Warpaint Records is a Label on the Rise

written by Ariana Assaf

Last Thursday, the Warpaint Records family came together in Los Angeles to showcase artists from around the country. At just three years old, the label has already expanded to the west coast from its eastern origins, slowly but surely spreading its bass-heavy influence and giving rising artists a home.

Warpaint artists English Lit, Control, LVNKY, Azkore, Brothers Grim, Bass Craft, Venon, and FOMO all took to the decks at Union Nightclub, brilliantly playing off each other’s energy and giving the crowd a welcome taste of what Warpaint is all about.

We were lucky enough to chat with a couple artists about the development of their sound, experience with the label, and what they’re looking forward to in 2017. The first was California native and long time athlete Trevor Lanzarotta, who began producing under English Lit after graduating from LA’s Icon Collective. With several successful releases already under his belt — his EP Neverland hit #1 on Beatport’s dubstep chart and #17 overall — Trevor hopes to ramp up the touring element of his career by the summer.

“This has been the longest time I’ve taken off of releasing music to make music, rather than producing tracks and getting them out there as fast as possible. I definitely want to start travelling soon; I’d love to go to the east coast and see New York.”

On the topic of balancing making music and playing live, Trevor notes that his genre happens to be a very show-oriented one. “It’s hard to just sit in your room and listen to dubstep,” he says, which led him to a very honestly recalling of both the excitement and reality of receiving his first royalties: “It was awesome, but then you understand the numbers and realize there’s no living off that. The compensation really comes from shows.”

Luckily, English Lit is just in the early stages of developing what promises to be a very strong brand. “There’s a story to be told. You’re going to open the book, but you’re not necessarily going to know what’s on the next page.” His desire to weave a tale that keeps fans on their toes manifests in songs like “TigerLily” and “NeverLand”, which both draw themes from one of the artist’s own favorite stories, Peter Pan.

A storyteller in his own right, Bass Craft aka Salvatore Capuano, shifted gears to discuss the current saturation of the dance music scene, and how he’s trying to un-saturate it with releases on Warpaint and other labels, plus a track for League of Legends and a couple other side projects that deviate from Bass Craft’s, well, bass-y sound.

A San Diego transplant from New Jersey, Sal started producing at age 21. Having played in various bands and working in different recording studios for the majority of his life, he’s no stranger to broad music scenes. “Music has put me in front of so many people of different ages, backgrounds, whatever. And it’s shown me that sometimes, the people who say the least have the most interesting things to say.”

Bass Craft’s set made it clear that the artist’s ability to listen carefully has benefitted his production sensibilities immensely. The artist’s warmth and open mindedness was unmistakably infused into his set in a way that made dubstep feel as easy to listen to as anything you’d hear on the radio, but more interesting. Those qualities seem to be informing the progression of the Warpaint crew as a whole, and I for one can’t wait to see what they do next.

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