Mentor Spotlight: Blaqout
Written by Jason Euler | November 10, 2020
This is Blaqout, one of our awesome mentors on the Kinekt roster. We had the chance to sit down with Lance, aka Blaqout, to chat about everything from what his project is all about, to being in a pandemic, and what it means to be a mentor.
1 – In a few of your own words, what is the Blaqout project all about?
The Blaqout project has always been about letting your inner energies go. It doesn’t matter if you’re feeling negative energies like anger or stress, or if you’re having the time of your life feeling awesome and happy from the minute you walk through the venue door. We all are under one roof releasing these energies in the form of intense, aggressive music. It’s kinda therapeutic!
2 – How has this musical ethos guided your artist’s development?
It’s guided my development tremendously because the emotions I feel literally wind up in the music. You’ll hear angry baselines, depressing chord progressions sometimes or even outright chaotic soundscapes if I’m in a heavily stressed point of my life where too much is going on at once. It becomes the music and it’s how I speak artistically.
3 – How did you begin to build your initial fan base within the heavily-saturated bass music scene?
Everyone was becoming a DJ back in like 2014/2015. I resorted to doing outright wild things during my performances (hanging off of rafters, jumping off of speaker stacks, stage diving, you name it) to stand out from the crowd and it honestly worked. People would be like “dude who was that crazy motherf— that was hanging over the crowd” or something wild like that and it caught eyes for sure. I wouldn’t recommend going and doing it, looking back it was pretty dangerous.
4 – What do you think the bass music scene is lacking the most right now, what does the scene need most?
Right now, the scene is lacking a sense of unity. Unity is one of the pillars that built our entire community and throughout these lockdowns/events that have gone down in the year 2020 I feel like it’s been lost to a certain degree.
5 – What are some clever career moves you are seeing producers make over the last year, especially during COVID/lockdown?
I’ve seen so many people, not just producers getting creative during the pandemic. Anything from learning how to engineer social media to their advantage to literally creating virtual stages and hosting virtual festivals. People are really thinking outside of the box which is cool to see, all things considered.
6 -Quarantine has taught us that change is vital for survival. Has your creative output or overall sound changed at all over the last six months?
My creative output has changed drastically in the sense that it’s increased. Just this year I’ve put out 16 records, done 5 DJ mixes, released 3 Serum preset packs, put together a set production full of custom visuals (shoutout Digital Dark Age Studios), created a line of merchandise and produced 7 records while producing/engineering for other people. All this time at home has been like steroids, minus the steroids and I know I’m not the only one!
7 – Furthermore, the pandemic has done nothing if it hasn’t taught us to adapt. What are things you are doing and redirections you are taking as you look towards 2021?
Looking at 2021, I’m not putting too many eggs in the “performance” basket. Everything’s in place to take performances to the next level visually and audibly and when the time is right, it will be the best performance I’ve ever given my fans. But right now I’m just preparing for if it has to get delayed again.
8 – What was the best piece of advice a mentor or teacher has ever given you?
The best piece of advice a mentor has ever given me is to listen to the negative critique from your peers. So many people get off track because they aren’t able to accept that maybe their current project, while it may be their best project and it may be better than the ones before, could still improve. You will always have room to improve, and honest feedback will show you the way. Your ego is not your amigo!
9 – What do you hope to give back to the community by joining the Kinekt roster? What makes you a unique mentor compared to the other talent on the team?
I hope to share all of the knowledge I’ve spent 8 years figuring out the hard way. I’m multifaceted in the sense that I understand the A&R world, booking agent world, manager world, production world, DJ world and more and I also get how these things work together so I’m confident I can even help a student connect the dots that may not be so easy to connect.
10 – What makes you excited about being apart of the Kinekt mentorship program? In your own words, how would you describe what Kinekt is all about?
I’m excited to be a part of the Kinekt mentorship program because I now get to share these bits of knowledge with people who really want them, people who have dreams they are aiming to achieve and I may be able to help them get there in some way, even if it’s just a small help. Sometimes people just need a small nudge like that and they skyrocket from it. What Kinekt is about/has put together is a way for people like me to help the next generation of producers/engineers/DJs get a step ahead and gain a leg up without going through years of figuring it out. Or paying tens of thousands of dollars to sit in a classroom reading books and not gaining any real industry experience. There’s things the books just won’t teach you and that’s what I’m hear to give to those who do lessons with me.
11 – How can students get the most out of an hour that they book with you?
The best way to get the most out of a session? Ask me how to navigate the industry. I can teach you how to make that cool sound or get your drums nice and crunchy, but ask me the real questions. How to get labels to listen to you, how to put together a solid brand, release strategies, ask me that stuff. That’s the stuff that’ll take you to the moon if you do it right.