create / 2014

L Creativo - A Latin Indie Music Community

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Creative Cycle, LLC, dba. L Creativo

Model for LA's Latin indie music industry - creativity as foundation, connecting LA scene w/ creativos in Latin America organizing events.


Please describe yourself.

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

Model for LA’s Latin indie music industry - creativity as foundation, connecting LA scene w/ creativos in Latin America organizing events.

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South Bay
  • Westside

What is your idea/project in more detail?

The production of L Creativo Fest 2015 & 2016. An injection of fresh music & creativity for consumers of culture, latinos or otherwise.

Sonido Popular - A monthly music event hosted by Quetzal Guerrero w/ 2 bands every month.

L Creativo Music Catalog - An online library of the community’s best music as a source of income for music creators, and great tracks for music professionals.

L Creativo Fund to promote L Creativo artists.

L Creativo Talks - In association w/ Encore Sessions, L Creativo will produce talks with industry professionals on varying subjects e.g. Songwriting.

L Creativo Newsletter - A newsletter that aims to share the content that is being generated by the community.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

L Creativo is already working towards the goals of the project outlined in this proposal. The team is ready to continue working with the same intensity and dedication that have made our accomplishments possible so far.

The team is already in place, the ideas are developed and the system is working.

L Creativo will take every step necessary to make this vision come into fruition, while maintaining the guiding core values and mission. Elevating the Latin indie music community of Los Angeles is our purpose.

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to CREATE today? In 2050?

Latinos are changing the cultural and political landscape of America, and Los Angeles has a very important role in shaping the discussion. What will Latinos relate to and identify with? What will they listen to? Who will they vote for? LA has the potential of capturing the imaginations of an ever growing population and inspire them to be creative and to have a meaningful say in the globalized world. Los Angeles’ influence in 2050 will be in part determined by the state of the Latino and the foundation supporting them to enable their expression.

L Creativo is a company founded by Angelenos who have real connections to the Latin American music scene Los Angeles, as well as in Latin American countries. After years of working their way into the LA music scene, the realization that Los Angeles was missing a cohesive support structure for independent artists, especially in the Latin market, inspired the founders to seek these solutions to fill this void. L Creativo believes it is important for Latinos in LA to be connected with their heritage.

So why is L.A., arguably one of the most important Latin cities in the world, not the birthplace of artists like Bomba Estéreo, Ana Tijoux, and Carla Morrison? Of course, there are some great LA based artists, like Ozomatli and La Santa Cecilia, but those bands seemed to be the exceptions rather than the natural outcome of a fertile scene. L Creativo sees this as a result of an old paradigm for the role of the Latino in Los Angeles that confines Latinos to the stereotype. L Creativo is here to provide the platform for the new Latinos to express themselves without the pressure of abiding to a role in order to fit a market, and therefore helping Los Angeles change its views on the Latino and start recognizing us more as equally contributing factors to the Angeleno culture.

In the near future, L Creativo’s proposal will provide a boost in creative energy and projects by the Latin independent music and art scenes of Los Angeles. By facilitating real connections to the traditional music and film industries in Los Angeles, artists will find ways of producing their art and start opening business opportunities.

L Creativo long-term goal is ensure that the creative community finds a subsistence mode, which is the ultimate way of supporting creative artists and projects.

Whom will your project benefit?

L Creativo believes in the avenues in this proposal as ways to facilitate creative projects, initially for the immediate community, but holding a constant expansion with aims of catapulting LA into a more influential role in the Latin indie music and art industries and becoming the best place to create!

Los Angeles consumers of culture, Latinos or otherwise, who seek stimulation from a positive source of creativity will welcome the unique experiences that L Creativo events offer. Bringing artists from Latin America and talent from Los Angeles together, sets the groundwork for collaboration and cross pollination. The creative community will benefit greatly.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

All collaborators are confirmed and active. It is key that they all contribute what they are good at and love, that they are in for the long-run and that they have a sense of belonging with LA.

Andres Ospina - A cultural innovator and entrepreneur, with the vision of inspiring a new generation of Latinos to have a connection with the character values of their culture by way of creativity and artistic expression.

Danilo Arroyo - A Grammy-nominated drummer/producer from Ecuador. A connecting factor between the music industry in Latin America, where he constantly tours with several acts, and Los Angeles, where he resides.

Larry John McNally - This master songwriter, with hit songs recorded by the Eagles, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Bonnie Raitt, and more, is a founding partner who brings to the table a uniquely important connection to the American music Industry, and to a know-how that bridges the old-school publishing and music industry with the new.

José Caicedo - An Ecuadorian visual artist in Washington D.C., who works in the non-profit sector. His vision is to elevate the Latino. José, wants to give his children a movement to relate and connect to.

Lee Curreri - The star of the 80’s movie and TV show ‘Fame’, is a world-renowned music producer who has caught on to L Creativo. He sees L Creativo as a way to lure in more recording artists into the dwindling recording industry in LA. He says that the city must learn to cater to the Latin indie music scene.

Clinton Bopp - A ‘kiwi’ visual artist, rising star in LA’s art scene, and key figure in L Creativo’s vision of combining visual art with music as a way of elevating the experience.

Highways Performance Space - The space where L Creativo Fest 2014 will take place on October 17 & 18, 2014.

Encore Sessions - A couple of indie filmmakers who have made a name for themselves by being a self-contained production team for live performance recording of bands at alternative locations. They have partnered with L Creativo to generate content.

Mucho Perro - Mucho Perro is a Latin indie food truck owner who has created an interesting following. He is very much in line with L Creativo’s vision, only that his focus is food.

Quetzal Guerrero - A partner for the “Sonido Popular” event as a host artist.

Angel Aguilar - A ‘Don Quixote’ in the journalistic world of LA, working towards bringing quality music reporting to the Latin crowd in Spanish.

How will your project impact the LA2050 “Create” metrics?

  • Employment in creative industries
  • Arts establishments per capita
  • Minority- and women-owned firms
  • Gini coefficient
  • Venture capital investment
  • Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”) (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

L Creativo’s ultimate goal is to give a boost to the creative industry in LA. By serving as a connecting community and enabling projects, both through direct involvement as well as by laying the groundwork for a positive collaboration amongst community members, L Creativo will inspire and promote many other artistic endeavors and startups.

In stimulating the spur of Latin art, L Creativo is in essence helping minority groups find a way to own their businesses. The plight for the women’s cause is a great part of our motivation. The L Creativo Fest 2013, was in dubbed the Festival of Latin Women, as 6 of the 9 bands that performed were lead by women, and all 9 bands included at least one female band member.

It seems as though income inequality was a big culprit for the collapse of the old way of the music business. A few artists were getting it all, while many others were completely unfunded. L Creativo believes that in a new world, where the mainstream is no longer so clear cut, and a much more diverse an open spectrum of creativity is available for the consumer, it is important to seek a better distribution of wealth. L Creativo’s solution to this is again community as the foundation for the economic model. Through L Creativo’s Music Catalog, for instance, artists will find a way to make money from their creations and not have to give up their profit, for the ‘exposure’, as it has been dealt in the traditional Los Angeles industry.

The infrastructure that L Creativo proposes for artists to utilize and lean against to create and connect, will surely result in many of these artists garnering venture capital funds, as the conglomeration of artists feeding into the L Creativo community facilitates the generation of content, and therefore gives more return per dollar spent. The L Creativo model is stripped of any ‘bureaucracy’, meaning that things get done in an efficient way.

L Creativo believes greatly in the creative prowess of the new Latino (L Creativo) community, and believes that LA’s true angle over other global culture epicenters, is the new Latino’s contribution. The more that this community is supported, the more influence LA as a whole will have.

It is very probable that Latinos will essentially run the country in years to come. An important question we may ask right now is how can we uplift the Latino consciousness and cultivate great leaders within the Latino community? How can LA contribute to this discussion?

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

L Creativo’s project will be measured in several ways. Social media metrics, such as likes/shares/comments on L Creativo’s social media outlets will give us indications of the reach of the content generated by L Creativo. Tied to this is also the growth of the email mailing list to which the monthly Newsletter will be distributed too.

L Creativo will also measure the audience attending L Creativo Fest & Sonido Popular, as well as other events (showcases, gallery openings, release parties, etc…). The L Creativo Fest has strived for a high quality experience, rather than a massive turnout, however the goal is to maintain that excellence while offering the experience to as many people as possible.

Finally, L Creativo will strive to grow the company’s database with placements of tracks from the Music Catalog. This final metric has an underlying measure, which is the online music catalog’s growth in music generators/creators, as well as music users (music supervisors, filmmakers, marketers, etc…).

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

Larry John McNally, founding member of L Creativo made a living for many years, mainly from direct royalties earned from songs that some of the biggest names in the music business performed and recorded. His first hand account of how the music business bubble burst, along with Andres Ospina and Danilo Arroyo’s experience as musicians in their early 20’s when the digital revolution kicked in, informs the core philosophy for L Creativo in their way of doing business. L Creativo seeks a more sustainable approach. Fueling an industry of excess and recklessness is not something that interests L Creativo. L Creativo’s approach is investing in creativity as the foundation for an entire community to find a subsistence mode. We were very inspired by Adam Braun’s Pencils of Promise point of view. He said, in a nutshell, that the new model is that for-profit companies start moving towards a more purpose-driven way of doing business, and non-profit start looking at their cause with business strategies. He coined the term ‘profitable purpose’. Taking this as a guiding philosophy, L Creativo set out to establish a Music Catalog, that aims at giving artists a strong foothold by ways of favorable terms, namely no required exclusivity, zero intrusion into the copyrights of the material, and an above average percentage for the artist for every publishing deal. Greed was depriving artists, L Creativo learned from this lesson and is now proposing an alternative.

Another lesson that we have embraced, that goes hand in hand with what we just mentioned, is that for indie artists to succeed, they must be able to survive the long-run. One may be able to live off friends’ couches for 6 months or maybe a little longer, but not for the long haul. For this reason, L Creativo believes in providing income to artists, but also in setting the stage for a more reasonable way of investing the scarce funds available. Establishing an artist by promotion and touring, making videos etc… is very expensive and has a very low return most of the time. L Creativo believes in having artists focus on their music and their craft. Once a song gets recognition from a placement, the music opens the door for the artist and the investing in a video, a tour and then promoting makes more sense. Through the avenues presented to artists by L Creativo this model will be fruitful.

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

L Creativo is already happening. This idea is one whose time has come.

L Creativo organized the L Creativo Fest 2013, and in so doing confirmed the notion that there was a strong community, willing to make things happen for the benefit of all. Everybody pitched in and the resulting atmosphere was that of camaraderie, where the old-school mindset of bands upstaging each other was obliterated and replaced by the conviction that when one shines, everyone does. The audience was cross-cultural and cross generational. Even the boundaries of language were ignored. Spanish and English were spoken in the same sentence without a hitch. Los Angeles is ready for L Creativo.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

Money and Geography. L Creativo is at a point, where money is the only thing that we are really lacking. All of the projects that L Creativo is undertaking need money to be able to activate the business, start moving music, having events and generating content.

The other challenge is the geography of Los Angeles. Neighborhoods are so far apart from each other that being able to connect with the different communities takes a lot of effort. This may well be a reason why the Latin indie music scene in LA hasn’t really come together cohesively, because being so spread out makes it hard for all to find a common space.

L Creativo is actively searching for investors who will enable the projects to take flight. In the case of L Creativo Fest and Sonido Popular, sponsors may provide necessary funds. L Creativo is seeking investors that have a similar stance to L Creativo, either by the audience they are trying to reach or by the values that they represent.

To be able to tackle the sprawl of Los Angeles, L Creativo is once again relying on community. L Creativo’s community is based all around the city. By bands essentially combining their fanbases through L Creativo, we are all being able to reach the greater LA area.

What resources does your project need?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)