The Second Revival of Loca Recordings
It's our great pleasure to be the first outlet to let you know that the big room label, Loca Recordings, is returning! We've been following this label since it's very early days and have been curious about its history since seeing that new management took it over last year. That makes this the third iteration and owner of Loca Recordings as it has changed hands once again in recent months. We've been able to get in touch with the current and previous owner to get their sides of the story and we'll cover those after these exclusive updates on the label:
This is going to be a different sort of article for The QR Network. More in line with typical journalism based on interviews, rather than just the raw interviews. The original founder of Loca recordings declined our request for any type of statement as he has left the industry to pursue a career outside of music. Fortunately, we were able to talk with the previous owner as well as the current head of Loca, both of whom have been interviewed on this site previously.
The second owner of Loca Recordings was Marvin Nolze, who is the current owner of Sativ Records and the Seal Network. In 2017, Marvin came across a post on Facebook from one of his contacts that there was a notable Soundcloud channel up for sale. He inquired about it from the seller and was surprised to find out that the channel in question was Loca Recordings. The seller did a great job of advertising the benefits of the channel like its discography, connections, and website which hosted a valuable download gate where listeners could download the songs in exchange for following, liking, and reposting the track. This was at the height of Soundcloud promotion and owning one of these gates can be extremely lucrative. So Marvin and his partner decided to jump on the offer and split the costs of purchasing Loca and its assets for 1,600 Euros.
Upon receiving access to all the accounts and websites, they quickly found that not everything was quite as advertised. Along with the assets, there was also a large amount of maintenance fees for the website that were not previously disclosed to the buyers. In addition to these unforeseen costs, the download gate itself was essentially broken. There was no Spotify integration, which was especially important to potential users of the service. The new team looked into repairing the website and adding these necessary features but even the cheapest option was too much for their budget. Marvin and his partner had reached deep in their pockets to purchase Loca which didn't leave them with much to cover these necessary costs to maintain their most valuable asset.
Marvin's partner ultimately decided to leave Loca and the industry to pursue a career outside of music, just as the founder had done. This left Marvin as the sole owner of Loca which meant all of the maintenance costs for the website fell on his shoulder. This heightened expense and lack of other significant income cause Marvin to let go of the site and thus it was lost forever due to the way it was set up. Despite these setbacks, he still believed that Loca could return with the same impact that it had during its prime, so he formed a new team for Loca with someone for graphics, an A&R team, and promotions expert to push the label forward. In the Facebook post announcing Loca's return, Marvin said, "I also felt like I needed to surround myself with a team of trustful individuals like Peter Rijpkema and Gian Nicola Calzetti from Exposed Records as Co-owners."
Behind the scenes, there was some conflict on how to move the label forward. Some members of the team wanted to sign smaller talent whereas Marvin wanted to maintain the caliber of artist that listeners had come to expect from Loca like SaberZ, KEVU, Arcando, Wolfsnare, and GMAXX. As the A&R team went through the countless demos sent in by hopeful producers looking to get their name on the once-esteemed label, they found themselves arguing over who should be signed and who shouldn't. Some of the demos they rejected started popping up on comparable big room labels which further angered the members of the team that wanted to sign smaller talent. People started to leave the team as a result of these conflicts and disagreements over the direction of Loca which was the worst thing that could have happened to the label.
There was actually a second release planned from GMAXX which never saw the light of day due to people leaving the team, resulting in an understaffed operation. Marvin, with his other two networks, decided to abandon the project and put it up for sale for just a quarter of the price at which he had purchased it.
This leads us to the third owner of Loca, Lucas Fernandez, who has also been interviewed on this site under the name of Kyle Nash, the ghost producer. He also used to produce under the name of Luke Nolan and is the co-producer and manager of Kalvyn. He heard that Loca was on sale back in September of 2018, so he reached out to Marvin and came to an agreement on the sale of the label. Lucas told us that he's always been a fan of big room, progressive house, and anything else around 128BPM. He produced this style under the Luke Nolan project a few years back and recalls streaming and downloading Loca's released back in 2015 and 2016 when the label was at its peak.
He remembers what an impact the label had at its time, going so far as to say it was the most influential and important free label for festival music. He just couldn't resist the opportunity to take over the label once he heard it was up for sale. When asked about his thoughts for the future of Loca Recordings, he had this to say, "I'm sort of nostalgic when I think back on those years. The community was strong and it was really all about the love for music. My main goal is to make our community strong again and give a chance to up and coming producers from the new generation. Loca Recordings was a label for big room, progressive, electro house, and other festival-oriented tracks, and that's the legacy I hope to continue."
A huge thanks to Marvin and Lucas for telling their side of the story for this piece. Go and follow Loca Recordings on social media for all of the latest updates and upcoming releases!
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Chris W. Lao
Writer, DJ, and Student.
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