09 Dec Los Angeles: In the Heart of the Music Industry
The dance music culture may have exploded in the past few years, but no city has seen a bigger impact then Los Angeles. The city of angels is currently home to many major DJs and producers who continue to push the envelope of EDM. Not only home to the bigger names but LA is currently booming with a surge of up and coming talent who are making their own path to success.
To learn more about the music industry and dance music culture in Los Angeles we went straight to the heart of the scene thanks to Icon Collective graduate Warden. Having moved to LA from Portland, Oregon, Austin knows too well the struggles of making it as an artist in a big city like Los Angeles. From the outside it may be all glamour and massive but just like any other city it has it’s good and bad. Warden helps us really understand the scene and the culture that is currently happening in La-La Land.
Bassdrop: What is it like to be involved in the music industry in Los Angeles?
Warden: To be honest, I don’t really feel like I’m “involved” even though I am. I know it’s an industry, but I try to surround myself with people who are genuine. That kind of takes away the “industry” feel of it in a way. It just feels like a bunch of friends doing what they love doing.
BD: From the outside, the music scene in Los Angeles looks huge right now. Is this really the case?
W: I would say so yeah. There are a lot of sick up and coming artists coming out of here right now. It’s pretty exciting to watch especially because it’s kids I’ve gone to Icon Collective with and just people I’ve met from being around the scene for a while. Everyone works their asses off and it pays off. There’s a lot of talent here. Apparently, Los Angeles is physically around 500 square miles and the music scene has gotta be almost half of that.
BD: As an artist what makes LA so great to live in?
W: There are a lot of creative people out here. It constantly inspires me. There’s this “I moved here to do what I love” energy that floats around the city and our scene which really inspires me. It’s kind of nice knowing everyone here has a similar mindset as you.
BD: What are some of the pros and cons being in the heart of it all?
W: I mean my biggest pro is that there is something always going on. There’s always multiple shows every day of the year it feels like. It’s almost overwhelming, but it’s pretty kick ass. My only con really is that it’s hard to escape the scene sometimes. I go through phases of just locking myself away in my apartment to hide from everyone.
BD: What are some of the most surprising things about the music scene in LA?
W: Honestly, what shocked me the most was how small the dance music scene feels. I didn’t expect that at all. And how fucking nice everyone is involved in our scene (for the most part). At least, the people I hang around are. Everyone has this whole like “LA WILL EAT YOU ALIVE BRO,” mentality before they live here. I mean it can, if you hang around the wrong people. You just find the people who are genuine and stick with them.
BD: A majority of the artist in the Los Angeles area seem to be really good friends. Is this really how it is and how close is everyone?
W: I mean pretty much. We all live here. For me and other Icon Collective kids, we all went to school together. That’s where I met Garrett (Fawks, he sucks) and we became super close. Like really close. Like so close that he won’t call me back and he’s already ruined like 8 of our weddings but I mean we’re sorting that out. Icon Collective is also where I met Sullivan King, Jauz, The Khan Don, Castor Troy, Boy Bishop and like countless other homies.
BD: A lot of the bigger acts are based in the LA area as well, does this make it harder to get gigs and events to play at?
W: Not really. I mean there are a lot of awesome local parties that have a lot of up and comers and sometimes bigger acts come through. Space Yacht is the best example of this, their parties are always so much damn fun.
BD: LA is known to be an expensive city to live in. What are some of the struggles that up and coming artists go through to survive while trying to make a name for themselves?
W: Yeah it’s pretty expensive it sucks. My personal struggles are as follows:
1) My bedroom isn’t a bedroom. For the past 2+ years, I’ve shared a pretty big 1 bedroom apartment with my sister. My bed is in the living room. Which is actually pretty sick because I’m also really close to the kitchen.
2) I have a part-job working at a dog daycare. It’s also pretty cool, but it does take away time from working on music and sometimes I miss events because I can’t get out of work.
3) I can’t afford to drink at the clubs. No one can. Seriously what’s up with 12 dollar drinks guys, no one wants that shit so knock it off.
BD: What else can you tell us that many may not know?
W: One time I saw Avicii’s mansion on a Hollywood tour when my mom came and visited. Shit had so many levels dog it was lit.
Read our full interview with Warden to learn a little more about his personal music career!