Detonate: Son Lux

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Born in Denver in 1979, Ryan Lott (aka Son Lux) spent much of his childhood migrating to California, Connecticut before landing in Atlanta for high school. But music has been a family rule and the youngest of three sibling started learning classical piano at the tender age of six. He soon evolved to the guitar, playing Nirvana covers in middle school dance bands before picking up the drums, jazz and pop in high school.

In his third year studying composition and piano at Indiana University, Lott started a relationship and musical collaboration with a modern dance and ballet student. The couple married soon after and in their post-collegiate home in Cleveland, Lott opened a multimedia art gala dubbed CONNECT. The series’ second event featured 30 artists, 20 of which he collaborated with. In the course of six years, he earned a reputation as a versatile & zealous collaborator amongst a creative company of choreographers, classical musicians & break dancers.

In 2007, the accomplished composer relocated to New York to work as a fulltime composer for Flud NY, a thriving editorial house. While most people would be content with such achievements, Lott, who had harboured a deep desire to pursue his solo works, started collecting thousands of samples and using his own voice to create divinely catchy music that drew both from hip hop rhythms and experimental rock with electronica arrangements. Son Lux became his moniker for his solo career.

Winning a songwriting competition gave him the opportunity to perform as Son Lux at the Festival of Faith & Music in Grand Rapids. He opened for artists like alt country icon Emmylou Harris and Sufjan Stevens, and soon was playing in New York City and remixing songs by artists like Beirut and Castanets.

In 2009, Son Lux released his critically acclaimed debut album, At War with Walls and Mazes with record label Anticon. Using a cool blend of electronic samples and traditional instruments, the album transpired into an ambient, out-of-this world experience. The stark contrast between theatrical melodies and Ryan’s passive and hypnotic vocals somehow managed to fit the mood of each song perfectly.

While his debut took him almost four years to complete, Lux’s follow up album had him participating in the 2011 RPM Challenge. Organised by New Hampshire-based music magazine The Wire, musicians are invited to attempt writing and recording for a full length album within the month of February. Lux stepped up to the challenge, releasing We Are Rising, a remarkably moving and powerful collection of new songs that stood up against anything that was on his debut.

Check out the ethereal music maker that is Son Lux on

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