Liverpool’s Lauren Lo Sung is by no means new to the scene, since establishing her club night LOLIFE in 2009, which is now an official clubbing partner of Manchester’s The Warehouse Project, she has built her reputation as a standout DJ and producer. Her sound pushes the boundaries of house, dub and techno and has landed her releases on DRAFT and Deep Tech Records, whilst garnering support from high profile artists including Hector and Dana Ruh.
With Lauren’s next EP entitled ‘Tresor’ releasing on House Puff this April, we decided to catch up with the in-demand artist to talk about her creative process and what she has planned for the future.
Hi, how are you? What have you been up to recently?
Hey! I'm very well thanks, I've been very productive in my home studio recently, making around 2 tracks a week. I'm itching to get lots of new music out!
How did you get to know DJ Steaw and become the first person to release on his new label?
I play a lot of his music. I have done for the past couple of years. I played a track of his at my set in Space Ibiza, which went down really well and a video of me playing it ended up reaching him- so eventually we connected on Facebook. I sent him some of my unsigned tracks and he was really impressed with a lot of it, wanting to sign it on his new imprint. I was delighted, as I'm a huge fan of his work, so it was a great honour to be the first solo EP on 'House Puff'- not to mention having a killer remix from the man himself.
You seem to be pushing music out on vinyl at the moment; is this an important issue for you?
A lot (I would say around 80%) of the music I find and love these days tends to be vinyl only. I like vinyl because it has more exclusive tracks and it's more than likely not something everyone will know or have. Being a full-time DJ you need to make sure your sets stand out from the rest and I think the music available on vinyl can be rarer than digitally available music. That's not to say I don't love digital, in my perfect world I would love all of the vinyl only stuff to be available digitally.
Vinyl is becoming increasingly popular and I think it's important for DJs to have music on as many platforms as possible; digital and vinyl. Vinyl exclusivity gives the music a special feel and it's always good to have a physical piece of your work. I play mainly digital, with the odd vinyl here and there; a lot of my music is vinyl exclusives but the DJs have sent it to me so I don't need to play much vinyl. I am a modern day DJ who would rather take a couple of USBs and a vinyl or two to a gig, rather than a stack of heavy records.
Who have been your music inspirations along the way and why?
I have always loved Madonna's stuff from 80's/ 90s. Fleetwood Mac, Tribe Called Quest, Mary J.Blige. I have quite a varied taste in music, which I think can really benefit the influences of productions. In the dance music world I have a lot of respect for Subb-an, he has been a huge influence on me over the years, and he is a really nice guy which makes him even more of a hero.
Tell us about your studio process - how do you go about making your tracks?
First off, I pick a couple of nice kicks, one for high end, one for low end (usually 909 or 808). I then either go with a sub sine wave bass or in with the rest of my percussion. I'll then chop up some samples, position them appropriately, throw some fx on them- Soundtoys are my all time favourite plug-ins, I use them on everything!
If the track is in need of a vocal I usually sit there for a while picking out some random clips from youtube, or looking for an acapella from an old favourite track which I chop up and use accordingly. I usually mix the track as I'm going along, getting myself into good EQing habits so that when it comes to the final mix-down it's not too time-consuming!
What is your favourite piece of equipment in the studio and why?
My Genelec 8040B studio monitors- without a doubt. They are the best things I've ever bought. It's so important to have accurate reference monitors, otherwise it's like guessing what the track will actually sound like in a club!
Do you see yourself as more of either a DJ or Producer? How do you balance the two?
I was a DJ firstly, so I would say more-so a DJ. But I love producing more and more every day, it's so rewarding when you write a track which you feel passionately about. I'm a people person, so I would rather entertain a crowd of people than sit in my room making music, purely because I get to interact with the crowd. Producing can get lonely, but the end result of playing your tracks to hundreds or thousands of people is what inspires me in the studio.
What have you got planned for the rest of 2017?
I'm playing in Cardiff on Saturday, Liverpool in a couple of weeks at Buyers club, I'm playing in Venice, Italy for EGG London's tour in a few weeks. I've got one of my intimate LOLiFE events in Liverpool in April with a special guest from FUSE- can't wait for that. I'm playing at the new Printworks London venue on 1st April which is meant to be incredible! Playing The Albert Hall for ANTS in Manchester, I've got some special gigs lined up in Ibiza which I can't announce just yet, playing a huge Drumcode show in summer, some gigs in Cyprus over summer too. Playing the new Church venue in Leeds, as well as some really special events for my residency with TRMNL in Birmingham. I'm also playing Parklife Festival on Carl Cox's stage which is something I'm really looking forward too as well! On top of all the gigs I've got a release coming on Hector's Vatos Locos and loads more release-wise. Excited!!