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South Florida Rapper and Singer Lu Excitingly Readies Album ‘PALOMA’

Rising hip-hop and R&B star Lu proves with “Butterfly Doors on the Tesla” that genre-blending marks the future of music.

Born and raised in Miami, the singer Lu also known as Lucas Perez has always had a creative side, pursuing various projects from his youth onward. Music, however, remains his first love, and influenced by Lil Wayne, Odd Future, and Childish Gambino, he established a sound based on hip-hop and R&B but brings an eclectic range of genres into the mix while crafting unique narratives.

His endeavors caught the attention of Pouya, leading to a signing with All But 6 Records and support from the eponymous collective also consisting of Fat Nick, Kxllswxtch, Mikey the Magician, and Shakewell, among other artists. In turn, he’s been a part of their collaborations and nationwide tours and is readying an album – PALOMA, intended to mix classic South Florida rap with alt-pop. “Butterfly Doors on the Tesla” offers a preview of what listeners should expect.

How did you get involved with making music? 

Always loved music, always felt a natural pull to create my own version of whatever music or artists I was drawn to. I had a clothing brand in 9th grade with my best friend Elijah. We made some money, and I used that to buy my first mic and interface. The rest is history. 

Your style brings together multiple genres – hip-hop., R&B, and alt-pop, to name a few. What’s your approach to writing a song and giving it a distinctive sound?

I used to work on a beat with whichever producer I was working with, take that beat home, and take weeks to write a song to perfection. As I’ve grown up a bit, that just feels boring and like work. My approach for the last three to four years has been to be as little involved as possible…Turn off my filter and not even think of what I’m saying.

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I trust my instincts more. I freestyle and hum rhythms out loud in the studio as Delmar or Rocci or MTM cook up the production. I move my body in funny ways, or I’m perfectly still. I let the music take me where it wants to take me. I am nothing but a channel for the higher source. It’s raw, it’s human, and it’s pure.

Who or what influenced Lu as an artist?

Influenced by everything. Everything is inspiring. I pay attention to life. I try my best to be present in this little time I have here and use everything, no matter how simple or complex, to inspire my creativity. 

How did you get involved with All But 6 Records?

My best friends, Jon and Mikey, became close with Pouya and his brother Andrew through sports. They lived in the same neighborhood. Jon started playing basketball with Kevin (Pouya) and invited me over to play ball one day. Me and Kev kind got really close from just playing ball together; he didn’t even know I made music until months into our friendship. Jon told Kev about my music, Kev wanted to hear it … Fast forward a couple of months and we were on tour together. Through Kev, I got really close to everyone in AB6. Love those guys. 

Tell us about “Butterfly Doors”: What was your inspiration for this track?

The song “Butterfly Doors” was inspired by a memorable Uber ride MTM and I took on our last tour. Our driver, Edward, an older gentleman dressed like a proper scholar, owned a badass Tesla with butterfly doors. We engaged in an amusing conversation about stocks, even though I had no idea what Edward and MTM were talking about. I always thought it was funny that we were balls-deep in a conversation about stocks before our show.

The first verse reflects on my journey to break into the music industry, comparing the effort to open doors both figuratively and literally. The song’s atmosphere embodies a feeling of disconnection and eagerness to leave a crowded show. Later, I leave with a girl but struggle with commitment in the relationship, as explained in the third verse.

The bridge adds a contrasting perspective, expressing a desire for carefree moments in the backseat, driving endlessly in the Tesla without worrying about stopping for gas. Overall, “Butterfly Doors” draws inspiration from various aspects of life, including personal growth, ego, my interaction with Edward the Uber driver, and the complexities of relationships with females, friends, and fans. The song’s meaning remains open-ended, allowing listeners to interpret it in their own way. 

This track is a cut from your upcoming album, PALOMA: What’s your vision for this work, and what should listeners expect?

PALOMA is my heart and soul, it’s a body of work I hold very dear to me, and I can’t wait to let this body or work exist on its own. I wanted to create something that felt like Lu and only Lu, hence why I have no features on the project. It’s my passion project, as well as a statement.

I wanted to create something that felt cold and mechanical. But also wild and free, kinda like if you were driving fast through a tunnel. I can give you my exact inspiration for each second of the project, but that would be me trying to tell people how I want them to interpret the music, and I’d rather let the fans interpret it however feels right to them. 

Music isn’t the only creative project you’ve pursued: What other creative endeavors have you been involved with?

I used to spend hours at Wannado City drawing cartoons. I’d make cut/sewn custom shirts in 7th and 8th grade, and started a clothing brand with Elijah in 9th/10th grade (we’d even have pop-up shops out of my parents’ garage). I used to have dreams and aspirations of being a child actor or comedian, and of course, starting a rap group in 8th grade… I’m an artist man … I just want to express myself. Right now, music has my heart and soul … who knows? In my 60s, I may be a pastry chef in France or paint on canvases, or do landscape designing for a public park! I just want to make stuff forever – however, the hell I want. 

Especially with your album dropping, what are your plans for the rest of the year?

Going to give this album to the people in September and leave on tour a week after with Terror Reid. After the tour, I’m gonna go to Japan with Gaby (my lady) and spend two weeks out there. Life is moving fast these days – I can be anywhere! Once I’m back home, it’s time for the next project!

Long term, how do you see yourself making a mark as an artist?

I hope my music inspires people all over the world. I hope my art can serve as a therapist, a dance partner, a shoulder to cry on, a hype-man, a big-brother, anything! I think I just want to be there for people. I hope my infinite search for freedom inspires others to do the same.


Ivan Yaskey is a Philly-born EDM and synthpop enthusiast and interviewer who recently relocated to beautiful Boston, MA.