Love for Real by dug. (ft. Alec Lehrman)

Two Chicago locals, Doug Saltzman and Alec Lehrman, released a new single on September 18th. “Love for Real” is a funk, hip-hop, and pop mashup reminiscent of Prince and J Dilla.

This tune originated from a guitar part that Alec wrote last year in Doug’s apartment. Doug interpreted it through a sampler to make a cut-up, tasty guitar track, which sits perfectly above a dirty bass and drum groove that will get your booty moving. Alec’s sweeping falsetto on the hook “Don’t you want love for real,” will linger in your ear.

Doug Saltzman, who has worked with B Forrest, Sidewalk Chalk, Mos Def, Gia Margaret, and Sam Trump, is a Chicago producer you should know. Give dug. a shout if you need an engineer who puts the song first.

This milestone single is Alec’s last release before he moves to LA. Chicago will miss his stellar guitar playing and kind spirit. Be sure to catch him on the Chicago scene before he leaves.

Check out Alec on Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify.

First Listen: ALEC LEHRMAN

Single Release | April 5

Alec Lehrman depicts a story of love and nostalgia in his new single. “Take Me Back” recalls the doubt in those challenging moments where partners confront an unmet need. We all know how much dedicated work is required to maintain a relationship. At the same time, we've all imagined what it would be like to reach back and relive those easier days of the honeymoon phase. “It’s a reflection on the innocence of meeting for the first time,” says Alec, “hard work is important and so worth it,” but sometimes he contemplates the past.

The pocket on this track is reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, but Alec’s percussive acoustic guitar takes the listener to an entirely new place. “Take Me Back” is infused with flavors of a Justin Timberlake rhythm section, tasty background vocals that harken back to Jackson 5, and lead vocals that contain a twang of John Mayer. Evocative of high school summers by the pool, you will be singing the hook on this chorus for days.

Alec continues to be an inspiration on the Chicago scene. His YouTube channel is a substantial resource for badass licks, quick lessons with heavy hitting local guitar players (Anders Nordstrom, Justin Canavan), and short clips of Alec Lerhman’s groove-centric world. “Take Me Back” is available on all streaming platforms.

Be sure to follow him on Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify.

Contact for lessons:


Musicians: 6 Ways to Define Yourself

Justin Vernon, from Bon Iver, and André 3000, from OutKast, talk to great length about their anxiety. The stigma of mental health in musicians is largely avoided and I respect these two for bringing the painful truth to the world. Not only do they talk about how fame can affect a person, but how they started a journey to truly know themselves.

The music from Bon Iver has been a staple in my music catalogue since his first record For Emma, Forever Ago. When I first read this article, written by Laura Barton from The Gaurdian, I was flabbergasted by how much depression and anxiety he was dealing with. Isn’t it every musician’s dream to make a record in a cabin and gain notoriety for writing the most amazing break-up songs you’ve ever heard? Turns out fame isn’t everything you could ask for.

The same goes for André 3000—OutKast has been an influence on me ever since high school. I remember waking up, eating breakfast, and bumping Liberation on my way to school. To me OutKast was the definition of success. They were making music in their basement and coming up with catchiest hooks, beats that will make you move, and lyrics that hold an incredible amount of weight. After reading this GQ article, written beautifully by Will Welch, I thought twice about success and what it means to follow your passion. 

Here are six ways know the true you:

Meditate – get to know yourself

Contemplate – understand that you aren’t the only one that suffers

Love – if you love yourself you can be an example for others

Awareness – understand your feelings and instincts

Get Help – ask for help when you need it

Transparency – be honest, be real

Seeing the impact of fame worn by these musical giants makes you think twice about what you wish for. Exposing your depression and anxiety is only the beginning. It’s about the actions you take to become your true self. How will you define yourself?