Steve Lacy gives the TedxTeen audience some insight into his creative process.
You may not be super familiar with his name, but producer/singer-songwriter Steve Lacy is one of music's fastest rising stars. His contributions to Kendrick Lamar's hit record DAMN. and The Internet's Ego Death earned him multiple Grammy nominations and, while you'd think a creative mind of his prowess would be surrounded by the latest and greatest technology, that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, he revels in making music from what seems to be a rather bare setup.
In a recent TedxTeen talk that he gave in New York, Lacy detailed how, while originally pined for a Macbook Pro as a Christmas gift, since he perceived that to be the tool of choice for many of the industry's best creative minds, it was upon receiving an iPod Touch that he began to fully unlock his potential as a producer.
"It was an iPod 5th generation Touch and from there, I started to explore music apps like iMPC, BeatMaker 2, GarageBand, and all that sort… I’ve discovered these apps and I’m exploring this world of sound with this little device in my pocket and I realized that I didn’t necessarily need what I thought I did. From there, I just started pressing stuff and figuring it out and just getting some really, really bad beats out at first before I found the piece called the iRig. That’s when I started to combine my knowledge on what a drum beat was along with my guitar playing skills and bass."
Besides Kendrick Lamar, Steve Lacy has also worked with the likes of Goldlink, on their track "Some Girl," as well as J. Cole, on "Foldin' Clothes." His phone-made demos have gotten him some important industry attention and garnered a lot of critical praise in the process so, for aspiring artists, the lesson should be this: you don't necessarily need the biggest, most expensive toys to create important, meaningful work.