Posted in Interviews
Hip-Hop On Steroids
22-year-old producer/dj Lunice isn't interested in making the kind of hip-hop music you're accustomed to. In fact, when we asked him to describe what the overall vision was for his new album Stacker Upper, he put it very bluntly: "bridge mainstream music with the more experimental underground sound." To also put it bluntly, Lunice is the next big thing to happen in hip-hop production. Over the past year, the Montreal native has released numerous bootlegs, remixes, and originals--all showcasing his club slaying, futuristic hip-hop sound. He has already gained support from Diplo, A-Trak, Hudson Mohawke, and Mary Anne Hobbes to name a few. And with upcoming collaborations with rappers Wiz Khalifa, Chiddy Bang, and Lil B...Lunice is well on his way towards establishing himself in both the dance music and hip-hop realms. Recently, LFTF caught up with the man himself to talk about his new album Stacker Upper, how working with Diplo was, his obsession with Lil B, and much much more.
Can you please state your full name, your age and where you are talking to us from at this very moment?
Lunice Fermin Pierre II. 22. In the studio.
You are out of Montreal. For someone who has never even been to Canada, how would you describe the music scene out there?
Very diverse, filled with many different scenes but with all the same mind-set about music...which is being able to constantly evolve and find new ways.
Your music pulls influences from hip-hop, r&b, and even forms of electronic music. How would you yourself describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as experimental rap music because I want to experiment and try unconventional sounds that you normally wouldn't hear in a typical hip-hop beat and make it sound relevant.
Growing up, what kind of music where you listening to? And did that music have an influence on what you are making today?
Mainly underground independent hip-hop music like the Sound Providers, 9th Wonder, 2for5 then I started to listen to a lot of golden-age rap music like Heather B, AZ, Erick Sermon, Pete Rock, and so on. And yeah, all of this really influenced my music intellectually. It really shaped my artistic process of making a beat in the sense that a song must have "soul" in it else it wouldn't sound right.
Your new EP Stacker Upper just dropped on Lucky Me Records. Talk to us a little about it and what we can expect from the album.
Well, the EP has been in the works since spring 2010. And basically what I tried to do with this album was bridge mainstream hip-hop music with the more experimental underground sound.
We first caught word of you through the amazing remix you did with Diplo of the song "Helicopter" by Deerhunter. How did that all come together? Did you guys meet in the studio together for it?
It was more of a file exchange from computer to computer rather than a studio thing. I first met him at this Montreal music festival called Osheaga, I was opening for Major Lazer, and I did my set the usual way I do it, which is playing fun music and dancing to it with the crowd, haha. After finishing my set, I only had time to really just shake hands and introduce myself without even exchanging contact info. Then the next day, I randomly receive an email from him saying that he liked my set! So I said my thanks and he asked me if I had any original tunes he could have a listen to so I hit him up with a few beats and he hit me back up asking if I was down to work on this Deerhunter remix he's been working on. So I said yes!
Though we haven't had the pleasure of seeing one of your live shows yet (still waiting for an official U.S. tour), we've definitely seen some videos. Your absolute nuts on stage! Dancing all around, jumping into the crowd, even being your own MC. Why do you feel that it is important to bring more to the table than just say, play songs from a computer?
Funny thing is, I never really realized how much of an importance my stage presence was. Being a b-boy from way back when, it was just natural for me to be full of energy on stage. Only later, after hearing people talk about my stage presence, did I realize that how I perform on stage really affects the crowds reaction as opposed to just playing tunes. And also, I can imagine the crowd wanting someone who's full of life on stage because I know I did when I would go see my favorite artists perform!
We've also seen vids on youtube of you showin off your dance moves. You're actually pretty damn good. Have you ever had formal training?
Nope! All self-taught stuff. To be honest I learned my basic moves from this really hard to learn flash animation I got awhile back of a dude doing pro footwork...haha man.
Can you be a #Masterchef or #Ironchef or #HellKitchen as you do the Dougie? I don't think so, I say COOKING DANCE! But I'm down with both. (vid of Lunice swaggin' out his cooking dance)
I've seen you open up your sets with Lil B, so I already know you're a fan. What do you think is the appeal of Lil B? In my experience, people either love the guy, or absolutely despise him.
Lil B is the just the Basedgod...end of story. What I really love about Lil B is that he's completely off the grid when it comes to the rap game. He's like the iPad of rap right now. It's so new and out there that you don't know what to do with it when you first hear him but you just love it so much because it's so different in the best way possible!
Thoughts on ODD FUTURE?
I want to work with these guys. PLEASE HOLLER AT ME ASAP so we can get pronto with these bangers, haha.
What artists do you think are absolutely killing it right now?
Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Roach Gigz, Lil B, Girl Unit, Jaques Greene, Ango, Aarabmuzik, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, Mike Slott, and Machinedrum.
Do you have a favorite album so far this year?
Lazer Sword's new album has too many hits on there. Could make a huge single from practically every song!
Number one song that gets you crunker than anything else right now...
If you could collaborate with anyone in the world right now that is alive...who would it be?
Lastly, is their anything else in the works (projects, remixes, etc.) that you can talk on? What is next for Lunice?
Working on new material with Diplo for this Wiz Khalifa project and also just making new music in general. I have a track with The Pack's Young L in the works...also working on another song with Chiddy from Chiddy Bang and both are almost done! As for what's next, I want to work with as many rappers and singers of my generation as I can...so we can build for the future and create great music together!