It’s not every day that you’re a student making videos in your dorm room and the next day you’re on a flight to Jamaica—to record with big name producers. And then to perform with your idol.
But that’s what happened with Ryerson Student, Lucas DiPasquale, in the spring of 2014. Now signed to Universal and penning hits with Kardinal Offishall, we sat down with Lucas to chat about going from student to rock star to his new single, “Come Home.” To tie it all together, Lucas and Spotify are offering up the chance to win a return flight anywhere in Canada—to visit back home, go see old friends, or whatever you want.
In 2014, you’re just a regular student making music in your dorm room. What changed everything?
LD: It was the start of my career. Before that I was just making videos. And then I did a cover of Popcaan. He’s a big dancehall artist out in Jamaica. I got a lot of attention from it. I got to go over [to Jamaica] and work with a couple artists and producers. I really just set myself up to start making music. Some big highlights was that I got to perform with Popcaan in the summer of 2014. It was one of the coolest moments of my life. The EP has been really big for me. It’s kind of been a whirlwind since April of 2014. There have been a lot of things that have happened since I put up that video. It’s the first thing that I did professionally.
It’s cool as you think about how many multi-talented students are out there, sitting in their dorm room, working away at their craft. But it’s that one time that you get that break.
Yeah, exactly. It’s definitely two different stages, two different feelings about music for me. I was in Radio and Television Arts (RTA) at Ryerson. I was super into it. I was loving that. Then this video started getting attention. And then the big moment was when Popcaan tweeted it out. And it turned into this really big thing. But before that, I had never gotten any online recognition.
A couple days later we were in our dorm room with a bunch of my buddies having some beers and my phone started blowing up. I got more Twitter notifications than I’ve ever gotten in my life. And that was the start. And people working in the industry were intrigued. That was definitely the biggest moment in my career so far.
The Dorm Room was your first EP. And your follow-up was called Post-Secondary. A lot of school references, why was that important to include?
That’s just where I am and is still where I am. I live with five other buddies that are still in school and that I met in school. When I made the Dorm Room EP, it was because I was moving out of a dorm room and lived at home in Markham for the summer before moving into the house that I’m in now in Toronto. And that’s where I’m coming from. And that’s where this whole thing started, because I made the video in a dorm room. And Post-Secondary because I had just gotten out of high school, this was what I was doing, and I’m a 20-year-old boy… and it’s a really good identifier. It gives people some context about where my mind is at and what I’m doing.
“That’s where this whole thing started, because I made the video in a dorm room.”
Like I have a song called “Speech” on the EP and it’s about graduating and what I’d want to say to a graduating class, if I got the chance to do it again. [Ed. Note: Lucas was his high school’s valedictorian].
Cool, man. What’s your advice to the students out there that are working their asses off on their craft and might not see a break in the clouds?
It’s so difficult to say to people, “You gotta keep trying.” Because I’m not the authority on how to do this. And I’m not the authority on how to succeed. But the way I did it was I used the Internet. You get an opportunity and you take it and you run with it. But I think the most important thing is that you will never get the opportunity if you’re not working hard.
If working hard is so unbearable that you don’t want to do it all the time, then you probably don’t like the thing as much as you want. But eventually you will get there, and I can tell you from first hand experience that it’s the best thing you could ever do. Because succeeding in that way is the most satisfying thing.
If you really want something, chances are you will get it if you just keep at it.
Amen. You’re traveling so much right now. Your next single is “Come Home.” What’s your advice for a student that is away from home, friends and family?
You know what, that’s just something I’m starting to deal with myself… For me anyway, the scope of the world just balances it out. I can’t believe that I’m here. I keep saying that, like when I’m in a new country. Especially if it’s for work.
The thing to remember is you’re always going to get a chance to go back home. That’s the best part, going back home. Your home means something to you. When you’re doing something you’re passionate about and you find yourself not thinking about home, that’s an incredible feeling too. And obviously everyone is different so you’re going to feel different levels of anxiety and being homesick, but at the end of the day… it’s a great feeling to have somewhere that you love so much to go back to.
Congratulations To The WINNER Of Our $250 Giveaway
Hadiqa Jabeen from Western Canada High School!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.