Alumnus creates abstract visual art to accompany newly released music

Bryce Lamar painted strokes of blue and grey onto a sheet of poster board, smearing the paint around with different brushes to create various textures on the artwork.

The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music alumnus said he felt the free-flowing, water-like textures and colors of the final product fit with the musical aesthetic of his newly released single, “For Real.”

“It wasn’t deliberate,” Lamar said. “It kind of just felt right. When I look at it, it just kind of reflects the song somehow.”

Lamar’s single, “For Real,” was released Friday with his own dark blue artwork accompanying the single as its album art. Although an experienced musician, Lamar said he has only recently begun painting and is producing a series of singles with original visual art to accompany each one.

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While attending the Burning Man festival last year, Lamar met Mercan Dede, a Montreal-based visual and musical artist, who encouraged Lamar to work on his visual artistry, despite Lamar’s lack of experience in painting.

“We connected in sort of a strange way,” Lamar said. “Something he helped me realize was that I can create from a whole different place of consciousness and that when I do that, it allows the piece of art or music … to come out more freely.”

For example, Lamar said he tries to let the paint guide his mind while working on a new piece and to not judge his own creation in the process of creating it. In an earlier single, “Perfect,” Lamar created a bright red paint splotch across a white background to accompany the song.

Lamar said he took a very formulaic approach to creating his music at the start of his career, focusing on making perfect, carefully organized songs. But on “For Real” and the music and art he plans on releasing after it, he said he took a more free-flowing and nonjudgmental approach to making the music.

“Rather than deciding first, ‘I like this color and then I’m going to do this little border and I’m going to plan out this,’ I just take my mind out of thinking and just experience the moment,” Lamar said.

Dede said that Lamar’s music and visual art reflect Lamar’s experience in each piece – because Lamar has a strong background in creating music, it has a complex and multidimensional quality. On the other hand, Lamar is still in the beginning stages of producing visual art, lending it a simpler, more abstract quality,…

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