Get To Know Los Angeles' WeDidIt Crew

Written By Sam Murphy on 06/19/2015

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A glance over LA-based WeDidIt collective's Soundcloud and you'll immediately be able to pick out some of the most seminal electronic producers of the last five years. There's Shlohmo, RL Grime, Groundislava and the latest record from newcomer Purple, all of which have racked up thousands, if not millions of plays.

On the surface, they're great songs but behind it is a tightly integrated community making beats, creating merch and touring together.

WeDidIt is helmed by Henry Laufer a.k.a Shlohmo and Meledandri a.k.a Nick Melons who have been friends since sixth grade. It's rooted in the LA scene now but its formative moments were in a small New York apartment that Laufer and Meledandri shared which neighboured the digs of Henry Steinway, known to the masses as RL Grime. It was there that Laufer worked on the first RL Grime EP on a diet of The Weeknd and James Blake. Almost four years on from the release of that EP, WeDidIt have contributed as much to the modern RnB scene as they have the electronic scene. Shlohmo has worked with Jeremih, How To Dress Well and BANKS while RL Grime enlisted Big Sean for his LP Void.

They may dip their toes into collaboration but essentially WeDidIt have made a name for themselves by doing their own thing. Still, they're one of the first group of artists that realised what could come from dumping a song online and allowing it to spread. Shlohmo's remix of Jeremih's Fuck You All The Time has spawned almost 10 million plays and put him in contact with the artist himself, which eventually led to collaborative EP which was meant to be released through major label Def Jam, but was released for free when the label screwed them around. If anything the screw-around re-affirmed the crew's ethos - do it yourself.

From DJing mansion parties in LA to playing festivals and shows around the world, WeDidIt have become one of the most influential music collectives in the world, since Odd Future's grip has loosened. They may be insular in the way they work, but their output has gone far beyond their collective. Releasing tunes is at the heart of it (they started out with an MP3 site) but they have expanded to deliver an equally impressive merchandise range - a uniform for worldwide WeDidIt disciples if you like.

Shlohmo is coming down-under this July to play Splendour In The Grass with a three-piece live band but most importantly he's bringing the first WeDidIt tour to Australia. While Shlohmo has long been the public's figurehead for WeDidIt, there's plenty more talent where that came from. Purple, D33J and collective founder/manager and DJ Nick Melons will accompany him, giving us a snapshot into what LA has been enjoying for a while now.

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Purple

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Portuguese-born Purple, known to the government as Luis Dourado is WeDidIt's only member based outside of LA. He's a late addition to the collective but his worth has been proven this year. His just released his haunting, confident debut record Silence & Remorse and is now touring as the first support for Shlohmo. He may be geographically removed from the rest of the collective but the record is unmistakably part of the WeDidIt fabric.

Your music is quite dark, but judging by your mix for The Fader your tastes are very eclectic. How did you decide on the direction of your debut album?

The songs on Silence & Remorse are feelings and memory extensions of a part of my life so I never thought about a particular concept for the album, the writing was very spontaneous. I think the sounds reflect the fact I'm sometimes deeply driven to darkness, hypnotised by it. But I listen to a lot of music, both happy and sad songs.

What should we expect from your live set in Australia?

I'm releasing my album on the 16th this month so I'm looking forward to play it live in Australia. It's gonna be my first there so this combination of travelling and playing all my new music too is very exciting.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/purplepurplepurple/01-extinction[/soundcloud]

A lot of your remixes have been for female vocalists (Wet, Enya, TaTu). Does something in particular make you gravitate towards the female vocal?

That's something that intrigues me but it was never a conscious option. Since I'm singing on my own tracks, having the chance to combine female vocals with my music is something I find interesting and unique for sure.

How did you and Shlohmo hook up originally and how integral has he been to your forthcoming record?

We started talking on Soundcloud some good years ago and naturally and over the years we grew a friendship, hanging and getting to know each other, realising how similar we actually are in so many things. This happened with all my Wedidit brothers, same warmth. We play our music to each other but Henry wasn't directly involved in the recordings although everybody´s opinion is important on the squad.

Do you feel as if darkness is the main thing that connects WeDidIt?

Passion for dark fields is one of them for sure but a lot of care, dedication and passion are also involved, darkness is just a part of it.

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D33J

[full_width padding="0 150px 0 150px"]

24 year-old Djvan Santos, who goes by the name of D33J, will be a part of two sets when he touches down in Australia next month. He play as set at D33J and also be the guitarist in Shlohmo's live band. Santos shared a loft apartment with Shlohmo back in the day and has since become an integral part of WeDidIt. His Soundcloud is a goldmine of dark, twisted RnB remixes and haunting, after-dark originals. His name spells out deejay but his skill set goes far beyond that.

How important has the internet been for you in terms of reaching a larger audience and hitting up people to work with?

I think most people agree that the internet has been a pretty dominate tool for sharing music these days. It's really taken down the geographic boundaries that have separated disparate music scenes and like minded people. noticing more and more these days that geographic cues that used to exist are evaporating in the hybrid net space. Now there are people making distorted Jersey house from tiny Scandinavians towns, and tumbleweed techno from Kansas. i think its a great thing that you have this universal exposure at your disposal, and you can choose what sticks for you despite where you are. Although there are always some intrinsic issues with this, but i think things are shifting so fast no one really has an accurate answer to what's 'earnest' and what belongs to whom. There's a lot of tasteless appropriation going on these days, but theres also beautiful moments that arise from approaching musical from a 'regionless' perspective. theres no perfect line drawn in the sand for this, and I think its an interesting time to be making music where these boundaries aren't so clear.

Do you think music, fashion and art are all interlocked?

I think there are definite connecting threads between these fields. There is constant experimentation and boundary pushing in all of these all of the time, but for me personally the connecting between visual art and music are stronger than that of fashion. I never really had fashion concerns when creating 'music' but can totally understand where both can exist together. When i was studying design there were projects where I used textiles and conductive fabrics as triggers to make sound, but for me that was more art x fashion than fashion x music. since my music mostly exists in a commercial context, I think of it a bit differently than when I'm 'sound' projects or my visual work.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/anticon/d33j-slow-ft-kreyola[/soundcloud]

Do you usually pick to remix songs you love or songs you think could be better?

When going into a remix it's never really to make the song better, but to bring a certain song I like into a different context. Remixing allows me to bring in songs that would not otherwise work for me when playing and hear them in a way that works in particular situations. I make a lot of dj edits of tracks for when I'm DJing, and the inverse for certain that I want to hear when I'm relaxed, but are to high energy.

You're the only feature on Shlohmo's album. How does collaboration work within the collective? Do you swap beats over the internet or prefer to do it in person?

Henry and I have been trading ideas forever since we lived together in San Francisco, and have worked together on things before so this poured out naturally. With Apathy it was a very easy collaboration, and we finished the bulk of the song in a sitting. Henry had a strong idea for the structure and I came in with some guitar ideas and it was locked.

In LA we have this amazing studio space thats kind of been the 'club house' for WeDidIt shit this year. This has been our hub for trading ideas, and were always in there working on tracks independently or between the crew. Whether it be listening to someones new album things, making rap beats, or just talking shit were in there making shit people will never get to hear and here and there on things that are for other ears as well.

[/full_width]

Nick Melons

[full_width padding="0 150px 0 150px"]

Nick Meledandri, who's traded his last name for Melons, may not be one of the most immediately recognised names of WeDidIt but he's one of the key brains behind the whole collective. On top of DJing he manages Shlohmo and RL Grime, among others, and runs the label side of WeDidIt. Melons came up with the WeDidIt concept with Shlohmo and since the pair have adopted new members and grown it into the underground cultural force it is today. Shlohmo and Melons first started by DJing house parties in LA and now they're about to bring their first WeDidIt show to Australia - an impressive trajectory.

It seems WeDidIt take pride in the fact that if a fan likes one WeDidIt artist they're likely to like all of them. Has that always been an aim of the collective?

The aim has always been to put out what we want with the people we like and let everything else follow. People like WeDidIt because it functions as a band more than as a label, so people fuck with each member of the band. Even the bass player gets love.

Collaboration feels like a central theme behind WeDidIt. How beneficial do you think it is for artists to be involved in a collective?

It’s important to have a group of people that you can trust for feedback. Each of these guys would be just as successful if they were just doing stuff on their own, but having a support system of your best friends makes it easier to take a risks and worry less about what the outside world is going to think about your music.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/wedidit-collective/nick-melons-mix-for-diplo-and[/soundcloud]

What made WeDidIt decide to make merch a big part of the collective?

Henry and I wanted to make a clothing company before we wanted to make a record label. Making show flyers and clothing is just as satisfying as releasing records for us. We believe the visual side of things is just as important as anything else.

It's interesting to read that WeDidIt generate a lot of their earnings through merch. How did you decide to make WeDidIt a multi-faceted collective rather than just a label?

It wasn’t a conscious decision at first; it grew organically out of our interests of doing shows and clothing in addition to the music. But from a financial standpoint, we are an independent label selling music that people download more often than they purchase and rather than try and fight that we find other routes to support ourselves that contribute to the identity of our brand.

WEDIDITFLYER

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A glance over LA-based WeDidIt collective's Soundcloud and you'll immediately be able to pick out some of the most seminal electronic producers of the last five years. There's Shlohmo, RL Grime, Groundislava and the latest record from newcomer Purple, all of which have racked up thousands, if not millions of plays.

On the surface, they're great songs but behind it is a tightly integrated community making beats, creating merch and touring together.

WeDidIt is helmed by Henry Laufer a.k.a Shlohmo and Meledandri a.k.a Nick Melons who have been friends since sixth grade. It's rooted in the LA scene now but its formative moments were in a small New York apartment that Laufer and Meledandri shared which neighboured the digs of Henry Steinway, known to the masses as RL Grime. It was there that Laufer worked on the first RL Grime EP on a diet of The Weeknd and James Blake. Almost four years on from the release of that EP, WeDidIt have contributed as much to the modern RnB scene as they have the electronic scene. Shlohmo has worked with Jeremih, How To Dress Well and BANKS while RL Grime enlisted Big Sean for his LP Void.

They may dip their toes into collaboration but essentially WeDidIt have made a name for themselves by doing their own thing. Still, they're one of the first group of artists that realised what could come from dumping a song online and allowing it to spread. Shlohmo's remix of Jeremih's Fuck You All The Time has spawned almost 10 million plays and put him in contact with the artist himself, which eventually led to collaborative EP which was meant to be released through major label Def Jam, but was released for free when the label screwed them around. If anything the screw-around re-affirmed the crew's ethos - do it yourself.

From DJing mansion parties in LA to playing festivals and shows around the world, WeDidIt have become one of the most influential music collectives in the world, since Odd Future's grip has loosened. They may be insular in the way they work, but their output has gone far beyond their collective. Releasing tunes is at the heart of it (they started out with an MP3 site) but they have expanded to deliver an equally impressive merchandise range - a uniform for worldwide WeDidIt disciples if you like.

Shlohmo is coming down-under this July to play Splendour In The Grass with a three-piece live band but most importantly he's bringing the first WeDidIt tour to Australia. While Shlohmo has long been the public's figurehead for WeDidIt, there's plenty more talent where that came from. Purple, D33J and collective founder/manager and DJ Nick Melons will accompany him, giving us a snapshot into what LA has been enjoying for a while now.

Purple

Portuguese-born Purple, known to the government as Luis Dourado is WeDidIt's only member based outside of LA. He's a late addition to the collective but his worth has been proven this year. His just released his haunting, confident debut record Silence & Remorse and is now touring as the first support for Shlohmo. He may be geographically removed from the rest of the collective but the record is unmistakably part of the WeDidIt fabric.

Your music is quite dark, but judging by your mix for The Fader your tastes are very eclectic. How did you decide on the direction of your debut album?

The songs on Silence & Remorse are feelings and memory extensions of a part of my life so I never thought about a particular concept for the album, the writing was very spontaneous. I think the sounds reflect the fact I'm sometimes deeply driven to darkness, hypnotised by it. But I listen to a lot of music, both happy and sad songs.

What should we expect from your live set in Australia?

I'm releasing my album on the 16th this month so I'm looking forward to play it live in Australia. It's gonna be my first there so this combination of travelling and playing all my new music too is very exciting.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/purplepurplepurple/01-extinction[/soundcloud]

A lot of your remixes have been for female vocalists (Wet, Enya, TaTu). Does something in particular make you gravitate towards the female vocal?

That's something that intrigues me but it was never a conscious option. Since I'm singing on my own tracks, having the chance to combine female vocals with my music is something I find interesting and unique for sure.

How did you and Shlohmo hook up originally and how integral has he been to your forthcoming record?

We started talking on Soundcloud some good years ago and naturally and over the years we grew a friendship, hanging and getting to know each other, realising how similar we actually are in so many things. This happened with all my Wedidit brothers, same warmth. We play our music to each other but Henry wasn't directly involved in the recordings although everybody´s opinion is important on the squad.

Do you feel as if darkness is the main thing that connects WeDidIt?

Passion for dark fields is one of them for sure but a lot of care, dedication and passion are also involved, darkness is just a part of it.

D33J

24 year-old Djvan Santos, who goes by the name of D33J, will be a part of two sets when he touches down in Australia next month. He play as set at D33J and also be the guitarist in Shlohmo's live band. Santos shared a loft apartment with Shlohmo back in the day and has since become an integral part of WeDidIt. His Soundcloud is a goldmine of dark, twisted RnB remixes and haunting, after-dark originals. His name spells out deejay but his skill set goes far beyond that.

How important has the internet been for you in terms of reaching a larger audience and hitting up people to work with?

I think most people agree that the internet has been a pretty dominate tool for sharing music these days. It's really taken down the geographic boundaries that have separated disparate music scenes and like minded people. noticing more and more these days that geographic cues that used to exist are evaporating in the hybrid net space. Now there are people making distorted Jersey house from tiny Scandinavians towns, and tumbleweed techno from Kansas. i think its a great thing that you have this universal exposure at your disposal, and you can choose what sticks for you despite where you are. Although there are always some intrinsic issues with this, but i think things are shifting so fast no one really has an accurate answer to what's 'earnest' and what belongs to whom. There's a lot of tasteless appropriation going on these days, but theres also beautiful moments that arise from approaching musical from a 'regionless' perspective. theres no perfect line drawn in the sand for this, and I think its an interesting time to be making music where these boundaries aren't so clear.

Do you think music, fashion and art are all interlocked?

I think there are definite connecting threads between these fields. There is constant experimentation and boundary pushing in all of these all of the time, but for me personally the connecting between visual art and music are stronger than that of fashion. I never really had fashion concerns when creating 'music' but can totally understand where both can exist together. When i was studying design there were projects where I used textiles and conductive fabrics as triggers to make sound, but for me that was more art x fashion than fashion x music. since my music mostly exists in a commercial context, I think of it a bit differently than when I'm 'sound' projects or my visual work.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/anticon/d33j-slow-ft-kreyola[/soundcloud]

Do you usually pick to remix songs you love or songs you think could be better?

When going into a remix it's never really to make the song better, but to bring a certain song I like into a different context. Remixing allows me to bring in songs that would not otherwise work for me when playing and hear them in a way that works in particular situations. I make a lot of dj edits of tracks for when I'm DJing, and the inverse for certain that I want to hear when I'm relaxed, but are to high energy.

You're the only feature on Shlohmo's album. How does collaboration work within the collective? Do you swap beats over the internet or prefer to do it in person?

Henry and I have been trading ideas forever since we lived together in San Francisco, and have worked together on things before so this poured out naturally. With Apathy it was a very easy collaboration, and we finished the bulk of the song in a sitting. Henry had a strong idea for the structure and I came in with some guitar ideas and it was locked.

In LA we have this amazing studio space thats kind of been the 'club house' for WeDidIt shit this year. This has been our hub for trading ideas, and were always in there working on tracks independently or between the crew. Whether it be listening to someones new album things, making rap beats, or just talking shit were in there making shit people will never get to hear and here and there on things that are for other ears as well.

Nick Melons

Nick Meledandri, who's traded his last name for Melons, may not be one of the most immediately recognised names of WeDidIt but he's one of the key brains behind the whole collective. On top of DJing he manages Shlohmo and RL Grime, among others, and runs the label side of WeDidIt. Melons came up with the WeDidIt concept with Shlohmo and since the pair have adopted new members and grown it into the underground cultural force it is today. Shlohmo and Melons first started by DJing house parties in LA and now they're about to bring their first WeDidIt show to Australia - an impressive trajectory.

It seems WeDidIt take pride in the fact that if a fan likes one WeDidIt artist they're likely to like all of them. Has that always been an aim of the collective?

The aim has always been to put out what we want with the people we like and let everything else follow. People like WeDidIt because it functions as a band more than as a label, so people fuck with each member of the band. Even the bass player gets love.

Collaboration feels like a central theme behind WeDidIt. How beneficial do you think it is for artists to be involved in a collective?

It’s important to have a group of people that you can trust for feedback. Each of these guys would be just as successful if they were just doing stuff on their own, but having a support system of your best friends makes it easier to take a risks and worry less about what the outside world is going to think about your music.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/wedidit-collective/nick-melons-mix-for-diplo-and[/soundcloud]

What made WeDidIt decide to make merch a big part of the collective?

Henry and I wanted to make a clothing company before we wanted to make a record label. Making show flyers and clothing is just as satisfying as releasing records for us. We believe the visual side of things is just as important as anything else.

It's interesting to read that WeDidIt generate a lot of their earnings through merch. How did you decide to make WeDidIt a multi-faceted collective rather than just a label?

It wasn’t a conscious decision at first; it grew organically out of our interests of doing shows and clothing in addition to the music. But from a financial standpoint, we are an independent label selling music that people download more often than they purchase and rather than try and fight that we find other routes to support ourselves that contribute to the identity of our brand.

WEDIDITFLYER

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