We had the good fortune of connecting with Norman Lake and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Norman, why did you pursue a creative career?
Though I’ve always been a creative at heart, I didn’t build my life around it till after I had gotten sober. For me it took losing all will to continue living, to realize I had to give up the habits and thinking that held me back. Now five years later, my songs are my journal, and every difficult emotion felt serves to create something beautiful and human. Creativity is a gift to the human experience, that allows us to contextualize whats overwhelming, and forge narratives that help us not judge the things we feel. Creating music turns my bad days into explorative ones, and documents my personal progress battling mental illness and addiction. My main hope, is that those who listen find catharsis from how it relates to their struggles as well.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For the music I create, I try not to focus on perfection but rather, communication. If I feel something and move past it, I want to take others on the same journey. At the end of January I released The Polaroid EP, a five song concept album about moving through the grief of a romance ending. I recorded the entire thing myself to four track tape, and played everything heard on the record aside from the cello (played by the talented Erik Chapmen). To date, it was the largest endeavors I’ve undertaken musically, and took up much of the pandemic. I also teamed up with an amazing group of close friends to create a two song music video for it that is available on youtube. I’ve had to learn to get out of my own way musically, and trust that I can accomplish what I set out to create. It’s at times an arduous process of mental gymnastics, but always pays off when I hear back a recording that effects me emotionally. If I could share any advice I learned from my own journey, it would be that weaknesses are strengths in development. Don’t judge mistakes, laugh and treat them as new information to help you succeed.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh man, I’d have to say that exploring Echo Park and Silverlake is a blast, as well as Hollywood and Santa Monica. There are a million places and cool businesses to get lost in all over L.A. But when you’re done with all that and need some peace, I love taking the 2 North up to Angeles Crest and sitting in the mountains. It’s crazy to me that somewhere so peaceful is so near the hustle and bustle of L.A.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to my family, and the myriad of close friends who care for and nourish my heart. I’ve been beyond privileged in my life to have the financial and emotional resources to overcome struggles that have taken the lives of many I know. I hope to always pay it forward. Also, big shoutout to Sammy Hinrichsen who helped me learn how to record myself to tape and find my voice in recording production.