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This piece is part of the Algorhythms project: artists telling stories about music they discovered from humans. Because where we discover music is an important part of its impact, and not all music is discovered through an algorithm.

Lege 伝説 on Connan Mockasin and Nina Simone

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Six months into his freshman year at Ohio University, Malik Keith caught his first big break. Like many of his contemporaries, the Columbus-based artist known professionally as Lege 伝説 made a name for himself on Soundcloud. He captured the attention of industry-level producers with remixes he recorded and produced from the desk of his college dorm room, and at nineteen was commissioned for the official remix to Roy Wood$’ “All Of You.”

At 24, Lege is a 6x Platinum music producer, vocalist, and graphic artist. His production work includes Kyle’s “i-Spy,” the official remix to Amine’s “Caroline,” Khary’s Tidal Graves, and Still Woozy’s “Habit.” He’s also released four EPs and is currently at work on a fifth. His progression from beatmaker to solo vocalist is documented in his discography, as is his evolution from anonymity to openness. After two instrumental EPs, Lege made his vocal debut with Hometown Heroes, a five-track, feature-heavy ode to homegrown rappers and the cities they represent. With his latest project, PARIAH, Lege foregoes the autotune in favor of a slower, more contemplative cadence to reflect on the process of self-actualization and the complexity of nostalgia.

For his Algorhythm, Lege discusses his introduction to the musicians, new and old, from whom he draws inspiration: Connan Mockasin and Nina Simone.

I always love being put on or introduced to new music. Lately, I've found myself drifting into weirder realms of musical exploration, listening to genres such as psyche-pop, Experimental Jazz, & Bossa Nova. I can think off the top of my head of two recent times where I was introduced to something new & the music spoke to me; the first being after a chill beach trip with my partner. We were on our way back home and she started playing this weird New Zealand Pop artist named Connan Mockasin. I was immediately caught up in the trippy audio and seemingly hallucinogenic guitar melodies interweaving with Connan's crazy soulful wailing and moans. The second time came way earlier when I was much younger. Growing up around my grandmother who was always tapped into the music scene, I grew up hearing the likes of Nina Simone & Stan Getz drifting through the hallways on Sunday mornings. Each track taking a small part in building my ear to make sense of the evolving auditory spaces I find myself in time & time again.

Lege is currently working on his fourth EP SENZU, scheduled to drop next year. Fans can also expect a music video for “MANCHESTER” in the coming weeks. Until then, give that and the rest of Lege’s latest album a spin, and listen to our full Algorhythms playlist here.

Looking to make sense of your auditory spaces? Grey Matter is a community platform with new ways to discover music, express yourself, and support creators. Learn more and join the community here.