Lost Frequencies Talks Inspirations and His New Label
Felix De Laet AKA Lost Frequencies is a young Belgian DJ/producer who has topped the charts all over Europe. While he isn’t nearly as popular in the States, his music is soulful, haunting and catchy. We caught up with his European sensation at Chicago’s Concord Music Hall the day after Valentine’s Day. We chatted about his humble beginnings all the way to his new record label and what he’s listening to right now.
Sensible Reason: Did you have a Valentine yesterday?
Lost Frequencies: My girlfriend is in Belgium so I was like…”Sorry.” [Laughs]
SR: Whoops! Did you send her anything?
LF: Nah, just a message. But, why do you need Valentine’s Day to celebrate love?
SR: I agree. How does it feel to be in Chicago?
LF: Good! I love Chicago.
SR: When was the last time you were here?
LF: 1 year ago or so. I came two years ago as well and played Spy Bar. I have a great memory of that place, low roof, and good vibes. It was really cool.
SR: You created Lost Frequencies from re-doing old tracks. What do those lost frequencies mean to you now?
LF: It meant a lot when I started my project because I wanted to use vocals and guitar because I don’t play guitar. I still wanted to use that stuff and so I was looking into old tracks to put things together and produce them to create something new. Then I got attention and had the opportunity to work with singers and my brother would play guitar for me all the time. They mean a lot to me, the tracks I did before, but I’m really happy to create original stuff now.
SR: How do you feel your sound has changed over time?
LF: It gets a little bit harder sometimes because I play a lot of big stages at festivals now. I felt like my songs had good vibes but sometimes you need more energy to get everyone to go crazy. So I made special edits of all my tracks so I can play them with the original version and drop the remix. They go a little bit harder and deeper. Sometimes in clubs as well with the techy stuff.
SR: Do you feel like your audience is pushing your sound in a direction you don’t want it to? Or do you love it all?
LF: It’s more myself, I like listening to all kinds of different stuff. I take the things I like and try to add my own signature sounds and melodies. For now, I’m playing an hour and fifteen minutes of my own music and it’s great to see people dancing.
SR: Tell me about your label.
LF: I just created my own label, Found Frequencies, where I dropped my latest single “Crazy.” I’m really happy about it because I find a lot of artists on the internet and play in my sets and support who are unsigned. They then get attention and get signed, so I would like to find people and sign them and release their music. But I’m really taking my time because if I want to release somebody, it’s not just a track it would be the whole project. I want to be behind it 100%, so I’m taking my time. I don’t have anything coming up right now, but I’m releasing my own music and I’m glad I can release my stuff on my own label. When I have more time I can check out demos, which are often rigid and raw so I will send feedback and hopefully be coming out with something finished soon.
SR: Why create your own label versus releasing music on a bigger label you’ve worked with in the past?
LF: When I have my own label I can create a whole family by myself with people I choose and want to work with. When you’re put on someone else’s label you’re brought into the family. But, I want to go into it with these guys and have parties and create our own vibes with artists I’ve picked.
SR: You have a lot of vocal tracks with some intimate songwriting. What is your most vulnerable piece?
LF: “In Too Deep,” maybe. The vocal range is really high and the lyrics are…when you listen to the lyrics you can put it in different situations. It works a lot of ways, I can always find myself in the track. When I play it live I’m in too deep with the vibe and it also has this love aspect to it. I really like it.
SR: Do you have a muse?
LF: Once a month or so I find an artist that really inspires me. One artist that is indie/rock/pop and one that is more electronic. It can be a lot of different kinds of electronic as well. Trap, dubstep, techno, dance, there are so many sounds that I like. I have a lot of different influences and it always changes.
SR: Who were you listening to earlier today?
LF: French rap. So, I can’t really use it but I really like it because he has nice lyrics. I love what he’s saying.
SR: What’s his name?
LF: OrelSan. He’s working out of France. He has a really specific way of saying things. He doesn’t always tell his own stories but he puts himself in the body of someone else. He has this track on his previous album where he put himself in the view of someone who was going to commit suicide. He raps for like 7 minutes straight seeing everything in a bad way. At the end he kills himself and it’s very dramatic. I saw a performance where he played live and everyone was standing there in awe. The instrumentation gets faster and faster, the tension is really high. I get inspiration from that kind of stuff. It’s completely different, but you try to take from it what works.
SR: Do you think growing up in Belgium moved your sound in a particular direction?
LF: Yes, because I was at a boarding school in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium and everyone listens to electronic music there. Like, everybody. Where I grew up, which was farther south, I had friends who listened to rock and stuff and I would listen to electronic. But when I went to the school, everyone listened to electronic music. Every weekend we would go home and come back and have new music to share. I had 5 DJs in my classroom. But I didn’t want to be a DJ, I wanted to produce and do it the other way. But here I will be DJing. I get a lot of influences from dance music, and at that time it was still coming up. People like Afrojack were still small. It all moved so fast, it was really nice.
SR: You are a lot younger than some of the other guys you’re topping the dance charts with. Do you ever catch any flack for being the young kid?
LF: Not really. It’s just nice that people like my music. Anyone that I’ve met has been really nice. I met Martin Solveig once and he was super nice, said he liked my tracks. It was easy to get into the group once people know you. These DJs that I thought I would never meet are all super kind and it’s nice to talk with them.
SR: How would you describe how you’re received in the US versus in Europe?
LF: It’s really different! I’m way more famous in Europe than in the US. So, of course, I can do my own shows in Europe. Here I’m with Don Diablo because I’m still trying to build my profile here. But I think when I come here I’m surprised when people know my music and dance and know all of it. I’m happy to see it. I’m also playing a bunch of new stuff in my sets and it’s nice to see how people are going to react. So far everything has been great. The best one on the tour so far has been San Francisco. Everyone was going crazy.
SR: What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
LF: I was thinking about releasing an album because I’m doing so much stuff. It’s hard to release everything as a single and I don’t want to keep it like that. I play so much in my set that I’m getting bored of it and I never release it so I’m thinking about a big EP or a short album.
SR: We’re excited it hear it!
Following the interview, Lost Frequencies took the stage and immediately grabbed the attention of the entirety of the venue. The heat inside was intense but welcoming as the crowd continued to dance all the way through his set. His extremely kind, down-to-Earth demeanor showed on stage while he addressed the crowd warmly. Each song was well received by the Chicago crowd, who is already known for their adoration of house and techno music. His set, as promised, was a little heavier than his studio music. He added the deluxe versions of “What Is Love,” “All Or Nothing,” “Are You With Me,” and others to the set, inviting the entire crowd to sing along. Lost Frequencies is young but quite experienced. It is clear why he is so widely popular in the electronic music world. In the last stretch of his set, he went hard and finished with an anthemic version of his latest track, “Crazy.” The night was a blast and we can’t wait to see what new and exciting things are ahead for Lost Frequencies and his record label.