Lukas Makeswaran - "When I stop learning & experimenting in new ways, I think I will be at the end as an artist: creativity will fade, so I am eager to experience new roads." - Stereo Stickman

Lukas Makeswaran “When I stop learning & experimenting in new ways, I think I will be at the end as an artist: creativity will fade, so I am eager to experience new roads.”


German songwriter and artist Lukas Makeswaran recently released a deeply reflective and evocative, genre bending album – the aptly-titled Mirror of My Soul.

We caught an interview with Lukas, to find out more about his journey as a musician, the inspiration for the project, and his hopes moving forward. Here’s how it went.

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Hi Lukas – thanks for your time, excited to talk with you! To introduce things, how would you personally describe the sound of the music you make?

Thank you for having me. I am excited to talk with you too. I describe my sound as a fusion of rock, adult alternative pop/rock, influenced by blues and funk.

Your introduction to music was flute lessons and show dancing – two quite uncommonly paired artforms. What did these early disciplines bring out in you as an aspiring artist?

I wanted to sing as long as I can remember, but I was too shy to voice, that I want to take vocal coaching as a child. But as music was always important to me, I did the things related to it, which was offered by the school or in the village I grew up.

What it made me realize early on was that I am sure I want to do something artistic. I mean when I was like 6 years old girl groups were still big and they danced and sung and sometimes played instruments as well, I guess that made me feel like I am getting closer to achieving my dream.

You wrote your first song at just eleven years old – what was it about, and what’s the main development you’ve witnessed in how you write and perform now?

Some of my songs I wrote as an eleven year old kid made it to the album, of course I rewrote some of the lyrics, but the basics came from that time. One of those songs is Back to my roots I wrote that in a time I was bullied and felt all alone and depressed – when I look back I feel like even in that times I had the hope in my mind, that better times are going to come and that I will make it through at one point as it says in the lyrics “On the way back to my roots I was often sad…” and in the chorus: “I’m back at the right place, it’s a new space for me. I’m back to my roots”

Let’s talk about the new album. How long were these 13 songs in the making, and at what point did you come up with the title Mirror of My Soul?

The final songs were in the making for about one and a half years, with trying out different stuff, getting a full concept and finalizing my vision, but I can’t really say how long it took as the songs are like diary entries through my early teens till young adulthood. Also, I always knew what kind of music I wanted to do.

We begin with the fearlessly atmospheric and spoken Darkness & Light – where in the process did this introduction seem like the right choice?

The intro was something I recorded at home years ago and when the work on the album started I already knew that I want to use that as the introduction as I feel it explains a lot where my lyrics are coming from and “reading between the lines” is important, because not all intensities of emotions and depth of thoughts can be reflected in music or lyrics.

We then move into a smooth rock sound for the unexpectedly catchy groove Back to My Roots. How important is genre for this project – are you guided by style or more an artistic intention?

I can’t explain this very good, I guess. It’s like a topic crosses my mind, I sit down, and I write a song and while doing that I get an idea of the melody and the instrumentalization I want to go for. So, I think it’s more of an artistic intension, but on the other hand I always knew what kind of genres I want to mix and what it should sound like.

Your lyrics are decidedly revealing and personal. Is there a therapeutic aspect to songwriting, and do you ever worry about sharing too much of your truth?

All the lyrics are directly related to who I am, to my inner fights, life experiences and how I feel – I kind of share my truest self, that’s why I also released an explanation / backstory to each song on my website as listening to the album from beginning to end is like my life story told in song.

I felt great about recording the album, to fulfil my biggest dream of recording my own songs and melodies and I realized how much of a therapeutic effect it had, it felt like making peace with my past with every song I finished. To be honest, I was terrified shortly before the first song was released. Haha. As the countdown for the lyric-video on YouTube continued I was like “I shouldn’t have done that”, “I share too much, it’s too personal”, “People will probably start to mentally torture me again” and then already the song started….

My heart stopped for a moment, but than it felt like a big relief, I mean it was my dream since a little kid and what do I realistically have to lose? It’s my truth and as I reveal everything, I feel more freedom and peace and I have nothing to hide anymore. Not only writing and recording the tracks was like therapy for me, but each single that got released lifted weight off my shoulders.

Given the poetic references and metaphors throughout – are you inspired by other artforms than music, like poetry, theatre, or film?

I take inspiration from different kinds of arts, like drawings, films, poems and from life itself. Every conversation, emotion or experience can create a new idea in my mind and will eventually be represented in lyrics, vocal expressions, or instrumentals.

What made you decide to balance out the darkness of F*cked Up Again with a joyful bounce of a groove, and what do you hope listeners take away from this?

I know that seems contradictory at first, but it represents for me how life carries on around us, regardless of our personal struggles. I think most of us are fighting our own battles, unseen and often unrecognized, so we suffer in silence as we don’t get taken seriously by others – on the other hand recognizing that we probably do that to others as well. The sound also shows that life is upbeat and fun, even we don’t feel it while we suffer, the hope is to be able to feel the positive vibes again.

With Borderline we get a more evocative and vulnerable sound. How easy or difficult was it to explore your struggles with mental health issues in song?

Actually, it was pretty easy as for me it is normal to feel that way, it’s only a part of me, yes, but it’s not separated from my life and so the lyrics fell into place quickly. Releasing that track on the other hand felt harder, but the feedback was so positive, and people told me “I feel understood” or “I think I can understand better how people with mental health issues feel” and that felt amazing. For example, the song is long, and the chorus gets repeated multiple times at the end, which represents how consuming and monotone it can feel in the struggling times.

This is also one of the few songs that doesn’t has a positive message in it, but in the song after, Stop its like “I have to take a break and calm down” that’s why it makes more sense to listen to the album as a whole story instead of randomly shuffle the songs.

In your view, which song from this project best represents your intentions and style as an artist?

It’s hard to choose one song, as they all belong to my story, and all represent other phases and situations I was in. The album is kind of a recap of how I became who I am today, with all the good and the bad stuff, the imperfections, weirdness, madness, happiness, and love. I can say that the song Can’t make you love me is my favourite on this album, I love the style and the artistic feel of it but I wouldn’t say that it lyrical represents my intensions.

Is live performance a big part of your plans, and if so, what would be your dream venue to appear at?

I would love to get the chance to perform my songs live. I don’t have a dream venue, as my real dream is to be able to create more songs, to sing and to share my story and hopefully some people feel understood, can find comfort in it as in most of the songs there are some expressions of hope, maybe not noticeable at first glance.

Are you still learning as a musician – are there instruments or areas of creativity and performance that you’d still like to improve upon?  

I want to learn more about DAWs and creation of sounds. I have very specific ideas on how something should sound, but I am not great on explaining, so I think that would help me to make the future songs even more sound like “myself”. Improving on my vocals is always my priority. I think there is always a way to learn something new or improve.

When I would stop learning and experimenting in new ways, I think I will be at the end as an artist, creativity would fade, so I am eager to experience new roads.

My Way is beautiful – do you remember how the parts of this song first came to you?

I know that I had a rough night, thinking about all the mental torture I was going through daily, and I couldn’t find sleep, I must have been like 13-14 years old at the time, (I didn’t told anyone about the things which were going on at school) and I just sat down with a pen and a piece of paper and wrote down my thoughts and emotions. Retrospectively I can see that I was guided always by my inner believe that the situation will get better as it is represented in the lyrics “I will never, never, never give up and “I will never louse hope”.

It wasn’t that big of a deal for me back then, but thinking about it now at 30, I feel kind of proud of how strong that kid was, even I felt worthless at the time. That’s why the vocals are so soft, maybe nearly sound board, showing that I had mentally no strength anymore and I felt weak and destroyed but still kept fighting.

What made you choose such an abstract and atmospherically intense Outro for this project?

I wanted to make sure that listeners understand that this album is just a chapter of my story, but there’s so much more to it. The narrative is still being written and there are other sides to my life. I know the way it sounds, doesn’t seem that hopeful, but I hope that people who struggle and listen to it, take away from it, that life changes and that no matter what you are so much more than all the negative things and that there is always a way no matter how dark it may seem, eventually light will come back into our lives.

Is there anything else we should know?

What I can say is that in June there will be a new lyric-video released, it’s a Remix of Something (I never said) including a feature-artist. Maybe there are also some more things planned for next year, as I stated in the Outro of my album, “Maybe this was not everything to my story…” 😉

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Find Lukas Makeswaran via his Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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