Like many other artists, it’s been a strange year for Dutch DJ duo Lucas & Steve. Since breaking into the scene, the pair have been a kinetic presence, releasing irresistible hit after hit – writing, producing and recording songs in far-flung destinations all around the world, from London to Stockholm, LA to Amsterdam. But the pandemic brought everything to a standstill, which saw Maastricht-hailed Lucas de Wert and Steven Jansen instead pour their energies into their multi-faceted feel-good album, Letters to Remember, which has been in the works since last summer.
The lead track, “Another Life”, has already scintillated among their dedicated fanbase, with its upbeat coruscating melodies and dynamic electro-pop production. It’s a sing-a-long anthem to last throughout the ages.
“With ‘Another Life’ we show exactly the style that you will also hear on our album,” explained Lucas & Steve. “A much more mature pop sound with recognisable melodies. We wrote this track together with the insanely good singer Alida in Los Angeles. The end result is really incredible. We are delighted to finally be able to let everyone hear it.”
We caught up with the pair and talked about their new album, what lockdown has taught them, and crafting music designed to make people smile…
Hi Lucas & Steve, how has this uncertain time been for you? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
It’s been such a strange year. We miss touring constantly, but we’ve managed to be creative in the studio more than ever that’s an upside. We’ve been able to put full focus on writing and producing music which worked in our advantage in the creation of our album.
Congratulations on your debut album Letters To Remember – how long has it been in the making?
Thanks! We wrote and produced the oldest, unreleased tracks on the album about 1.5 years ago, but of course we’ve put all of the skill and knowledge we’ve gained over the years into this album, so it feels like we’ve been working on this our whole careers. It feels so good to finally release this!
What was the biggest challenge of putting it together at a time like this?
The biggest challenge is recording with singers and artists from a distance. We’ve had numerous recording sessions via Facetime. One good example is our collaboration with Kiesza. She’s living in LA, so because of the different time zone we had to set our alarms to 02.00am and work on lyric changes and record vocals with her all online. Another challenge is that it’s hard to give your songs a test run if there are no festivals or clubs to play them at. Fortunately, we have a great team, family and good friends we could play our music to haha.
Why the name Letters To Remember and what was it inspired by?
We consider every song on this album as a story meant for our audience. On our record ‘Letters’, there’s this line ‘I wrote you letters to remember’. We figured this line fits perfectly to our intention of storytelling, like writing a letter.
And lead track “Another Life” has already had so much success – what influenced the making of this track?
We really wanted to hype our album in the months before release with tracks like “Letters” and “Another Life”, but the real lead track of this album is “I Want It All’. We will release it alongside our album and it feels so euphoric to us. The drop was written on Lucas’ Mum’s grand piano while she and his dad were watching him compose. Lucas’ Mum (Jet) is now teaching Steve to play the piano. All this together makes this track feel very special to us.
You’ve made music all around the world, was it nice to stay still for a bit and have some respite?
Maybe a little, but the ‘COVID-break’ came right after our holidays in January. We were totally ready to run into our busiest, craziest year so far, so it didn’t feel like a relief at all.
Your career has been long-spanning, why do you think you’ve managed to stay popular and relevant throughout all this time?
We’ve always been all-in when it comes to our careers. We really love what we do and spend all the time that we have on making music and always try to create something special. We like to think this makes a difference!
What piece of advice would you give to an emerging artist hoping to replicate your level of success and longevity?
Be creative, try to bring something new to the table and maybe most importantly, make sure to really love what you’re doing and create the music that you love. If you can manage that, you’ll always gain energy from your career.
How do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
Our main goal is to lift people up and make them smile. If we can transfer a certain feeling to people through our music, then that feels like the ultimate achievement to us.
What’s next and what are you looking forward to?
Right now we’re very busy working around “Letters To Remember”. Of course there will be club mixes so we’re having a lot of fun creating those at the moment.