Damn Son: Talented Teens Jake Libassi September 22, 2014 Blogs, Columns, Damn Son, Where'd Ya Find This? The ongoing joke that “any kid with a laptop can produce music from their bedroom” has been challenged by three young individuals, who went further than the pack of tweens fooling around with Garageband on their MacBooks to the point of gaining recognition and support from some of SoundCloud’s most respected accounts. Their ambition and drive has certainly paid off at the expense of normal teenage hobbies, like binge watching South Park or living on your couch for days surviving only on potato chips and bong rips until you’ve played GTA all the way through… twice. Sacrificing free time for diligent work is the way we were taught to operate as students of an educational school system, whether we liked it or not. But these talented teens were born with the admirable trait of self-motivation. They may be young, but their sophisticated sounds have left lasting impacts on accomplished artists in their respective genres (if genres even exist anymore), helping them move on down whichever path they have mapped out for their future. Luke, Tom, and Sam are the poster-children for the youth of experimental music production. Luke Tennyson, 18 Edmonton, Canada [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/131715732″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]Though seemingly quite mature for his age, Luke Tennyon’s cognizant youthfulness reflects favorably in his production style, giving his music a taste unmatched by creepy euro-trash 30-something DJs. The Canadian youth describes himself as “a well-behaved, gangling kid, surrounded by snow and pickup trucks”, which paints an image fitting all too well with his musical style. He began piano lessons at age 4, but after flirting with classical jazz styles as many young pianists do, Luke chose to apply his formal training to music production, resulting in mellowed out teen daze sleep tracks and trippy-ass hip-hop beats — all before hitting puberty. So how does one uncover the work of an unknown producer buried deep under Canadian soil? Ahh, well that’s the beauty of the Internet. The story goes that one of my longtime favorite producers of lo-fi 8-bit video game music, Lindsay Lowend, reposted one of Tennyson’s tracks on his SoundCloud page leading Lowend’s fans to Luke’s page, thus exposing his unique sound to those interested in discovering new music. For me, it was his ambient jazz-infused remix of Angus & Julia Stone’s “For You” that dropped the jaw. Then came his climactic remix of Daughter’s “Smother” and it felt like I had just been reborn and was now feeling the sun on my skin for the first time. There just isn’t music that’s so perfectly balanced between clean and messy like the work of Tennyson anywhere else in the world, so it’s rewarding to see his beautiful imagination has been put to good use and is being rightfully recognized. Tom Misch, 19 London, UK [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/125304115″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]Much like Tennyson, Tom Misch resides in a foreign land where his musical upbringing plays an integral part in his uniquely crafted modern sound. The 19 year-old jazz guitarist from London has managed to merge old-school hip hop vibes with a jazz instrumentation base, most of which he plays himself (lead and rhythm guitar, violin, percussion, etc.). He has also worked on tracks with his younger sister who plays saxophone, which is heartwarming in itself. What sets him apart from most other producers though are his stunning vocals featured on almost all of his tracks. Unsurprisingly, I’ve come to notice through his social media postings that one of Tom’s largest inspirations is the legendary beat-maker J. Dilla, whom he pays homage to through his drum patterns and compositional styles. The admiration for Dilla’s work is clearly illustrated in Tom’s music, which led other Dilla fans, such as co-founder Joe Kay of the LA based record label Soulection, to take notice. This recognition moved Joe to reach out to Tom, eventually developing into a relationship and thus over time working out details for the two to work together. Subsequently came Tom’s three-track EP released through the ‘Soulection White Label Series’ (a compilation of EPs featuring new artists) allowing Tom to create a larger following and get his music heard by so many other Dilla-heads. Having released this EP, with another EP and album forthcoming, Tom still understands he is young and recognizes there is much more to learn in this massive world of music, which explains why he is enrolled in jazz guitar class this fall. The motivation for greatness is apparent and respected. Sam Gellaitry, 17 Sterling, Scotland [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/155510071″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]Sam doesn’t like to be associated with his young age, but it doesn’t hurt to know he was born in 1997. The youngster has been producing music since he was just 12 years old, but has recently discovered the power of mastering, which has allowed his music to flourish in a professional setting. His DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) of choice is Fruity Loops, uncommon among most producers to date, giving him yet another edge. Inspirationally speaking, Sam has said his favorite current rapper is Danny Brown and has mentioned how much it would mean to him to be able to collab with Danny in the future. In fact, some of Sam’s most well known works are his Danny Brown flips, most notably his track “bruh…”, which was reposted by Danny B himself via Twitter only two weeks after the track was publicly released. Much like Tom Misch, Sam was discovered early on by Joe Kay, but instead of a one-time release deal, Sam was invited to join the Soulection family. Since then, he’s performed a live show with Soulection in London, prior to performing anywhere else but his bedroom, and I love the fact that his father was in attendance. I actually happened to see a Soulection show out in LA this summer before Sam had even been added to the roster, and Joe Kay still dropped “bruh…” in his set that night. Almost instantly, the crowd recognized the track and erupted into an electrified moshpit, jumping and chanting in unison ‘AY!’ after every measure. He has been called “Young Carmack” in reference to his similarities to fellow Soulection roster member Mr. Carmack, but Sam and Joe both believe Sam carries his own distinct sound. If he continues to work with the Soulection squad, the future only becomes brighter and brighter.