“I’ll take a Boogaloo Tee with a side of new beats” said no one — ever.
Since just before eZoo 2017 my brother, Nick, and I got an idea to create an original fun t-shirt for EDM lovers. Boy, has the idea evolved.
Fresh off a food high from an annual family 4th of July gathering, catching up with some folks we hadn’t seen since Christmas, me and Nick got a chance to chat with Christina, our cousin (who openly shares our appreciation for grandma’s cooking). She studies graphic design in NYC and I’m always fascinated to hear about what cool projects she’s working on, updates on school and so on.
Later that week at Nick’s apartment, in comes an email from Christina with a link to her latest work. I can’t help but be overly impressed. Her creativity — extraordinary, and execution — powerful. And as the muffled sound of a new production comes from Nick’s headphones, I stumble upon what I think is an idea worth sharing. “Let’s create something fun for our friends to wear to eZoo!”
A few hours later, Nick pops his head up from what seems to be an endless sound design session and I mention the idea. Next thing you know we’re in a groove. Ideas flying — things happening. Truly embracing our newbie-selves, we proceed by jumping straight into vital first steps — topics like brand name and logo design. After gaining some composure, we get a hold of Christina and ask if she’s interested in helping us bring this vision to life. The Verdict: She’s in — and we’re pumped!
Off to the races.
Nick - Instagram
Christina - design
Joe (me) - website
As expected, Christina crossed the finish line first delivering this crazy cool work of art that is now our Boogaloo Tank/Tee. We loved what she came up with; combining animals with musical elements and crazy colors. It was exactly what we were going for.
But, next, a little doubt entered… Shouldn't we have more than just one tank top? Don’t EDM fans want more? What seemed like such a cool start then felt a little empty. I thought, “How could we just offer one shirt?” — until, of course, an idea, what seemed to be THE idea, came to me. Man, I was sure of it — an EDM superstore (said in the same voice as the John Cena, WWE SUPERSLAM prank). If you don’t know it and are up for laughing your ass off at a poor woman in prank call distress, you’ve gotta check it out.
Back to the EDM superstore — that’s certainly never been done before (ahem). I’m thinking we can sell a whole bunch of low-priced items, ship directly from China and give our friends, EDM fans, and partiers everywhere “it all”. Everything they can think of (a ton of cheaply made stuff) at a competitive price. At least the items looked cool in photos and they’ll only take a month and a half to ship. (How did I ever think this was a quality idea?!) After about a week of working on it, I felt no passion for this project at all. I thought “Why the hell are we going to offer die-hard fans — and our friends — a bunch of crap?” Answer: We can’t. So, now what?
Back to the drawing board…
What do we have? One tank. Let’s make it a t-shirt too, for both genders, that’s 4 products. Technically 4 very similar products, but 4 nonetheless. Our next move was to get some more equally-as-awesome items. Ok, do-able. But, while gathering ideas to stock the store, I couldn’t help but notice our loss of momentum. Progress felt too slow. And it was because there wasn’t a purpose behind this project. It was then I realized what was missing from the beginning… Meaning.
Nick and I thought, what do we, as EDM fans, want? Simple, EDM! To groove, to dance, to casually bob our heads while listening to jams, to jump like maniacs when listening to bangers as if we were at a festivals — but really just in our apartments, to cut down time searching for new music, to have somewhere to find new artists to follow, and maybe some tips on saving money for festival travels.
“How” was next.
A few months back, Nick completed an intense year at ICON and I got a chance to be the quiet weirdo in the corner during studio sessions. Thinking back to times in the studio, I wondered, “what better way to get EDM fans new music than straight from the source?” Let’s start giving fans what they want by throwing some unique new music into the scene. Music that no one’s heard of before. This would mean rising talent could get some free airtime. Talk about exciting. As this idea evolved we realized over time we could grow our following and accept artist feature applications for new artists looking for a free way to get their music and name out there.
What does this mean for new artists?
Many big-timers (musicians, actors, comedians) speak about the importance of having a strong support system. One they’re able to build up when doing great and lean on when times get tough. Being that we’re planning to market this festival shop to only the biggest EDM fans, it seemed to be the perfect opportunity to help rising artists grow their support system. This idea would allow new artists to catch some steam by spreading the word about their music to our community. By sharing their unheard-of beats with EDM lovers, they’re able build a loyal fanbase and receive some love and support from people outside of their circle — a near perfect recipe. This idea session, fueled by a combination of the colorful SoCal sunset and a power meditation, was magic. There was just one more step…
Once we build this awesome community of creativity and support, how do we give back? Seeing how finances were equally as much of a concern for Nick getting to music school as they were for me, what better way to eliminate this setback than to set aside a percentage of sales to give to future artists? This way young creatives putting off the jump to study music because of financial reasons, like I did, would no longer have to. The thought that we could truly have the opportunity to make an impact and to change lives — even if it’s just one per year — sounded amazing.
Via our Future Creator's Fund, we're able to award a collected percentage of sales to the winner(s) of our Future Creator of the Year competition.
Now we’ve set sail with this mission — we could not be more excited or feel more grateful. Due to some great people, our following is growing faster than anticipated and we’re being contacted by artists and artist management to spread the word of new awesome music!
There’s a few directions we’re considering taking this movement into the future. One thing’s for sure — we don’t want to stop here. This is, in every way, phase one. Currently, the avenues up for contemplation for phase two are:
- An informational resource for to-be and emerging artists. Somewhere that creatives new to the scene can learn how things work, tricks of the trade and tips for success by some of the leading musicians out there.
- A platform for new artists to promote their upcoming shows and offer discounted admission to their closest followers.
- Open the doors to other graphic artists like Christina to help us expand our line of merchandise to be able to give back to more future creators.
- Building an EDM Suuuuuperstore — kidding!