Since 2008, Los Angeles collective Freak City have stood at the forefront of the city’s neon-lit alternative arts and music scene. From its current location in a hollowed-out ex department store on Hollywood Boulevard on Friday, the troupe hosted HI-FA$HION BA$$, an evening of live music, film and fashion from the likes of flamboyant musical duo Hi-Fashion, rising LA producer Napolian, M.Y.O.B’s own pop-up store, and the latest collection-wear from designers LA Rap. Cited as a favourite subterranean spot by Diplo and MIA, Freak City’s graffiti covered walls have previously housed performances from the likes of Arabian Prince and Peaches, and is a place where everything from neon palm trees to half-naked mannequins and pop memorabilia can exist alongside those lucky enough to be there to enjoy, play, party and be inspired by it all. After the Malibu-drenched excesses if the weekend, we chatted to Freak City’s founder Justin Time – AKA OldYoung.
Describe Freak City and HI-FA$H!ON BA$$ in your own words?
What we call Freak City is a special place, a state of mind, a style, a sound, a vibe. Freak City is an atmosphere, a secret hide out/club house full of fashion, music and art everywhere. It represents a history growing up in a city with colours, crews, beats and freaks. It’s a world within a world where freedom exists and self expression is highlighted. The graffiti paints a story of turning the ghetto into a gallery and bringing the street indoors. To me Freak City is a calling for culture, collaboration and innovation. One of the last places with true soul and flavour. Hi-FA$HION BA$$ is a party that takes place @FREAKCITYLA that embodies what Freak City is… A street fashion environment laced with beauty and BA$$. It’s a real colourful and creative crowd straight, gay, black, white brown and alien. The future of the underground…
It always feels spontaneous when you announce events – would you say that’s how you roll?
It’s all about the moment. When things come together it happens naturally so there isn’t much planning involved. That’s how we roll..
How do you find or curate artists to get involved with Freak City?
It happens magnetically, you get in where you fit in…
Events and projects seem to showcase LA talent and creativity – do you see Freak City as a platform at all?
Freak City is more of a planet than a platform but most definitely a showcase.
Do you think there’s something all the artists who collaborate with Freak City have in common? A through-line or point of connectivity?
For sure, we have a lot in common with artists we work with. I feel we are using one mind and are all connected.
Have you got more HI-FA$HION BA$$ events planned?
Yes there will be more HI-FA$HION BA$$ parties coming to a city near you…
What does the rest of 2012 hold for Freak City?
2012 is the year of the FREAK. Freak City Studios will launch in 2012 and will be releasing a lot of exclusive NU Music. We will also be launching NU designs and products. Shhh! Rumour is Freak City will be travelling…
Words: Alice Price-Styles