Steve Lacy (real name Steve Thomas Lacy-Moya)
May 23, 1998 in Compton, California, USA
Los Angeles, USA
The guitarist, bassist, singer-songwriter and record producer Steve Lacy’s meteoric rise to stardom is the stuff of legend. It tells the tale of a young man straight out of Compton, who started out playing the guitar at the age of seven through the video game Guitar Hero, while feverishly wanting a MacBook Pro for Christmas to produce beats. He never got the MacBook, so he ingeniously perfected the art of music production using his iPhone and a plug-in piece for his guitar, called an iRig, instead.
Through his high school jazz band he met the former band member of R&B-sensation The Internet, Jameel Bruner, who roped him in on the project and in 2013 Lacy began producing for, what would become, The Internet’s third studio album, Ego Death, using mostly his phone. The album dropped in late 2015 and was Grammy-nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album in 2016, while Lacy was still in high school. This prompted legendary guitarist Nile Rodgers to invite the young prodigy to hold a lecture on technology and music at the 2017 TEDxTeen conference in New York City hailing him as “innovation personified.”
On the back of this, Lacy released his debut project, a song-series titled Steve Lacy’s Demo in 2017, mainly using – you guessed it – his iPhone, singing his vocals right into its built-in microphone and programming the drum patterns in Ableton.
Since then he’s gone on to make tracks for the likes of Kendrick Lamar (and the seminal hip-hop album DAMN.), Vampire Weekend, J. Cole, Tyler, the Creator, YG, Twenty88, Solange and Goldlink to name just a few. 2018 also saw the release of The Internet’s album Hive Mind. So in 2019, on the night of this 21st birthday, Lacy released his first full-length solo album Apollo XXI to widespread acclaim.
Lacy describes his infectiously sunny, funk-fueled sound as “plaid music” – where “there’s a lot going on” which “all goes together to be one pattern.” The same could be said about his foray into the world of fashion, emerging as a bona fide style icon walking the runway for Virgil Abloh’s first Louis Vuitton show in Paris in 2018, and courting his 580k-something Instagram-followers with his daring, fashion-forward style.
2013 – present
Estimated net worth of $6 million dollars as of 2019.