Jamstik Artist Sessions: Kap Slap Q&A

Jamstik Artist Sessions: Kap Slap Q&A

August 24, 2018

To kick off our new Artist Q&A Sessions, we tapped one of our newest artists, Kap Slap (otherwise known as Jared Lucas). He's a talented musician and producer with some valuable music industry insights and experience. 

Jared first started producing music in college—creating epic party mashups and remixes. He built a massive fanbase from touring and performing at universities across the United States, all while pursuing a double major. After performing 200+ shows independently in the first two years of his career, he's now producing his own original music and is currently signed to Revere Music Group, WME, and Sony Publishing. 

Check out his Q&A Session below to hear his story & tips for other up-and-coming musicians! 

A post shared by Kap Slap (@kapslap) on

 Q - Why did you start playing music? What's the story?

A - I was about 12 years old and my grandpa introduced me to the guitar. He’s an amazing blues guitarist and bought me my first electric guitar, which started it all. After that, I had lessons all throughout middle school and began diving into acoustic. I’ve always loved all types of music so it was really empowering to be able to play my favorite songs whenever I wanted.

Q - What was the first music software you ever used—and what's your go-to DAW now?

A - I actually recorded my first jam with my friend in high school on Sony Acid Pro with a Motu Ultralight soundcard; I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. From there I didn’t think much of DAW’s until I began making my first mashups in sophomore year of college in Garageband. You couldn’t pay me to tell you how I figured out how to do everything in that program. Finally, I learned about Ableton from a friend, who said that Skrillex and Deadmau5 used it. That was good enough for me!

Q - We heard you were a full-time college student studying Engineering and Business when you first started to DJ—that's impressive. Did you get a chance to take any production classes, or were your music production skills self-taught?

A - I was a graduate of YouTube Academy (I’m self-taught). It was a grind, but mashups came easily to me so it was a ton of fun to do them in my free time.

Q - What was the transition like from remixing and mashing up songs to producing your own original music?

A - Brutal. My biggest mistake was that I had a huge ego. Everyone knew me as the “mashup guy” but in my head, I was never taken seriously because I hadn’t released any original music. I was paralyzed with fear and reluctant to release anything because I had so much at stake in my mind.  What if they didn’t like it? What if my first track was a flop and no one took me seriously from then on? I spent nearly 2 years after I graduated college trying to get my first original track out and finally released it in January of 2015. 

If I were to go back in time and do anything differently, it would be to swallow my pride and ask for help. Reach out to lesser known producers and leverage my fledgling notoriety to make a collaboration in which I would be able to learn from the other artist. 

Q - How has the Jamstik+ impacted your songwriting and production process?

A - So far it’s amazing! [It's] really liberating to be able to play things in a medium I feel the most comfortable in. The fact that I can go in and edit any mistakes, yet still keep the live feel is amazing.

 

Q - What other MIDI instruments do you utilize in your process?

A - The only other midi instrument I use on a regular basis is a simple midi piano as most of my favorite synths are virtual. If I need to get the percussion to really groove I’ll use my SPD-SX drum pad from Roland.

Q - You're a very versatile artist—making remixes, mashups, mixes, and original music. Which is your favorite to create?

A - This definitely varies with my mood, but I’d say most of the time it’s original music. Having a session with an artist from scratch and creating something beautiful by the end of the day is such a rewarding experience; it’s really hard to think of anything more fulfilling. This, however, also comes with the flipside of being stuck in a creative rut and getting down on yourself, doubting your talents as an artist. The only thing you can do is power through those moments—know they’ll pass and that your taste is killer and is what got you into the game in the first place!

Q - You've worked with a lot of great up-and-coming artists recently, including Shaylen, EZI, and M. Bronx. How do you go about getting connected with other artists? Any networking tips?

A - To be honest, a lot of those connections are made through my management! Finding someone who believes in you and wants to hustle to help you reach your full potential is really important as it’s almost impossible to do it all by yourself. In the beginning though, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and be sure to offer something to the person you’re reaching out to and ask for help! They’ll be much more likely to help you out if you ask a very specific question down their alley of expertise and offer services in exchange for the feedback. From there, you can begin to network with the person and they’ll be much more likely to continue to help you and work with you!

Q - We personally connected with you as a brand using Thematic & reaching out on social media. We thought that was pretty cool. Any thoughts on other tools Artists should be using to get ahead of the game or build relationships with brands?

A - I should definitely be more on top of this but unfortunately I don’t know of many tools for artists to reach out to brands with. I do know that Speakr is really good for brands and influencers though! My roommate founded that company so go check it out ;)

Q - What's your favorite non-musical hobby?

A - CHESS. I. LOVE. CHESS. The best way to get your demo heard is to challenge me on chess with friends, my username is “Kap Slap”. Other than that I founded an E-learning startup and am an advisor on Nomad, an all in one tour management software that connects artists with venues and management via the app. I also just love learning things so I read a lot of books on Blinkist and listen to tons of podcasts; mainly the IDW and shows like “The Science of Success” by Matt Bodnar. Start learning things! You’ll be way more well-rounded and successful in life.

Chess Kap Slap

Q - You've come a long way in your career—Any tips for the bedroom producers out there? What are 3 things you think they need in order to be successful on their mission?

A - 1) It sounds cliché, but grit. You need to set goals for your self and make one shi**y song every week, fully done. The only way you get better is with more practice, so make a song with all the elements from start to finish and don’t worry about how it sounds or if it sounds like that track that’s popping right now. Eventually, when you get better and learn more you can go back and critique your old songs and make them refreshed and up to par with your standards. 

2) A team. You can’t do it on your own, you at least need one more person to push you and help you achieve your goals and let you focus on music instead of a lot of other business dealings you have to do in this day and age. Reach out to managers of artists you admire and send them music, no matter how shitty it is. Make a personal connection with them and try to find common ground between you two or see if there are mutual friends who can introduce you. You never know who will like your style so don’t be afraid of rejection.

3) Be prepared to let songs go. Every artist is a perfectionist and we’re never really truly satisfied with our work, but sometimes you need to just let it go.  Sometimes quantity is better than quality, especially when you’re first starting out. Be consistent for your new fans and give them a face to connect to – they want to grow with you. Many artists including myself find social media exhausting, but Gary Vee said it best: document, don’t create. Show people what you’re doing, your studio life, your personal life. Don’t worry about how it looks, just give them a peek into what you’re doing!

Q - What are your goals for the future? Will we see a full Kap Slap album someday soon?!

A - Hopefully! I’m sitting on a lot of new music, so as soon as I find a good home for it I’ll set it free!

Kap Slap

We want to extend a huge thanks to Jared for taking the time to give us some inside scoops on his life, music, and tips for other artists out there.

You heard it here first, if you want Kap Slap to hear your demo, go challenge him on Chess with Friends!

 Follow Kap Slap on Social Media 

KapSlap Instagram KapSlap Facebook KapSlap Twitter Kap Slap Website 

 



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