Updated: Feb 1, 2020
Words by Amy Ryan
Speaking over the busy downtown street next to us, Toronto producer, Lance Free, reveals how his passion for making music started by accident.
He recalls the moment as a kid when he decided to remake the beat of the iconic ‘Still DRE’ by Dr. DRE in an attempt to escape boredom. Unlike his many previous efforts to entertain himself, remixing is the one thing that stuck. From there he turned to Youtube videos for the basics and began playing around with chopping up and sampling beats, trying to train his ear to be more attuned to both the theoretical and stylistic aspects of producing.
Fast forwarding a few years, Lance realized he was able to use mixing as a way of expressing how he was feeling and began turning to it as a place of comfort.
“I didn’t enjoy anything else,” explains Lance, “[making beats] was the one thing I've stuck to for the past seven or eight years. I get bored really fast and go through phases, but this was never a phase for me.”
Minutia is Lance’s first complete project to which he is the sole producer. Featuring Toronto rapper Tino, the two set off to tell a story throughout the production. He explains that the album, “[represents] the growth of a person; about learning from mistakes without winning at the end.”
From a production standpoint, the duo played a lot with the concept of time - using delays and contradicting the BPMs of the songs, as well as making sure whatever they did was, “slightly psychedelic.”
Lance is pretty particular about the process of any production he’s involved in. He makes a point to be in the same space with anyone he is collaborating with.
“Most translations aren’t through your words, it’s through your emotions, your body language, and your energy, [my job] is really just to translate what [they’re] feeling into sound.”
Lance isn’t closing any doors on other creative projects. The producer doesn’t want to pour all his energy into only music. While currently working on Tino’s second album, Lance is also in the process of building his own album with hopes to dip into other avenues like fashion and special sound effects.