The EDM culture is one that is big on experience. Whether you're on the magical festival grounds or at the electrifying night clubs, or even just in your very own home listening, there's no doubt that this music contains something so powerful that continues to unite people all over the world. It's that exact feeling that struck three gentlemen on their trip to WMC in March of 2012 where an idea was birthed, one that has now transformed the industry by collaborating with leading artists and donating proceeds to numerous charities all across the globe. Electric Family is company responsible for doing just that. I got to sit down with co-founder Steve Brudzewski to discuss with him the origin of the company as well as it's journey since 2013. It's quite a powerful story, and one of my favorite interviews thus far. Enjoy!
Hey Steve, thanks for doing this interview with us! Can you start out by telling us about the origin of Electric Family?
Electric Family was started in of 2012 by Steve Brudzewski, Drew Nilon, and Matt Dronkers, specifically, it was in March of 2012, on a journey to Miami for Winter Music Conference (WMC) and Ultra Music Festival, where the idea was spawned. We were all first timers to Miami and didn't quite know what to expect. We were inspired by the energy and aliveness that Miami exhibited during this time of year when WMC was in town. It was that energy and inspiration that led
us to start Electric Family.
The initial idea was to find a way to unite people that listened to dance music and then use that collective power to make an impact in communities worldwide. The dance music community was one that we were very familiar with but we also knew that it generally included people
that were open-minded and unified. The name "Electric Family" was derived from the feeling you get when you enter an event and you arrive and enter for the first time. The feeling you get and the energy you feel is truly "Electric." You also attend these events and music festivals with your closest friends in your life who are truly your "Family." That is where the name "Electric Family" came from.
After contemplating several ideas on how to manifest this concept of uniting people to make a difference, we created a symbol that would allow fellow Electric Family supporters to recognize one another in everyday life. From there, the idea of a bracelet with the well-recognized Electric Family logo was born. After we released our bracelets and got our name out there, we felt there a unmet need in dance music, and that was cool apparel. At the time, there was no brand that you could support and wear in normal settings without being looked at and frowned upon by the general public. Shirts with the slogans "Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat" were about it. We decided to answer this void by adding clothing to our offering with positive messaging.
Then, In the spring of 2013, we came out with our first "Artist Series" bracelet, which was Adventure Club, and then we have released a new artist bracelet every month for the past 4 years and now have over 71 collaborations on ElectricFamily.com with some of the worlds biggest superstar DJs such as Skrillex, Marshmello, Zedd, Hardwell, Kygo, DJ Snake, and many more. We proudly have raised over $350,000 to date for multiple charities worldwide with our artist series charity bracelets.
Do the artists help with design as well?
Artists and their management teams are apart of the entire process. They pick the colors, the logo they want to have on the bracelet, and then ultimately the charity that they want to support.
Is there anything in particular or even certain characteristics you look for in the artist before you offer a collaboration with them?
Yes, we want to work with key opinion leaders and the trendsetters in dance music. People that are supported by the fans, but also that are respected and looked up to in the music industry that can help us communicate our message and make the biggest impact possible.
Do the artists usually have some sort of affiliation with the non-profits they choose? Have these charities shared stories with you guys about these donations from the artists? Success stories?
We ask that each artist pick a charity that they are passionate about. Some of them have had experiences with certain things in their life, or have loved ones who have suffered from specific diseases that they want to help find a cure for. This is one of the most exciting things for me when we work with the artist because I always love hearing the reason why they selected their specific charity.
Yes, the charities tell us stories, most notably was the charity that Krewella picked called "Dance For Paralysis." The foundation's goal is to help the paralysis community get back on their feet so they can all dance with us again. They help pay for equipment for victims of paralysis who have a hard time getting access to rehabilitation machines and educate everyone on what their options are. Recently, In Boston, one Tuesday morning, Krewella, Electric Family, and Dance For Paralysis identified an 18-year-old individual who was accidentally hit in the spine by a bullet that ricocheted months ago. We purchased a $17,000 device that he was not able to get access to due to his situation and we knocked on his door at his home and surprised him with this device. He now is determined to get stronger every day in his quest to get back on his feet, and hopefully dance with all of us again.
What's been one of the biggest accomplishment's in 2017 for you guys?
In my opinion, our biggest accomplishment this year would have to be our brand breaking into major retail stores in North America such as Zumiez, and LIDS.
What are some things you're most looking forward to in 2018?
I am really looking forward to the explosive growth of dance music in Asia specifically. It feels like its 2012-2013 in the USA again over there and we can feel the excitement all the way over here in Los Angeles.
What is one thing you guys haven't accomplished yet but are working towards?
We have always discussed doing a major charity show of our own someday, and we just might have something happen in 2018.
Any final thoughts to leave with our readers?
If you love dance music, and you are looking for dope streetwear clothing & accessories to wear, give us a try. One of the coolest things about our brand that I have never experienced with any other clothing I have worn in my life is that when another person sees you in Electric Family clothing, and they know what it is...they stop you and say "Electric Family, whats up!? You have an instant hello and a smile, and most often a brand new friend. Everyone who supports our brand is a positive person and we are one big family. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @ElectricFamily and check our website out www.ElectricFamily.com and we hope you join our "FAMILY" someday soon.
Written by @Petey Mac
@2017 DJ Mag Asean