Stefan Pruett, the musician who worked under the name The Guidance, has died at age 35.
The L.A.-based dance music artist, who was reared in Carefree Ariz., died of apparent heart failure. Pruett, who grew up with a congenital heart condition and had survived three open-heart surgeries, lived with a pacemaker.
His passing was confirmed by friend, collaborator and neighbor Jeremy Dawson, who discovered Pruett unresponsive on Sunday morning after doing a wellness check at the behest of Pruett’s girlfriend. Dawson, of Shiny Toy Guns, produced Pruett’s music, which included his most recent single “Overs.” (A Tommie Sunshine & MureKian remix of the track was just released on Friday.)
Dawson said that Pruett’s pacemaker was due for a tune-up earlier this year but that his appointment kept getting pushed back due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Pruett is being remembered as someone who lived to the fullest — fans at 2018’s BROKE LA Festival, for instance, witnessed him crowd-surf during the The Guidance’s set — but, eerily, he may also be remembered for a piece of music that is not yet released.
Dawson said he and Pruett had just finished work on an EP of downtempo ambient music that Pruett wanted to title “21 Grams.” When Dawson asked him the meaning behind the title, Pruett responded “That’s the weight that the body loses when the soul departs it after death.”
Pruett had moved to L.A. in the middle of last decade after playing in the Phoenix band Peachcake. After first releasing music under his own name, he adopted the name The Guidance. Last year, he toured the U.S. as the opening act for She Wants Revenge and Dawson’s project MXMS.