SOMETIMES an artist explodes onto the scene and immediately grabs your attention. Lex Luca has done just that garnering support from the likes of Pete Tong, Mark Knight, Annie Mac, B Traits, Danny Howard and Giles Peterson in a short space of time.
Not to be confused with Superman’s nemesis, the London based house, disco and techno DJ / Producer has only been producing ‘seriously’ for five years but has already enjoyed big releases on Cr2, Dopewax, Roger Sanchez’s Undr The Radr and on Jaguar Skills ‘Fly’. He’s also appeared alongside the likes of Coyu, Dubfire, Basement Jaxx, Roger Sanchez, Todd Terry, Eli & Fur and Louie Vega on line ups worldwide.
Lex launched his label In Tune last year and has already been lauded by our friends at Data Transmission and BBC Radio 1. We caught up with him to find out more…
Thanks for talking to us… how’s the year treated you so far?
So far it’s been great. Started off with a holiday in the Philippines. I was featured in Mixmag’s artists to watch in the January edition. And now gearing up for the third EP release on my label In Tune.
Your background is in radio production right: what initially promoted you to make the switch to focussing on a career as an artist?
I’ve been playing and performing music ever since I was 4 or 5 years old, first with the violin, then the drums, and then as a teenager learning the guitar and piano. I started DJing when I was 15 years old. So really my background is as an artist and musician. I started working as a special music radio producer in my 20s as I love music & the medium of radio, and I needed to get a job! I worked my way up from doing work experience and forged an amazing career working at the biggest youth radio station (Radio 1) and on some of my dream shows. The whole time I’ve been DJing, running various events, playing at clubs & festivals in the UK and around the world. I even started a label with some friends years back. I’ve been making electronic music ‘seriously’ for about five years now so it’s been a healthy progression and it’s pretty much come around full circle.
How do you think you’re background has helped you under your Lex Luca moniker? If at all?
I’ve lived and breathed music since before I could walk and I bring all of my life experiences into my music, so yes without a doubt it has helped. My experience as a radio producer has been great for sure. I’ve learned loads from some of the greatest DJs and producers in the world, from Pete Tong to Judge Jules, Gilles Peterson to Roger Sanchez, Heidi, Kolsch and many more. Obviously seeing the radio industry from the inside has taught me a lot too. I’ve traveled to Cuba and Japan to make documentaries about the music in those places, which was massively insightful. From playing the violin in an orchestra at Edinburgh festival, to learning to DJ on belt-drive turntables to producing Radio 1’s Essential Mix with Mark Knight in Space Ibiza, I feel like my whole life has been leading up to this point.
You launched your label In Tune last year, and so far it’s been releases just from yourself. You seem to be pretty prolific… are these records you’ve been had for a while, or are they all fairly new?
They’re all fairly new, mainly because I’m happier with the more recent tunes. I set up my label so I could release my music as and when I wanted to. I’m in a good studio flow now so loads more coming! I also want to create a platform to release some great music from the talented producers around, so I have some plans in the coming months to progress this too.
Do you find making records easy?
I do now. I make music every single day and I love it. I’m always learning too, and striving to be better. I really enjoy the creative process. Even on days where I’m not ‘feeling’ creative, I’ll still get in the studio and see what comes out. It’s not always easy to finish stuff but that’s part of the fun.
There’s quite a lot of variation in what you’re putting out… disco one minute, banging tech house the next… do you get bored just doing one thing?
It’s not so much that I get bored, but the variation does keep it more interesting for me in the studio. I have a wide range of influences. I listen to loads of different stuff and try different ideas out in the studio. So that could be why there’s a variation. I’ll use different plug-ins, experiment with different sounds, start from a different place, like a vocal chop or a sound FX, or just be in a different headspace so different music comes out!
You’ve toured quite extensively in South America, somewhere a fair amount of our readers will have never been. How did that start? And how does it compare to the European scene?
I ended up living in Costa Rica a few years ago. I got to know some of the key players out there like Mobius Strum, Fredo, NiM, Mauricio De Sostoa & Alex Orias, Sweetbo & David Berkley. From there the word spread and I ended up playing in the coolest clubs there from Vertigo in Costa Rica, La Buat in Panama and Papaya Playa Project in Tulum, Mexico and even further afield in Colombia and Dominican Republic. These days I go over there on tour once a year. The dance music scene is great. Some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. And there’s some incredibly talented producers and DJs there too. The house and techno scene is thriving, the crowds are always up for a decent party and they’ve always been very welcoming to me, which I’m extremely grateful for. There are some magical places for jungle or beach parties too and for me it’s right up there with the European scene.
What’s your goal with Lex Luca: have you set yourself any milestones?
Yes for sure. I think it’s important to set yourself career goals and milestones. I want to be up there with the most respected DJs and producers in the world!
What have you got coming up in the next few months?
Yes I’ve got the next 3 EP’s lined up for In Tune. The next one is a double A-side Push The & Yeah Yeah. It drops on Friday 9th Feb on Traxsouce and Spotfiy, then gets a full release on 23rd. I’ve also got a release with Nervous set for March time, with a remix from The Golden Boy. And I’ve got few unsigned EPs I’m shotting about right now. Loads more ideas and music to finish so very excited for the next few months.
Anything else you’d like to tell us…?
Spread love through music. Thanks for the support!
Lex Luca – Push The / Yeah Yeah is out 09 February on In Tune