If you hear the faint chords of a John Mayer hit while walking through Sunken Gardens, don’t be alarmed – it’s just lou sydd, also known as senior entrepreneurship major Louis Descause, at work.
Originally from Paris, France, Descause picked up his father’s old acoustic guitar at 13 years old and hasn’t stopped playing since. Combined with a Guitar Hero 3 obsession, his musical curiosity was fostered on YouTube.
“I never really took any lessons. I’m completely self-taught, and just kept on learning because it was just fun,” said Descause.
Many of his self-taught sessions included learning John Mayer riffs, an artist that Descause hopes to emulate in his own music.
“John Mayer is definitely one of my biggest inspirations, from his technical guitar skills, to his artistry and his songwriting. I’m a huge blues fan and it’s so nice to be able to have one of the best blues players of all time around in our generation,” said Descause.
Many of Descause’s social media posts revolve around John Mayer jokes and covers, especially on TikTok. With over 16,700 followers and 436,900 likes on the platform, Descause has garnered a large fanbase of music lovers who enjoy watching him break down guitar solos and stereotypes.
“I think social media is everything when it comes to being an artist. And as much as I hate it because it’s so fake and it doesn’t actually represent who you are as a person, it plays a really important role in how people get discovered,” said Descause. “I’m not some marketing guy that is putting 10,000 thoughts behind every TikTok, I kind of just do it for fun. But it is nice to see that people enjoy it and some people want to see more of my videos, see more of me playing see more of my music.”
Under the stage name lou sydd, Descause has released two singles – both in the past year. The first, titled "idk," features his guitar expertise in an alternative surf rock tune. While his music may be under the lo-fi alternative umbrella, listeners can hear jazz undertones that represent Descause’s French upbringing.
“I think a lot of my sound comes from elements from all over the world, especially French gypsy jazz music is something I really enjoy playing on the guitar. Lo-fi neo-soul kind of stems from jazz so that would be a link right there,” said Descause.
Throughout his high school years, Descause played many shows with a jazz band and fell in love with live performance.
“It’s an ethereal feeling when you are up there on stage doing a guitar solo or something and you don’t even have to use words to put out a feeling. Whether it is like frustration, sadness, love or excitement,” said Descause.
Although he has not been able to play live shows due to the pandemic, Descause hopes to get back on stage soon by planning an event with other LMU musicians.
“My friend Josh Nutson and I are organizing a tiny desk for LMU artists on his rooftop. The project is going to be called LMU Collab, in hopes of getting artists and bands to make new connections and network,” said Descause.