Kendrick Lamar unleashed his eagerly anticipated fourth studio album, DAMN, on the world today.
Lamar is known for his perfectionism, using some of the best producers and equipment in the game to get his sound just right. But when it came to one of the best tracks on his new album, one of Lamar’s producers crafted the entire thing using only his iPhone.
Up-and-coming 18 year-old music producer Steve Lacy revealed to Wired that he actually prefers making beats on his iPhone rather than using expensive studio software like Ableton. Even though he has access to some LA’s best studios, Lacy says he uses an iRig to connect guitars directly into his iPhone 6. From there it’s just a matter of playing around in GarageBand to find the right vibe for a song.
“The beats I make in Ableton, I feel like I have to get those mixed by a professional to beef them up. But GarageBand masters it so it’s at a cool level already,” said Lacy.
Lacy produced the song “PRIDE” for Kendrick’s new album using just his iPhone and iRig with singer Anna Wise who is a frequent Kendrick collaborator. Even though some artists find his method weird, Lacy says it’s mostly about the simplicity and convenience.
Using the iPhone as a beats machine came about more from necessity than anything. Before getting access to studios, Lacy says he jailbroke his iPhone so he could use an app called Bridge that saves songs off the internet. He then went through a bunch of iOS music making apps like iMachine, BeatMaker 2, iMPC and GarageBand.
Once he discovered the iRig, Lacy then started plugging his guitar and bass into his iPhone to explore sounds. There’s just one problem with the iRig: it doesn’t work on the iPhone 7 because it uses the headphone jack.
For now, Lacy is stuck to using an iPhone 6 with a cracked screen to make his beats. It doesn’t seem to be slowing him down at all.
Listen to Lacy’s track on DAMN below: