect and write music.
Whilst, you have honed your craft successfully over time, what advice would you give to someone who's only just starting?
I think one of the most important things to remember is that it’s ok if some people don’t love your music. Art is a super subjective thing, and in my experience, the music that I have made to please other people has been some of the least satisfying to release (even if they do well). But in that same breath, I think collaboration is super crucial to improving as an artist. I think that everyone has something to offer because everyone hears sounds differently. In the end, the people around me have made me what I am today, so be sure to surround yourself with good people!
Finally, what is next for Lhasa Petik, do you have any secrets you could spill?
Hmm. I don’t know if I have any secrets, but I like to tell people to go for their dreams. I realize this sounds cliche, but buy that instrument, go on that trip, start your own business etc. I know that everyone feels the pressures of parents, peers and society, but life is too short to be living it for other people.