With official participation from over 2,500 artists, SXSW hosts an endless stream of music events for fans and execs alike. Every March the industry converges to catch and produce intimate performances from buzzbands on the cusp of breaking out. This year, dance music had a massive presence with some of the finest representation coming out of Los Angeles record labels. South By vets, CLA$$Y, rounded up a couple choice local staples that are making a splash at this year’s festival.
In a seedy underground club, smack dab in the heart of 6th St., a downward staircase leads to a dimly lit room filled with ambient red light. It’s here where both Soulection presented The Sound of Tomorrow and Friends of Friends hosted their label’s mid-day party. The two tightly knit, SoCal collectives have established a name for themselves ushering in a new era of sound and modern take on the business of releasing records.
Homies, Joe Kay and Andre Power, founded the record label Soulection in 2011. Friends from the start, they began sourcing unknown talent on Bandcamp, where they shared their mutual love and respect for music. After two years, Soulection’s audience had organically grown to a staggering 100K and came to signify a deeper cultural movement.
Soulection’s carefully curated roster of talent represents a diverse new wave of hip-hop, soul, R&B, and electro. Their style and ear for combing through the latest emerging producers has ultimately put them in a position to help shape the careers of Ta-Ku, Sango, Esta, and IAMNOBODI amongst others.
IT’S ALL IN THE FAMILY:
Sasha Marie, 23 year old, San Diego native says she met label co-founder, Andre Power while sharing the decks at a lesbian club. Two years later, she credits the label’s supportive, family vibe as an infinite source of inspiration while she continues reppin’ the ladies as a stellar DJ and hones her production chops on more originals.
Downing ceremonious shots of Crown with the crew followed by a mandatory ode to the beats Esta dropped on the dancefloor. Look out for the residency Soulection just locked-in, Saturday nights at the Echoplex, and at F8 in San Francisco.
Founded by DJ Lazy Brow, aka Leeor Brown, Friends of Friends could be considered a pioneer in the LA underground. Fitting to the name, Brown started the label as a creative project, inviting close friends to carefully curate all aspects of the records they released. The idea blossomed into what the label is today with an initial release from fellow trailblazer, Daedelus.
Stemming from the LA underground beat community, Friends of Friends has evolved into a label suitable for those with highbrow, yet unpretentious taste. Strictly emphasizing music that needs to be heard has allowed the label to support young talent such as Salva, Shlohmo, and Groundislava.
IT’S ALL IN THE FAMILY:
Brown’s willingness to switch up his roster led to the label's involvement with Danish techno vet, Tomas Barfod. Notable duo, Nadastrom, joined after they left behind their DC roots to embed themselves in the rising community of dubstep producers on the West Coast. Showcase headliner, Jerome LOL, recently formed his own label, Body High, which you may have caught on a recent Boiler Room.
Witnessing the live debut of Tomas Barfod and vocalist, Nina K., performing together. The pair rendered an impeccable version of their addictive new single, “Pulsing”. Then, catching up with Moombahton creator, and one half of Nadastrom, Dave Nada post-set on 6th St.