For many of us, the better portion of our youth is dedicated to trying to find our place in the world. We can look to the people we respect for guidance, go to college, and wade through a few awful jobs before we find the path that leads to our greatest potential. For others, a considerably smaller group than the aforementioned, their purpose is presented early on and provides a motivational drive from the beginning. While Michael Jordan was meant to play basketball, and Vincent Van Gogh was put here to paint, Prince Fox was born to create music.
Growing up in New York with his parents and younger brother, Sam Lassner, aka Prince Fox, was always intrigued by music. He took a particular liking to the guitar and began playing while he was in 4th grade. While the acoustic guitar did its job of sparking his interest in the instrument, at that age he was too young to appreciate and delve into music’s intricacies. Although his parents are and were always supportive of Sam’s creative ventures, when Sam wanted to purchase and re-visit the electric guitar at age 13, they set a bar of learning ten songs on his 4th grade mini acoustic guitar before fully indulging in their son’s request. Of course, their request was met and exceeded by the young musician and with his new electric guitar in hand, another stepping stone on his path to a music career was set.
While his devotion and unrelenting work ethic was something that was impressive for a boy of his age, Sam would be the first to tell you that the love from his family was a key factor in his outlook. Both his parents and grandparents provided endless support in all that he did, but his uncle played a large role in setting the bar for achievements in the entertainment world. Working as an executive producer on highly regarded talk shows for celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O’Donnell, his uncle was able to demonstrate the value of a dedicated mindset in the entertainment business. Observing his success provided Sam with a unique take on this industry. Even though he knew that he had a creative voice that he needed to put into the world and share with others, he was now able to see the necessity of the business side of things. He has learned the importance of establishing a strong relationship with those he wants to recognize his work; this is just as vital to a career as the work itself.
The relationship with his uncle did its part to enlighten Sam. However, he was still molding himself as a musician. Like most teens, going through phases in style and music was inevitable. Regularly attending summer camp provided a platform for sharing new music with friends from school, but his focus and respect never strayed far from the individual capabilities of singer-songwriters. His high school experiences, though rich with happiness at points, had their compliments of lows and provided a wide range of emotion that he wanted to convey through his music. While this helped give an idea as to where he wanted to take his artistic endeavors, the support of one of his biggest fans was equally important to finding himself as a musician.
Sam’s God-grandmother loved to hear him play guitar and her support only heightened his love for making music. As their bond grew stronger with every stricken chord, his dependency on music as an emotional outlet followed suit. When she passed away following a battle with cancer, he found himself at a loss and slowly distanced himself from the instrument. As some of us have come to realize in hard times: when life closes one door, it opens another. The break from outwardly performing with his guitar left a musician with no musical outlet, but after learning about the music technology summer course offered by NYU, he chose to explore a new avenue. He immediately fell in love with the process of music production. The concept of handling production as well as writing was the perfect fit for the inspiration he consistently drew from his favorite singer-songwriters, but he still needed to find his sound. He quickly fell in love with the idea of producing and one experience at New York’s Electric Zoo lit the fuse that would ignite fervor for Sam’s production of electronic music.
After the initial work he posted to SoundCloud did not yield the public response he had hoped for, Lassner decided to try his hand at genres that were garnering the warmest public reception. He began to find his way through some original Trap and Twerk tracks that did well to generate an early buzz for the budding artist. However, the end result still lacked the feeling of fulfillment he sought through using music as a creative and emotional outlet. While he enjoyed playing the songs during his DJ sets, they lacked the raw emotion that warrants playing a song over and over which is a goal he wanted to meet. Being able to make a piece of music that could evoke a genuine reaction beyond the setting of a party is what he had his is heart set on. He wanted to stay true to his artistic motives while also balancing the social following that had begun around his work up to that point. With some guidance from a production mentor, he was able to find a happy medium.
Prince Fox strapped himself to the beast and began hammering away at an EP of original tunes that honored his broad range of influences while still finding a unique place in the ever-changing musical landscape. As the songs developed so did Sam’s style, but his mentor offered a shining token of advice. Sam’s production was reaching new levels technically as well as creatively, so the idea of dropping such tunes into a trough of electronic music that is filled and wiped clean daily didn’t seem like a justified path for his freshly squeezed originals. So with that, he decided to take the path of remixing respected tracks in the style that his EP would fall under, leading off most notably with the uplifting touch-up of 3LAU’s “How You Love Me.” This venture was fruitful not only to the listeners but also to the creator, and gave way to a snowball effect.
Today, Sam has remixed the likes of Cazzette, Route 94, and Sam Smith, the latter of which was taken down by SoundCloud’s auto-detection after amassing 2.25 million plays shortly after its debut (don’t worry friends, the Prince Fox team is in the process of getting it back onto his page.) Everyday seems to be a crazy dream when he thinks about how he started. Beyond his personal conquests, he wants to promote the value of making something that not only elicits a public reaction, but also honors who you are, the things you’ve been through, and the people that helped you find your way.