Listen to a funny and informative excerpt from Navid before you get into the interview:
“I like noise”….a surprising phrase, but Mr. Lancaster assures me that this is one of the predispositions that makes him so well suited to his job.
At first glance, Navid seems reserved, maybe even shy, but the age old adage is true in this case- “looks can be deceiving”. As soon as the opportunity arises, Navid jumps into enthused dialogue. He is excited to talk about any topic under the sun, and one will quickly find out about his passion: music, the core of what he loves and where it all started.
To speak to all the things Navid does, several descriptors are needed: musician, audio engineer, music producer, video editor to name a few. Following his passion from the onset, Navid has carved out a formidable career. He started as a musician and continued as a music producer who worked on projects ranging from radio commercials and artist recordings, to working on films and video games. Navid now collaborates with some of the most accomplished musicians across the globe.
We discuss with Navid the genesis of his career, how his path evolved and how he feels about different aspects of the journey so far. According to him…there is much more to come.
EP: How would you describe yourself professionally?
As a lot of things; a sound engineer, a musician, a music producer. My core focus is music and everything springs from there. I’m also a techy, I love technology.
EP: Tell us about your career path.
NL: Noise, noise, noise, left two jobs, noise, noise, noise, interview. Very simple. Laughs.
EP: You said early in your career you realised you wanted to get into sound engineering and you asked Kenny Phillips how to do it. He said you would have to leave the job you were working at and start to work at his studio and that’s just what you did . What happened between then and now?
NL: Three months of hell, getting buffed and cuss up from Iwer George, Kenny J and other people who were recording music in time for Carnival. Laughs. I had just started and had little idea about what I was doing.
I was about twenty five at that time. After working with Kenny Phillips, I started working at Proden near Long Circular Mall, they do lots of radio commercials. Then I worked at Spektakular Promotions’ studio. I started my BTEC (diploma) when I was at Spektakular. I then went on to work at NAPA. After doing the BTEC , I did my degree in Media and Communications. From there I went straight on to do my Masters. Also catch meh nenen there. Laughs.
That degree was in New Media and Society and it’s all interconnected but the core is music. I have done music for film, radio ads, apps, websites, video games. Last year I started freelancing under the name “LANCAST LTD.”.
EP: What excites you about what you do?
NL: I get to create, plain and simple, I get to create doing things that I love. I also get to meet a variety of people. It also has some perks, you do get into some parties free. Laughs.
EP: Which is your favourite type of music production to do?
NL: So far, I like doing films. I almost get to do whatever I want, and I say almost because it still has to be in line with the story. What I find happening often is that the director has an idea and then I give them some music samples and they get totally blown away, deep fried blown away. I take their idea and I blow it up and they are amazed by what I can create.
EP: What would you say is the most important non-technical skill that you use?
NL: Imagination. You have to imagine. It makes no sense having technical skills and then staring at machine knobs totally uninspired. You have to imagine, have the song in your head. That’s the only part I hate about my job, well kind of, I will get up with a sound in my head, it’s fully mixed, fully EQ-ed, and then I have to take my time and actually create it and hope I don’t forget it. Laughs.
EP: What has been the high point of your career so far?
NL: Well there is no point-it’s points. My high points are my interactions with the people I am doing work with and collaborating with now. Anthony Phills, he’s a Trini, he is the Head Android Developer for Hilton Hotel Android Development for Mobile Apps. Roger Ryan, Grammy award nominated, Juno award winning record producer. He has played on stage with Whitney Houston, Ce Ce and De De Winans, Wynonna Judd, he has done Presidential Dinners. Clifford Wesley, world famous drummer, sound tech to the stars. He has been doing this for I think almost 30 years now. All my high points have been coming through for the past two years, meeting this calibre of people.
EP: Having been working now for close to twenty years and doing so much work, does it feel as though you have been running a marathon throughout your career or has everything kind of flowed gently in its proper time?
NL: The short answer, lack of social life gives you plenty time to do plenty things. Laughs.
You know in marathons there is a runner’s high. Right now I’m starting to get that runner’s high, mainly because of the people who I am fortunate to now be associated with. At least for the first 18 years I was running going “uuuuhhhhh” (gasping), a little tired. But the runner’s high is starting to kick in because now I have reached a stage where certain people are recognizing my work and want to be associated with me. To me now it’s not a marathon. For the past decade I’ve been planting the seeds. I’m not reaping the harvest now, well actually there is no reaping in this. Reaping means your work is done. I’m just planting seeds, taking some food from it, eating some and re-planting. And right now I’m planting some huge seeds, some maco size seeds, some G.M.O. seeds. Laughs.
EP: Final words?
NL: Follow your dreams and it will all come true!… Nonsense! You have to work for it!
Listen to Navid talk about his favourite project to date:
To find out more about Navid Lancaster, check out his website: Lancast Ltd.
For some more information on work Navid has done, you can see his profile on another website: Navid Lancaster on PlentyTalent.com