For any artist, fame is a double-edged sword. As the process of making art will always inherit a level of publicity, artists are continually faced with attention from those who feed off notoriety: people who had never looked twice in your direction are suddenly your biggest fans the moment your work reaches into the world. On her latest single, Lara D cancels the clout chasers and takes her rightful place amongst hip-hop’s greats.
I’m Not is as much a coronation as it is a catharsis. The Sydney-based singer cleanses herself of the toxic people who attempt to wagon off her success, whilst also melting generations of hip-hop into a neon ascension. It’s a song for the ages.
On her latest single, Lara D is focused, determined, and ready for greatness. I’m Not in an anthem for every artist navigating the demands of notoriety, set against addictive RnB beats.
Lara D is no stranger to the spotlight. With appearances on The Voice 2018 and 2019 already under her belt, the 17-year-old singer/songwriter has been captivating audiences for years with her powerful voice. The ability to translate deep, messy emotions within celestial notes has gained her a whole lot of attention from industry’s greats, yet this is where her whole message in I’m Not lies.
Screen-time has drawn the inauthentic toward her like moths to a flame, it’s a trial that faces everyone in the industry. However, Lara D knows exactly where her priorities lay; loving the people who have stood beside her all along, ignoring the toxicity, and continuing to craft RnB masterpieces.
“The story behind the song is, you knew me for a long time and took no notice of me and didn’t give gave the time of day, but now that I’m on TV and people are noticing me and my success, and now you want to become my friend and buy me a coffee ‘No Thanks’,” the singer explains.
Sonically, I’m Not (co-written by Sammi Constantine and produced by Cyrus Villanueva) blends spacial acoustic guitar, otherworldly vocals, and a bass line that will make your heart melt. It’s a triumph of the singer’s talent for storytelling unfurled within the velvety walls of RnB. While her influences of Russ, Camilla Cabello, Summer Walker, and Kiana Lede all shine through in her sound, the end result is distinctly Lara’s.
“When people, teenagers especially, listen to my music, I want them to feel like they have the world in their hands, like they can do anything, feel like a boss,” she reveals about her music.
The video for I’m Not takes you on a journey through RnB’s generational aesthetics. We see the vibrancy of the ‘80s, the earthiness of the ‘90s, and sultriness of the ‘00s and ‘10s all blended into a neon-tinted masterpiece.
You could argue that it’s Lara marking her place in the palace of genre. Taking a seat on her wicker throne, she tells us that she’s made it, she did what she came to do, but she’s still the same person. Therefore, if you’re trying to mess with her to feed off of her career, think again.
The entire aesthetic of the video lends itself directly to the mood of I’m Not. Sweltering beats ravelled into an addictive track, all glazed off with Lara’s celestial vocals, it’s a song that will have you pressing repeat for days.
With five hit singles in tow and over 3.6 million streams to her name, there’s no slowing down this powerhouse.
“The more people I reach, the more people can enjoy the music I make, and the more people may be influenced positively by it,” Lara states about the intentions behind her music. “Over the next year, an important goal for me is to have a larger fanbase than current, an album or two released and strategic moves established that setup new goals for the years that come after.”
Check out I’m Not here.