8 Years Of T.H.E: Lost Boy Discusses 8 Songs That Heavily Inspired Him

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best popular songs 2020 by lost boy

Possessing a trademarked sound – a harmoniously unique upbeat blend of dance music and pop, Lost Boy seems primed for one of his best years as a producer to date in 2020.

Enlisting the vocal expertise of fellow L.A.-based talent and Platinum selling artist – Gnash, Lost Boy’s second single this year – Insecure, serves as a new addition to his body of work, for what is sure to be an exciting new decade for the multi-talented artist.

To celebrate 8 Years Of T.H.E, Lost Boy shares 8 songs that have had a significant amount of impact on him.

“Blow The Whistle” Too $hort

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, there was an inescapable sound that defined my years coming up as a producer and artist. No matter who you were around, the music that everyone felt connected to back then was Hyphy music. Few acts really personify what there is to love about Hyphy music like Too $hort does. Lil Jon produced this track but it’s unmistakably influenced by years of the catchy baselines and simple drums that the Bay has made famous, and has been continuously referenced, celebrated, and mimicked in mainstream pop for years. The moment this song starts playing in any party in the Bay the energy is evident, the room is moving, and every single person is screaming these lyrics. For a young artist coming up I was always reaching to create this type of energy.

“Digital Love” Daft Punk

My first time hearing “Digital Love” felt like an awakening. It had a melodic freedom that I’m not sure I’d ever experienced until then. Nothing about the song is particularly big, or loud, or in your face, but it hits you. It’s simplicity is its strength, and it could go on for hours without notice. I try in my work to find ways to create that sense of an endless dream like setting, tons of atmosphere and texture. This song is proof that the hardest beat isn’t always what wins, great melodies and great songwriting are supremely important to making folks feel something.

“Cinema” Benny Benassi, Gary Go

To this day I’m mystified by this song. When I had first heard it I must have been in college, deep into my work in music but wildly unaware of the world of EDM. To this day, the sound choice and vocal production feel completely relevant. I had never heard such timelessness over such an intense (for the time) instrumental. I felt that as a producer I needed to simplify. If Benny can make a song with so few elements feel like a movie maybe I could too.

“Vans” The Pack

Another Bay Area classic, “Vans” is proof that all you need is like two sounds and a concept to make a smash. This was powerful for young me trying to get motivated to make something that people liked. Much of what The Pack was doing echoed into the mainstream rap sound we have now. The production, which is a progression of the old Bay Area sound, has directly seeped into the zeitgeist through producers like DJ Mustard and Nic Nac to name a few.

“Clarity” Zedd, Foxes

This song is obviously not some deep cut, we’ve all heard it like a million times, but it’s still pretty special. Before I heard this song I could never really imagine how you could apply big pop sensibilities to a dance track. At the time, I was not only producing but learning to sing and write. This song was hugely inspirational in its scale. It felt larger than life, bigger than anything I’d ever heard, and I finally saw a path that made the talents I was showing seem viable.

“More Bounce to the Ounce” Zapp and Rodger

It goes without saying that this is a classic. I wasn’t born when this track came out, but growing up I was surrounded by this era of music. My brother has a massive love for music much like I do and I grew up hearing these kinds of records pour out from under his bedroom door. I thank my brother, Mike, for what I call my musical vocabulary. I think listening to older music among other eras/ genres is a great way to become a better musician. The sound that Zapp and Rodger created has had a lasting influence on my preference for a bounce or swing in my own production.

“Avril 14th” – Aphex Twin

This song is painfully beautiful. I would sit in my room at my mom’s house before my career had gone anywhere, listen to this and just dream. To me, it’s unattainably emotional. It uses one instrument to make you feel so much. It’s tied to so many moments of both hope and hopelessness, and there’s truly something so magical about a song that can do that. I aspire to do that in some way or another with my music.

“How Much I Feel” – Ambrosia

I’m aware that most of my 8 tracks have been mainstream songs that many of you have surely heard. In my book, a great song is the sum of its parts. “How Much I Feel” is a masterclass in making something great. It’s catchy, it has tension, and its recording is sublime. Whether I’m making a trap beat or a pop song, I’m constantly holding myself up to songs like these that stand the test of time. Genre is a restriction that is easy to fall into, but great songs are linked by a force that is outside style. Greatness has no sound, just a feeling. This song will forever be as good as it is. Every day I’m trying to tap into the most unhinged creative part of myself, these songs help me do that.

Stream Lost Boy’s new single, out now on Ultra Records.

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