We had the good fortune of connecting with lo_ tek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi lo_, why did you pursue a creative career?
For myself finding music production/beat making was a lifesaver. From a mental health standpoint I wasn’t in the best space. This usually occurs when I’m isolated and without a proper outlet of expression. I had recently graduated from university and moved to Ohio I didn’t really know anyone in the local area at the time. I was making a decent wage at a job and on the surface things would appear to be going good. But I wasn’t fulfilled there was absolutely zero passion for my career and I often woke up dreading going into the office. So when my brother suggested one day that I shift my focus from film to music. I got my hands on a copy of Cool Edit Pro; and it’s been a wrap ever since. Honestly, it just feels good to be doing something constructive and it’s been amazing witnessing my own growth and progression over these 2 years. In the past I would usually half ass a lot of tasks. In hindsight I didn’t really have a passion for the things I’d do even though I’d experience some success. I’d pick up one thing for a while get bored and move onto the next goal. So it’s dope as hell to discover my purpose; I’ve met so many incredible human beings from all over the world through this art form. Got some incredible opportunities with the usra coming up; I’m just extremely grateful and humbled to be apart of such an amazing community.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I go by the name of lo_tek (peace everyone) I’m from Dayton, Ohio. Started this journey going on two years ago now. That’s a great question honestly I don’t know what sets me apart from others. If I had to guess I would like to say it’s me being my authentic self and that seemingly translates through the music. My main goal from the beginning was to create my own style. I want folks to know it’s me on the beats within the 1st couple of bars. Thankfully from what I’ve been told I’m getting closer and closer to achieving this feat. My biggest challenge thus far is simply learning on the go. But at the same time that’s the fun of it; part of me thinks it’s kinda dope that people can hear the progression of my sound from 1st tape to the current release. All in all I just want people to follow their dreams, if they don’t know what they wanna do. Do some much needed soul searching find what makes you happy and make it your own. I’m a testament to that I’m by no means naturally gifted. Hell I wasn’t allowed to join band as a kid lol but I’ve always been a fan of music and studied my favorite producers and their styles of production for years. I just work day in and day out on my craft and that consistent effort has led to me finally finding my calling. And through this I’ve met so many amazing people who are my family now. Everything is flowing naturally there’s no more forcing anything. Get in touch with the most high, look out for yourself and tell your people you love them. Ultimately, I just wanna be loved and I understand that I gotta embody the change you wanna see in the world. Bigger than art I wanna be remembered as a quality human being. I wanna create pieces that will inspire countless generations long after I’m gone.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First thing after they arrive and get settled we’re hitting JY Bamboo and getting some Pho and some amazingly Chinese food. After that we’re sliding up the road to Yellow Springs and hitting Toxic Beauty records and digging for a couple hours. They got some dope comic book stores up there as well so we’d probably hit them up before we dipped out for the day. Man other than that I’d be hitting the highway going to Cincinnati and visiting my brothers. Working on music and exploring the city with them. I’m always tryna see and experience new cities and getting a bigger glimpse of what’s going on stateside. Growing up overseas I haven’t really had the opportunity to travel domestically so I’m really looking forward to these upcoming tours and road trips we got in the works.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Off top all respect due to mom dukes she brought me into this world and has held it down by herself from day one. Too me she’s the personification of what a genuine, strong, determined, driven person is all about. I’ve witnessed this woman overcome so many obstacles and challenges throughout her life and it’s thanks to her that I know anything is possible. We just gotta move with passion and effort, day in day out consistency pays off in the end.
My Usra family (Distantstarr, Roberto, Teedot, Blkgod9, Jetlag Trav, JayHill) linking with these brothers has been a life altering experience. They put so much time and energy into me I simply can’t fail.
My koala senseis tvkii, Senz beats, Lordt Stxn. These three brothers literally taught me everything I know about music production on the koala sampler. My style is a combination of these three no question about it. I wouldn’t be where I’m at now if it wasn’t for these three incredible artists.
The Raw[life] Collective these are without question the illest artists out right now. There is so much talent and awesome people in the family it’s incredible. Everyone inspires me and gives me motivation to keep learning and growing.
Cold Cuts Collective (chordandjocks, dawgzloops, Rich Garvey, Deadxbeat, Solace, and Devin Burgess *producer of the year).
My Beatworkers Union squad thank you all for always looking out and putting me on game. Y’all have made the learning process so much easier.
Gusto Shade & the whole Wouldn’t Know Records crew words can’t even begin to express how much of an impact you’ve had on my life. I can’t thank you enough for all that you do for me.
All my creatives from back home in Ohio I absolutely love y’all everyone from Grand Ace, Brandon Isaac, Stallitix, Audley, Clint Taylor, Pink Siifu, Sudan Archives, Visual 9, Ivyloops, brwnsounds, SmokeFace, Shades, and so many more dope artists throughout the state. I can’t wait to see y’all take over. Mark my words Ohio will be the epicenter of a new movement in Hip Hop in 5 years time.
Special special shoutout to the creator of the flyest clothing line out right now Antonio from Artists Need Lunch Money. Brother is a major inspiration for myself; seeing someone follow their dream and execute on their artistic vision and bring those concepts and ideas into reality is something amazing.
My brothers Derrick, Deven, Jarrell, Tim, and Terry. Although we may not be blood related we’re one thousand percent family. We’ve been constant sources of strength for each other for so many years it’s insane.
Last but certainly not least I wanna give a special dedication to Phoenix! Man what can I say about her she’s such an amazing human being. Meeting her has been one of the best experiences I’ve had if I’m being honest. She’s so naturally talented and gifted it’s insane. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she’s capable of achieving anything she sets her mind and hearts desire on. God puts people in your life at certain times to teach you specific lessons and she’s definitely one of those individuals. I doubt she’ll ever see this article but I wish her nothing but love and success in whatever she does.
There is so many other people who need to be recognized and acknowledged man this has been an eye opening exercise like damn I’m really blessed and extremely fortunate to have so many incredible people in my life.
Oh and don’t let me play myself and forget my favorite producer Risky Ass Patterns peace to the whole 956