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How to Create a Joyful Song Like "Happy" by Pharrell Williams

July 24, 2024

Creating a song that radiates joy and energy, much like Pharrell Williams' hit "Happy," is an exciting challenge for any music creator. Whether you're a seasoned producer or just starting out...

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Blackpink’s Lisa Dominates iTunes with New Single ‘Rockstar’

July 24, 2024

Music enthusiasts and aspiring creators, take note! Blackpink’s Lisa is making waves in the U.S. with her latest single, "Rockstar." Released late on Thursday, June 27, the song quickly shot up the...

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Why Nas' Illmatic Deserves the Top Spot: Rap Lyricism at its Finest

July 17, 2024

Nas’ debut album, Illmatic, has been crowned the greatest rap album of all time by Billboard, and for good reason. Celebrated for its lyrical brilliance and profound storytelling, Illmatic set...

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How to Create a Viral Chart-Topping Song Like Tommy Richman's "Million Dollar Baby"

July 8, 2024

Creating a viral, chart-topping song is the pinnacle of success for many music creators. Tommy Richman’s "Million Dollar Baby" exemplifies how to craft a hit that resonates with a wide audience...

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Crafting Music Like Jeff Bhasker: A Guide for Aspiring Music Creators

July 2, 2024

Jeff Bhasker is a legendary figure in the music industry, celebrated for his outstanding contributions as a producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. His Grammy-winning career has seen...

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The Magic of K-pop: Insights from "Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory"

June 30, 2024

In the ever-evolving world of pop music, K-pop has emerged as a global powerhouse, captivating audiences with its unique sound and stunning visuals. John Seabrook’s book, "Song Machine: Inside the...

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Blackpink’s Lisa Dominates iTunes with New Single ‘Rockstar’

June 30, 2024

Music enthusiasts and aspiring creators, take note! Blackpink’s Lisa is making waves in the U.S. with her latest single, "Rockstar." Released late on Thursday, June 27, the song quickly shot up the...

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Unlocking the Secrets of Pop Hits: Insights from "Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory"

June 30, 2024

Have you ever wondered what makes a pop song stick in your head, or how some artists consistently produce hit after hit? John Seabrook's "Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory" pulls back the...

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TWICE’s Nayeon on Solo Debut, Songwriting, and Spoilers: Insights for Aspiring Music Creators

June 27, 2024

As the eldest member of the global K-pop group TWICE, Im Nayeon embodies big sister energy: she's protective, loving, and playful. Her playful nature sometimes leads to spoilers, much to the...

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Celebrating Joyful Rebellion: Lake Street Dive's "Good Together"

June 24, 2024

In a world often divided by strife and discord, Lake Street Dive emerges with their eighth studio album, "Good Together," a jubilant testament to the power of joy and unity in music. Scheduled for...

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Kygo's Summer Serenade

June 24, 2024

Kygo, the maestro of summer vibes, returns with his self-titled album just in time to soundtrack your sun-soaked days. Released to coincide with the summer solstice, this album reaffirms Kygo's...

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Luna Shadows' 'bathwater' Album Delivers a Deep Dive into Self-Discovery and Reflection"

June 24, 2024

Luna Shadows has finally unveiled her long-awaited LP, "bathwater," a deeply personal journey through emotion and memory. Released independently on June 21st, this album marks a significant...

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How Steve Lacy Makes the Most with Less

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Photo: Chugg Entertainment

Does equipment matter when producing bangers– or is it about working with what you have?

Steve Lacy is a singer, songwriter, record producer, and living proof that you don’t need the most advanced or high-tech studio equipment to create music that listeners will love. With something as simple as the GarageBand app on his iPhone, the “Dark Red” artist was able to gain recognition in the music industry. During his TEDxTeen talk, Lacy expressed that he always wanted a MacBook Pro since that’s what his friends used to create art. He never got that MacBook, however. Instead, Lacy created beats with an iPod. “With this [iPod], I’ve got these apps and I’m just exploring this world of sound with this little device in my pocket - and I realized that I didn’t necessarily need what I thought I did,” he said.

Lacy was able to gain traction as the guitarist of The Internet, an Alternative R&B band from LA. One of their songs titled “Curse”, created via GarageBand, was the demo that would go on to lead the then high-schooler into a Grammy nomination. From there, he continued creating music not necessarily having any idea what it was for– “it just felt right”, he said during the talk. He wasn’t even aware that he was producing an album, he was just laying down ideas that he had heard in his head with his friends. This first body of work opened the doors of opportunity for him to work with more people like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar– all just from his iPhone.

According to a Wired feature on YouTube, Lacy records all of his music on his phone. He’s used lots of apps before but GarageBand is his favourite, according to the Wired video. He would start off with a simple drum loop, and then he plugs his guitar into his iPhone using an iRig cable. After, he adds his vocals– Lacy prefers singing straight into the iPhone’s mic, holding a pop filter and getting right up close. As he works, he just stacks the tracks one-by-one in GarageBand.

“I like to, you know, make wherever I am”, he said in the Wired video.

Besides Lacy, other legendary musicians such as Rihanna, and electronic music duo, Justice, have released masterpieces using GarageBand. Rihanna’s 2007 hit “Umbrella” uses a drum loop that you can find if you search for the “Vintage Funk Kit 03” sample on the app. Justice’s 2007 album “Cross” was produced using the Apple app.

GarageBand and other alternative apps like Logic Pro (Apple), Groovepad (Android), Audacity (Windows, Linux, Mac), Adobe Audition (Windows & Mac), etc. are powerful, yet accessible tools available to new-age artists to create music on. Furthermore, with the emergence of the Information Age, a simple internet search can help young artists get their foot in the door of the music industry.