T.H.E Interview – Lost Minds Records

lost minds records interview

Emerging from the Miami underground, Lost Minds Records present their debut compilation album – serving up a handpicked selection of dance floor focused cuts.

We caught up with the three founders; Chris Clark, Leyva (Bryan Miraben) & Danny Rivero (Dannysway) to find out a little more about the anticipated release & their future plans for the label!

T.H.E – Hey guys! Thanks for joining us today & welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials! Can you introduce yourselves to our readers & share a little about your respective journeys into the industry?

Chris Clark – Thanks for having us on! My name is Chris Clark and I’m an artist based out of Miami, FL. I got my initial start in the industry about 7 years ago when I started working at Revolution 93.5 FM as a producer. It’s the only radio station in the entire South Florida region that plays strictly electronic music. I worked my way up through the ranks and eventually got my own radio show, Homegrown with Chris Clark. I mainly brought on local DJs and artists that I felt deserved more of a spotlight than what they were currently receiving. I built a solid network, made tons of new friends in the industry, so that pretty much opened the doors for me to become the professional DJ / Producer / and Label Owner that I am today.

Leyva – Let me start by echoing Chris and saying thank you for having us. Like Chris, I’m also based out of Miami, FL. I was born in NJ, lived there up until my freshman year of high school, and then moved to Miami in ‘95. My path is far different than Chris’. Same destination though, which is pretty f*cken cool. I got married young, became a father at 27, so I kind of went the secure route and got the 9-5 job as a graphic designer. I never let go of the music, but I did let go of the dream of doing it for a living. There was rent to pay and college tuition to set aside for my little guy. I got divorced about ten years into the marriage, so I found a lot of extra time for myself when I wasn’t on daddy duty. Through new friendships and acquaintances, I started doing house parties. People kept pushing me to go pro. I didn’t give it much attention. Then I went to see my friends perform, they were both dancers at a posh little restaurant. The music was horrible that night, the girls were upset, and approached the manager about it. He asked them if they had any suggestions for a DJ and they pointed at me. I shit myself, but… by the end of the night, I had confirmed my first “pro” gig. I played the gig, and that night, I earned a residency that had me there 2 Fridays a month for 2 years. Since then, I haven’t looked back. Along the way, Chris and I became good friends, and here we are.

Danny Rivero – I’ve been in the music industry for over 30 years. I’ve seen the evolution of the electronic music industry. I got my feet wet at the age of 17. I quickly had to learn how to position myself and leverage my connections to make things happen for myself. I eventually got comfortable, confident and nurtured a ton of relationships that allowed me to travel, thrive off these relations and create opportunities for myself then and now for the team here at Lost Minds Records.

T.H.E – Let’s jump straight in and discuss your new label, Lost Minds Records – Can you tell us about the concept or back story behind its creation & how long was it in the making before launch?

Chris Clark – Leyva and I met about 5 years back, when we were both working for another record label. We shared the same drive for success, we had similar tastes in music, our back-to-back performances were always dope, and we were both trying to build our reputations as respected and talented producers. At one point, after leaving the previous label, we decided that it was time to do something of our own. I invited my friend Danny to join us and be a part of the Lost Minds Records project. He’s creative and a visionary who knows his music and has a good sense of the workings within the music industry. So, he agreed to join us and has helped with label management and brand development.

Leyva – We knew that we wanted to come out strong. So, we didn’t rush it. There are a ton of labels popping up constantly. For the most part, these labels come and go. A lot of them are initiated just so that the artists running the label have a means of releasing their music “on a label”. We didn’t want that for us. We wanted to really dig deep for exceptional talent, known or unknown, and put out music of high quality. With that kind of vision, we knew it would be hard to get this thing going, to legitimize the brand among so many. About a year after we decided to start the label, and establishing some groundwork, the pandemic hit. Luckily for us, an open slot at the radio station, and Chris’ solid reputation with them, paved the way for The Lost Minds Radio Show. What started out as a 3-month contract, is now going on to its 70th episode. Wild. The format of the show was like nothing else on the station. We sat down with the artist and just talked shit. It was an informal interview. We talked everything from favorite foods, Netflix, families, and obviously music. The convo was followed by a one-hour set. Boom. Shit worked.

Chris Clark – It’s been awesome. We entertain a bunch of international headliners, showcase local talent, and at the same time build relationships with everyone. The pandemic gave us more time to organize the label, its launch, the branding, and the approach to the first release. Leyva, Danny and I felt that the best way to make an immediate impression was to release a VA compilation first. It had to be a compilation that would encompass the entire spectrum of what defined our sound.

T.H.E – Congrats on your debut Compilation album too, what was the inspiration for the project & how did you guys go about selecting which tracks made the final cut?

Leyva – As Chris said earlier, the drive behind the compilation was to come out with a bang. To assemble a solid group of tracks that would immediately make an impact. We felt that by releasing an album first, with multiple artists, we can define our sound right off the bat. We received a bunch of demos and listened to each and every one from start to finish. When it came time to picking the ones we wanted, it came down to a few variables. The most important one, we felt was… “would we play this in our sets?” The tracks had to be of high production quality and fall within the scope of what we wanted our sound to be. The three of us, Chris, Danny and myself, sat in a room, listened to the final choices and then decided what order we wanted them to be in. That was important to us as well. We wanted the album to start a certain way, and carry along, through the end, with progression in tempo and energy.

T.H.E – In terms of a signature sound for the label, do you feel a firm standard has been set by the Compilation, or do you see this as the start of an evolving process?

Chris Clark – We’re extremely confident that we established our signature sound with our initial release. Afterall, that was the intent. I believe we were successful in doing that. With that being said, we do see it as an evolving process, nonetheless. At the end of the day, music is constantly changing, as well as our tastes and that of the listener. You never want to box yourself in, so we don’t plan on restricting ourselves moving forward. Good music, is good music.

T.H.E – How much has the U.S scene influenced your individual sounds & are there any specific labels or DJs that have inspired you?

Leyva – I find inspiration everywhere. To me, everything inspires. The inspiration for my music has so many levels, I can’t really pin it down to just the US scene or the international scene. I grew up with young parents, who loved music. I The soundtrack of my childhood ranges from punk rock, jazz, salsa, and hip-hop to house music.

Chris Clark – As far as other labels that have inspired us, I would definitely say the likes of Stereo, Elrow, Under The Radar, Crosstown Rebels, Cuttin’ Headz, Paradise, CircoLoco Records, Nervous, Transmit and Rawthentic Records.

T.H.E – And finally, looking ahead into 2022 and beyond – what’s next in the pipeline for Lost Minds Records, any goals or exclusive news you can share with us?

Leyva – In the infamous words of Wu-Tang, I’ll paraphrase… “a shaolin master never reveals his secrets.” I’m kidding. I’ll let Chris handle this one.

Chris Clark – Moving forward, we want to add another element to the Lost Minds brand: the party. We’re in discussions with a few venues and promoters here in Miami to get a monthly, possibly a weekly party. This will allow us to further connect with our listeners and fans, create an avenue to showcase the artists working with the label, and the new music we’ll be releasing.

Leyva – We’re strong believers in the concept of quality over quantity, so don’t look for us to be dropping a weekly release. We feel that dropping one solid EP a month carries greater weight than over-saturating a market that’s already inundated with tons of music coming out daily.


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