One Last Time: Spice Lo Performs at Oberlin

Last Saturday marked the final “Lo at the ’Sco” concert, and although College sophomore Derek Mahone — or as he is perhaps better known, Spice Lo — has been at Oberlin for just over a year, it feels like the end of an era. Described on his website as an independent “recording artist, engineer and producer,” Mahone has tremendous ambition. He’s released two albums as Spice Lo — I Can’t Relate: A Love Story and The Cabernet Facade — as well as an EP, Growth. 

Most recently, Mahone’s ambition has led him to withdraw from Oberlin at the end of this semester. He plans to move to Los Angeles in early 2019, where he’ll pursue his music career and continue his education in community college, eventually transitioning to a larger university.

“[Los Angeles], that’s where you go to make it happen,” Mahone said. “It’s highly saturated with the same type of people, but … I’m me, though. I’ve been doing this for a minute now, so I know that this is what I want to do. I’ve been morphing my environment to what it needed to be in order for my music to flourish, and [Los Angeles is] kind of a place where it’s already flourishing. As soon as I do a concert, somebody’s going to hear it and then somebody else is going to hear it, and it’s going to just flow around like that. … Plus [the perks of] the palm trees, and the beaches, and the nice weather.”

Currently, Mahone is working on a project called 8teen, chronicling his journey thus far (he’ll soon be turning 19). He’s also planning to launch a joint record label and clothing company called The Daily Drip. His eventual goals for this company include mentoring youth, which he’s done for about four years.

“I want to use my company to teach kids music in the future,” he explained.

For Mahone, everything started when he was a kid.

“My brother said I was playing piano and keyboard as early as like four, but I remember really delving into music and wanting to produce at around the age of seven,” Mahone said. “I would just be there every day on my computer, trying to look up different techniques and my favorite producers, watching videos for hours on end, watching little documentaries and stuff like that. I never really lost the love for it, and that kept me going through middle school, high school, and now.”

And as for what’s to come?

“I’m excited for the future,” he said.