Lakookala Will Take You “Outside of Your Body” With Electrifying New Single

Get ready for a show-stopping musical experience, because we’re about to dive into the vibrant wonderland of Lakookala! She recently dropped her introspective track “Outside of Your Body,” a vulnerable look at her mindset in the pandemic era that anyone who’s been dealing with anxiety, depression, or a similar circumstance can relate to.

“It is very much a journal piece to the various ways that I have coped in life as a form of survival, that are both healthy and unhealthy, while dealing with depressive episodes,” Lakookala, whose real name is Nicole Ranalli, tells TREMG. “‘Outside of Your Body’ is about mental fitness and mental health. This looks different for everyone, and is something we need to talk more about during a difficult time in the world… ‘OOYB’ is a message to dance and love yourself, regardless of your circumstance, whether you are stuck at home alone in your room, or dancing it off and partying with friends.”

“Outside of Your Body” arrives alongside a playful music video, seeing Lakookala dancing alongside a puppet mascot while getting in tune with her physical form and staying present in the moment. It makes the dark emotions of the song feel a little more upbeat, turning it into a party celebrating her progress and the fact that she’s certainly not alone in what she’s going through.

“I grew up in the 80’s and that was a very workout/body/diet culture era,” she explains. “I was obsessed with Olivia Newton John’s ‘Let’s Get Physical’ as a child, and as an artist, I often think of my earliest views of women in culture and on MTV, especially. My great friend and amazing artist – Cojo – and I have been wanting to collaborate for a while and this was the perfect song to utilize his fun and bright puppet art. We discussed ‘Let’s Get Physical,’ various 80’s dance videos, and of course, we studied and referenced Jane Fonda workout videos for some moves.”

Nicole’s music stands out as both experimental in sound and lyrical content. “Outside of Your Body” draws from angsty punk without feeling too heavy, while the music video is a more abstract depiction of the feelings she describes. She emphasizes mental health and vulnerability with everything she releases, making her discography feel like a blanket of comfort and an assuring conversation with a friend rather than being “just’ music. 

This creativity and focus on emotion carries over into her visual art as well – most recently, she’s been collaborating with fellow artist Jillian Adel on two paintings, which received a spotlight at the Brewery Artwalk gallery in Los Angeles.

“Jillian is a friend of mine, and we are bonded over many things, including our love of music and art,” Nicole shares. “Those paintings were also fully collaborative, we put on music that we both like and just went to town creating those paintings. I actually started painting as a way to flex other creative muscles and to keep myself in a creative space between working on music. My various art projects include paintings, recycled drum head art, installations, photography, music videos, and more. Both my art process and music process inspire each other.”

(c) Jillian Adel on Twitter

If “Outside of Your Body” is any indication, Lakookala will be inspiring countless others with her own art, unapologetically refusing to be anything other than who she truly is. You can find “Outside of Your Body” on your favorite streaming services now, and get to know Nicole on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and her official website! Keep reading for more from our interview with this boundary-pushing artist.

Photo via Present PR.

Congrats on your new single, “Outside of Your Body!” How does it feel to let the song out into the world?

Thank you. It feels good, exciting, and somewhat vulnerable to share this song with the world. Even with the dance party punk aesthetics, lyrically this song is very personal to me.

Is there a certain lyric on “Outside of Your Body” that’s especially meaningful for you? 

The entire verse in this song was written in one stream of consciousness, so honestly, it is all meaningful to me. I think if I had to choose my favorite line it would be “all love outside of the body.” “All love outside of the body” refers to the joy of escape, the mental fantasy space, and at the same time, the outward obsession with the physical body. It’s a simple line but wraps up the whole song and idea. 

What does “Outside of Your Body” mean for you?

It is very much a journal piece to the various ways that I have coped in life as a form of survival, that are both healthy and unhealthy, while dealing with depressive episodes. “Outside of Your Body” is about mental fitness and mental health. This looks different for everyone, and is something we need to talk more about during a difficult time in the world. Dancing is a way that I honor myself and take up space. It helps me to be in my body physically, but also, leave my body and mind at the same time. I think when people go through hard times, they think they should dance less, or deserve less happiness. “OOYB” is a message to dance and love yourself, regardless of your circumstance, whether you are stuck at home alone in your room, or dancing it off and partying with friends.

Who were some of your influences on the sound of “Outside of Your Body?”

I listen to a wide range of music. In general, OOYB was inspired by a mix of various 80’s pop, post-punk, and 90’s hip-hop. I’m also a huge fan of Kim Gordon and have been listening to her projects since I first started loving music. Soundwise, I have been very inspired by her most recent solo work. I was also a vocalist in a heavy punk band when I started playing music. While I have gotten arguably more chill through the years, I really wanted to rip a song blending my original raw, punk sound with my newer sonic abilities as a music producer.

The “Outside of Your Body” music video is the ultimate 80s workout vibe, complete with colorful puppets and vibrant lighting. How did you come up with the concept and what was it like on set?

Yeah, it is! I grew up in the 80’s and that was a very workout/body/diet culture era. I was obsessed with Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical” as a child, and as an artist, I often think of my earliest views of women in culture and on MTV, especially. My great friend and amazing artist – Cojo – and I have been wanting to collaborate for a while and this was the perfect song to utilize his fun and bright puppet art. We discussed “Let’s Get Physical,” various 80’s dance videos, and of course, we studied and referenced Jane Fonda workout videos for some moves. 

The set was very small, this was a collaboration between us fully. It was Cojo, myself, a make-up artist, and a friend. It was fun and completely DIY, I did all the dance choreography on the spot. We danced straight for 5 – 6 hours, and while I was sweaty and exhausted, it couldn’t have been harder than Cojo doing sick moves in a puppet costume. We are so proud of how fun and silly the juxtapositional visuals came together with the song lyrics.

How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist and a person since releasing your Hang On EP in 2018?

Hang On EP was the last project I had done, tracking the whole thing in a studio with an engineer.  The last two singles that I released before “Outside of Your Body” – “Lonely Summer” and “The Wrong Places” – were the first time I produced my entire project, tracking most things at home and I even did the mixing of those songs. My sound has changed a LOT since Hang On because of this. I have more control over my sounds as a producer and used my experience as an audio engineer to create my new style. I will always hold Hang On EP in my heart, but am so happy to share my new music with the world, which I have worked on quietly since that EP.

You recently worked on two collaborative paintings with Jillian Adel, and they’re absolutely stunning! Do you get inspired by the same things for both your music and visual art?

Thank you so much! Jillian is a friend of mine, and we are bonded over many things, including our love of music and art. Those paintings were also fully collaborative, we put on music that we both like and just went to town creating those paintings. I actually started painting as a way to flex other creative muscles and to keep myself in a creative space between working on music. My various art projects include paintings, recycled drum head art, installations, photography, music videos, and more. Both my art process and music process inspire each other.  I find that the painting part is so meditative that it allows me to feel happy and free, and that absolutely inspires me with making music. Stylistically, they both come from the same personal vein. 

We at TREMG love getting to know new artists who haven’t gotten the success or attention they deserve. Who are some of your favorite underrated artists at the moment?

There are so many great artists, and as a lifelong punk artist, I get to meet and see so many that are underrated. To speak currently, some of the artists in Los Angeles that I have been watching and loving are The Mod Pods, D’Leau, and All Souls.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention that the questions didn’t touch on?

No, I think this wraps it up! Thank you so much, Madison. I very much appreciate the interview and I look forward to speaking with you again. Warmly, Nicole Ranalli aka Lakookala.

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Madison Murray View All →

Hi! I’m Madison Murray, a pop culture and music writer who also loves writing about lifestyle and fashion. I have credits on sites like TREMG, The Honey POP, Genius, Young Hollywood, and Audible Addixion, as well as my own Melodic Musings blog. Find me on socials @madisonmwrites!

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