- Top 100
July 12th 2012
I recently got the chance to sit down and chat with 19 year old producer Bridge & Law. Building a little bit of a buzz over the past few months, online, and at shows in Montreal and Toronto. We chatted about his humble beginnings, balancing school and production, as well as his sound and career’s direction.
Hey, do you mind introducing yourself
Bridge & Law: My name is Lucas Ranalli, I go by Bridge & Law, I’m a DJ from Toronto, Ontario. I go to McGill university in Montreal, I’m 19 years old.
People might have heard some of your newer productions like your Pumped Up Kicks Remix, or your new Ain’t No Love remix, but the first time I heard you and the first time a lot of Toronto high school kids heard your productions was on a track by local rapper Dante Leon.
That the first beat I ever made. Dante went to my high school, De La Salle College. I was 15 at the time and I was making music, doing my thing and he came up to me and asked me if I wanted to make a beat. One day I was making a beat with a Neil Young sample and I told him “Yo, I just finished this beat, do you want to record something.” He came over that day, recorded it in one take, put it on youtube that night and within a week it had like 30,000 views.
When did you decide you wanted to do make music? By the time you were 15 you had a little studio and could record rappers in your home?
The thing is, my whole family plays piano, hardcore classical piano. I started playing Royal Conservatory when I was 4 years old, I had my teachers licence by the time I was 12 and then my parents bought me a really old school midi controller. When I was 14 I asked them if I could buy a laptop, so I saved some money. I bought Ableton live. My friend Atticus had a few connections in Montreal, who introduced me to Liam Clark, who produces under Love Thy Brother. I’m not sure if he felt bad for me or actually thought my sound was good, but nevertheless he came over to my house and showed me how to use Ableton properly; every filter, every effect. He taught me how to make music that sounds record-able.
From then on in I was working on music, I saw a Foster the People contest to remix Pumped Up Kicks. I submitted my remix and it didn’t do that well. Two weeks later, my buddy told me to check Hypem, I was number 2 on the most popular charts. It was the craziest thing I ever saw.
I kept on making music. I found this girl Annika Zee, whose studying vocal performance at NYU. We recorded this song called Games together, she sent me the acapella from New York.
Was that an acapella from another song she did?
She sent me an acapella after I sent her the beat. I finished it up in my rez room, my little 5 by 7 foot residence room. I put it out and people loved it. Then I got some attention from a few labels.
Right on, you started making music at 15, when did you start DJing? Particularly with Ableton, which is a growing trend among producers who start doing live performances?
I started djing, with this Serato NS7, with two turntables. I was mixing older electro at the time, like Boys Noize, Back then I was 16 and going to all ages parties and people wanted to hear Pitbull. I was like fuck this. I focused on production afterwards and Liam suggested that I just DJ with Ableton. He told me I produce with it and I could easily DJ with it too. So he taught me how to do it and since then, I was using ableton and it’s been so much better. To mix my own songs, to make my own edits.
Do you try to add a live instrument track to your mixes, like a drum rack?
Sometimes I’ll have a little synth lined up and play it off my laptop keyboard.
Dope! How would you describe your sound?
My sound is danceable electro, which is much more melodic than some of the harder house out there. So you have a lot of vocals in it and a lot of progression, but it still has that heavy electro sound. Its somewhere in between a really hard Boys Noize track and a really poppy magician remix. I want people to dance to it, but I don’t want it to sound like a top 40 hit. Honestly, I’ve been playing around with so many sounds, I wouldn’t say I have a distinctive sound that you would be able to recognize, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Bright and Hard,
Yeah, the bass is still there, but it still has that melody, that hook.
Like that melody on the Love Me Lots remix. Just a really quick catchy pitch shift.
That was just a little sample of Sylenth and octave higher than everything else, I was fiddling around with it in my rez room. I’ll tell you right now, the way you make music. You don’t go in there with the mentality of making a banger. You’ll spend hours, and then you’ll make a mistake and the mistake will sound beautiful. You save the mistake. You have to spend hours, you fuck up once, and that fuckup will be the next big thing.
How do you maintain focus when you’re spending hours in the studio?
The best advice is something I got is something that Liam and Evan Blair (Charlie Darker) swear by. I wake up every morning and I treat it like a day job. I’ll fuck around on ableton for at least 5 or 6 hours a day. One moment I’ll fuck up and something will sound really catchy. You can’t go into the studio and expect to make something beautiful, you have to put in the hours first.
Cool, what’s your studio looking like?
Sounds like a sweet setup. Besides the time spent locked in the studio, what else do you have lined up?
It’s summer, that’s my job. I’m DJing at night, I do maybe 2 or 3 shows a week, spend my days in the studio. I just did a set at Wrongbar with Charlie Darker and Nobody Beats the Drum. It was a fun time. When school starts again, I’m going to be working with SwagMTL and Saintwoods for frosh stuff. Maybe a tent party. Shout outs to Nick Yim.
Bridge & Law was recently added to Bassmentality’s August 1st show. It’s a killer lineup, with Bassmentality founders, The Killabits at the top. It should be an awesome celebration of all things bass heavy this weekly event has brought to Toronto.
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