DJ to Watch: Blunts & Blondes
April 19, 2018
April 19, 2018
To me, music curator is one of the coolest titles you can have in 2018. It’s awesome to be able to select and co-sign great music, not because of the number of likes or plays, but because you personally think it is good.Even greater is being an event producer bringing artists with relatively small followings to play shows. Could you imagine risking all that time and money out of love for music on some “barely known DJ duo from Chicago” and not being sure if you’d sell one ticket?
The Brownies & Lemonade team took those risks producing events featuring artists with small followings and building a brand that went from curating shows at LA clubs to well-known festivals like Hard, EDC, South By Southwest, and Coachella. How did they do it? They know how to throw a party and they have an incredible ear for the dopest music you haven’t heard. On a Nest HQ mini-doc about team B&L, Anna Lunoe sums it up best when she says, “good people throw good parties.” As a result, any show tagged with the Brownies & Lemonade brand is going to be a fun, sweaty, good time. Soon they’ll be bringing that energy to Arizona at Phoenix Lights.
Before the B&L brand was huge, the creators, Kush Fernando and Jose Guzman, were roommates at UCLA looking to do something other than going to a frat party or partaking in the neighborhood bar scene. They started out throwing parties in their apartment, pitching in for kegs, and making burn CDs of music. Later they’d transition to warehouses and then to LA clubs where they took risks on relatively unknown artists at the time, yet more widely known artists now, such as Louis the Child, Whethan, Sam Gallaitry, and Jai Wolf. The formula, partly motivated by a lack of funds initially, to throw the best parties they could with artists they’d find on Soundcloud–and it worked! People kept showing up to shows to catch artists they hadn’t even heard. Brownies & Lemonade even started to sellout venues without posting the lineup. The brand itself was strong enough because of their reputation as curators and event producers.
Now you can catch them throwing shows at 1000+ venues and curating stages at huge music festivals. Their parties are so well known that lines will snake out the door down sidewalks with people trying to get in. Skrillex and other big name DJs will show up out of the blue to throw down a set or two and they’ve expanded to throw parties called Camp Trill where they feature rappers.
Despite the growth of the brand, nothing has really changed. Kush and Jose seem like the same dudes they’ve always been, lovers of music who curate and produce dope events. As Fernando put it in LA Weekly, Brownies and Lemonade parties continue to be “a great place to discover new music with other avid listeners who enjoy dancing their asses off.”