Raised in Compton, the 24-year-old Steve Lacy has made his mark on music thanks to the Pharrell meets Prince pop-soul melodies with a dab of rock that he’s perfected on his two self-produced albums. But his sound has also influenced funky dance band The Internet, which he was a part of, as well as songs by Kendrick Lamar, Vampire Weekend, and Solange. Lacy began playing guitar at age 7 and by high school was in jam sessions and crafting tunes by melding his own minimalist string rhythms, vocals, and beats on his phone. In 2017, Lacy described his music style as “plaid,” for the way he mixes wistful, bedroom-recorded indie-pop touches with Motown and contemporary hip-hop stylings that somehow worked, like a plaid shirt. Lyrically, Lacy often focuses on love and sex, his approach varies from raw to poetic. Recently, after a breakup with a boyfriend, and a bout of writer’s block, the artist decided to collaborate with other musicians in a studio for his latest album, Gemini Rights. It paid off. The first single, “Bad Habit,” which he co-wrote with four others, has topped R&B and rock streaming charts and is heard extensively on TikTok videos. Starting with the instantly catchy, bittersweet phrase, “I wish I knew you wanted me,” Lacy skillfully moves around the scales over his own bass playing on this clever bit of earworm pop, which beautifully adds in falsetto, harmony, and a cappella phrasing. Steve Lacy plays at 8 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Fillmore Silver Spring in Silver Spring. Resale tickets are still available.
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