[Tribute] i_o Leaves Behind a Beautiful & Complex Legacy
A week ago today, the dance music community was left shattered by the shocking news of Garrett Lockhart, also known as i_o, passing. The announcement was confirmed on his social media channels with a short statement noting that he passed away on Monday. "This extremely talented spirit taught us that even if nothing matters, you can still lead with love," the post reads.
Like many of you, it's taken us some time to process the fact that this incredibly skilled artist and plainspoken individual is no longer with us. Truthfully, the time that has passed has not been sufficient enough to grieve this unexpected revelation. For us, one of the most devastating aspects of Lockhart’s sudden death isn’t what he had managed to achieve, but rather how much more he could have accomplished.
We aspire that our following tribute will allow our followers a sense of peace and a means of reflection. Furthermore, we want to remind you all of the importance of reaching out to others for help. Our community is overflowing with love and support; you are not alone! Moreover, if 2020 taught us anything it's that there's power in kindness - you never know who might need it...
Before presenting himself under the i_o pseudonym, Lockhart also went by Fawks. His releases were featured on acclaimed labels like Dim Mak, DOORN Records and Nest HQ (his remix of Skrillex and The Game’s 'El Chapo.') Over the years, Lockhart continued to push his musical boundaries by exploring new methods of music production, rooted in the idea that "everything can be hacked" - thus, i_o was born.
His artistic philosophy inspired his newfound alias and overall branding. Despite this exciting chapter in his life, he stated he was still "struggling to find out where I fit in." He also constantly expressed how he struggled to fit the norms of the industry and how he felt alone. If you want a glimpse into his mind, read this.
Lockhart was eventually signed as i_o to mau5trap, the independent Canadian record label founded by deadmau5. His very first release under this moniker got him featured on mau5trap’s seventh installment of the We Are Friends compilation and a premiere on renowned electronic music platform Dancing Astronaut.
Throughout his career, Lockhart's "techno demons" fanbase continued to grow. Despite his numerous satire and downright troublesome posts on his social media channels, his followers turned a blind eye. We are also guilty of this; we thought his comments were mostly due to his overall branding, but the warning signs were all there...
This year, he released three four-track EPs: AM 444, with Lights, révolution, with Raito, and NRG 444. He also collaborated with Grimes on 'Violence.' When speaking on the hit track 'In My Head,' he shared, "[...] reflects on depression and the lengths you go to to quell the warped anxiety and polar ups and downs."
The 30-year-old never muted the fact that he was struggling. What's disturbing is that despite him being in the spotlight and expressing how he was feeling, he did not get the obvious help that he needed. What's even more concerning is that so many more individuals will also go down this path.
In our opinion, we need to do better. Although many of us aren't professionals, we still need to be a listening ear for those who feel alone. Love is powerful and music heals. Together we can overcome. Do not be ashamed to seek help for what you are feeling. You are stronger than you know!
Lockhart will remain a techno prodigy who redefined the genre. His way of bringing together even the toughest critics was incomparable! We can only hope he's looking down on us from his 'Castle In The Sky.' As the press release reads, "Garrett's truth and soul lives on through the music he shared." RIP, legend. 444 forever!