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Life & Work with Stéphane Lo Jacomo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stéphane Lo Jacomo.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My story with music started at the age of five in Paris, France when my parents first put a classical guitar in my hands. I took lessons and moved to the Netherlands with my family at the age of seven. As a teenager, I took up classical piano and then, inspired by my friends’ music tastes, I developed an interest in electronic music. I started exploring digital synths like Massive and Sylenth in FL studio. I quickly moved to Ableton, the software I use to this day. Thanks to YouTube and any other resources I could find on the internet I spent a lot of time exploring sounds and looking for the best musical recipes.

Learning about distribution services at the age of 14, I uploaded my first track “Winter Wind” to the iTunes Store. This was my first unconscious step into making music professionally and I am thankful to have had the chance to continue down that path since then. Soon after, my collaboration with Carmen Forbes, a friend and singer at my school, was signed to BMG sub-label Strictly Rhythm. We shot a music video in London and the whole experience was very eye-opening. It gave me a glimpse into the industry; the good and not so good.

At the end of high school, I applied to Berklee College of Music and decided that if I got in it would be worth giving music a real chance. The four subsequent years studying in Boston were extremely formative. Majoring in Electronic Production and Sound Design helped me discover music in a completely new way. One of my favorite classes with the renowned Dr. B had us rewire kid’s toys to make synthesizers. The resulting instruments were mind-bending and it revealed the musical potential of everyday objects and even the music that was already there organically in the environments we’re in.

Out of college, I signed a management deal with Heroic Management. This was an incredible experience that took me on two tours notably encompassing Red Rocks in Colorado, the House of Blues in Boston and the Roxy LA. Getting to do music full time gave me a chance to elevate my craft and mindset. In the beginning of 2018, I parted ways with Heroic and started working on my O1 artist visa for the US. It wasn’t an easy step as it meant that my life in the US would suddenly be paused and my relationship would have to be long distance. I moved back to Europe for almost an entire year to sort out my work and visa situation.

This process opened a whole new pathway into ghost production, production music, sync and online music libraries. Working in a wide variety of genres like Pop, Hip Hop, Kpop and Reggaeton, I produced tailor-made projects for a diverse clientele. This part of the narrative also kickstarted my work as a mixing and mastering engineer which is something that I enjoy more and more with experience.

Returning to the US with my O1 Visa 10 days before the flights were blocked by the Covid pandemic, I couldn’t have been happier to be reunited with my best friends and partner, singer-songwriter and Rock ’n’ Roll badass Neia Jane.

Since then, we moved to LA and set up a beautiful new studio space in our den. Reconnecting with past acquaintances from Berklee and meeting many of the people I only collaborated with at a distance has been a very refreshing experience. I look forward to witnessing the unfolding of the rest of this story.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It both has and hasn’t been smooth. Some of the main turning points weren’t easy, like parting ways with my first management agency Heroic. However, in hindsight looking at how things progressed into the COVID pandemic, I could easily have been stuck in Europe relying on nonexistent touring income. Having to find new work and new clients outside of commercial music just before the world went on hold both taught me what I needed to take the Fytch project where I see it going, and it also stopped me from relying on label advances and giving up ownership of my music.

Outside of that, one of the main challenges has been doing most of the work in composing, recording, producing, mixing and mastering a record. It took time for me to learn the different parts of this process and ultimately find the right people that I could delegate some of it to. Gatz B my writer handles lyrics and I have started working with ColorSound in Paris for analog mastering. I am thankful that my new manager Jacob Lee reached out to me right around the time that Heroic and I split, so the passing of the torch didn’t take long and we could resume our work on the Fytch project.

Bottom line is most of the things that seemed bad initially flourished into some of the biggest opportunities with time.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
In my opinion, what makes the Fytch project unique is that it plays with so many different musical influences at the same time. The classical music I was exposed to in my youth shaped my melodies and harmonies. Hip hop legends like Tupac, Biggie and Mobb Deep inspired a lot of the grooves and feel. The electronic influences go all the way from Dubstep to the more accessible branches of EDM and had a huge impact on my sound design as well. I recently revisited music from my youth, like Green Day, Deftones, Red Hot Chili peppers and fell in love with it all over again. My forthcoming songs have this added Rock flavor and I’m very excited to put it out.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
The Covid-19 crisis pushed me to simplify my mindset. The grind of building an artist project can force you to make sacrifices that you ultimately won’t be able to get back. Like quality time spent with loved ones. I really think that putting a big question mark on people’s health and future made me re-evaluate the most important parts of my life; community.

I decided that I won’t wait to achieve all my goals to be fulfilled. Rather, that my career will sprout out of a place of fulfillment.

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