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LCAW – An interview

The Hippo Collective has had the privilege of interviewing one of the fastest growing acts in the deep house music scene. Since April 2013, LCAW – a Munich local – has been publishing remixes and mixtapes on Soundcloud and Youtube, and has found himself earning some serious international recognition, and rightly so – his music breeds euphoric vibes. LCAW’s success bears testament to the usefulness of the internet to musicians, as the producer was only uploading his music to Youtube and Soundcloud where he was then picked up by TheSoundYouNeed. Over time, music discovery blogs such as Hillydilly, IndieShuffle, and The music ninja began sharing his music, and now the 19 year old is setting himself up for a major year, with tours in the UK, US, Canada and possibly Australia in the works.

As the son of a music teacher, Leon (LCAW) has been exposed to music since day one. In fact he states “I started playing the piano at age one and the Cello when I was 3. I learned several other instruments as well, by teaching myself.” So it was no surprise, that when I asked him where he draws his inspiration from he said playing some of his favourite classical compositions by composers such as Chopin, Liszt or Rachmaninow provides a lot of his stimulus. Though he also says that he also listens “to a lot of modern music by artists I like, such as Parov Stelar, Flume or Disclosure. Their music is captivating and I’m always trying to figure out which element makes it so captivating so I can incorporate similar elements into my own music.” He continues that the way “you feel can be very influential on your music, for example when I broke up with my ex-girlfriend I went home to my studio and made music until the birds started singing. That night I made a remix of a London Grammar track and it turned out to be one of the best tracks I made so far.” You can find that remix at the end of the page.

Using Ableton as his main production program, his setup is probably a lot simpler than you think. He remarks: “I have a really basic studio setup with a Midi keyboard and a lot of instruments but no analogue synths or something like that yet”. Though he commented he’ll be going shopping soon. On the process he takes to produce his tracks, he responds: “there isn’t really a certain process I follow, it’s more spontaneous. I just sit down, start at one point and see where it leads me. If you follow a fixed process it’s hard to go in new directions. A lot of times I just try out things and spend hours working on synthesiser sounds or beats without finishing a track.”

LCAW has already travelled a hell of a lot for a producer who has been in the industry for little over a year. Having had gigs in Vienna, Paris, Zurich, Lyon, Aix En Provence, Antwerp, Berlin, and Munich (to name a few) he would have a lot of great memories. He mentions that one of his favourite memories while DJing “must have been in Stuttgart when for the first time people sang along to one of my tracks.” However he also confesses that one of his great moments in his short career is a little closer to home, in fact when he was checking his computer “to find an email by Parov Stelar himself asking for a remix.” He proceeds: “I always admired him and it was an amazing feeling to get recognised by such an established artist. He played a show in Munich a couple of weeks after the remix was released and after the concert I went backstage to him (he personally invited me to the concert).”

He hasn’t only produced remixes for other artists, he’s also actively involved in collaborating with other producers. He has released a collaboration with Hamburg based producer Felix Jaehn. Together, they worked on “Berlin” by RY X.

LCAW’s journey is only just beginning, and he has big plans for the future. He says he’s “working with a lot of other artists on original tracks, especially with vocalists and I’m hoping to release my first EP soon. We also planned something big for my remixes but unfortunately I can’t tell you yet, but I’ll announce it through my Facebook page soon!”

I was also interested in asking him about his opinion on the current state of the music industry, in particular the widespread culture of illegal music downloads. He answered: “I’m relatively new in the music business and I always thought that illegal downloads weren’t such a big deal, but now I realised that it is an immense problem. Musicians and labels invest thousands into the production of an album and most people aren’t willing to pay the price of a coffee or a meal for it. Of course, the future of music distribution is streaming but the providers have to figure out a way where the actual musicians get a piece of the cake. Right now the streaming platforms make the most money, then comes the label, and the musician gets the least. It can’t stay like that.”

As I’ve previously said, LCAW’s journey is just beginning and it’s a very exciting future for the artist. He holds a lot of talent, fostered from a very early age, and I can only look forward to hearing about the musician’s progress over the next year. If you’re interested in following the producer, or listening to some of his tracks, here are some useful links.

His Soundlcoud: https://soundcloud.com/l-c-a-w

His Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Official.LCAW

Find his music on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lcaw+

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