Just two years ago, Sam Lassner, aka Prince Fox, was a junior at NYU learning to create and produce music. Fast-forward to today and you’ll find him touring the festival scene and collaborating with the likes of Hailee Steinfeld (Ender’s Game, Pitch Perfect 2). Their first track together, “Fragile,” has over 800,000 Spotify plays in less than one month since it dropped. Having never worked together before, the two struck gold, with Steinfeld’s deeply layered vocals and Lassner’s instrumental-electronic hybrid sound.
“Initially it came about through Twitter between my friend Lil Aaron and I,” Lassner said. “He had the idea for the song so we brought it to the label and they really liked it and asked who I wanted on it.” After sending the song to Steinfeld’s camp, things moved quickly, with Lassner flying to LA to get work started. “It was amazing; she is an incredible vocalist. She was able to layer octaves over the track. The texture of her vocals is due to her really being proficient and being able to layer herself really well.”
Having many friends in the industry, Lassner has had the chance to work with several talented artists. “Fragile,” however, holds special importance. “I feel like all collaborations are unique and special in their own right but as far as my favorite track I’ve put out that’s probably it.” But hopefully, there are many more partnerships in the future. “I would love to write a song with BloodPop; I would love to work with John Mayer, Chance the Rapper, and A$AP Rocky.”
In the meantime, Lassner already has some interesting collaborations in the works; as he continues to travel around festivals for the summer, he’s making new friends along the way, including Australian DJ Allison Wonderland. “I’m supposed to be in the studio with her in less than a week, so I’m pretty excited for that.”
While his future collaborations are sure to be hits, Prince Fox has already started making waves in the music industry. In late 2015, Prince Fox released “I Don’t Wanna Love You,” an energetic, upbeat track featuring Melody Noel, which has garnered over 2 million listens on Spotify and another 1.56 million plays on Soundcloud.
Prince Fox’s music has a definite foothold in the realm of Internet radio and streaming services. “I’ve had more consistent success in the streaming world because it’s a lower barrier to upload it and be on that platform, whereas someone has to decide to put your stuff on the radio.”
With his tracks blowing up on the Internet, it’s no surprise that Prince Fox has hit the road and taken over the festival scene, as well. This summer alone, Prince Fox is headed to the Hangout Festival, Corona Electric Beach and Electric Forest, to name a few. With so much travel, though, it’s important to stay grounded. “Sometimes it gets overwhelming, sometimes it gets lonely when you’re in the middle of nowhere in a hotel room by yourself for eight hours,” Lassner said. “But I’m in it because I love to make music and I love to express myself, so any time I’m down or upset I have to remind myself that I get to do what I love. Through the ups and the downs that’s nothing to take for granted.”
Making music has been Lassner’s means to express himself for a long time. “I started playing guitar when I was in eighth grade,” he said. Through high school and into college, he taught himself how to produce his own songs, eventually studying music technology at NYU. “You look back two years later and you see how much you’ve grown,” he said. Between a natural talent for music and classic training Lassner is somewhat a self-taught musician and producer. “I’m a pretty obsessive person so I knew what I wanted and I didn’t stop until I was as proficient as I felt I needed to be.”
While Prince Fox’s blend of instrumental and electronic is uniquely crafted, Lassner keeps up on trends and integrates his own style. “I try to keep it very song-orientated,” he said. “It’s kind of a challenge to constantly upgrade every song but it’s a good challenge and it’s a fun puzzle when you’re finishing a track.” From start to finish, a new track can take him anywhere from a few hours to weeks to complete. “It’s just a matter of how much inspiration I have going into a given session.”
The personalization and effort that Lassner puts into each of his tracks for Prince Fox is apparent, and fans get to enjoy not only a great sound, but an overall experience. “You can go home and listen to any artist but what makes going to a show unique is getting involved and participating: singing along and interacting with the artist.” The artist also enjoys meeting fans face to face and seeing how his work effects them. “When you’re home on your computer and see streaming numbers or your followers, it’s cool and great to see numbers go up, but when you put a face to it, these people in this room are part of it.”
Of all the shows that he’s played, Lassner cites Audio San Francisco as his favorite, thanks to the fans. “It was insane, way over capacity two hours before I got on,” he said. “Wall to wall, everyone was into it; it was really amazing.” Months later when Lassner’s Austin show was cancelled due to weather, he had an unexpected opportunity to hit the stage, this time with many other artists. “It ended up that Kill the Noise invited me, A-Trak, Gorgon City, Amtrak, and Yung Wall Street to go back-to-back with him at his show. I met all these DJs that I either wanted to meet or looked up to or had been listening to for a while, all because I had a series of cancelled shows.”
There seems to be no stopping this up and coming artist. Moving forward from his previous collaborations and fateful live shows, Prince Fox has a lot for fans to look forward to.
Los Angeles fans can see Prince Fox at Skybar at Mondrian this Sunday, RSVP at findyourelectricbeach.com