Artist Name: Lucas S.
Song Title: Made It
Release Date: 25th January 2019
My name is Lucas and I’m an R&B, Soul, Pop Singer/Songwriter solo artist from London. I have an eclectic taste in music so I’ll listen to pretty much anything. Listening to these different styles of music helps me to creatively write better songs, have a better production behind me, and be more innovative in this ever-changing industry.
My style of music is a mix of old 90’s R&B to modern R&B, Pop, and Old Soul!
My vocals are inspired by my favorite artists from Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder through to Mary. J Blige, Ne-Yo, Usher, and Justin Timberlake, to name a few.
I am planning on releasing my second EP very soon as all the songs are written and just need recording now which is one of my favorite processes and my music video is currently out in the meantime on my YouTube channel.
Discuss your music process and recording in full detail.
The way I create music is all from self-experience, so any event, moment, anything that has happened to me in my life that conjures a strong feeling or emotion whether it is love, pain, depression, anxiety, happiness, excitement, etc. then I usually put those feelings down to paper and I create a story to the song. It can be made up or it can be an actual event that has happened either exaggerated or slightly edited to suit the song.
I then come together with my producer where we sit on the piano or guitar to come up with a melody and then add the beat together going through particular instrumentation or sounds that work effectively to what I’m trying to portray or describe to the audience.
If he wants to add any writing or any ideas that he has to the song then it’s all open for that to happen as this is the collaborative fusion that I believe works best between an artist and producer that understand each other’s abilities and get where they’re coming from to form the most effective song possible.
Discuss how you get involved in music.
There are many aspects of music I get involved in whether it is songwriting, vocals, hook writer or production. I try to get myself involved in all things so that I learn and understand more about the process to better myself as a musician.
I got into music at a very low stage in my life to which I realized that I needed to put all this pain and anxiousness in my head down on paper and sing it out. It was then I realized my purpose as a songwriter and a singer.
Elaborate on the secret to success.
I think the secret to success is dependent on the person that you are, I think if people know and understand that you are a trustworthy, caring individual who means well then that will show in your music and skill as a songwriter and singer.
All people connect on an emotional level and if you hit those right buttons then I think you set off a wave amongst the world.
You should be innovative, different, and care first and foremost about the music; that should show in your music and connect to the audience.
In today’s world, though it truly does help to know the right people and have luck involved, you can be the best songwriter, producer, singer, etc. in the world but none of it is worth it when you don’t have the right people backing you or the right person to invest their time into you and help you get there.
Discuss how you distribute your music.
I distribute my music on a platform called TuneCore and through that platform, I can directly at the same time have all my music out on any streaming service platform available at any time I want: Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Napster, YouTube, etc., it all gets put on the biggest streaming services at once.
Describe your vocal ability.
My vocal ability is a mix of 90’s R&B, Soul, and Pop. I grew up in the ’90s at a time where R&B, my favorite genre, was at its height in the popular world of music.
The silky and soulful tones of artists such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Usher, Keith Sweat, R.Kelly, and of course Michael Jackson to name a few, impacted heavily on my singing ability and harmonies.
Melismatic tones were something I always enjoyed playing around with, my voice, in general, is quite high, and reaching up to a 4-octave set gave me the range I needed to be able to sing and hit the notes I do through harmonies, and in general my usual singing tone. I would describe it as soulful yet popular and a trait that always hits well with the majority of the world.
Tell us how you develop the instrumentation for this song.
I think I and my producer at the time wanted to make a mix of The Weeknd and Drake in terms of how the beat sounded and next to my singing it would feel like the same vibe so we started grabbing ideas for trap instruments with a piano melody we made behind it and build upon that.
Go into detail on how you create your song.
I usually end up with a piano or guitar melody being put together so we have a base to build upon. Over this, I’ll start to sing ideas and put together harmonies, lyrics, melodies and build upon them.
Then we come to adding the beat to it where we’ll grab a lot of snare drums or percussion instrumentation which usually work well with the genre I’m used to.
We bring our ideas and lyrics together to fusion and mold the song into what we consider will be a hit with our audience.
Discuss your musical ability.
I can play a little guitar and piano but I excel mostly in my singing ability and songwriting. I used to be able to read sheet music but unfortunately did not keep up with it in the later years.
Elaborate on the lyrics of the song.
I decided to build the song around the story of being famous but the girl I’m with is only with me because of that fame, so on the side, she’s creeping off and getting up to other things whilst I continue to suffer knowing this and wondering if I’m doomed to forever end up like this with every other girl I meet.
It was an enjoyable process writing this song and foreshadowing in my mind what could be future events, so it turned out to be the lead single off the second EP too.
Discuss the structure of the song.
The intro of the song starts off in a soft/depressing tone to the audience to set the mood off what the song will entail, my spaced-out vocals add to this effect. This continues on to an added bump and groove in the first verse to move the song along and connect better with the audience to give the ear something to bop to.
As we get halfway through this song I wanted to change up what the audience was hearing and add the hard-hitting trap instruments for the final half to convey that sense of emotional distress but still, it is appealing to the audience and gets them enjoying the song in this form…
Discuss your performance.
My performance of the song was invoking a very breathy/ soulful tone throughout the recording process. It had to hit all the right notes to add to the effect of what the beat was portraying, it was spaced out vocals with added reverb for that extra soulful sound.
Towards the second half of the song I ended up adding a more chest voice to the track to convey distress and helplessness in the voice but kept that R&B tone throughout.
Tell us how you prepare for a show or recording session.
When preparing for a recording session or gig I usually spend most of my week warming up to the gig as I’m a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to that. I overdo looking through the lyrics, I do vocal warm-ups and mirror performances so I remember what I’m singing and how I look to the audience. It helps to show what I should be improving on and where I’m going wrong so I can perfect it in the future.
Tell us how you coordinate other musicians or how you relate with your producer in bringing the best out of your song.
If I am co-ordinating with other musicians or producers then I feel that you must always have a good connection and understanding of where each other is coming from to get the best out of your music.
If you go in and both are shy or nervous about working with each other and little to no effort is made to get to know the other person then it’s instantly going to be a failed session. Build a relationship, see it if you guys get together, practice, and be open to each other’s ideas for the music and you can’t go wrong.
Tell us how you entice the listeners with your music.
I feel like my music always has a mainstream streak to it anyway, so I ensure to do a few ‘vocal gymnastics’ when recording, connecting verse lyrics that aren’t too intricate for the listener’s ear, a catchy hook/chorus to keep people listening and entertained so they continue to the end of the song and I make the lyrics relatable and interesting – Always have a modern and catchy beat too, I listen to music in the charts at the time and interpret that into my track.
Discuss how you promote your music.
I would say that if you can find a paid promotion that works well for you then do it otherwise you don’t want to waste money on people/websites that don’t do the job for what you’re paying, so be specific when choosing and then choose the right places and target audience to aim it at; so it’s played on the right sites and all those other places you’re wanting it to be seen.
You also want to gig anywhere you can to earn more of a following for your brand and get your music heard. Otherwise, make sure it’s available on all streaming sites and the links are as easy and accessible as possible for the general public.
Unfortunately, people in this day and age are lazy when it comes to just clicking on a link so if you don’t have the right link or easy access for the user then they won’t bother with it.
Tell us how you ensure your vocal is in harmony with the instrumentation.
You always have to make sure you are in the most comfortable key for yourself when singing; people will all have different start keys that they sing in so make sure you know your start key and accustom the track to that level of key too. All it takes is a quick, rough recording on the microphone and then for your producer or you to transpose the track down or up to that same key.
Tell us how you build your vocal melody.
I start off by using my normal talk tone, it makes it easier for me to elaborate further later when I need to reach higher keys or add more chest voice to my recording.
I then think about the different harmonies and ad-libs going over the whole track so I make a separate track and play the song throughout with my normal recording and in that time I will then sing over ad-libs or harmonies where needed to keep building upon the vocals and until I get the right ones.
We’ll then build more upon it with production by adding whatever little sounds or instruments for any spaces in the track or we’ll add effects to the vocals to match the beat.
Elaborate on the song.
The song is an extended version of how I’m feeling at the time. The tone, structure, and dynamics of the track are all an extension of my emotions at that moment in time.
Being a storyteller; I like to tell the listener a short story of what has happened whilst conveying depth and emotion in 3 – 4 minutes of a track which I feel is quite difficult but a real accomplishment when done right and when people connect to it.
Elaborate on your artist name and the title of the album.
I wanted the name to be simple and easy for everyone to know, preferably one word if I could like Usher or Ne-Yo and it just so happened that Lucas was always a childhood name given to me by friends and family so in turn, it wasn’t too far off my own name and I ended up calling myself ‘Lucas.’
Share your press release and review with us.
Reviews of the song across the board have been very positive with people reacting very well to the vocal performance and the beat of the track. They said it felt very fresh and has been added to a few playlists and has been promoted across YouTube and Instagram. Viewers loved the very stylish and dark take on the video, it felt very modern and up to date with popular songs that would be out today, it has been shared a number of times on their social media.