We had the good fortune of connecting with Jordan Deherrera, Chris Sanders and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jordan Deherrera,, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Popgang started out as a loose artist collective, music blog, and moniker for throwing parties. When we decided to launch the label, get an LLC and really go for it, it felt like the natural progression for our creative endeavors but we didn’t really know what we we’re doing yet. We’re artists first; producing music, DJing events, designing flyer art and merch is something we’d be doing regardless. And rather than looking to other organizations to release our work, it felt right to do it ourselves. There’s a creative freedom that comes with that DIY mentality. We still rely on this method to this day. If there’s something we don’t know how to do, we figure it out. It’s usually faster to learn it yourself and always good to know all aspects of how your business works. The best example: we built our own studio when we moved to LA. The garage at our house was literally 2x4s and ply wood. We re-did all of the electrical, installed 3 layers of sound proofing, drywall, hardwood floors a door and a window. We also built a custom studio desk for the space and custom synth tables. Neither of us had real construction experience, but we figured it out; down to the varnish and AC install haha.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Our longest running music project that either of us have been a part of is MANICS. We have over 2 million Spotify streams, our music has been supported by Odesza, Poolside and Steve Aoki to name a few. We perform live sets which feature Jordan on Vocals and Bass guitar and Chris on 2 synths and a drum pad. We also build out a custom lighting and visual show for the sets which has developed over the years. The project has a wide range of styles, but falls somewhere between New Wave, Disco and House. We got here through perseverance and trial and error. The challenges that come with an artistic effort are kind of irrelevant if you’re passionate about what you do. At the end of the day we keep making art regardless of what kind of success it has.
We’ve learned a lot over the years being artists ourselves, and now we use that knowledge to help artists on our label. Call it the guinea pig model, hahaha. We’ve released over 50 artists from LA to the Bay to Sweden and beyond. We’re about to put out our 150th release next month and it feels good to have built a creative home for so many artists.
In addition to MANICS, Jordan produces and DJs under the monikers Cyber Rodeo and Baby J, Chris does the same under TYGRBYT.
We’re constantly working on new music, new designs, new merch and new video productions too.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Given that we’re still mostly in lockdown it would be limited. We’ve been pretty into hiking lately so maybe Griffith or Baldwin Hills, the Popgang Records studio of course. Hit up Perfect Circuit to play with some synths and pick up some vinyl at Mt. Analog before going to Papis Tacos for their delicious Birria.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem / DFA Records has always been a huge inspiration for us. He kind of set the bar for DIY turned legit.
Paul Hemming & Jay Williams from Temple Night Club in San Francisco were big supporters of us early on. Our first releases came out on Temple’s old label, our first big club nights were at that venue and Jay got us hyped on analog synths. We we’re 21 when we started working with these guys and their early support definitely gave us the confidence to start our own company.
Chris Smith at OM records gave Chris his first Internship and showed him what a dance music label should look like.
Deborah Jackman from Mezzanine gave us an amazing space to throw bigger events and book bigger artists.
Devon Powell, original member of the collective when it first started throwing hardcore shows for his band GOD.
Chris’s wife Clarity for all the reasons.
Jeffery Paradise (Poolside) for getting us more involved in the dance music world through his party Blow Up.
Jonny Rios from FYM who has always supported and encouraged every aspect of this brand since meeting him.
Francis Reyes who started Cyber Rodeo with us and helped us up our motion graphic game.
All of the artists we’ve worked with over the years!
Other: @manicsmusic @cyber_rodeo @babyj.wav @tygrbyt
Holy Mountain Lisette Worster