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Lost Boy: “Electronic music gives you the freedom to do whatever you want”

Being a multi-instrumentalist growing up in Pakistan, Lost Boy was part of many projects in his early teens – playing the sitar, guitar, singing, and even drumming in a death metal band.

He is currently one half of Talal & Zoi, a DJ/producer duo that has released music on Dirtybird, Rawthentic, Kindish, and Traum. The two have traveled to Europe playing at Mood family and Kindisch showcases and they recently headlined Kater Blau. Talal & Zoi maintain a more melodic dark room sound. Recently, Lost Boy released music on Bar25 Music, Sol Selectas, and Warung Recordings of Brazil. He performed in Portugal, Germany, USA, Thailand, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Peru, and opened for HVOB for their latest album tour.

Lost Boy’s record label + art collective is a Toronto company and has released tracks by the likes of Frivolous, Hauy, Nature of Music, El Mundo, Saqib, Sam Jaspersohn, and Talal & Zoi. For The People also host festivals and events and have worked with the likes of Jeff Mills, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Rodriguez Jr., Tube & Berger, Matthias Meyer, Stimming, Vaal, Stavroz, and HVOB.

EG caught up with Lost Boy to learn more about the release of his new remix for Saqib’s Beats On Time, his travels, For The People, and more.

EG: Hey Lost Boy, welcome to EG. Where are you right now?

Lost Boy: Hi EG! Thanks for having me on board! I recently had a baby and I’m in Pakistan these days, enjoying the grandparents spending time with their new grandchild 🙂

EG: Your upcoming release on Saqib’s Beats On Time is a remix of the track ‘Soul Love’ by Saqib himself, featuring vocals by Cern. What are your thoughts on the original version?

Lost Boy: I really loved the original version the second Saqib shared it with me. I was excited to work on the remix as there were so many good parts to work with!

EG: Could you provide us with insights into the creative process behind this remix?

Lost Boy: Though I really can’t put myself in a genre, when I heard Saqib’s version, I felt like doing something with housey chords. I made a groovy chord structure and built the song around that, peppering it with the lovely vocals and parts from the original.

EG: How did you meet Saqib and what do you think Beat On Time brings to the scene?

Lost Boy: Saqib and I have been friends since we were 12 years old! We’ve been in a bunch of bands ranging from me on sitar and Saqib on guitar to a death metal band where I was on drums. So, for us to collaborate is a total no-brainer <3 Saqib is a mad scientist genius and Beats On Time is going to bring some really wild and amazing music for sure!

“I was classically trained in the sitar, had a piano at home that I learned on my own, and at the same time was playing drums in death metal bands”

EG: As a multi-instrumentalist, you have a diverse background in music. How do you draw upon these varied influences when crafting your electronic productions, and how do they contribute to the unique sound you create as Lost Boy?

Lost Boy: Yes, I’m lucky to have had access to a range of instruments when I was younger. I was classically trained in the sitar, had a piano at home that I learned on my own, and at the same time was playing drums in death metal bands 🙂 Electronic music gives you the freedom to do whatever you want and you’re in complete control of the process throughout. I feel I can jump between genres easily and curate a sound that is truly mine.

EG: With your experience performing in different countries, how do you feel these international experiences have shaped your artistic growth and influenced your musical style?

Lost Boy: It really helps to play out in different countries! You get to see what the other local and international DJs are doing, so it helps push your boundaries further.

EG: For The People, your record label and art collective, has been a platform for diverse artists. What is your vision for the label, and what criteria do you consider when selecting artists to collaborate with or sign to the roster?

Lost Boy: My vision for the label is to be as diverse as possible. Though, For The People is nowhere close to some of my favorite labels, but one thing they have in common is that no one is pigeonholing themselves in one specific subgenre of electronic music. The great labels and DJ sets always take the listener through a multitude of sounds and spaces and, hopefully, I can achieve that with For The People’s label and events.

EG: Social media has become a prominent tool for artists to connect with their audience and promote their work. How do you navigate the digital landscape of social media, and what role do you think it plays in shaping the perception and reception of electronic music in today’s world?

Lost Boy: It is definitely the age of social media whether you like it or not. One has to put themselves out there and hopefully people like what they see! Haha! Making amazing music is one skill and social media is a whole other skill!

EG: Technology has also played a significant role in shaping the electronic music scene, with advancements in software and hardware constantly pushing boundaries. How do you integrate technology into your creative process, and what are your thoughts on the balance between analog and digital in electronic music production?

Lost Boy: I’m not one of those who insist either is better, as long as you’re writing music from your heart and you can pull it off – how you do it doesn’t matter. Also, analog equipment can get expensive! I do use a couple of hardware synths but am happy to make a track with all software if I find the right sounds.

“I’m not one of those who insist either is better, as long as you’re writing music from your heart and you can pull it off – how you do it doesn’t matter”

EG: There are often lighthearted and funny moments in life. Can you share a humorous or memorable anecdote from your journey as a DJ and producer that stands out to you?

Lost Boy: I’ve had this funny thing happen twice, where I would go to see a DJ and push my way to the front to say hi and after I’d introduce myself they would be as excited to meet me because they were playing out my music too!

EG: Can you share something personal with us only a few people know about?

Lost Boy: I recently developed tinnitus in one of my ears and have been struggling to find the balance between making music, playing shows, and letting my ear rest. It was pretty difficult at first but I managed to find a healthy middle ground. Wear earplugs, everyone, protect your ears!!

EG: Thanks for your time and all the best!

Lost Boy: Thank you for having me and I’m excited for our release!

Lost Boy’s remix of Saqib’s ‘Soul Love feat. Cern’ is out via Beats On Time. Purchase your copy here.

Follow Lost Boy: Facebook | Instagram | Soundcloud | Spotify

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