Compton-born guitarist Steve Lacy started out playing in his school’s jazz band. There he met the younger brother of bassist Thundercat, Jameel Bruner. When the latter joined R&B group The Internet in the studio to record its third album, Ego Death, he brought Lacy along. The young guitarist wound up on half of the record’s tracks (also receiving an executive producer credit) and ended up a full-fledged member. That stroke of luck propelled him into the spotlight, with The Internet earning a Grammy nomination.
Striking out on his own with Steve Lacy’s Demos in 2017, he was now ready to take on the music world as a solo artist and producer of acts such as Ravyn Lenae, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar. While his music is predominantly funk and soul, you can still hear his early jazz education in his guitar work. Pitchfork certainly found his demos compelling: “Over the course of six tracks that sparkle with classic Southern California funk and soul, the producer, just barely out of high school, offers up a dazzling number of musical ideas.”