Interview: Saint Lane is Hip-Hop's nice guy

“I’m sitting on so much music right now,” says Gold Coast’s Saint Lane, who’s recently returned from a trip in Canada and is now having to self-quarantine for 14 days.

With 11 days of self-isolation remaining you’d hope Lane would now have time to sit and reflect on the whirlwind that the last 18 months have been. Inside that time, the Kiwi export has changed his stage name – starting fresh as Saint Lane – and released five singles, all as eclectic as the next; with the only similarities being the rabid, fanatical response to each release.

Saint Lane has now become a constant fixture across national airwaves with singles such as ‘Compliment My Shirt’ and ‘Hickeys’ receiving regular spins on Triple J. While his music hits our radios, Saint Lane has been on the road, performing at Ultra Korea Festival, opening for JID across Australia and flying in and out of the United States, working with the likes of Andrew Dawson (Producer/Engineer: Kanye West, Jay Z, Childish Gambino, Pusha T) and Mike Malchicoff (Composer/Engineer: Kids See Ghosts, Mark Ronson, Nas).

Lane worked with Dawson across the span of a week after being put in touch through mutual collaborator Danny Duke (The Griswolds), “We [Lane and Dawson] made four songs, I’m probably never going to put them out, they’re cool but it was the stories that were insane that week,” said the Gold Coast artist on the surreal experience.

“Kanye’s Grammy’s (are) in the room and Mike Dean’s weed is in the room. You go to the bathroom and there’s Tha Carter III platinum plaque… he told me hella good Kanye and Jay Z stories (that week).”

Not one to be overwhelmed by an occasion – even if that occasion is working with the engineer of your favourite artist of all time – it’s obvious that Saint Lane then jumped at the last minute opportunity that came his way when Ultra Korea were looking for a Hip-Hop artist to be added to the bill.

In what is a story of right place and time, Lane had some friends renting out office space and after mingling with some other new tenants in the building, they learnt that not only did the new tenants book artists for Ultra Korea, but in fact were looking for a Hip-Hop act to replace a late exclusion on the festival bill. Enter Lane.

“So my friends go, ‘oh we know a guy’,” and within a few phone calls, Saint Lane was headed to one of Asia’s biggest music festivals.

Whilst performing at Ultra Korea is yet another chapter in what seems to be a fairy tale Saint Lane story, he wants you to know that it’s (all too) possible to be brought back down to earth just as quick.

While opening for Dreamville’s JID in Melbourne, Lane was going about his performance in front of an amped up Melbourne crowd, when a ‘shoey’ chant broke out.

“People started chanting for a ‘shoey’ and someone threw the ugliest Big W shoe I’d ever seen in my life. I filled my beer up in it, and all this sock residue was in the shoe and all this cotton was in my mouth. So I spat it out, and kept spitting until I realised I was vomiting on stage,” explained Lane.

“As I walked off stage [after the set], the tour manager threw a towel at me and told me to clean it up. So as Roddy Rich ‘The Box’ was playing in between me and JID’s sets, I go out and 1000 people are booing me while I clean up my own vomit.”

Now with some time to himself, away from beer-filled Big W shoes and last minute flights to South Korea, Saint Lane is spending his time in isolation checking out the music that his peers are dropping, while preparing to release two new records of his own.

On what he’s been listening to, “I really like that new Kwame single ‘schleep.’ I thought that was a cool song, it sounds live”

“There’s [also] a 16 year old kid from Sydney called Sahxl, he’s crazy good. I had a session with Khaled (Rohaim), and he brought this kid along, and quickly I was like holy shit this guy is the next Justin Bieber. His ear for melodies and his writing is awesome, his voice is incredible. His background is Fijian and he is unreal, I really, really want this kid to succeed.”

In regards to his own music, ‘She Devil’ featuring Travy P will be dropping on April 3rd, and ‘When Did We Grow Up’ on April 24th.

We can expect ‘She Devil’ to be a high octane anthem according to Saint Lane, “that ones a straight banger, it goes off live, people will fuck with it. That’s one for the AUX chord when you’re driving around with your friends.”

While ‘When Did We Grow Up’ is likely to be a slightly different offering from the Gold Coast rapper.

“I really hope peoples attention isn’t completely on the impending apocalypse and people have mental space for music, cause this one [When Did We Grow Up] is really dope. It sounds really happy, but the lyrics and melodies are super sad. It’s a song about forgiveness and moving on from shit people.”

Keep up to date with Saint Lanes every move on Instagram here. He’s a nice guy.