Normally if you’re in a band at the age of 17 it's usually formed with your friends who can’t stand school and need some sort of creative outlet other than generic sports. So you start strumming a guitar and your fellow skiving friends also pick up a few instruments... et voila, you’re the new Queen.
Or you could be like Steve Lacy who was invited to join neo-soul band The Internet and play in front of unimaginable crowds. That would be preferable.
Learning how to play the guitar aged seven, due to his undeniable love for Guitar Hero, he has excelled from the world of virtual artististry into a magnetic driving force in the music industry. Fast forward a few years, he meets former member of The Internet, Jameel Bruner, who also happens to be the younger brother of Thundercat.
They get acquainted while attending jazz band at high school, and Steve begins producing music in a very unconventional way - using his iPhone. With a device called an iRig, the Compton native begins producing music that would happen to be The Internet’s third studio album, 'Ego Death' almost entirely on GarageBand.
Now aged 21, Steve Lacy is one of the most talked about names when it comes to genre-breaking dynamics as well as production. The release of Grammy-nominated 'Ego Death' created huge prominence for Steve and with his own personal fanbase slowly but surely increasing off of this buzz, Steve lends a hand by penning tracks for his band member’s individual solo projects.
Then, cue the release of Steve’s song series, Steve Lacy’s Demo. This solo project ignited a concept that Steve Lacy was a worthy contender in the face off between talented artists. A 13 minute encounter that spewed crowd favourites such as ‘Dark Red’ and ‘Some’, the project was the perfect introduction and demonstration of this young man’s skills.
Infusing R&B with aspects of Indie Rock and Jazz, Steve Lacy created a sound that is incomparable in the industry today and is evident through deep cuts such as his features, own songs and production.
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This song which premiered on Steve’s Soundcloud back in 2015 was Steve’s first release after his new found fame in The Internet. Raking up 3.3 million plays, the song was a perfect introduction for those wondering ‘who's the new guitar player in The Internet?’
With heavy indie influences with a speckle of R&B, if anyone was still questioning who Steve Lacy was, this serves as a substantial example of Steve’s signature style.
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Featured on Tyler, The Creator’s fourth studio album 'Flower Boy', Steve lent his voice for the bridge of this song. Listening to the track, Steve fits in perfectly as he pleads for a phone call from his love.
Accompanied with Anna Of The North’s adlib of ‘ring, ring, ring’ this song temporarily lost possession from a Tyler, The Creator song to a Steve Lacy hit for a period of 20 seconds.
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The outro to The Internet’s album 'Ego Death' starts off as one of those chill party bangers that finally gets everyone off the couch and onto the dancefloor. Then enters Steve Lacy serenading to his love interest and how he’s under her wretched curse.
With Syd providing heavenly ad lib vocals, it proved that Steve fitted perfectly in this group and had quite an effect on the group as the album was nominated for a Grammy and still remains their most successful album to date.
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Executive producer of the 'Crush' EP this featured on, Ravyn Lenae’s ‘Sticky’ was the standout track. Receiving radio play across the globe and featuring in numerous television shows including HBO’s Insecure, Steve Lacy’s production helped bring Ravyn further into the spotlight.
Embracing her maturity within the track, Steve also helped write the track which brought disco back to Generation Z.
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His most recent collaboration is that with critically acclaimed rock band Vampire Weekend. Considering Steve’s influences of indie and rock in his music, this came as a surprise but not a huge shock. The song exhumes a feeling of being in the 60s and not having a care in the world, which is probably most 21-year-old musicians feel.
It also shows that Steve continuously connected to his roots, original sound and non-conformation. Diving in between genres and still managing to retain and inject his original sound into different collaborations demonstrates the capability and talent of this young man.
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Steve Lacy's debut album ‘Apollo XXI’ is out now.
Words: Debbie Ijaduola // @debbiesthuglife
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