Vuk Lazar (a.k.a. VukMaster) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and producer who joined Indaba Music back in the Summer of ’09. Not even 2 years into the world of online collaboration, Vuk has made his presence known to the Indaba community through his great music and positive engagement. With thoughtful lyrics, a dynamic voice, and production experience under his belt, Vuk has had great success by simply being an active member of Indaba Music.
Though he had little knowledge of remixing prior to joining the site, Vuk found friends and guidance through our Online Sessions and Opportunities, eventually earning several Indaba badges and general accolades. We’re very excited to share the 2nd of our Featured Interviews with you!
Hey Vuk, thanks for meeting with me online today!
No problem, really great to talk with you!
From our Opportunities to Online Collaboration, you’ve been a very active member of our community. How has your life changed since you joined Indaba Music a year and a half ago?
I think things changed from the first time I entered a contest. I didn’t set out with any goals of winning or finding particular people, I just wanted to experiment with music. I ended up meeting lots of amazing people and learning heaps from them. The community has significantly shaped my music. There was a big spike in serious sessions when Indaba introduced the iTunes feature. Currently I have a release scheduled for Spring ’11 with Ben Dabson (Radical Academy) called “Wake the Dead” which will come out with 5 or so remixes. All of them are sourced from Indaba artists like Rauschhaus and Rambla.
I noticed that you’re collaborating with artists worldwide: from Australia to Norway and beyond. What other projects are you working on?
Well, Martin H, is a hell of a versatile producer from Norway. We ended up collaborating on a song called “Miss Me Too.” I had lots of time to develop my voice, style, and recording setup during the process. Now, it’s almost finished and we’re hoping it will be his 2nd release with The Toothfairy Label. Indaba member Ben Crea was the executive producer for “Moving On” from the Nightclub City Opportunity. I ended up making a short offshoot of “Moving On” using a vocal sample. It’s called “Who’s Your Daddy” and another member, Hoochy Papa, remixed it into a full 7 minute song.
Speaking of “Moving On”, our Nightclub City Contest brought you some great opportunities! There are millions of people playing that game on facebook and your track was handpicked for their latest playlist and our party album, “Drop the Bass: Original Music from Nightclub City.”
Yes it was, I had no idea what to expect, there were over 1000 tracks in that contest and many many worthy of winning. In the end, I was completely astounded as the runner up! To me, it’s one of the most rewarding things in music: to get to share it with people and get their reactions. So I really couldn’t be happier about it.
It was a close call! The lyrics were under copyright and I wasn’t sure how the publisher would feel about it. But luckily, they were happy to work with me and was able to keep the song in the contest. I guess I’m “legit” now, haha. iTunes is sort of like the street cred. of modern musicians. That release was the first time I felt like a recognized artist, not just the guy who makes tracks in his living room.
I had heard of Indaba on the radio in Toronto when K-OS was doing his remix album. Then a classmate told me about it. Finally, my friend Shannon Wong (who is very involved in and knowledgeable about the music scene) said it would be a good idea to try it. I figured, third times a charm! I loved Emily’s vocals and The Crystal Method was such an inspirational and creative band. The track came together really quickly. It was only my second remix and I wasn’t very good at mastering. I didn’t win, but a facebook friend’s husband ran this online radio station and I sent it to him. I guess I did something right to get that honour!
Alright, our last question: You’re a black belt in Shotokan Karate, you’re participating in countless Indaba Opportunities, and you’re completing your Masters in molecular genetics at the University of Toronto… how do you do it?
Hah! I drink a lot of coffee. Basically, I’m driven to attempt many different things. Just so happens I’m also not very good at quitting or saying “no”. Pair that with debilitating perfectionism, and I end up getting a lot of great results out of habit. It’s not necessarily because I’m great at managing time or unnaturally talented. It’s a lot of work, but lucky for me, it’s fun work.
We’re happy to hear! Thanks for chatting with us, Vuk.
Not a problem. The opportunities you guys are providing us are unprecedented. You’re making a career in the music industry somewhat tangible again.