PHOTOGRAPHY Sheva Kafai
WORDS Julian de la Celle
Exciting things have been brewing for Los Angeles record label Lolipop Records. When asked about the inception of the label it's tough to pin down. "From day Numero Uno… I’d say probably 2010, in my garage." says co-founder Wyatt Blair. "Then I would say it didn’t really start until 2013 when we opened our record shop in Echo Park. And now I’d say it hasn’t really started until a few months ago. I don’t know, there’s been different phases." Nestled behind a green steel gate lies their new headquarters, already aptly nicknamed "The Compound".
I met up with founders Wyatt Blair and Ignacio Gonzalez on a cloudy Los Angeles day where they gave myself and photographer Sheva Kafai a first look into the space. "We jumped the gun on this move, for sure." Wyatt says grinning to Ignacio. "I don’t know if it was the smartest thing, but I feel like it was the right thing to do." The space is huge. There are two levels, multiple office spaces, a former meat locker which will become a venue, a recording studio and even more rooms which Wyatt and Iggy are still figuring out what to do with.
The idea behind the new venue would be to create a space that's all ages, something for anyone and everyone. "We just don’t want any boundaries" says Ignacio. "Just a safe place for people to enjoy music and discover new bands. Being a kid, going to The Smell, that changed my life." Wyatt makes it clear that he's over the LA party scene. "We want to support the people that aren’t the cool guys or don’t know how to contact the Echo or other venues for shows. No drugs, no drinking, just having a good time." They also want the space to be open for both touring and local bands alike. "I mean, we have space here for bands to crash, let’s record when you wake up, we’ll barbecue in the day, just hang out. You know, you can take a shower!" Ignacio says laughing. "That goes a long way when you’re on tour."
In a city that's so focused on the way you look or what favors you can do for one another, this space calls for the return of a community, somewhere with an open door policy for all. The only thing stopping Wyatt and Iggy from moving forward right away is getting the "O.K." from the city, but once that's through, the two hope to open it up to the public this summer, so keep your eyes and ears open for updates on Lolipop's new and exciting venture!