Martynas Kazlauskas (artist name: I.AM.LUS) is a music producer, sound designer, and artist with a unique upbringing background. Born and raised in Vilnius, Lithuania, Martynas’ cultural heritage is a mixture of Uruguayan and Lithuanian influences. With his grandmother being from Uruguay, Martynas has experienced a different upbringing that has shaped his artistic journey. He has been passionately involved in producing music, creating various sounds in different genres for approximately seven years, constantly seeking interesting collaborations that encompass art, social issues, or simply captivating sonic adventures that makes life that much more thrilling.
Martynas draws inspiration from his personal realities and stories of coming to study audio technologies and experience different lifestyle for the second time abroad in Glasgow in hopes to finding a heavily needed creative spark to push himself throughout his late 20’s.
Having been involved in various bands and audio-based projects since 2017, Martynas has honed production techniques in a never-ending quest to pursue industry quality standards, originality, and authenticity.
“Sounds can be a great tool for personal and outside reflections of one’s experiences and emotions”
Musical transformation in Scotland U.K.
Martynas has noticed that many musicians and sound artists around him come from families of musicians, but his own story diverges from this pattern.
“I am the first musician/sound artist in my family, which is quite unusual. My mother wanted to be a pianist when she was young. However, growing up in communist Lithuania, she was unable to have a piano in our house. I discovered my passion for sounds/music quite by accident. When I was in a hospital as a child my mother bought in a flea market a tape cassette of the very first Gorillaz album and, since then, by pure accident, I was exposed to intriguing and experimental music that never got out of my subconscious. So, in a way, the seed for passion of audio was woken up by a non-musical family.”
Before coming to Glasgow for his studies, Martynas primarily composed within his bedroom using minimal setup tools cause, according to Martynas, simplicity breeds creativity. The audio software applications became like a video game that helped to express much more than initially thought. Throughout the creative career, Martynas was challenged to explore and create music more freely by his friends and a few collaborators available at the time.
“I had just a few colleagues who were into electronic music, but the local audio artist scene was quite small. It was difficult to find collaborators or just people to have some creative sessions. I needed to explore different possibilities and locations. After finishing political studies and working at a few IT support companies, I finally got enough courage and money to leave Lithuania and start studying again a subject that I am passionate about in Glasgow Scotland without much overthinking.” The overall experience in this city was quite an unexpected one. Being known for its lively music scene, Martynas still has struggled to find local longer-term collaborators (especially native ones) but due to cultural diversity of Glasgow, Martynas had a chance to connect with artists who has diverse upbringing and cultures (example.: South Africa, Romania, Ukraine, etc. This actually helped to inspire different audio and production projects and methods which derive from a sense of the idea of “differential belongings” and actually embracing it.
Looking back towards Lithuania
Martynas does not identify as a migrant; he has never embraced this label as part of his identity. However, moving from Lithuania with the infusion of Uruguayan culture provided him with a fresh creative perspective.
“I don’t let my background define me to a great extent. Sometimes, I can feel its influence, especially when I engage with my heritage.”
“My Lithuanian and Uruguayan background has influenced my creativity and project in various ways, even in my regular music, sound design productions. I find myself incorporating traditional scales, more obscure samples, etc. from Lithuanian and Uruguayan heritage.”