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HIS OWN ARCHITECT:
THE STEVE LACY BUZZ

Success, timing, quality, history and that je ne sais quoi: Steve Lacy is Grammy bait personified. 

His “Bad Habit” is unquestionably one of the biggest records of the year, having banked nearly 350m streams worldwide; sitting at #1 on Spotify’s U.S. chart for 66 days, a 2022 record (and hitting Top 15 global); reaching #2 at Apple Music U.S. and #3 global; and camping out at the top of our Overall Song Streams chart for nine straight weeks.

The genre-blurring jam throws R&B, alternative rock, twisty pop and more into a blender, much like the rest of Lacy’s acclaimed 2022 album, Gemini Rights (L-M/RCA). Which is why the Grammy buzz surrounding him has become deafening.

The 24-year-old singer-songwriter and guitarist, a native of Compton, began his career with innovative Odd Future troupe The Internet (who earned a Grammy nom for Urban Contemporary Album with 2015 set Ego Death) and followed up its imaginative work with a handful of celebrated indie solo releases. With Gemini Rights, Lacy has clearly hit a new creative plateau, as affirmed by critical raves from the likes of Rolling Stone (four stars), The Guardian (five stars) and Pitchfork.

As if all that weren't enough, he's also served as a producer for Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Mac Miller and Kali Uchis, among other acts.

“Steve has always done what he feels,” offers manager David Airaudi. “In the early days, in high school, he was literally making music on his phone” while working on the aforementioned Ego Death. “From there he has kept his circle tight, but when that creative circle includes Kendrick, Solange, Beck, Ye and Fousheé, that’s an incredible knowledge pool. Touring the world with The Internet as a teenager also didn’t hurt his growth as an artist and as a human experiencing the world.”

RCA boss Peter Edge says the artist “represents something in short supply, a musician of extremely high quality with a specific voice who is able to connect with so many people" and that he's "incredibly hopeful that because of Steve’s unique talents, he's recognized by the Grammys in a wide variety of categories, as he deserves to be.”

As such, adds label COO John Fleckenstein, “Our role was to bring fans to him, not him to fans.”

“Steve understands his ambition well and that it requires resources, scale and people who understood his art,” Fleckenstein insists. “We wanted him to have all three and, core to our culture, wanted him to have infinite creative freedom and importantly, time to make whatever he wanted to make.”

“To be clear, all the credit here goes to Steve, who is his own architect,” Edge elaborates. “Steve is ambitious and has a clear vision of who he is and where he wants to go and part of that was working with us to maximize the ways to get his music exposed to the most ears possible.” 

“Steve’s character is Steve,” Airaudi says. “He is true to himself in a world where that is increasingly challenging, especially as an artist. I think people connect to that.”

This, of course, is precisely the sort of artist the Academy says it wants to honor. How prominently will Lacy figure in the forthcoming noms? Stay tuned.

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