Recently I’d been seeing Lucas Secon’s name more and more frequently in the sleeve notes of my favourite new albums, but it wasn’t until I visited his Wikipedia page that I realised quite how many amazing songs this guy has written. He’s nearing the RedOne/Max Martin levels of consistency! He started out in the 90s as a singer himself, which led to this jolly music video, but when that avenue didn’t work out he took to writing for others. He started off working with minor acts like Boom! and Tyler James, but the aceness was there from the start. He even contributed to one of the early 2000s’ greatest Europop non-hits, It’s Your Duty by Lene Nystrom!
Over the past few years, Lucas has moved gradually into the big leagues with recent clients incluing Bieber, Britney and Kylie. He’s based in the UK but has previously lived in New York and Denmark, which has helped him make waves in all three territories. His recent triumphs have included Heart Vacancy by The Wanted, Black Box by Stan Walker and my current most played single, Resuscitate Me by September. It’s no surprise that the stand-out songs on JLS and Alien Beat Club’s latest albums turned out to be Lucas’ work, and he’s even managed to make me like a Travie McCoy song! He’s currently writing for the forthcoming albums of acts such as Soundgirl and Alexandra Burke, and I can’t wait to hear what he’ll come up with.
Here’s what happened when I got the chance to give him a little pop quiz…
A lot of your songs have been released by different artists in different territories – do you let the artists know that their songs will be shared in this way?
Only three times have my songs been released by different artists and they all know about it. Out of courtesy to the labels/artists you do that. Also in some cases,they hear a hit and wanna adapt it to a foreign language group in Asia a la Tohoshinki (below), in which case the new version ended up more successful than first release – so the more the merrier!!
As you are both a writer and producer, do you get annoyed when songs you have written are not produced in the way you would have liked?
I do write and produce and I try to stay involved in all aspects as a measure of quality control and originality. Occasionally I have been let down if I’ve just written, so I stay part of production as I’ve got a vision for the record sonically. Sometimes ‘name’ mixers can screw up your records big time. The labels are chasing hits so they don’t stop to think whether that mixer actually fits the record as long as he has chart prescence. Your ears are the best mixer – fuck what anyone says.
Are there any songs you have worked on which you think deserved more success than they achieved?
All of them!!! Haha! I’m happy with the success of quite a few of my records but want them all as big as possible. Sometimes a poor video or poor marketing can screw up a record too. The Travie Mccoy record Need You and Sean Kingston’s Face Drop deserve more in my biased opinion off the top of my head.
Do you think it is more important for songwriters and producers to adapt to the changing trends of the charts or to develop their own unique individual style?
I think you have to understand what’s going on but being successful many times means totally standing out compared to what’s out. You should have identity and personality in music – it’s a reflection of ourselves.
As you have lived in the UK, Denmark and New York, which country’s music scene do you feel is most vibrant and exciting to be a part of?
All locations have their own vibrancy that inspires something: Denmark’s relative tranquility, the UK’s melting pot and NY’s intense urge to compete and make it at any price.
What would you say to people who think that music isn’t as real or genuine when the artist hasn’t written it themselves?
Neither Frank Sinatra nor Aretha Franklin wrote their own songs but were masters at adapting songs and making them their own. If everyone wrote I’d be jobless so thank god they don’t! Haha!
Electropop has been the dominant pop style over the past few years – do you think this will last into 2011 and if not what do you predict will be its successor?
Electropop was the latest in the cyclical nature of music to get a revisit. Rock is gonna make a comeback as bands always follow a more manufactured period.
And on that unhappy note (it seems inevitable rock will soon be back, but let’s hold it off as long as possible I say!), thanks very much to Lucas for answering my questions. Fingers crossed he’s got some great pop-rock tracks up his sleeve to get us through the dark days ahead!