What We Can Learn From Steve Lacy

The multi-talented 19 year old from The Internet has taught us many things in such a short amount of time.

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Steve Lacy is best known for his beat making as a member of The Internet, and co-executive produced their 2015 album Ego Death while he was in highschool - most of which he created and recorded on his iPhone.

Lacy is a talented guitarist and vocalist (as if his list of achievements wasn’t long enough), and in February 2017 he released a demo with six songs which was very well received. its smooth fusion of funk, soul and indie rock created a winning combination that saw tunes like ‘Dark Red’ rise to popularity.

At the age of 17 he was already a part of The Internet, but still wanted to finish school before touring with the group. In March 2016 the band playfully tweeted “For the 3728826 time lol... @stevelacys is finishing school and won't be joining us on tour until Bonnaroo.”

In an interview with Fader he revealed that he was unknowingly producing Ego Death whilst still at school, “That was me fooling around. I had no idea i was co-executive producing an album.” An album that was nominated for a Grammy Award.

And now, he’s being head hunted for his producing ability, having produced for the likes of J. Cole on ‘4 Your Eyez Only’, and Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Pride’ from the album DAMN.

So what can we learn we learn from Steve Lacy?

 

Collaborative abilities:

Lacy has amazing collaborative abilities. Being able to listen, digest and make minute changes to tracks that you’ve never heard before isn’t easy, and in saying that, making changes to tracks that you’ve already listened to a thousand times is probably even harder!

Lacy gleaned his collaborative efforts from band mates like Jameel Bruner - who originally introduced him to the band when Lacy was in 9th grade, and people he met along the way such as Syd Tha Kyd, Matt Martians and former bandmate Tay Smith.

 

If you love it, it’s not a chore:

Lacy would never call anything ‘work’. Be that producing, songwriting or recording. He’s ‘making beats’ and he’s damn good at it. If the final years of highschool didn’t impede on his ability to make sick beats, then we know for sure that nothing is slowing this 19 year old down.

 

Try and make do with what you’ve got:

When Lacy was younger he used his iPhone 5 to make beats on rudimentary beat-making apps. These days he has upgraded to an iPhone 6, along with new apps, but it’s still his first port of call before studio equipment.

 

Find what works for you:

When it comes to the creative process, it’s all down to the individual. No one’s brain is wired the same, and hence no one’s creative process is the same. Lacy doesn’t take himself too seriously and is known to goof around, because to him, brainstorming and being creative isn’t about sitting in a circle clicking pens.

All up, Steve Lacy is just challenging what people think a musician is, or what a musician should be. Lacy has learnt everything he knows along the way, as nothing was planned, and he intends to keep it that way. He will continue to use his iPhone and GarageBand for as long as possible.

Who would’ve thought we could learn so much about a creative process from a 19 year old with an iPhone?

Keep reading. Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.

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