What happens when you put a producer-composer and content creator into a studio with the mission of collaborating on a track? Join Lost LeBlanc and Johan Lind (aka Smartface) in the debut episode of Music Matters series 2 to find out!
From two seemingly very different backgrounds and industries, similarities immediately become clear between Lost LeBlanc and Smartface, but where Johan dove in a the deep end to follow a clear line and explore his passion, Christian found his feet, and subsequent success, by fluke rather than anything else…
“I fell into youtube by accident,” Christian AKA Lost Leblanc says, the guy behind the hugely successful YouTube channel which boasts 1.31 million followers and another 630,000 on Instagram. “I started off by filming my school exchange in Bangkok, Thailand and the best investment I ever made was buying a GoPro; I was filming and recording my day-to-day, because I thought to myself one day I’m going to go work at a 9-to-5 job and I’m not going to be able to do all this cool stuff ever again… I wanted to be able to relive these moments and share them with close friends and family”. Self-described as having “escaped the 9-to-5”, Christian adds that “I started making these very very simple videos, I had no money, no reserves of funds, If I hadn’t had that GoPro I probably wouldn’t be here today”.
As a travel filmmaker who specialises in YouTube travel video content, Christian says “my content is constantly changing, but right now it’s primarily focusing on travel guides and travel vlogs to give people the experience of being able to travel from their cell phone or living room”. Though most of his content is South East Asia-specific, he says he will travel anywhere there’s a good story to be told.
“My job is to share these incredible travel experiences,” he says, “and you need to have the right song to help tell those stories to bring the audience on that emotional journey, it will take your video from being good to being great and memorable –– once I find that right song that gets me excited, I can start seeing what clip will come next…”
Johan Lind, a producer and composer for Epidemic Sound and hip hop beatmaker under the moniker of ‘Smartface’, started out making music because “there was no other way to express myself”. He continues, “I bought my first drum kit, then I discovered music and I totally fell in love with it… When i get into composing, I get very inspired by just going out in nature, usually I get back home and I have this massive creative force within me. I really enjoy going into the studio with a completely blind mind, it leaves so much space for me to experiment and play around with different sounds. Drums start to get a rhythm going, and I always build from there.”
Christian spends his time downloading music to suit his footage, but beforehand the composers and producers were really just a stream of names and didn’t mean much, but now he understands the people behind the process, saying “I can only imagine that there must be so much hard work that goes into each and every one of these tracks”. So in this Music Matters episode, he’s getting a first-hand account of how much work goes in…
“I have no music background, you have a lot to teach me and we have very little time,” Christian quips as they begin the collaborative process in the studio. From two different skill sets and industries, the pair are going to collaborate on a song. The style? “Lo-fi hip hop, a little bit of tropical house, but nothing too happy, nothin too upbeat… I like it staying cool and composed,” Christian says of his musical stage and preference when it comes to picking from the Epidemic Sound library for his travel content.
From a hardware store to working in a tech-loaded studio, Johan has had quite a diverse career, and if he didn’t work on music currently he would probably still be at that same hardware store. “It was a big point in my life where I decided to just quit everything to be able to 100% focus on music,” he explains, and six months after he gave up a former career he was working full-time on a new one, but urges that “I was unsure if it would work out; I was torn between living the safe life or diving into it and try to make my dream come true”.
“When I hear one of my own songs, I’m instantly transported back to that time, for me making music is writing a diary,” Johan says to Christian, who instantly agrees, adding “that’s exactly why I started making videos, for me it was about being able to share these incredible moments and memories… mainly just to be able to relive them later in life, those little moments they bring it all back”.
The pair instantly bond and it’s evident from the video in the studio, with Christian remarking “both of us had this incredible hurdle, you had to fight for your own way, leaving behind certainty to chase a passion…” Starting with drums, they plan to add the vocals on top –– watch the video to see snippets of the whole process and how what the pair creates comes together over time.
Music Matters: bringing the music and content creator community together to collaborate and create amazing things. This episode was filmed & edited by Florian Land. You can follow Lost LeBlanc on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter; Johan Lind (Smartface) is also on Instagram, and stream his music.