Grammy-nominated Luc Bradford aka ford. has emerged as a go-to producer in the burgeoning lo-fi indie/electronic scene.
Since signing with ODESZA’s record label Foreign Family Collective in 2018, ford. has released two full-length albums, “(The) Evening” in 2018 and “The Color of Nothing” in 2020, which together have gathered over 70 million streams on Spotify.
Born in Paris to American parents and raised in Germany, Switzerland and Singapore, Bradford now resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. Inspired by his international upbringing and life experiences, ford.’s music is hypnotic and emotive.
In advance of his co-headlining show with BIVWACK, formerly known as Head-To-Head, on Saturday, Feb. 19, at The Mangy Moose in Teton Village, Luc Bradford aka ford. joined us for a chat in the KHOL studios.
The following interview transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity. This conversation was recorded on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
JACK CATLIN/KHOL: Your sound features a lot of layers and sampled sounds, including sound design, also elements from various musical genres. What is your creative process from initial idea to mastering the track and putting it out into the world?
LUC BRADFORD: I feel like the writing process is always kind of changing. I mean, it’s already changed and shifted since the last album I put out. But generally, I like to just think about sounds and melodies that I generally like and that evoke certain feelings for me, and I try to really hone in on those specific things and just try to expand those. I’ll take a small guitar and I’ll loop it a little bit. I’ll try to keep building on it until I build it into something completely different from what it was initially.
KHOL: Your sound is definitely emotive, and I’m curious: Do you get a spark from your own life experience or do you hear something and you want to elaborate on that sound that you’re attracted to?
BRADFORD: Like an example, one of the songs on my first album is called “Dusk.” I was listening to a documentary. There was some really, really subtle background piano and it was just playing a myriad of different chords. And I heard some of these chords and I was in my head. I was like, ‘What if you piece those together? That might be an interesting progression.’ And so I’d sit down and just try to piece together. And that loop alone was so powerful for me that, you know, that ended up becoming “Dusk.”
KHOL: So, in 2019, you received a Grammy nomination for your remix of the Mild Minds song “Swim.” What was that experience like?
BRADFORD: That’s actually a really funny story. I had no idea that the nomination was coming. I didn’t even know who submitted it or that it was submitted for consideration. I woke up and I was late for a flight. I was leaving for the Madeon tour and I was panicking and I’m hustling to the airport. And as we get to the airport, there’s an accident on the highway that is blocking the exit to the airport, so I’m like ‘This is it. I’m going to miss the first show. I’m going to start off this tour on a terrible note.’ And then I start getting Twitter notifications about the nomination. So, I’m in a state of panic. There are a lot of emotions running through me but I eventually get to the airport. I’m able to calm down and I read it. And it was really a surreal experience. So, that was a once-in-a-lifetime [experience]. I’m grateful that I was considered and it was really cool.
KHOL: And how has that changed your career, if at all?
BRADFORD: It definitely puts a label on you. Not that that’s a bad thing. But there’s definitely now this very subtle expectation of like, ‘Alright, you’re the Grammy-nominated artist,’ and not that you need to put yourself on a pedestal or anything. It’s not that big of a deal but I definitely am aware that there is that label that is now associated with a lot of my music, so I just try not to think about it. I try not to let it deter or distract me from the music right now.
Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with ford.