DJ Q&A: Temple’s Lucas Med

A native of Brazil, DJ Lucas Med moved to San Francisco almost five years ago to pursue a career in music and hasn’t slowed since – consistently bringing his upbeat rhythmic house sets and productions to dancefloors across the Bay Area and as a resident DJ at Temple.

Lucas Med “Exclusive at TMG Radio Part1”

You’re originally from Brazil, how did you end up in San Francisco?

The first time I came here I was 13, in 1995 when the 49ers won their last championship. I fell in love with this city. I went back to Brazil, finished school and was getting bored. In 2006 I decided to move to the States and do something different than what I was doing back home. Here I am after 6 years, really happy with my choices.

The city where I’m from in Brazil is very limited in ways of culture, arts and music and I always had music as a side thing. One of the things that attracted me to San Francisco is that it’s like the mecca of house and electronic music. You can find a little bit of everything here but house music is really strong. Also, since I already had my Bachelor’s I thought I could finally do something with music, that’s always been my dream. I ended up at San Francisco State for music production and music business.

What’s the difference between DJing in Brazil and DJing in San Francisco or in the States?

I think here in the States I can explore my background as a Brazilian. I can use more music with a little bit of Samba, drums and Brazilian rhythms in the music. Even electronic music with influences in that.

In Brazil it’s the other way around, people are looking for something more international. When I play in Brazil I play tracks that remind people there of San Francisco, the United States or Europe. I would say here I can explore my culture more.

As a DJ you always set yourself apart or do something different so my thing with the Brazilian culture is a lot of rhythm – music with a lot of drums. The rhythm component of the music and sound of the drums is to me stronger and even more important than the melodic part. When people listen to me play they can easily identify that. It’s very tribalish. I don’t play Brazilian music but the music always has a lot of rhythm.

How has your music degree helped you as a DJ and producer compared to someone without that formal education?

For me that was mind-opening. Being realistic, all the artists and DJs starting their career, most of them have no idea how to navigate in the industry – what to do and how to approach labels – which is more the business side, what a manager would do. With the background I have with SF State it allows me to better manage myself, much more efficiently, jumping maybe 3 or 4 years in your career with that knowledge.

On the other side, a lot of the classes are based on classical music and once you open your mind for the rhythm and numbers being the music, the productions that would take weeks and months to do, you can do in 2 hours. Education is really important for everyone in the music industry, even the very talented.

What are your goals with your degree and your current career in the music industry?

I would say short term, we’re about to open a junior academy at Temple, I have a dream of teaching people. It was really hard when I got my start and I want to give back and make it easier for people. I want to condense information I learned in the first 3 or 4 years and help others. Another short term goal is my first album, I’m working on 5 original tracks and it will be released by Temple Music Group with my production partner.

Long term is to just see where music takes me. Every year has been crazy amazing with a lot of changes, opportunities to get my music to different places and meet different people. It’s been fast, impressive and good at the same time.

Where are your favorite places to hang in San Francisco?

I like to walk around Union Square a lot. The first time I came here my aunt worked at Macy’s and I’d go downtown with her and she would work 6 or 8 hours and I’d just hang out downtown. I really love Union Square and downtown.

DJ Lucas Med performs this Saturday, October 27 at Temple for Nightmare on Howard Street. More info.