ALEJANDRA IORGULESCU is the director of BEATLOUNGE, a dance music radio station based in Los Angeles, but loved by fans all around the world. In addition, Beatlounge recently launced their new label Beatlounge Records. We had a chat with Alejandra about the brand and all her plans.
Tell us more about the Beatlounge brand. How did it start?
The idea or concept that would lead up to the BeatLounge creation years later, began to take shape in early 2005. Back then I (Alejandra Iorgulescu) was invited to produce a weekly podcast for a friend in Argentina, where I am originally from. It worked under a different name and Staff for many years, broadcasting on our website and also on a few digital and FM radios back home. Back then we were focused exclusively on chillout, ambient and downtempo music. In 2010, I split from that original project, and created BeatLounge Music, which kept the same weekly podcast format and genres for another couple years until March 2012, when I decided that it was time to take the next logical step and transform the weekly podcast into a Radio, offering a unique product where 30+ radioshows with different styles such as Deep, House, Ambient, Trip Hop, Progressive, Tech, Trance, Chillout and Lounge, and artists like Nacho Sotomayor, Chris Coco, Raphael Marionneau, Ferry Corsten, Giuseppe Ottaviani and Aly & Fila would merge exquisitely in a 24/7 programming.
Something similar happened with our label, which I will explain on the next question. The “BeatLounge Brand”, which is run mainly by myself and my partner Luis Blanco, among many other collaborators worldwide, is always on the move. We’re quite obsessive about everything we do and are always looking for ways to innovate or bring something new to the plate. No is never an option. I started broadcasting when I knew nothing about online radios or what an encoder was. Same with our label … not knowing how to do something, or not having years of experience, never meant that we could not do it. Like I always tell my team: “there are no crazy ideas, just ideas worth pursuing”. I also think that, not coming from a background in broadcasting, was beneficial to us because we do not have any preconceived ideas of how things “should” be done. We do things our way, following our instincts, which might not be the “traditional” way, but so far, it’s worked for us. We’ve created amazing working relationships and friendships with DJ’s, managers, labels, etc. and so, all I can say is that I’m extremely happy to have people believe in me, my crazy ideas and that work as hard as I do, to make them a reality. I can’t wait to see where BeatLounge will take us all in the next few years!
Where did the idea for a label come about?
Releasing an album had always been a dream of mine since I was 13 or 14 years old…Through BeatLounge Radio, I came in contact with Tim Angrave, owner of The Chillout Lounge Mix, a super successful podcast (http://thechilloutloungemix.com) which is also one of our monthly BL radioshows. And through Tim, I met Tom (a.k.a. Klangstein) and incredible German producer and artist. At the time, he was launching his new label, Schalldeluxe Records (http://www.schalldeluxe.de) and I had the crazy idea to ask if we could release a compilation CD with him, which … to my surprise he said yes! “BeatLounge | Chillout LifeStyle” was released in August 2012 consisting of emerging and even world renowned artists such as Moby! Funny fact is that I am still being asked to see that contract, because people have a hard time believing we, complete underdogs, were able to license Moby! we still have a good laugh every time this happens. In regards to BeatLounge Records: we had an album ready and for various reasons (or destiny) the deal we had with the label that was going to release it fell through, which I immediately saw as the perfect opportunity to create our own, a label where I could have total freedom to better control every aspect of the production process of an album, from the general sound, artists, release dates, promotion, etc.
Did you run in any complications setting up the label or was it an easy ride?
It’s been a steep learning curve, as expected. Especially with the legal side of things. But, we were lucky to have the radio on air for a year before launching our label, because this gave us the chance to form incredible professional relationships with managers and artists that would really help us out with our album releases. The creative, A&R side of things, has always been our greatest pleasure, and what we enjoy the most! We usually have an album ready in our heads, way before we even contact the artists. We know exactly the kind of overall sound we are looking for and so, the final track selection process falls into place very fast and smoothly. There’s been a few glitches here and there, but usually had to do with third-party providers, things that happen in any business or field, we’ve learnt from them and moved on. Nothing major.
What will be in the planning for the coming few months?
A TON of hard work!! we are working on a new chillout compilation as we speak. Might turn into a double album, haven’t decided that yet. We are planning on releasing it around September 2013, and have some great artists confirmed so far, such as Gary B, Chris Coco, Afterlife, Motif, etc. We’re really excited about this one, as chillout electronic sounds were – and still remain – our first love!
We are also planning a series of albums for our most successful original radioshows: “LoungeStyle Vol. 1”, our nu-jazz, downtempo and lounge show by Luis Blanco aka lewait, will have its first album release at the end of 2013, and “BeatClub”, our deep, tech and progressive show by Alex ElVil, will see its first compilation in early 2014.
Aside from this, we will be premiering new radioshows during the next few weeks:
“Danny Stubbs Sessions” (progressive / trance) by UK DJ and Producer Danny Stubbs, “Nature Vibe” (chillout/ambient) by Chinese Sealounger, and “Grand Tour” (tech/deep/progressive/techno) by Italian born Marco Mei, now living in Taiwan. Our first 2 Asian shows, so we’re really curious to see how they react to BeatLounge and very eager to gain new followers on that side of the World!
There are also other ideas to expand BeatLounge beyond the radio and/or label, but it’s too soon to talk about them right now.
Do you DJ yourself as well?
Short answer? No. I’ve been mixing over the years for BeatLounge or my previous project, but never live. I don’t really consider myself a DJ at all anyways or even that great technically, and I am not really interested in becoming one either, at least not at the moment. I enjoy the production and business side of BeatLounge a lot more than mixing, and I better stick to that and leave the mixing to the pro’s!
What is the best thing about LA?
Probably its diversity. We have people from all over the World living here, and that makes it interesting, more open minded. It’s a melting pot of ideas, cultures, visions. That is always good for art.
One other thing for me is that I love the outdoors. It’s easy to find spots close to home where you can disconnect from the city and chill. Lots of hiking trails, lakes, and well, the beach of course!
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
We get a lot of emails from artists requesting airtime on our radio, be it guest mixes or regular shows. I’d like to remind everyone that they can get all the info they need on our website (“guest mixes and shows” menu) as well as being able to check out new added programming schedules for our major Worldwide audiences: Athens, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, London, L.A., Madrid, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo.
We’ve also just created a new area for “EDM News” on our site, so labels, managers, brands, blogs, or anyone wanting to collaborate with BeatLounge on a regular basis with reviews, interviews, etc., as well as anyone interested in partnering with our radio and label, is welcome to contact me, Alexandra, directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
BEATLOUNGE RADIO: http://www.beatloungeradio.com
BEATLOUNGE RECORDS: http://www.beatloungerecords.com