Electronica’s MVP (most valuable producer), Lido, (@lidogotsongs) came to Music Hall of Williamsburg on Halloween Eve this past Friday where he brought a sold out crowd live renditions of the songs we’ve all liked, reposted and shared enough times to crash SoundCloud.
With the sophistication of an orchestral conductor paired with the rhythmic swagger of a baller, Lido’s unique abilities as a vocalist, drummer, and overall musician make him a force to be reckoned with in the studio. All-stars including Chance the Rapper, Alison Wonderland and Halsey have sought out the “Lido-touch” in their own songs, almost like a “secret ingredient,” to turn an otherwise ordinary track into a contagious hit. What is so fascinating is that his artistic abilities permeate genre barriers, as both his original and collaborative portfolios have reaped astronomical praise and success across the pop, hip-hop and EDM worlds.
After releasing his collaborative R&B EP with Santell last month, appropriately titled, “The Passion Project,” listeners can immediately sense Lido’s musical passion oozing effortlessly from every melodic chord on each track. EDM NYC contributor, Liz Tillman, sat down with Lido to explore the production veteran’s other passions, including Pokémon, Jodeci and good guac. Check out the interview below:
EDMNYC: Between your touring schedule and production for other artists, how do you focus your attention across so many projects?
Lido: It can definitely be tricky. I think the cool thing about all my projects is that they’re all about music. So regardless of whatever music I feel like making when I wake up in the morning, it will fit one of my projects somewhere, or it’ll work in some sort of setting that I’m in. And if it doesn’t, if it doesn’t feel like an original song for me, then I can give it to another artist, and so on and so on. It can definitely be tricky to balance the energy of it, for sure, but in terms of inspiration and fun, it’s really easy. Luckily I have a team of really really great people around me to help me focus on the right thing at the right time; so I’m doing all right so far!
EDMNYC: From a young age you were exposed to a lot of R&B and gospel music. If you could time travel back to the 90s, also known as the “Golden Age of R&B,” how would you leave your mark as an artist on the R&B scene at that time?
Lido: I would have loved to be a part of that! I would have loved to be a part of Da Bassment. Da Bassment was this crew that DeVante from Jodeci put together in the early 90s of like, tons of incredible R&B artists that came together.
EDMNYC: So would you have wanted to be a part of that Jodeci trio?
Lido: I don’t think I could be a member of Jodeci; I don’t think I could pull that off. But the way I write songs, and the way I think melodically would fit perfectly in that era; so I have no idea what kind of mark I would have made on it, but I would have enjoyed myself tremendously in that time for sure.
EDMNYC: What R&B icon, dead or alive, would you want to collaborate with?
Lido: …But there are so many!! I’ve always wanted to work with Craig David. He was really important to me; he was some of first R&B that I was exposed to way back when. And I mean obviously I want to make music with Jodeci, obviously I want to make music with Blackstreet, obviously I want to make music with Ginuwine.
EDMNYC: What about D’Angelo?
Lido: D’Angelo for sure!! But I want to be a part of D’Angelo’s band! I want to play drums for D’Angelo. That would have been incredible! Me and Palladino and D’Angelo, my goodness!! That would have been sick! I need to make that happen at some point. That’s definitely on the bucket list. Even like, Usher for that matter. The “Confessions” album is one of the best R&B albums ever! I remember when I got that album very clearly. I borrowed money from a friend of mine and copped it. Oh my god, that was important.
EDMNYC: You’ve said that your live performances are different than most electronic shows. Do you think your Lido music falls under the “EDM” umbrella, or would you categorize it as something else?
Lido: Hard to say because it’s definitely electronic music, but if you really go by definition, electronic “dance” music… I’m having trouble necessarily including Lido in that. Like whenever my Uber driver asks me what kind of music I do, I say I make dance music that’s really hard to dance to, because it’s so unpredictable and so trippy rhythmically. Like whatever the fuck I’m doing to it is some weird ass dancing, but I think it’s electronic music both in what we call “EDM” right now, and also the actual definition of it, but I don’t know if I would necessarily fit in that.
EDMNYC: Since you started your career at such a young age, how did you avoid getting suckered into the crazy party madness of the music industry and did industry professionals ever try to take advantage of your talent?
Lido: I’ve been in a lot of shady positions for sure, and I met a lot of people with iffy motives, but I’ve been fortunate enough with my handpicking of people that I keep around me, and have established an incredible crew that’s been with me for a long time. I was never a big party kid at all; I only started DJing like two years ago really, and before that I was a singer and producer. So I was either in the studio working, or somewhere doing something that had to do with singing, and that’s not necessarily something you should combine a lot of partying with. I think a part of it is yes, I did come into this business at a very early age, but I got into it at such an early age that partying wasn’t an option at that time. So I got into it for the music exclusively, like I did not care about any of the surrounding stuff whatsoever, and I still don’t really do. At the end of the day if my name is on the music, or if it’s somebody else’s name, it doesn’t really matter to me, I just care about music in general. I think that sort of kept me in line in terms of all the business stuff that could be a bad thing, and all the party stuff that could be a bad thing because I still don’t care about any of that stuff, I just want to make cool music.
EDMNYC: If you could give yourself one piece of advice to your younger-producer self, what would it be?
Lido: Don’t put out music. Don’t put out music until you’re ready. I put out a lot of music at a very very early age and I think it was really important for me to make that music obviously, and it got me to a very important place, but I wish I would have just kept it to myself. I wish I would have been able to say “This is my first song,” when I could really stand behind that song. If I could have met a younger me, I would have been like, “Yo, just chill. You’re good, you’re gunna be around for a long time, don’t rush getting music out. I know you’re hungry, but just have fun with it. It’s going to become more and more fun, so just relax and do your thing and when you’re really fucking good, that’s when you should put out music.”
EDMNYC: After playing so many live instruments in your set, you must be exhausted afterwards. What is the one snack or candy you can eat after a set that will always revitalize you?
Lido: Sushi and guac before a set, but I think there’s a lot of guac happening after the set. Chips and guac for sure. Usually I like really light stuff before a set, and then whatever’s good after. We had tacos last night that were incredible! I usually don’t eat a lot before I play, so I’m usually very ready to eat some real shit like right after I play.
EDMNYC: Given the Halloween spirit, what would you say was your best Halloween costume?
Lido: I’m going to be completely honest with you and say that I have never had a Halloween costume. I grew up in Norway and it’s not that big of a deal there. It’s not a very celebrated holiday. Maybe it was just my family that wasn’t really up on it, but there were a few kids in the neighborhood that would go trick or treating, and a couple kids in school that would dress up, but it was never like a collective “holiday” sort of. At least not grown ups, that would never happen. So yeah, I don’t think I’ve dressed up for anything for Halloween. I got to figure out something quickly for tomorrow!
EDMNYC: If someone were to summon you with a pentagram, what would be the 5 things they would use to do so?
Lido: Ooooh that’s a good question! I like that question! Let me see, they would put a pair of really cool sneakers, either like Jordan 6’s or Air Max’s– those are there. Some really good guac, some really good Sugar Fish, a CD of unreleased R&B music from the 90s that no one has ever heard, and a B3 organ! A piccolo snare actually could be in there, instead of the guac…possibly. Yea, piccolo snares over guac any day.
EDMNYC: I know you are a Pokémon fan, so if you were to be any Pokemon, which would it be and why?
Lido: I would be a Smeargle. A Smeargle is a generation two Pokémon which has a tail like a paintbrush, so he graffities, and the cool thing is that he can learn anything because he can just mimic it with the paintbrush, so he can do anything. If it has to be a gen. one then I’d definitely be Eevee because I love doing so many different things, that the idea of being able to evolve into whatever I feel like would definitely be me.
EDMNYC: What R&B slow jam would you use to seduce your love interest?
Lido: It would be some Jodeci shit. Like “My Heart Belongs To You” or some shit like that. I would pick that song very carefully. It would definitely be in the Jodeci realm.
EDMNYC: What makes New York the best city to perform in?
Lido: The environment. I think New York is just an inspiring city in general. I’ve written a lot of music in New York that I’m very proud of and that I’m very happy about. A lot of music in New York has been very important to me, both the hip hop from New York, the club music from Jersey, and surrounding areas in general, so I think it’s an important city for the music that I make in general. I think that energy makes it special to perform here for sure.