Los Angeles-based Ezra Rubin, who goes by the alias Kingdom, is a producer and DJ. He founded the label and collective Fade to Mind in 2010 and has since gained recognition for an approach to DJing that blends often dissonant genres to create unexpected, yet high-energy live experiences. His debut album, Tears in the Club, is released later this month.
Ammar Kalia: How did Fade to Mind come about and what was the ethos behind it? Ezra Rubin: It started after me and my friend Prince Will met [the production duo] NGUZUNGUZU and wanted to create a home for their music. They had been in LA with my long-time friend [the producer and DJ] Total Freedom, doing parties and making music, and there wasn’t a proper outlet for their sound. It was really Prince Will who encouraged me to make the label happen so we started it together. This was back when Blackberrys were around and “Fade to Mind” was Will’s BBM status forever. We were desperate for a name, so we chose that. The idea was to create an experimental take on club music and R&B, something with more open genre definitions in which we could mix sounds and create something new for LA.
AK: What was the LA club sound before you started? ER: There was a variety, but there was certainly a pervasive “upbeat-ness” to the parties and the crews here, whereas we tend to add more fucked-up elements to our mixes, bringing a darker edge to the dance floor. In LA, there are more warehouse parties and people take over unique venues for one-off shows, so the artists playing and creating interesting things are on the fringes and in the underground, as opposed to somewhere like New York where they are established in the clubs and bars.
Read the rest of the interview in Tank Magazine.
[This piece was originally published in the Spring Issue of Tank Magazine on 17/02/17]