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Music

4.12.2019

A Club Called Rhonda Knows How to Throw a Desert Rager

Last week we got a chance to sit down with and meet the duo behind A Club Called Rhonda, an LA-based collective which has hosted some of the biggest events to come through Los Angeles.

Rhonda is known for its over-the-top events with top notch production, art, and style, drawing in fashionistas and celebrities alike. They’ve built a reputation for bringing the best of the best in music and fashion. Rhonda has criss-crossed the country and launched its own label called Rhonda International, and their parties have taken over hotels, trains, museums, airports.

ACCR launched in 2008 when Loren and Gregory noticed a whole within the LA nightlife and decided to combine both the straight and LGBTQ communities. What they created was a platform for all people to feel welcome and received. Through that, they built a family atmosphere for all to come and leave behind the stresses that accompany daily life.

We sat dow with Loren Granich—co-founder of Rhonda—to talk about their early beginnings, and what we can expect from them for their event during Coachella, “Framework Presents: Rhonda Queen of the Desert”, which invites techno icon Nina Kravitz & DJ and renowned fashion designer Virgil Abloh to join the party. Plus, check the slideshow above a look inside a recent ACCR rager.

You describe A Club Called Rhonda as a platform for self expression. What does self expression look like to you and when was the point where you felt like you took ownership of your own self expression?

I would say for us self expression, if we could boil down to one thing would be becoming the most “you” version of yourself. Self-expression doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the loudest or being the most thrashed or being the most colorful but it’s being the most “you.” What ever that is. And I think that self-expression is the next step in the evolution of self-discovery and when you find yourself then you are able to express yourself. Those two tend to always have been what we have always been about and what that looks like within our ecosystem at Rhonda.

With each event, what would you say is the most difficult task presented to you? Or has it become pretty seamless at this point?

There has never been a time where we have been able to chill or back off. When we start to do that, that’s when the quality of event would go down. There has been times where we have over extended our schedule and haven’t been able to put in the full blood, sweat and tears into each event and we have seen that it doesn’t pay off. There are definitely no easy parts. There is a ton of people that work really hard on the pre-production side in terms of energy, set up and decor. For this event at Coachella we have about 17 people on site helping us. Also—we have to maintain a great relationship with our artists because we understand that they may be passing up a major pay day in order to be performing at our events. So there is really nothing easy about Rhonda but I honestly couldn’t be happier when putting these things together.

With you being originally from the west coast, what does it mean to you have Rhonda within the community of your upbringing?

That is something that is paramount for the Rhonda family, to be apart of the LA scene. We feel very proud to be apart it and we feel like it’s not until recently that LA has been a major player in the international dance scene. It is still not viewed in the same way as a Berlin is, but I think it has all the ingredients to be on par. In my opinion other cities lack the killer mentality and the eye for what it takes to host a really amazing event. But the competition is invigorating for us, and all the people that partake in this event.

Talk to me about your event at Coachella “Rhonda INTL Queen of the Desert.” How did it come about and what are you looking forward to the most?

Rhonda INTL Queen of the desert is something we have been doing during Coachella for the last 6-7 years. Coachella has always been a great scene for all the LA natives. And we have always wanted to do an event out there. When we first started it was a pool party, but it got a lot bigger and we have grown a lot as a brand. This venue—HITS Desert Horse Par—is amazing and right across the festival grounds. It provides us with a “canvas to paint on” and we are all super excited to be hosting it there this year.

What was it about Nina and Virgil that stuck out to you to DJ your event?

Everything that Rhonda does programming wise has always been an eye towards showcasing the wider holistic side of dance music. Dance music has always been very diverse. And that is apart of the reason why we started Rhonda because we felt like it was lacking from a lot of clubs within the LA area. We love when we are able to showcase dance music and how it can touch such a wide variety of people. Nina has always been an incredibly impressive DJ, she does things that always shock me. And she has an incredible way of making a big room move. With Virgil, obviously his reputation precedes him in the fashion world. But what a lot of people don’t know is that Nina personally requested him for this lineup. Those are two people I really respect and when I see them DJ they both get it – they spin the way we believe the music should be played and represented.

What’s on the horizon for ACCR In 2019?

We will continue doing Rhonda Internationally—we have a very special thing that we are doing that will bring us to Sydney, Australia. It will be a two day event but not only featuring music but also including food, arts, etc. Also—we are releasing a record via Rhonda International Records soon and can’t wait for that to come out as well. Be sure to stayed tuned with A Club Called Rhonda as they embark on a big year and be sure to go check out one of their many amazing events when you are out in LA.

Stay tuned to Milk for more Coachella coverage, and follow along on Instagram for live updates. 

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