Since co-founding the record label and lifestyle brand Hit City U.S.A. in 2008, I have developed an entrepreneurial understanding of business development, brand growth and cultural engagement. I am excited by new creative projects and possess a keen mind for conceptualizing new undertakings with purpose. I posses a strength in analyzing potential opportunities and developing a concept to capitalize on them.
When we began Hit City U.S.A. in 2008, it was largely so we could have a stamp to put on our own album releases, but over time with a D.I.Y. attitude of self-learning we built a recognized independent record label that has lived up to our earliest intent of providing a home for musicians and music fans alike. I am proud to say we did so without any outside funding through an incredibly uncertain era in the music industry, focusing our attention on developing a cohesive aesthetic and a love of music that embodies our idealized Los Angeles. This section will focus largely on some of our successes.
Event Production, Music Festival Integration
Since Hit City U.S.A.'s formation, it was always part of our plan to produce and present concerts, parties and other events in order to cultivate a following for our brand and developing artists. We have often referred to this in terms of defining a culture around our business — a mentality that has spanned across a variety of projects from editorial content, to playlists, to custom apparel and more.
Across Los Angeles, Hit City has hosted shows from our own artists and aesthetic comrades, including Shy Girls, La Sera, Martin Courtney (of Real Estate), Nite Jewel, Future Islands (DJ), Local Natives (DJ), Grouplove (DJ) and more. We have previously partnered with Neon Gold Records to bring their Pop Shop party to The Echo in Los Angeles with early plays by Haim (with special guest Ryan Adams), CHVRCHES, The Neighbourhood, MØ, St. Lucia, Betty Who, Kate Boy, Goldroom and more. From 2014-2016 we teamed with Yours Truly to develop the monthly series A Sunday Kind of Love at the Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, showcasing stripped back sets by independent music's best breaking artists, set to the beautiful backdrop of Downtown Los Angeles' skyline at sunset.
This has also extended to festival integrations, including booking a Pitchfork Fest after party at the Virgin Hotel in Chicago with Future Islands, The Orwells and Ex Hex; a Coachella after party at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs; a Hit City-branded stage at TBD Fest in Sacramento featuring our artist roster; and South by Southwest parties with performances from Lord Huron, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Hanni El Khatib and many more.
In addition to the above, in 2008 and 2009 I tour managed Diplo in the United States and Europe for a mix of club and festival performances, including Major Lazer's debut live shows. I have also DJed the above events, as well as functions for Golden Road Brewery, Grand Central Market and CicLAvia, plus weddings and more.
Branded Editorial Content, Copy Writing, Social Media
In additional to journalism, my skills as a writer and have led to experience in copywriting for Arnette (social media campaign), Garrett Leight (branded content), South Central Scholars (website redesign) and Hit City U.S.A. (all materials), where I have honed clear editorial voices that represent the values and interest of each brand. As well, I have spent years defining and managing social media presences across platforms for Hit City U.S.A., Polka-Dot Peanut Parade, Billboard, Spin and more.
With Hit City U.S.A.’s How Nice newsletter we delivered weekly features focusing on the stories about our artists, friends and city that we wanted to tell with with a tone of casual exploration. We sought to embody Southern California values with articles covering music, art, travel, food and beyond to further the conversation with our community and advance our brand identity. Through this, we got to tell the stories we wanted to tell. Under my guidance, all pieces were written by our staff and extended creative family.
Fashion & Lifestyle
With Hit City U.S.A., early on we saw potential to expand our brand identity with forays into fashion and lifestyle products. In so doing, we identified our customers' sense of style and complimented that with branded, limited edition goods.
Each piece is definitive of our brand aesthetic — that nostalgic pop touchstone of classic West Coast cool. Products have included limited edition short sleeve camp shirts sourced and manufactured in Los Angeles, surf sacks, hats, bandanas, our perfect white T-shirt, slip mats, pins, keychains and more.
For this, we received press in Cool Hunting and other publications and tapped into new markets with pop up shops at Made L.A., Ace Hotel locations in Los Angeles and Palm Springs and select Hit City events.
Trend Analysis, Synthesis, Presentation
Across projects, I have shown an aptitude for identifying and synthesizing new trends in culture, tech, design and elsewhere.
In relation to products, for instance, I wholly believe that understanding culture on this level offers a framework for design that could for instance make the difference between someone's favorite T-shirt and one they ignore a week after buying. In this realm, we are servicing experiences and memories, my tactic is to make something that I believe will last in those regards with a grasp on what's happening now as well as what's coming next.
Likewise, with content and creative strategy, I have proven to be in touch with cultural ebbs and flows, with the mindfulness to consider how to it all applies broadly. Through this, I am adept at conceptualizing new methods to connect with an audience that can return immediate profits and long-term engagement. Trend is bigger than business, it's how we live.
Subjective taste is a hard thing to quantify, but yet it drives our culture forward in every way. I pride myself as an influencer — as shown through my work with Hit City U.S.A., FYF Fest, working in press, as a musician and DJ, and in my personal relationships — and invest in this role through a student-like interest in the past, a keen sense of what's current and active foresight into where things are headed. The culmination of this is a keen curatorial perspective that has manifested in all the above and more, including largely our Hit City U.S.A. music catalog and popular Spotify playlists.
Hit City U.S.A. "The Name is the Motto" catalog sampler of past releases:
"What We're Listening To" weekly new music playlist:
"Hit City Radio" new music mega-mix, press shuffle and enjoy for hours: