House2Ourselves to hit San Diego
A new monthly club night hits the streets of San Diego this weekend on Sunday, Jan 22. The event is going down at one of San Diego’s favorite house music venues, Spin Nightclub. Who might you ask? Get familiar with production companies Staybad and Rapid Eye Media as they bring us the debut ‘House 2 Ourselves’ event series with Desert Hearts artist – Eyes Everywhere – laying down the grooves. With their current pull and influence in the electronic music scene, this will surely be an event not to miss We spoke with co-founder Johnny Badd about the madness that is to come.
Only The Beat: What is your role in StayBad Productions?
Johnny Badd: I’m the co-founder of Staybad alongside my two best friends Shane and Pat Webber (twins) aka Postscript (whom will also be spinning at the party). My role in Staybad is essentially the overall manager and/or creative director. I have a unique ability to bring people together whether it be simple friend reunion or a fully produced show at a venue. I like to stay out of the spotlight but at the same time use my work ethic and ambition to make things happen behind the scene.
Only The Beat: What preparation/background/history in music & nightlife has lead you up to this point?
Johnny Badd: Surprisingly, Staybad did not come to be as a result of music. We started Staybad 5 years ago as a lifestyle brand dedicated to getting people to love themselves for who they truly are. We were tired of people telling us the ‘good’ or ‘right’ path to take in life; the only path that concerned us was our own. We have no desire to be good which is what led us to Staybad. We made a small investment in 100 t-shirts and sold out in a matter of 3 weeks. After this, we decided to take it up another level and invested in screen printing equipment so we can start designing and printing all Staybad merchandise. It’s always our goal to do as much as we can for Staybad completely in house or at least with other entrepreneur homies. Supporting local and small business has always been super important to us.
Alongside our mentality and the message we want to deliver to the world, we were very well known for our late night/ early morning house parties at our infamous “415 textile ave’ house in Dracut, MA. For those that don’t know the area, it’s about a half mile from UMASS Lowell campus which has roughly 20,000 undergrads. Needless to say, we were set up with a great opportunity to spread our Staybad brand which is exactly what started to happen. Weekend after weekend we continued to throw house party bangers with a vibe like no other. Friends became family at these parties and that family is the basis of the Staybad community.
Then one day, it all changed with an opportunity presented to us from one of good friends. Our friend was a gogo dancer and was pretty popular in the Boston/ Lowell club scene. She told some of her friends at a club she worked at about the Staybad crew and the house parties we were throwing. The club showed some interest and asked us to bring our house party brand into a legitimate venue. Mind you, at the time we had legit zero experience with show/event production. So we hired some friends to DJ, printed some flyers, and announced our first official Staybad party which was damn surreal to all of us. We ended up bringing just over 300 through the door at our first party with no headliner and just a week of promotion. It was an absolute blast and was super obvious that there was a lot of potential with what we were doing. We quickly started organizing the next party and decided to find some outside the crew DJ talent, a ‘headliner’ if you will. Ironically enough, we booked CRNKN from Mad Decent at our second Staybad party. Our first passion in dance music was moombahton and trap and CRNKN is from New Hampshire which was just an hour drive for him to come play the show. He ended up getting signed and moved to LA just a few months later. Again, we brought roughly 300 heads through the door and the hype was getting real around campus. Before these shows, there was virtually no dance music scene in Lowell. Every club/ bar played hip hop, top 40s, punk/metal, but literally no one dabbled with dance music which made it a prime opportunity for us.
The following two years from the original shows we were booking about 1 show per month and even started doing shows across New England. The textile house parties didn’t stop either, they just started later as after parties haha. We also kept busy making new clothing designs and perfecting the art of screen printing which we sold at all of our shows. Honestly, it didn’t seem real most of the time. We were actually traveling city to city to host shows with artists we were huge fans of before ever working with them. What was even more surreal was the network we built along the way. Making new friends and connections with other people trying to build communities just like us. Other crews love working with us because we love working with them. It’s not about one brand making it but rather all the small brands working together to create greatness. I could get into specifics with people and venues but this would go on forever haha.
Over time, our ears were tuned and we found our love for house and tech. We went through many phases of listening/ booking different genres but once we heard those boots and cats it was game over. We linked up with the Aaron Roy and the Binary crew out of Boston and started bringing our favorite house acts to Boston. We hosted these shows with Binary on a regular basis and still fly home to Boston 2-3 times a year to continue doing shows in our home city.
So the move. About 2 years ago, right after I graduated college, I started to get this itch to move to a new city. I gained a lot of experience in show production in Boston and threw a ton of successful parties, but I wanted a new challenge. After several discussions with the crew, we decided to retire the 415 Textile house and bring our Staybad brand to San Diego. We wanted to show ourselves that Staybad has the ability and potential to spread beyond just our core group of friends and what better way to do that by challenging ourselves in a new city. We ended up moving to San Diego in November of 2015 and it didn’t take long for one us to make a connection in the SD music scene. About 3 months in, I saw an instagram post from Bassmnt nightclub in DT SD inquiring about hiring at all positions. I told Shane about the flier and 2 weeks later the light/ sound tech doing visuals for some of the biggest names in dance music. We knew right away that we had made the right decision with the move despite how hard it was to leave our home community. We spent the next year networking by going to shows and meeting crews to get Postscript booked. We’ve managed to get them about 10 gigs in just the last year. and Pat was recently hired for artist relations at Bassmnt which makes it 2-3 landing a spot in the industry and it was only a matter of time before i found my calling.
Only The Beat: Why is San Diego & Spin Nightclub the perfect venue for these House 2 Ourselves events?
Johnny Badd: Nearly 2 months ago, a friend of mine that works at Spin randomly asks me if I would want to do shows at there. He could tell just by my facial expression that the answer was an obvious yes but I truly did not think a move like that would be in the cards. I’ve attended Spin several times over the past year as well as many other clubs in SD and it is hands down my favorite spot. Always a great crowd/vibe and the sound/lights are on point. They also host some of our favorite artists in the house and tech scene. The first time I went there was actually for Claude Vonstoke and Green Velvet aka GET REAL and my mind was blown. The club isn’t about the glamour but more about getting down on the dance floor and that’s what we are all about. 2 days later, Shane, Pat, and I attended a meeting with the owner and booking director at Spin. What was supposed to be a 30 minute introductory meeting turned into a 4 hour about music, life, and creativity. The first question they asked us was “what do you want to create” and honestly I was caught off guard. Almost all club owners we’ve worked with over the years are so concerned with numbers, promotion, etc. but these dudes are more than just club owners, they are visionaries.
We came up with the concept of House2Ourselves as a result of that conversation. We told them our house party roots and the evolution of Staybad parties and one thing lead to the next and we were talking about bringing a house party to a venue and that’s exactly what we are going to do. I don’t want to get into too much details because we want to see everyone’s reaction to the production but our goal is to literally turn Spin into a house. Each month we will be sending the rents on a nice vacation so we can have the house 2 ourselves. We want to expand our family to San Diego by creating a night that we can all go to once a month to reunite with a celebration of music and dancing.
Only The Beat: What do you hope to bring to the San Diego nightlife scene?
Johnny Badd: We want co create a night where one can go to the club solo and leave with a family. A night where you can go dance to your favorite house and tech artists without being packed like sardines into a club that is unnecessarily fancy and overpriced. A night where you can dance until you’re pouring sweat and not a single person is judging you. We want to bring Staybad to San Diego.
Only The Beat: What are you most excited about with this new event series?
Johnny Badd: We are beyond excited to get back into full scale event production. The entire process is very exciting and rewarding: talent searching/ buying/ promotions and building a street team, transforming the venue, day of show preparations, and then finally dancing our asses off to celebrate all the hard work and time we put into creating that one night. Most of all, we are stoked to continue building our family.
We are also excited to work with our new partner on the night, Nathan Navarro founder of Rapid Eye Media. We met Nathan while he was shooting videos at Bassmnt a few months back and shared a lot of similar interests His focus the past few years has been on his photography/ videography, and artist management. When he heard about the House2Ourselves project, he wanted in right away and the feeling was mutual with us. He is a super talented dude and we can’t wait to see the content he creates for this project in the near future.
Only The Beat: What can event goes learn to expect from a night at House 2 Ourselves?
Johnny Badd: The people who come to House2Ourselves should expect to make a lot of new friends. The energy/ vibe of the night is the most important factor to us. Expect to feel some nostalgia from the house party ambiance. Everyone should also expect to get down to some dirty house and tech beats with the occasional stink face when the bassline kicks.
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