Interview | Singer/musician Coldabank speaks about fluid sexuality and hoping to work with Robyn

The singer identifies as straight but says we're all on a spectrum if the right person comes along


Emerging London-based hitmaker, Coldabank released his new single, 'Los Angeles', on Friday (September 14). 

In an exclusive interview with Attitude, Coldabank - whose real name is Joachim Walker - talks about what the LGBT+ community means to him and which artists he would love to work with in the future.

Although he identifies as straight, the singer/musician says there is still a long way to go for sexuality to be accepted in every day society but hopes we will get there soon.

Your new single Los Angeles is out now. What do you think/hope the reception is from your fans?

I think they’ll be happy to hear from me, as it’s been a little while. I know I’m happy to be back! It’s a bit of a new sound from me, I’m making more of my vocals, and the song is more about the story than before, so I guess hope that existing fans will connect with that.

You said the song is from your own experience of being on tour but said anyone in love could relate. Was there a specific person in mind when you wrote and produced the song? Have you ever been in love?

Yes there is a specific person in mind. I have been in love, and the greatest one of my life recently ended, so a lot of my songs are about her.

You run your own company as well as travelling all over, do you ever have time for yourself?

Yeh I think so ha. I mean, it’s kind of all time for myself, because my music and my work is an extension of me. Outside of that, I like to run to switch off. Occasionally I watch a movie or something, but my attention span is poor so I rarely get to the end!

You’ve worked with a lot of pop royalty including Charli XCX and Rudimental. Who was the best person you’ve worked with?

I came up engineering for Labrinth, and also toured as part of his live show. That guy is so immensely talented it is unreal. Those years working with him were invaluable, creatively and personally I learned a lot. 

Is there anyone you would love to work with? Would we ever see a collaboration happening?

Yeh, so many people. I’m a huge Calvin Harris fan and think that could be an awesome collab. I’d also love to be featured or sampled by Drake or Kanye. That would be wild. Oooh, one more, Robyn is outrageous and a huge influence! She nails the sad-but-uplifting dance song, which I love.

You identify as straight but as a good-looking guy, you must have a big LGBT following. How has the LGBT community helped with your career?

I have a lot of DJ friends who are part of the community. I think there is an undeniable intrinsic link between dance music and LGBT culture, and I owe a lot to that scene in terms of influential producers and artists too. In terms of following, I’m not sure if I have a particularly large LGBT fanbase, but I am keen to get out there and find out!

What does the LGBT community mean to you? 

Love, freedom and self expression all come to mind. I just think that the community is, by its nature, home to some of the most liberated and forward thinking minds on the planet.

You told us that you are “straight (for now)”, what does that mean?

I would say I identify as straight, but I do think sexuality is quite a fluid thing. There's a spectrum we’re all on. I’m newly single and if someone is beautiful, they are beautiful, you know?

Do you feel that gender and sexual fluidity is becoming more accepted in every day society?

Obviously, I cannot say too much from first hand experience, but I like to think things are slowly going in the right direction. That said, I still hear about some awful adversity faced by people in the community which really scares me. There is a long way to go, but the conversation is getting louder, and awareness is a huge part of acceptance in my opinion.

Some of the LGBT artists we have spoken to have mentioned steps they had to take get their careers going including hiding their sexuality. Do you think that the music industry will always advise upcoming artists to hide their sexuality?

This is something I certainly think is improving. Again, obviously I can only speak from my own perspective, but look at Troye Sivan. Young, openly gay and at the top of his game. I think the way the music industry is at the moment, artists voices have the potential to be louder and they can have more control than ever. I like to think the puppet pop star is a dying breed, and hopefully with that, being told by your label to hide who you are will become a thing of the past as well. I’m not naive enough to think that mindset is extinct yet, but I hope it can be one day soon.

You tweeted that you took a break from writing, why did you need the break?

A mixture of things, its been a strange summer. Preparing for my release was a big part of it. Doing it independently means spending more time looking over the business side of things as well as creating. Also I have been moving house which kept me out of the studio for a bit. I always seem to create in bursts. I’m excited to get back into writing mode and see what comes out though.

You use social media to speak to your fans directly and even asked them to  vote for their favourite  cover artwork, do you think social media has improved the music industry?

Yeh I had some fun with the artwork on this one. I gave some travel photographs to my designer at Everyone’s Favourite, and he came back with so many good options for artwork that I couldn’t make a decision, so I put it to the public! It’s cool to be able to get an instant reaction from your fans like that. I think the term 'improved' might simplify things a little, but social media has definitely had a huge impact on the music industry. I think there are good and bad sides to it, but it is certainly a new normal and you have to adapt to survive. Overall, it allows direct connection between an artist and fans, and I think that is very positive. There is a darker side to social media in that people portray their best selves and that can be dangerous, but I like to think we’re all learning how it can be used for the greater good.

Listen to 'Los Angeles' below: