In their own lane


Merry Schlarman

Lane Fox with their various album art in the background.

The most beautiful thing about music is how it can make you feel. And every song can feel different. The lyrics and tone of the song might put into words exactly how you are feeling. When you shuffle music by “ratbeak,” you will get a variety of songs, each with a refreshing sound and voice. 


Lane Fox, 2020 KHS graduate, has been writing music since the summer of 2015. The name ‘ratbeak’ came to them through a Twitter handle. 


“I was making a Twitter account and trying to find a cool name,” Fox said. “I was trying different things but they were all taken and then I ended up doing ‘ratbeak’ because I was like ‘that sounds interesting, that sounds fun, that sounds a little quirky’ and it just stuck.”


Fox has music available on Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music. Established artists might take risks later on. Fox has more music out than people would expect for just being out of high school. They have four albums and five singles on Spotify. 


“My process changes. I’ll usually write a song just on guitar first because it works better for me,” Fox said. “I get a bass of a couple chords and then I’ll sing over that and come up with words. Then once I’ve put it into the computer I try to make it more interesting and mix it up and add layers.”


When asked, Fox listed Bismah Syed, 2020 KHS graduate, as one of their biggest supporters and close friends. Syed and Fox became friends at the end of ninth grade. Syed is minoring in art at Maryville University. 


“Lane and I have had a lot of conversations where I would pretty much tell them, ‘I know nothing about music so the fact that you make music and make it so well baffles my mind,” Syed said. “And Lane would always tell me, ‘Bismah, that’s how I feel about you and your artwork. I don’t even know how to begin to make the type of things that you do.’ And then, I’m like, ‘What? I just draw? That’s all I do. You create music, you write, and produce sound and it’s just so cool. We taught each other how to appreciate each other’s forms of art.”


The two met when Fox asked Syed to do art for an album cover.  Syed said she paid Lane to write a song about their friendship. She downloaded it on her phone and still listens to it often. 


They’re always striving to get better and I just think that’s so beautiful.”

— Bismah Syed


“Ever since I’ve known Lane, they have always been working on something new, even when they’re not working on fully-composed pieces. They’re always practicing and they’re always playing guitar. Every time I would just FaceTime them for fun, they would always already be on their computer or editing music or releasing it,” Syed said. “They’re always striving to get better and I just think that’s so beautiful. Especially for me, especially as an artist sometimes I just get burnt out and lose motivation completely, but Lane and their love for music is just so inspiring to me because it’s just something that they will always have.”


Fox said it sometimes feels weird to see people supporting them, because they put out music not necessarily expecting anyone to listen to it. Fox said they were happy when their song from Soundcloud was played on a student radio station in New York. They want to continue interacting with fans by doing live shows after the pandemic is over. 


I can put it on Spotify and Apple Music all I want but it’s better to play it live.”

— Lane Fox


“That’s kind of been the hardest part about quarantine is that I have all this music but I can’t go share it directly with people,” Fox said. “I can put it on Spotify and Apple Music all I want but it’s better to play it live.”


Fox said their music is inspired by artists in the genre of Hyperpop, such as 100 gecs and Fraxiom. This year Fox has learned what music they want to make and how best to share it with the world. They hope to continue making music and Fox said they can only go up from here. 


“I see myself working more and trying to consolidate into a single sound, but until then I’m just going to keep experimenting,” Fox said. “I’ve never released something I’m not proud of though.”