When it comes to breakup songs, it’s almost mandatory to take a dig at a past lover.
However, Malaysian synth-pop artiste Samuel Lopez – the man behind the solo project Lost Spaces – is taking a different approach with his latest album OCPY (pronounced “occupied”), which expresses gratitude towards his ex for the time they had spent together.
The eight-track album details the story of Lopez’s own heartbreak in three chapters.
“The album goes through the entire relationship from how we came together to how we drifted apart and how everything ended with us going our separate ways.
“I wanted to build a story around the entire relationship for this album and not make it a ‘we broke up, so screw you’ kind of thing or an album that is full of malice,” Lopez said in an interview with StarLifestyle.
The artiste added that although he found solace in pouring out all his emotions into the album, he was initially hesitant to tell his story as it felt too personal.
“After much thought, I felt that it was necessary for me to recognise that there’s nothing more I could do to change anything and that I have to move on.
“That was when I decided to use this record as a way for me to heal and move forward,” he shared.
Lopez said that releasing OCPY is the bravest he’s ever been yet.
Lopez’s interest in pursuing music started after he attended his first music festival in Singapore where he was wowed by performances from indie bands like Battles, The Internet and Thundercat.
He then formed Lost Spaces in 2016 with four other members.
“Back then, I lacked confidence and was not comfortable with putting myself out there, and a band is a nice shield to hide behind.
“But over the years, I realised that people are drawn to the humanity of a person and I knew then that I needed to stop hiding,” shared the singer.
Influenced by bands like HalfNoise, Seoul, and Toro Y Moi, Lost Spaces started playing shows around Klang Valley in 2017.
Then in 2019, the group had one of its biggest gigs when it served as the opening act for Korean indie rock band Hyukoh and played at the Good Vibes Festival.
Its album, No-vacancy, also achieved success – registering over 23 million streams to date.
According to Lopez in an interview with sevenpie.com, it was during the early phase of the lockdown in 2020 that the members became “disconnected” as they couldn’t meet up.
He added that many things have changed, but he always remained a constant.
“We later had a conversation and my bandmates felt that it made sense for me to go solo and be Lost Spaces as the songs were telling my story.
“I also wrote and produced the songs with other producers so we didn’t really write as a band either.
“We had maybe two or three songs where we shared the same synergy but most of the time, it was just me and the producers.
“My bandmates had other jobs and I was the only one doing music full-time, so that’s also another factor that made Lost Spaces go the solo route,” he told StarLifestyle.
Although Lost Spaces is now a solo project, Lopez clarified that he still does and will continue doing live gigs with his former bandmates.
“It is just a shift of me becoming Lost Spaces myself and owning my story and telling it through my lens,” he added.
When asked if he still struggles with expressing himself, Lopez admitted that he does, though it’s not as bad as before.
“I still have this fear of being perceived which is why I don’t really enjoy being online and posting about myself.
“But I later understood that if I wanted to make music my living, there are aspects I have to take into account such as branding, how my music goes out and how I market myself.
“What I truly desire is to one day come to a place where I no longer care about perfection and just be myself,” he said.