“There’s an urgency to the way we program our events,” Andrew Lojero says about his That 70s Soul Revue. “This is real. Each one of these projects is a dream come true and as an organization, we have more dreams than we have time on earth.” Lojero’s been creating memorable moments, timeless events and underground happenings ever since the first party he planned for senior ditch day, “and shortly after that I realized that I had a knack for coordinating and bringing people together.”
Andrew Lojero’s combination of curiosity for culture and a mastery of logistics make him one of the most compelling figures in today’s music landscape coast to coast, though he’s called Los Angeles home since he was born there, in Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles. “I don’t come from money, my family’s very modest.” Religious too. He wasn’t allowed to listen to secular music until he rebelled at 14 and went off the deep end . . . punk (too angry), rave (lacking substance) and finally Hip-Hop. “Hip-Hop absolutely changed my life . . . It led me to all of the music I now revere. Hip-Hop samples so much that it completely led me to Soul, Jazz, Funk, Brazilian, Ethiopian, Turkish, music and cultures I never would have imagined. I had no idea these sounds existed and when I discovered these different musical traditions for myself, I became a fiend for all things new (to me).”
Lojero’s production company, ArtDontSleep began by promoting and producing afterhours happenings. “In 2004, Los Angeles had a healthy abundance of clubs that fed our community and really helped fuel our appetite for new sounds. As a fresh face on the scene, we decided it would be best to work with these clubs instead of competing. It was all just word of mouth. If you knew, you tried to show up to these afterhours and if you didn’t know, you tried to figure it out. The mystique and mystery is what really propelled those nights to have 500-700 people come out at 3am after they’ve been partying all night.” ArtDontSleep went incognito in name, but not in spirit, off-and-on while Lojero apprenticed at dublab (2006-9), then Mochilla, where he was Event and Project Specialist, (2007-10) and most recently Plug Research where he was Senior A&R Director and Executive Producer (2008-2012).
When asked to describe himself, Lojero says, “I like the word catalyst. I see that the creativity was all there [already], I just added a formula to it so that it could move in the direction it needed to move.” Andrew Lojero’s in the mix bringing artists together, hatching plans, booking flights and venues, the complex, creative and sometimes tedious tasks that transform one-of-a-kind events and projects into once-in-a-lifetime-I-can’t-believe-I-didn’t-go regrets for the unlucky ones. “It doesn’t necessarily make sense to do these projects the way we’ve done them, but what does make sense is that I can see the lives we’ve touched. I can see real heartfelt moments that exist.”
He recognizes that ArtDontSleep has a long way to go, but Lojero’s building on his successes and doubling-down on L.A., both its talent and its adventurous audiences. Lojero’s modest, but he’s also in on the secret that L.A.’s making moves. “L.A. is on it’s own turf, in the sense that it’s one of the only cities that isn’t afraid of deep experimentation, and trying to reach the new heights of real culture, domestic and foreign. There is a climate that is allowing some of the most beautiful musical flowers to bloom and if tended to properly, they will become towering trees.”