Life & Culture

The Larry Clark Muse Turning His Hand to Music

Skater, actor and singer Lukas Ionesco speaks to Another Man as he releases his debut solo EP

  • TextTom Connick
  • PhotographySarah Piantadosi
  • StylingEllie Grace Cumming

Born and raised in the shadows of Paris’ Montmartre church, in an area otherwise known for its bustling nightlife, Lukas Ionesco was always defined by contrast. Now a star in the making, the skater-boy-turned-heartfelt-songwriter is finding the perfect balance between his various creative talents.

Brought up by a musician father and a filmmaker mother, Lukas’ life was crammed full of creativity from the off. “I grew up like this,” he says. “They’d teach me music, and I’d watch a lot of movies from a very young age. I don’t think I chose this life – it was just natural.” His father’s music room, which was packed full of guitars, pianos and assorted other instruments, became a haven for a young Lukas, who would hide away and teach himself how to play whatever he could find.

A later, teenage love of punk drew him to guitar bands and skateboarding – an early obsession which would fuel his career as he reached his twenties. Cast in Larry Clark’s The Smell Of Us (2014), an intimate portrait of a young Parisian skater, Lukas found himself leaping to the top of ‘cool lists’ across the globe. His punk-rock band DIAPERPIN suddenly went from a hobby job to music blog royalty, and his cultural stock rose dramatically.

These days, Lukas’ music couldn’t be further from the Bad Brains worship of his past outlets. Rich in storytelling and musical ability, he’s eschewed the spray paint approach of DIAPERPIN for a deeper, more watercolour expression. The likes of Sold My Life are heavy in a different way – an intimate portrait of modern romance, told with a classic songwriter’s outlook.

“After the Larry Clark movie, I was feeling really bad,” he reveals. “I was already listening to punk, and DIAPERPIN was too much energy and pain. Very quickly, like six months after that, I wanted something more calm and more private.” Hiding away once more, he began penning more soulful tunes under his own name. “I wanted something more... deep,” he says. “But, when I say that – on my EP, the last song is a punk song!” he breaks off with a laugh. “I still love both.”

It’s not just punk that creeps its way in – Lukas’ filmic past is apparent throughout his music, too. One look at the stunning, cinema-ready music video for Sold My Life is proof that he’s embracing the blockbuster world he made his name in. “Both worlds, they group together,” he insists. He explains that his new EP is heavily influenced by Western cinema like Midnight Cowboy – an inspiration that becomes apparent as the sun-kissed beachside romance of Sold My Life’s video develops. There’s more of that tale to come, too, but he’s tight-lipped – “I’m very proud,” he laughs, nervously.

As he moves forward, towards further releases and success in the music and movie-making businesses, Lukas is keen to keep his feet on the ground, despite his otherworldly creative mind. He’s insistent, too that he’s keeping all those doors open, for now. “Maybe in a few years I’ll know whether I want to just be a musician, or in the movies, or whatever,” he says. “But now, I’ve only just started.”

DIRECTOR Sarah Piantadosi STYLING Ellie Grace Cumming TALENT Lukas Ionesco VIDEOGRAPHER/EDITING Glen Travis MUSIC Discovery by Eddie The Wheel HAIR Mark Hampton @ Julian Watson Agency using Davines MAKEUP Lotten Holmqvist @ Management +Artists SET DESIGN Miguel Bento @ Streeters PHOTOGRAPHIC ASSISTANTS Ben Breading, Dan Douglass, Barney Curran STYLING ASSISTANTS Jordan Duddy, Lauren Perrin