MC Lars: Download His Songs
MC Lars, whose real name is Andrew Nielsen, grew up in the “iGeneration”. This is his personal term for the children who grew up with constant Internet influence, and consequently have a greater mastery of it than most older adults. He is the inventor of what he calls “post-punk laptop rap”, his self-proclaimed genre that is a combination of rap music, rock elements, and pop conventions.
He used his computer and music skills to perform in his hometown of Berkeley at an early age. After high school, he went to Stanford, and started his own local radio show and comic strip. He decided to study abroad at Oxford, and began performing wherever he could. Before long, he was picked up by Truck Records, who admired his Do It Yourself (DIY) attitude. His first album, Radio Pet Fencing, contained tracks like “Rapbeth”, one of many songs that Lars has based upon classic literary works.
Lars has since quite Truck records and prides himself in being completely independent. His most recent album, The Graduate, was self-produced by his own Horris records (named after his former stage name, MC Lars Horris). This album contains the work “Download This Song”, a deliberate slam against what he sees as the failing record industry who could not keep up with the age of Napster and Ipods.
MC Lars is as much a voice to his iGeneration as Allen Ginsberg was to the Baby Boomers. His ability to work both web marketing and music have led him into a model of self-promotion that will undoubtedly be the new artist model of the future. He may never be a “big name artist”, but only because he will never sell out to a big record label.