LEEV: Producer of the Week
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Hey everybody, welcome to the first installment of producer of the week, where I take a producer and tell you guys about them and expose you to their music.
This weeks producer is LEEV, (Alex Levin).
LeeV, known as Levin by friends and family is originally from Rhode Island but currently is attending college at the Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut. LeeV didn’t start his music career until about a year ago during his junior year of college after one of his roommates introduced him to Ableton. He took this as an opportunity to explore writing lyrics and journey further into his own mind. While he would be making music with his roommate, LeeV unfortuantly got cut from Trinity's baseball team, the reason that he came to that school. It was around this time that LeeV fell into a dark depression which combined with OCD, put him into a rough stage of his life.
"Like everyone who faces any depression, for a while I felt like I'd never feel better. My depressive thoughts and OCD thoughts would just work off of each other and bounce back and forth.”
LeeV found peace of mind in writing lyrics. Writing allowed him to let things out that he didnt even know were in his mind, which would help break the cycle of thoughts circling through his mind. It was around this time as well that he started to realize that he wasn't really vibing with his roommates beats. So Leev decided to take matters into his own hands by heading to Guitar Center, copping a 49 Key Midi Keyboard and Ableton Lite to start the grind. He put his all into it, purchasing sound packs to improve his sound selection, staying up late nights after studying and schoolwork to practice structuring beats in his DAW. He upgraded to Ableton Standard a couple months ago and is now focusing on perfecting his mixing and mastering craft.
LeeV loves making Lofi Triphop beats as well as Alternative Hip Hop with his own spin on them. He also is a hugeee bass fiend which he takes inspiration from in his music. LeeV writes to most of the beats he produces and records himself.
"Most times I will end up recording anyways just because it feels good to say the shit that i write down out loud."
For a while, LeeV went through a struggle with writing lyrics because of the dislike for his own voice, but he is learning to use his voice in ways that he feels better complements his style. He also went through a time were his lyrics took a dark turn.
"At one point it was torture for me b/c I fucking hate my voice so I would just be practicing. what in my head are awful. rhymes mainly flexing about hating myself was the worst thing for me mentally. For a long time, it kept me from getting better or trying out any new things. It's weird b/c a lot of the music that I make is serious subject matter but I'm very much unserious in real life."
He says that this shows a contrast with his beats and his lyrics which he takes a lot of pride in.
“I write a lot about the existential crises that constantly fill my head and it’s very psychedelically influenced. I really try to capture some theme of altered states of consciousness with my sounds.”
Advice from Leev
"Id say the most important thing is finishing ur thoughts. When u start getting frustrated at the end of that drum pattern or verse just stick with it bc the worst thing for me has been getting frustrated and dropping an idea thinking ill come back to it. But then its just gone so even if u cant complete a whole thought, at least start it and leave some notes so you can go back to it later with a fresh take on things."