Meet the dedicated rapper who chose hip-hop over a football scholarship

Lucas Dimattia (LLD) is finishing his first year at Fanshawe's MIA program

Lucas Dimattia, known by his stage name Long Live the Dreamer (LLD), is a first-year student in Fanshawe’s music industry arts (MIA) program and comes from a family of musicians.

Dimattia was a quarterback for his high school’s football team and was offered a scholarship to play football at the University of Puget Sound in Washington, US. He ultimately felt that choosing music felt right to him.

The rapper’s new single “Love or Lust” was released on April 1. A music video co-directed by Dimattia with Dragan Andic, a videographer with the 97 Club who has worked with Drake, The Weeknd, and Travis Scott, amongst other artists drops April 7 at 8 p.m.

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He describes the meaning behind the song as, “[him] explaining modern day love and giving life lessons to future generations and anyone in need of guidance at the face of adversity.”

Dimattia likes to write his songs by finding inspiration through everyday aspects of life.

“I’m not rushed whatsoever,” he said. “I’m on my phone everyday and I’ll be writing down notes as soon as they come to my head, at least once a day.”

“There’s this J. Cole story,” he continued. “He had found this book, I can’t recall the name of, and it was about being a professional writer. If you wake up everyday and write out two pages of just the first thing that comes to mind, you can improve your craft, so recently I’ve been trying to do that.”

The music video was shot in multiple locations including in his hometown of Orillia, Ont. and various places in Toronto. Dimattia confirmed that it cost $10,000 to shoot the video and he worked quickly to get it done for the release but also because his grandfather was battling cancer at the time.

“I wanted to show him what I worked on over the years,” he expressed, “and let him be proud of his grandson in a way before his possible final days.”

Thankfully, his grandfather is still alive and well but it was a very trying time for the rapper before he entered college.

“One of the big reasons why I debated on coming here was because I had a lot going on but he wanted to see me prevail in the world so he told me not to scrub this opportunity.”

The up-and-coming rapper discovered Fanshawe’s MIA program through a meeting with his guidance counsellors and through research he decided that it was a good fit to develop his career.

“As soon as I saw the value of this [program], the people who were connected to it and how it’s all family here no matter what I knew there was no other option,” he said. “I only applied here.”

Going to the MIA program has opened up opportunities for Dimattia to collaborate with other producers and be surrounded by other musicians which he has felt left a positive impact on him so far.

“Being surrounded by likeminded individuals 24/7 has really brought up my spirits and helped me reach a higher potential creatively that I didn’t know was possible,” he explained. “It helps me keep striving towards greatness.”

You can find Dimattia’s music on Spotify and follow him on Instagram @lucas.mattia.