Hip Hop has grown so much from the beginning and continues to do so everyday. Every one has a rhyme and some succeed while some fold. All praise is due to the artists who can not only make great music but make a consistency of excellence. All praise is due for L.A.N.C.E.. He's been giving us great content and we wanted to learn more about the man behind the music. L.A.N.C.E. was gracious with his time and gave us a in depth interview on the music. Below is the interview.
Who is L.A.N.C.E. the artist?
L.A.N.C.E. is an artist from a city called Fontana, which is just one part of a place called the Inland Empire...some people call it the I.E., but for me and many others it’s the 9. The best way I can describe L.A.N.C.E. as an artist is just a person who seeks to inspire freedom through music. One the biggest things I focus on in my music is “self;” now the “self” can mean many things and take upon many different forms. I can talk about myself, self growth and development, loving thyself, and the list goes on. I think one of the keys to life and the only way you can live freely is by being intune with who you are as a person. 90% of the things that happen in your life are due to decisions you make everyday, so my goal as an artist is not only to help empower the healthy choices; but also bring awareness to issues that I feel are important. For example the biggest issue I have with life/the world is the global and societal problem of hate. Hate is the biggest life challenge I want to tackle and overcome through my music. As an artist to help break down that barrier and introduce people to the idea of unconditional love is huge for me, because I believe the only way to conquer hate is to fight it with the power of love. Most people might think it’s ludicrous, but the limitations we place upon ourselves subconsciously sometimes comes from the most evil places. We can hate others and that limits our understanding of the beauty of humanity and we can also hate ourselves which limits our understanding of the world and life itself. And I firmly understand that everyone can’t adopt these things overnight, but music is a universal tool to help people overcome these obstacles and roadblocks. I’m just one man who knows as much as the next person. I don’t have all the answers or pieces to this puzzle, but that’s why you’ll hear me be vulnerable in my music, because just like you I’m trying to figure this thing called life out myself. The only difference is having confidence and being secure within that vulnerability and transparency, and viewing it as a strength instead of a weakness that I think differentiates myself from the next. I’m not afraid to bleed my thoughts and emotions to those around me or on a song. I believe all of us can do it, but we’ve just been so accustomed to viewing certain aspects of life as weaknesses, that it places internal chains on us. Literally those chains come in many different forms, but I believe that’s keeping us from being truly alive and “human.” L.A.N.C.E. is an artist who wants to help set your soul free.
What does your name L.A.N.C.E. stand for?
The name L.A.N.C.E. stands for: Living. Abstract. Natural. Creative. Entity. It was something that took years of trying to create and went through many revisions because it kind of goes into my desire to achieve longevity and leave behind a legacy. My actual name is Lance and I believe as an artist that it’s my responsibility to give you my genuine, authentic self at all times. As an artist I never want to be boxed in and I wanted to reflect that in my name’s acronym, so each word is such a broad entity and idea; but when you tie it all together it’s the formula for I perceive life for me to be.
When did you know that you wanted to become an artist?
My decision to be an artist is actually interesting. It’s something I never really chose, but found me on several different occasions. I’ve always liked to write poetry and I would joke around and write rhymes with some of my friends, but told myself I could never be a rapper or an artist in general. I remember it being like winter of 2008-2009, I was in middle school and my favorite rapper at the time was T.I. I loved the aggression, wordplay, and understanding of language he displayed while being smooth with his delivery, along with being animated in his discography. I learned to write bars by imitating some of my favorite rappers, but the biggest roadblock I faced was being authentic. My background was completely different than most of the rappers I was listening too. My home wasn’t struggling financially, I had both parents present and together at the time, and never did I have to hustle growing up. I was an emotional child and I didn’t know how to convey that in music especially at the time when rap was heavily dominated by various aspects of street life. Emotion was considered a sign of weakness. It wasn’t until one of my classmates introduced me to Drake and that changed my whole perspective of what you could do with rap. The project he just released was So Far Gone and to hear the amount of vulnerability and emotion that was unapologetically put on display was powerful. It was raw, it displayed internal struggle, but most of all the music was an embodiment of his humanity. I finally had found an artist I could connect to, and from there the flood gates opened and the peak of mixtape era just introduced me to other artists who were doing similar things that I heard and liked on So Far Gone. It gave me confidence that I didn’t have to be like the T.I.’s and 50 Cent’s of the world; all I had to do was be me and learn how to convey how I felt inside. That’s what I spent all of high school learning to do, I had highs and lows, but I continued to walk this path to discovering what it meant to be an artist. I had great friends and family who pushed me and supported me along the way, but the final decision to become an artist didn’t come till years after. I dropped my first EP around 2015 and after that my first mixtape in 2016; it was in between both of those projects that I realized my words were actually resonating with people. People would tell me how much my music meant for them. People would share my music on twitter or they would make videos and post it on their snapstory and it would just leave me baffled. For so long the music had just been a way to express my thoughts and feelings, but to see it connect with people on a emotional, mental and spiritual level was incredible. To me that was the biggest confirmation that this is something I need to commit to and continue doing, because I realized that this may be the way I can make a difference in the world and for other people. Creating the music people can live through and find comfort to their lives, along with leading them to the answers they might’ve been looking for within life, means everything to me. That’s why I’m an artist, to inspire people to grow and be free.
What are some of the influences for your style?
Some of the biggest inspirations that I’ve drawn from as far as musicians are Drake, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Marvin Gaye, Sade, Jay-Z, Jodeci, Future and PARTYNEXTDOOR. Growing up my family played loads of Motown around me and the emotion those artists conveyed created an unforgettable experience no matter what age or time you listen to it. As an artist that’s all you could ever want to do is create an experience for the listener that they can vicariously live through. Other inspirations come from art, my favorite genre of art is abstract art. The concept behind it I feel like is ingenious. The fact that the artist can paint whatever they like or feel and it turn into a work of art that is celebrated is so crazy to me, but I love it. The artist uses the canvas as a venting mechanism and more times than not onlookers do not know where that inspiration came from or even what the painting is supposed to convey or even be, but they love it. I think it’s because with each stroke of the brush it conveys emotion, people can feel the emotion that went into the painting and from that emotion they can create their own meaning, which is even crazier, but amazing. I think the beautiful thing of abstract art, is that you know the artist had their intention and exact reason when creating the piece, but you as a viewer can interpret it in a completely different way and you can both be right. Same with music, everything is interconnected and that’s just the way life works. It’s beautiful.
What is your mindset when making music?
My mindset when making music is that there is no mindset. I want to be free, I want to vent...any time I write or go to the studio it’s a therapy session for me. There’s no outside thoughts, there’s no distractions, it’s just me, God, and my thoughts and emotions. I don’t know what I’m going to convey, nor do I plan it. I let the beat speak to me and just start conveying how I feel. The biggest thing for me is the opening line. It’s like when you’re writing an essay. In school they say you always need a strong hook, something that’s interesting enough to make a person want to read the rest of the paper. That’s how I think of music. The possibilities are endless but the first line of a song sets the tone, intent and direction of where I’m going to go with the song. It’s a very intimate experience, but I’m very conscious of what I’m doing at the same time. From word choice, to delivery, even down to the structure, I calculate it all. Like I said it’s very therapeutic for me, but I don’t create music solely just for myself. I think about all the other people who may listen to this song. I take into consideration that if I was a listener instead of the creator, could these verses, hooks, and bridges, be relatable to a person’s life. If I don’t feel like I’ve not only spoken my truth, but enough truths about life itself I rework a song until it meets a certain standard I set for all my music.
How did you know Chosen One was ready to be released?
You know what’s interesting about Chosen One is that everything about it was very sporadic and organic. One day I heard a beat while I was driving in the car and immediately felt inspired by it, so I told myself, “oh yeah I need to get to the studio and record this.” On the way to the studio I’m listening to it over and over just trying to understand the pockets and familiarize myself with the instrumental. At this point in time I had been going through a lot lately and was reaching dark point to where I was even contemplating if music really was for me. But, when I got into the booth I just felt inspired and freestyled the whole song. Still, I was iffy cause I wasn’t sure if it just sounded like a diary entry or if it was genuinely a good song. It wasn’t till my cousin and my engineer who are my best friends were in a mixing and mastering session putting the finishing touches on the song that I realize that this is the one. I’m at work and get on my break and check my phone and see I got a snap from my cousin. My cousin doesn’t ever use snapchat like that and also he’s probably one of the biggest critics of my music outside of myself. So, I open up the video he sends me and Chosen one playing is in the background while he’s holding up a lighter next to the microphone and light it’s up a la Lil Wayne fashion indicating that it’s fire. That’s when I knew that Chosen One was fire, but it took me multiple listens on my own alone time to really digest the amount of realism in the song, along with the message behind it. It got to the point where I was listening to it, like I wasn’t the one who created it, and the song was hitting my soul. I never really listen to my own music for pleasure like that so when I do, I know that it’s something I need to release ASAP and share with the world.
How does it feel putting out consistent good music for the people?
It’s an amazing surreal feeling to be completely honest. Before I dropped Revenge I hadn’t dropped any music in an entire year. A lot of time has passed by, I stepped away from being public with the music to start working on big projects, understand the business side of music, but most of all understand myself. So I was nervous coming back cause all that buzz I had been working towards for the past 2-3 years in my city had dissipated. That’s what made it even harder to drop cause I was looking for the right moment to drop, I was stressing myself because I had planned to drop some of these singles way earlier maybe around summer time, but I remember an exchange me and one of my homies had after I showed him what I had been working on and he was like “drop in fall.” I’m glad I have a great core group of people I consider brothers, friends and family that can council me when I need it most, because dropping in fall was honestly the best decision. Every time I release something new I get a better response than the last one. That break was needed, because people forgot what I sound like and now I’m put into this interesting position of being a new artist again. Which at first was a scary thought, but it’s allowed me to renovate myself as an artist. One of the main reasons I took the break as an artist outside of the aforementioned reasons was to create a sound; to create a pocket dimension within the genre, where people can be like, “oh yeah that’s Lance through and through,” every time they turn on a new track.
What can people expect next from L.A.N.C.E.?
What can people expect from L.A.N.C.E.? Ah, that’s an interesting question because right now I’m going with the flow of just doing what feels right. I have plans for 2019, actually big plans, but I rather talk about the next 3-4 months. In December people can expect 2 more songs to close out the year. One single just like Revenge, Unthinkable, and Chosen One; and then the last single which will come out at the latter half of December will be one that’s off an upcoming EP that I’m going to release at the beginning of the year. There’s other things in the works, but I rather let those things happen all on their own. Once those things are cemented I’ll definitely announce them...plus if I told you everything going on there would be no reason to have me back for another interview.
Check out L.A.N.C.E. latest release "Chosen One" produced by Lavish Jax below and follow him on Twitter. Stay Global my Friends!