Isla Vista-born EasyLove Records will open for JFK — of house music group MSTRKRFT — today at Santa Barbara’s Tonic nightclub, starting at 9 p.m.
UCSB students Eugene Albert and Austin Hulak — better known as DJ Yooj and DJ Fösh — created EasyLove in February of 2009. In the years since, its popularity has grown rapidly, garnering the duo local appearances including an act opening for UCSB alumnus and electro-house super star Steve Aoki at the Earl Warren Showgrounds last October. A local music hotspot, Tonic is a 21-and-over State St. venue featuring a variety of electronic-inspired dance music.
According to Hulak, EasyLove began as the product of Albert’s musical aptitude and Hulak’s technological and management skills.
“Eugene and I went to a rave in Isla Vista,” Hulak said. “When we came back I was just like, ‘I own all the equipment to do that … so why aren’t we?’ Eugene is the one who has the musical talent. He can deejay a hell of a lot better than I can. I’ve taken on more of the management and negotiating.”
While deejaying has become a large part of I.V.’s culture, EasyLove Records has been focusing on the business end of the up-and-coming music scene. The pair produces music and events and runs a blog — easyloverecords.com — complete with music news and downloads.
Albert said the group stumbled upon the upcoming Tonic gig while networking with fellow musicians in San Luis Obispo.
“We were doing events last year in SLO and we meshed with a couple of guys doing similar things, called the Casa Street Hooligans,” Albert said. “[We] brought them down to play a show in Isla Vista to open up their fan base and they brought us up to play at the Native Lounge in SLO. That’s where we met the right people.”
Following their performance at Tonic, EasyLove will travel with JFK up the California coast, performing at The Graduate in San Luis Obispo on Saturday and The Catalyst in Santa Cruz on Monday.
According to the club’s administration, the EasyLove and JFK collaboration will draw quite a crowd.
“I had heard of [EasyLove Records] before,” Tonic General Manager Brennan Titus said. “We’re probably looking at a sold-out event. It’ll be big — it’s probably in the top five if not top two.”
Albert said I.V. has been the ideal setting for EasyLove to establish its roots.
“I.V. is made up of a large amount of students in a very small area who love to party,” Albert said. “It seems like electronic music is coming more and more into the forefront of the popular music world as well. Isla Vista is a good ground for that. You won’t get paid, but it’s a good place to hone your skills.”
Albert and Hulak said they hope to boost EasyLove’s fame upon graduating in 2011.
“As of now, we’re focusing on making that transition from Isla Vista to beyond Isla Vista, with any luck,” Hulak said. “We’ve been saving the money we’ve made. We’re working on hosting our own paid-ticket events. My long-term vision is the Warped Tour of electronic music.”
Additionally, Albert said EasyLove intends to become a record label in the future.
“I wouldn’t call it a record label … yet,” Albert said. “But that is in our long-term game plan.”