Getting Lucky with Lunice

LuniceCourtesy of Jennifer Dunjai

His early influences stem from underground Hip Hop, Soul and B-boying, Lunice has evolved into a genre breaking artist. He has broken the traditional mold where artists only focused on one genre of art form. Lunice speaks about how he met Odd Future, his creative process and what he would be if he weren’t a producer, Donny Sin writes.

This Time, was an interesting track on the double decker mixtape - more Information on this tune? Have you produced anything else similar? Bus Stop Jazz was an awesome track as well you produced for a Francisco hip-hop duo The Jealous Guys, what was the story behind that track? Can we expect more from the series soon?

That track "This Time" comes from my Bossa/Hip Hop oriented beat tape I put out almost four years ago called "Bossa Rendez-Vous". It's basically just my love for Bossa Nova Jazz and a bit of an experimentation on how my rhythm , at the time, seemed sonically related to the feel and smoothness of Bossa Nova. As you mentioned, "Bus Stop Jazz" is a recent single where I brought myself back to the Jazz/Hip Hop era because I'm such a fan of the Golden Age era of Rap music that I wanted to go back and make a tune of that style but with what I've learnt over the years of producing. And yes, expect more bangers coming from me and The Jealous Guys!

You were heavily into the underground scene back in the day (J Dilla, Slum Village, The Roots), then became open minded and began to take interest in artists such as Soulja Boy and Lil Wayne, more upbeat styles. Should more producers be varied and take influence from outer sources?

Definitely! Being open minded to me, is the only way to go in this time and age. There's a new sub-genre created every single day in some part of the world that. Even if it may not be of your musical taste, you would still bring yourself to listening on how the track of that kind would come about instead of just completely ignoring and hating on it. In other words, even if there's a song I don't personally like, I still take the effort to fully listen into how the song might of came together. That alone helps me evolve as an artist and it's a way to constantly get inspired as well!

The Luckyme Crew are doing quite well for themselves. Music, Art, Parties is their motto. As a DJ, producer, BBoy, you seamlessly mix all 3. Do you believe that everything pop culture is connected and influence each other?

You played at the Montreal Red Bull workshop (The academy is in Spain again this year), Pursuit Grooves played for Australia, she at played Sonar with you and there's a video of her playing live where you seem to be enjoying yourself front row. What do you think about the academy? The track you co-produced with Tokimonsta and Swede:art, Aspenglow is incredible, who did what in that track?

The academy itself is something I've never experienced in my life so far. There's nothing but absolute amazing things to say about it and its inner workings. Having the opportunity to just sit in the studio and fully work on a song with such talented people like TOKiMONSTA, Swede: Art and Hudson Mohawke is such a thrilling experience.

You constantly get inspired and moved at all times during the session because it's like working with five musical brains at the same time generating infinite ideas that can be used. So yes, I feel that everything pop culture is somehow all connected and influenced almost as a whole despite it being separated in genres. There will always be that "one pure good feel" that connects all the dots in the end. As corny as it sounds, I can't explain it, it literally is just a "feeling".

Who influences or impresses you at the moment?

For the longest time I've been influence by Hudson Mohawke, Rustie and Mike Slott. And now I've been huge on the whole Night Slugs crew like Girl Unit, Bok Bok, Jam City and so on. When I was at the XL Recording HQ, while in London, after first meeting Odd Future and such, I was the most star struck when I finally met Jamie XX. That guy is hands down one of my all-time favourite producers at the moment. And it's funny because all the people who reside in London are surprised that I was star struck by Jamie XX out of all the people I've met. 

Courtesy Jennifer Dunaj

Walk us through your production process.

My production process when it comes on working a remix differs from working an original production. For a remix, I generally just have a few listens to the original one then I completely stop any musical activity I might be doing and then go about my day as if nothing even happened. But as I do this, I am constantly thinking about it in the back of my head. I could be thinking about rhythms or melodies, it varies. But the main thing is that I'm not at my desk trying to bang ideas out, I'm either playing games or out and about kicking it with friends. After a full day of different activities, I bring back home with me a whole vibe of new inspirations and ideas and that’s when I apply it. And I try to keep my official remixes related to the OG in a way. Or I sometimes would make it in a way that "what if I was the original producer for this tune?" and see what I would come up with. 

When working original productions, it sort of goes the same way I do with remixes but I feel it's a lot more "free-form" in a sense that I never plan anything out. I generally just write something or start a whole track at the "heat of the moment" kind of thing where I would start a song just because I feel positive or I have this "feel" I need to try to achieve. Other than that, it generally works the same way.

How does it feel to have Australian fans? And possible Australian tour?

 Feels so unreal! I always keep in mind that I'm just this half black, half Philippine kid, who was 16 years old at the time. I sat on my friend's couch thinking that one day I would just start making music for the fun of it once I reach my 20’s. I'm 22 now and I have no clue what's going on but I'm going for it and having loads of fun!

What’s next for Lunice?

I just finished my second record forthcoming on LuckyMe, got a few projects lined up for Mad Decent and working new ideas for my live show!

You’ve said the internet is integral to your career, what would your life be like without it? And has is revoluntionalised the way musicians are seen/heard? (Good or bad?)

I'd probably be just working on music on the side while I work a retail store and go to cinema/communications school really. So basically my life would be 100000x slower if the internet didn't exist. And it definitely revoluntionalised the exposure rate for musicians for sure. And it's a good thing! The exchange of information for one year, to me, is the equivalent of almost five years in this time and age. So when people ask me "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" I just say "that's way too far ahead, it's more like where do I see myself in 1 year".