Lo-Fi beats by senior Nicolas Lopez

It’s 4:10 pm. School just ended and I begin making my way back home. Sitting on my desk I find textbooks, notebooks, and a pile of papers all waiting for me to open and start filling out. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the amount of work, I turn on some Lo-Fi music to relax and concentrate. If you tend to find yourself in such situations (aka all CVHS students) consider listening to beats produced by CVHS senior Nicolas Lopez, better known by his artist name “Don Verano.”

Lopez is a rising producer who makes beats ranging from hip hop to soul. 

Creating beats provides Lopez an outlet from distraction and allows him to express his creativity freely. He produces music mostly based on samples where he gets an old song and then uses the melody and reads it for the beat.

Becoming a producer didn’t come easy to Lopez; he had to work and save money to purchase his own equipment and start making music.

“I had to work. I had to work at a car workshop. I worked there all summer and then I had barely enough for the MacBooks which are super expensive. After I bought my MacBook, I had to save up again. Then, I bought what’s called an MPC, which is like a little drum pad,” said Lopez.

In terms of beat production, Lopez  believes that a balance of all musical elements is pivotal in making any successful beat.

“It has to have good drums. I think the sample has to be not too complicated, but not too simple. Like it can’t be super repetitive but it also can’t be like the most complicated where you don’t even enjoy the song. And the third, I think it’s important to mix everything so like, if this is too loud, then you’re not gonna enjoy the beat. Everything has to be the same, the same amount of noise,” said Lopez.

Starting only in the summer of 2020, Lopez now has published over 20 beats on streaming platforms like SoundCloud. His top 3 most streamed songs are titled “Gold, ”SUMR,” and “Soul Interlude.”

“Gold,” one of Lopez’s most popular tracks, opens with a feathery piano sound. The introduction of deep drums coupled with a rich violin play creates a sense of ease within any stressed student who listens while completing their work. The drums are constant in loudness throughout the entire song. All three instruments are happily married, creating an easy tempo. One can easily concentrate, making this track the perfect recipe for a productive study session.


“SUMR,” is the second most-streamed track. This piece is one of my personal favorites. It is perfect for when I want to listen to some upbeat music while I get through some tedious calculus homework. It begins with a pan flute which evokes a sense of mystery and suspense within the listener: you simply don’t know which turn the song will take. Deep drums, clarinet, and maracas are then all added, giving the beat more complexity. The song then undergoes a third transition. At this point in the song, I feel like a character straight out of one of the Arabian night folk tales. The crossover of cultural sounds in this beat made me feel like I was being carried on a magical carpet across the distant Sahara desert. Its use of unique instruments, especially the pan flute, successfully allows the listener to travel to a distant land without having to pay for a plane ticket; in other words, your voyage is all through sound.

The third track, “Soul Interlude,” commences with a main soft violin and piano. Later on, a dynamic harp and drums are blended in, creating a deep sense of tranquility. This calming piece is ideal for whenever you are trying to focus while reading long passages for your English class. Similar to “Gold,” these delicate sounds create a peaceful and soothing effect within the listener.  The floating sensation I got from listening to this beat, made me feel like I just ascended to the heavens and attended a free concert by the Greek god Orpheus. Here, Orpheus skillfully plays the harp, and each time a string is plucked, soft yet melodious sounds are produced.

Lopez’s most recent song “goodnight.” carries a similar comforting effect. This one like the others incorporates deep drums. But the use of crash cymbals and an electric guitar, in the beginning, add more dimension to the piece, giving it a more upbeat feel. The consistent rhythm of the drums and electric guitar all qualify this song to be on one of the many Lo-Fi playlists on youtube.

Overall, these works reflect a great variety of instruments and chord progressions. They stay true to what Lopez believes a good song should have, which includes drums, a balance of complexity and simplicity, as well a myriad of musical elements. The delicious mix of soul and hip hop in all these beats made me certain that I’ll listen to them in my upcoming study sessions.