IU graduate starts ‘First Steps’ album

Jesse Lacy, a Bloomington local and recent IU graduate, is just finishing the recording of his first album titled “First Steps.” Lacy said he has been playing music since he was young.

“I grew up in a household where my mom taught me guitar,” Lacy said. “The radio would be on and we would be doing the dishes and acting silly.”

At a young age, Lacy started taking piano lessons from Kevin MacDowell, a musician who goes by “Kid Kazooey” and has known Lacy for almost 14 years. For the most part, Lacy is self-taught, MacDowell said.

He said Lacy has a high skill level. Lacy would be doing something complex on the guitar, to which MacDowell would say, “do you realize what you’re doing?”
MacDowell said Lacy has a “soothing and rich” voice and is directly connected to his creative self.

Eric Day, the recording engineer for Lacy’s album “First Steps,” said he appreciates Lacy’s intuition.

“While very proficient at his instrument, he’s not weighed down by the technical aspects of it, which I feel makes for more honest and sincere writing,” Day said. “He knows what he wants and conveys it with confidence. He has crafted some particularly catchy songs on this album and I think there is something on it for everyone.”

Lacy said he always thought of music as being a conversation. He said “First Steps” is “a story of a father talking to his son about things he’s going to run into as he reaches adulthood.”

Lacy said the idea behind the theme came from his personal life experiences.
“Reality really hits you,” he said. “You graduate college and it’s a whole new world.”

“First Steps” is scheduled for release May 22, and Lacy is scheduled to go on an East Coast tour in July to perform in places such as New York and Connecticut. To cover the costs of recording, mixing, mastering and packaging of his album, Lacy began a fundraising campaign. 

“It can be challenging to get music out because it still costs money,” MacDowell said. The campaign ended on March 10, but Lacy said his goal of $1,500 was met.

Supporting Lacy also promotes a “green” environment, because Lacy’s hardcopies of the album, merchandise, webhosting and packaging are recycled and environmentally friendly, with most of those items utilizing a zero-carbon footprint.

In the future, Lacy said he is hoping to pursue music on a larger scale. He said his hope is that musicians like himself who have a passion for music can succeed in this world, and that people would succeed by doing what they love.

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