Blog, Interviews

Whyd Interview with Lightfoot: Hip Hop from Boston

[Via Whyd]

1. Can you tell us about yourself? How does your personality show up in your music?

My name is Lightfoot, and I’m a sample-free hip hop producer out of Boston MA.  I grew up on all sorts of different music, but sometime around high school, I really fell in love with hip hop.  I’m not just talking about rap music either; I really fell in love with the whole culture. The DJs, the b-boys, the graffiti, it all took a pretty strong hold on me, and my growing appreciation for the culture made me want to be a part of it.

I wasn’t great at drawing so Grafitti didn’t work, I didn’t have good enough equipment to DJ, and dancing was never going to happen for me, so beat making was the obvious choice.  When I first started making music, I was really influenced by artists like MF DOOM and Mad lib, so my beats were very “boom bap” and sample heavy.  I loved that traditional hip hop feel, so it was important for me to replicate that in my music.  As i continued to make beats however, I began stepping away from sampling, and really tried to force myself to make original productions.  This was due to the ever evolving legality issues with rap music as well as my own desire to feel more satisfied after making a beat.  As I shifted my methods I also departed from only listening to underground hip hop and started expanding into other genres such as electro and indie rock. I then began to mesh all of these influences together whenever i sat down to make a beat.

I always try to make my music emotional (probably because I’m an emotional dude) and I always try and make it interesting, but ultimately I just make music and try and let things happen organically, and hope that I come up with something good as a result.

2. When did you start producing music and when did it click that you had to pursue it seriously?

I think I made my first “beat” (i use that term VERY loosely) when i was in 8th or 9th grade.  I ended up with a copy of fruity loops somehow and decided to do some exploring.  The results were pretty bad, but they were my first so they are cool in that respect.  I did this on and off for about 6 or 7 years until i finally met my mentor and good friend The Arcitype.  I started interning at his recording studio, and was able to see how a professional producer operates.  It blew my mind and gave me so much inspiration that I ended up quitting my job and focused all of my efforts on music.  It lightened the wallet tremendously, but it allowed me to really hone my craft and in doing so find what I truly love to do.  I haven’t looked back since, and have been enjoying every second of it.

3. What’s the Boston music scene like? 

The music coming out of Boston is pretty awesome.  There is a wide range of material that fits almost any palate, and a lot of it is pretty unique.  Unfortunately A LOT of it is unknown, even to people who reside in Boston.  That is the real downfall of this place.  We don’t really have an active listening community here.  People have their cliques, and their specific artists who they support, and rarely depart from that.  This makes for poorly attended shows, and hard for newer artists to break out.

Boston is also particularly hostile to rap shows.  It seems like every day another venue closes its doors to hip hop.  This is due to a number of reasons (which may or may not be valid), but it makes it very hard to navigate and expand in the hip hop scene here.  You kind of just need to cross your fingers and hope you meet the right person who will introduce you to their scene, which may or may not be a good one.  All in all, the music itself is great.  Some of my favorite artists come from Boston, so I will always be a fan of the music this city produces.  My main beef, and quite frankly only beef, are the promoters and venues in the city.  They don’t allow for this place to breathe and evolve the way it should.  I love Boston though, and I will always be a part of this city musically.

4. What should we look forward to from you in the near future?

I’m actually currently wrapping up an EP I have been working on with my rapper homie Andrew Milicia.  Collectively we go by “Remains”, and our EP is titled “Ei8ht Se7en”.  I’m pretty excited for the drop and eager to share our work.  The project will be available as a free download on Bandcamp.  Andrew is a super talented rapper/lyricist/songwritter, and i love the beats on the record so it’s definitely something I’m proud of. I also have a bunch of other projects in the works, but everything is still in the early stages so I can’t speak on them just yet. I’m certainly staying busy though, so there will be plenty of music in the future.  In the meantime you can check out my instrumental album i put out last fall called “The Rudimentals” which is available on iTunes/Spotify/Pandora.  Cheers!

Thanks Lightfoot! Make sure you take a listen to his work on Soundcloud, like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter, and of course subscribe to him on Whyd


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *