Strangely alien, yet comfortably familiar
Through the original worlds that their music explores, LAIKIPIA has developed a distinct sound, combining a unique blend of harmony-driven storytelling, hypnotizing dance floor beats, and melody-rich instrumentals.
LAIKIPIA is a transatlantic electronic music duo made up of Xander Rawlins and Taylor Harrison. Xander is a UK born singer-songwriter and producer who writes from the heart, inspired by his travels and experiences. During his time as a Captain in the Grenadier Guards, he appeared in the BAFTA Award-winning series “Our War”, which followed his time as a Platoon Commander in Afghanistan. Taylor is an LA-native artist/producer and multi-instrumentalist; inspired by his love of fantasy and science fiction, his sound paints pathways to other worlds.
Together, the duo dedicates their time to exploring different ways in which stories can be told. Constantly blending acoustic, electronic and vocal elements to build a soundscape that acts almost visually. “The characters, environments, colours and stories that have become our music videos and artwork have all come from the recording process,” Xander confides, sharing, “I was doing an excellent job of losing my mind in Los Angeles, isolated and disjointed from reality. LAIKIPIA made sense of the insanity and created a beautiful place to focus my creative energy. I was desperate to build something, and the camaraderie and focus that came from working with Tay was a lifesaver.”
The duo creates music true to themselves; Strangely alien, yet comfortably familiar, their music welcomes all ears, completely disregarding the walls between genres. Their latest album All Hail Hyperion is the epitome of staying true to yourself. With no restrictions to any musical themes, the storytellers allowed their minds to naturally wander, simply following the concept of truth and making music that feels true, genuine and natural, without being bound by genre or fitting within a box. Taylor shares, “We just wanted to make music that flows out of our minds without forcing it in any specific direction. While the tracks end up extremely different, we’re confident that they can feel united in one body of work through elements outside of “genre”. We see all songs existing within one cohesive “sonic universe” that we call LAIKIPIA.”
Allowing listeners to have a glimpse into their fantastical universe, All Hail Hyperion, touches on an amalgamation of themes, with songs reflecting inspiration, helplessness, peace, rage and everything in between. Xander reveals, “A semi-fictional world “based on a true story”. The theme is that of a journey through life. The highs and lows, the successes and failures, madness and sanity. Each song has its own story and there are threads that connect them all. They all come from personal experience and reflect on the different aspects of life that have had the greatest impact on us individually and together.”
Taylor continues, “Life presents so many facets that affect us in so many ways, and we don’t like to be limited in tone.” From the totally infectious “The Hits Keep Coming”, a relatable song about life’s continuous punches, to the imaginative “Elephant Man” which speaks of a creature who explores the LAIKIPIA land amidst evil and his observations on the destruction of the natural world at the hands of men. There is truly something to resonate with listeners from all walks of life.
As if their lyrical themes and sonic exploration wasn’t enough, LAIKIPIA’s visual components further transport audiences into the depths of their universe. With each song comes a meticulously planned, designed and executed video, showcasing the duo’s unique ability to bring their artistry to life.
Formed out of the desire to make unrestricted and undefined music, the duo has garnered over 5.5 million streams on Spotify alone. LAIKIPIA has performed at prestigious venues across Los Angeles and had multiple placements on TV shows including the number 1 Netflix show, Ginny & Georgia.