Q: Who is Lu York?
A: First, before we discuss about who Lu York is, I would like to thank Crazy Monk Records for having me once again on this label. It is always a pleasure. It all started about a year ago when H Justini contacted me in regards to my music. I was a bit inactive for the year 2015 due to certain events that occurred which took me on a slow start despite having released my first single back in June 2014 and first EP in September of that same year. Now, about the name Lu York, I came up with that name in sense of wanting to be more than just a DJ. I wanted to be a part of the music culture first hand. I wanted to be a part of the same feeling I got when I would listen to the first few tracks I have ever heard back in 2006. So 5 years later, in 2011, I began dabbling with music production until I finally decided to have my first release in 2014.
Q: When did you start making music?
A: From the very beginning, I would say, I was 15 when I picked up a guitar and started covering some of my favourite bands at that time, despite coming from a background of mainly Hip-hop, R&B and some other 80s and 90s music. I was mainly influenced by Metallica when it came to actually messing around with music and instruments; which then developed into other types of music. As far as Lu York music, I started making tracks solely for Lu York towards the end of 2013. My first track was actually supposed to be a tribute to one of my favourite classic house tunes “Move Your Body” by Marshall Jefferson, but for the release, I removed the vocals and released it as is under the title “Body Rock”.
Q: Who would you say is/are your biggest influence/s?
A: Currently, my influences include Groove Riddim, Greco, Arie Mando, Dj Caspa, Alex Agore, Larry Heard, Danny J Lewis, Terrance Parker, Snazzy Trax, Dr. Shemp and many more. Now random influences would definitely include New York City. As a whole. Definitely Uk; And Belgium has been ringing bells lately. I have been blessed to be able to release on a Various Artist compilation on Melody Mathics Label alongside one of my biggest influences which is Alex Agore. For me, I was in shock when I saw his name on that release.
Q: What are currently your main challenges as a Producer/ DJ?
A: The biggest challenge is time. There needs to be more hours in a day for me. Another challenge I would say is trying to achieve a specific sound sometimes. It does get a little frustrating sometimes when I come up with an idea and I can’t find a way to get that idea exactly how I want it. Sometimes though, it leads on to great tracks; those little variations to an original idea. Believe it or not, that is how I came up with the one track that brought me on to Crazy Monk Records; “What’s Love”. That whole idea was a variation of another idea that I had and I ended exporting it half way done, and blasting it on my speakers and coming to realizing that this track was something else, as far as the music I have made before. After that moment, I was dabbling with some vocals and found the“What’s Love”part of those vocals to fit the track. After finishing that, I knew I had to release it, and out of good timing, somehow some way, I contacted Crazy Monk Records about demo submission and I sent over the track. I was offered to be a part of their first Various Artist compilation titled Global Indulgence Vol.1, to which I did not hesitate to say yes and therefore, since then, my name has been seen by other labels and artists.
Q: What are your views on the current state of the underground music scene?
A: There is a ton of great underground artists and music, but take the term “underground”semi-literal. You have to really dig deep to find the true underground sound. Sometimes when explaining who I am and what I do, I also have to explain what is House music. Yeah. It’s crazy. Nowadays, the club scene is over saturated with a lot of music that raises questions as to how it even got there. Don’t get me wrong. There is A LOT of talent; mainstream and underground, but the media and trends are what makes our music so unknown these days. Now, some would argue that underground is not meant for people so easily taken by trends, but for someone starting out, as myself, it becomes difficult to land gigs, let alone locals ones too. And that’s also because the club scene has been less and less about THE MUSIC, and more and more about THE MONEY. Of course, nobody is going to start a nightclub business and not try to make money, because that’s the purpose of owning a business, but for the underground scene, especially if you live where I do right now, it has become hard to get a following crowd, which is a BIG DEAL for the club scene right about now, because of the over saturation of mainstream music. Very few people who keep it underground, but never stop pushing it. We are the underground.
Q: What kind of gear do you currently have in your studio?
A: Gear. Hahahah. I keep it very simple. Right now what I use is my HP laptop, my trusty Sennheiser HD-25 II headphones, a pair of Krk Rockit 6 for loud listening, and a QuNexus midi Keyboard which I seldomly use. I DJ with a Pioneer DDJ SX controller and a Pioneer PLX 500 turntable. I do plan on grabbing another turntable and mixer though in the future.
Q: Is there a particular device/ plugin that influences your sound and you cannot work without?
A: All I really need right now is just my laptop and the sounds that I have collected since I started producing. I mean, one main effect I use on most of my tracks is a very light reverb to give my tracks a little bit of life, but most of everything that I do is all raw, with the exception of sometimes adding echo/delay on certain things. Raw is just the way for me. Now part of the reason why I produce the way I do is just because (and this is funny) I haven’t really learned to use my production software to its fullest extent. Call me lazy, but I just feel like the way I have been making music has been working and fits my style.
Q: What sets you apart from other producers?
A: Well, adding on to the last question, my production style is, I’ll admit, very limited and very raw sounding. And I guess that the way that I produce, using little to no plug-ins or whatever, kind of says a little something about my ability to make house music. Kind of like the saying when life give you lemons; when life gives you bricks and cement, you throw it away and make a tree house. (Tree houses are fun. I don’t care how old you are)
Q: Tell us a little more about your upcoming EP. How long did it take and when it was done, did you already know which label was going to release it?
A: In The Ghetto EP. Now, I wasn’t RAISED in the ghetto. I was raised pretty well, but the neighbourhood I lived in where I have most of my memories and most of my nostalgic feelings, I’ve seen quite some stuff. Now, Flushing, NY is a very diverse community with many cultures mixed in together and so, there are many things that people see on a daily basis that, to some is out of the norm, but to us, it’s nothing new. The idea of this EP, I would say is meaningful to me. Production wise, I used 3 different basslines, and kept the main chords the same. I did that in relation to the saying “Same sh*t, different day”. Meaning, the chords/pads stay the same, being like the things we see on a daily basis in the city of New York, but the basslines changing the course of the track, or in this case, the different days. I was also influenced by Larry Heard and just the underground scene in general. I didn’t really intend this to be a dancefloor track, but more like one of those ride the train with your headphones on-type of track. It’s a little different.
Q: What more can we expect from you after this release? Any events, live performances?
A: After this release, including the remix package which will release afterwards (did I say too much? I probably said too much) I have something in the works (I won’t mention the label until its 100% confirmed). It’s an EP with 2 originals, and so far one remix with Groove Riddim and there’s possibly another remix on the way. For this upcoming EP, I was a bit more influenced by UK 4/4 Garage, and just wanting to produce something a bit different than “In The Ghetto EP”. I also have another couple remixes that I am working on as well as setting up another track on the next Global Indulgence Various Artist Compilation which would be the 2nd volume. I’m very excited about that since I feel like I have gotten a good deal of recognition, and since now, I’m making music more than I have in the last 2 or 3 years, I feel ike bigger opportunities are bound to come. Event wise, I have something in the works with a music cruise festival called Wetfest. It was supposed to be October 7-9, but since the tragic hurricane passed right over the Bahamas, the cruise was obviously postponed to a later date which I believe is sometime February 2017. As I continue to grow and develop as an artist, I will definitely start performing at different cities and countries across the globe. Thank you Crazy Monk Records for having me again! Mad props to H Justini who has worked hard to have everybody around him shine!