Rebel Radio is brought to you in partnership with EDM.com The Art of Selling Without Selling Out. Rebel Radio shines a light on cultural pioneers and their influences, reflecting on the roots and future of underground culture. We engage the influencers who define what we wear, watch, listen to, and play with — and how we spend our spare time and loose change — and explore what it means to be a creative entrepreneur today. Our weekly interview show explores the journeys of those who do it best in all areas of youth culture. We learn how they stay creative in the face of relentless distract and setbacks. How they make something where previously nothing existed, how they find inspiration and influence, as well as how they inspire and influence others, and what it takes to create movements.
Alphonso Rawls: Design for the culture
This week we talk to Alphonso Rawls — former pro skater and a leader in skate shoe design.
While he was riding for brands like Airwalk, Etnies, Droors, Duff's, among others, he began designing shoes for many of those companies, and others, before becoming head of footwear design for DC. There he designed the Court model, which has been DC's biggest-selling shoe to this day.
More recently, Alf launched his own lines:
Everybody Skates: A skate / streetwear brand that borrows heavily from pop culture (https://everybodyskates.com)
Savale: A luxury sneaker brand making limited-edition skate shoes that you can actually skate in if you have money like that (https://www.savalefootwear.com)
We get a little deep on the details of sneaker design. Geek out on that if you're interested, and there are a couple of BIG lessons for everyone building a brand or a career:
1. Make sure you know why people are buying your product. It can be the best in the world but if it doesn't meet the emotional and functional needs of your customer, it isn't going to work.
2. Hear how Alf is involving his audience in the creative process. That kind of transparency and engagement is exactly what consumers are coming to expect from their brands.
Go buy some fits and kicks while you listen to this episode.
Monalisa Murray: Let me just start this
Monalisa is one of those "it's the journey, not the destination" kind of people.
She's played a big role in the LA club scene and music scene for many years — as a DJ at Motown on Mondays, Dublab, and so many of our city's great clubs; as the used record buyer at Amoeba and an important link to vinyl for many DJs, producers, collectors; as a promoter / marketer, connector of dots.
But to hear her tell it, her accomplishments have been the result of being willing to try new things, to take advice and encouragement from the people around her, and to just throw herself into something without having it all planned out.
Check out the stories of the big-name DJs who stepped up and helped or gave her a push when she was starting out. And the great story about the mini-movement she started on Facebook a few years back. Think about the people who have helped you, or could help you, AND the people you can help. That's your homework for today.
Make sure you follow Monalisa on Mixcloud at https://www.mixcloud.com/Monalisa7872/
And on Dublab at https://www.dublab.com/djs/monalisa
And coming soon to Twitch
Street art during quarantine with Eddie Donaldson + Estevan Oriol replay
Catching up with the homie Eddie Donaldson — sometime co-host of Rebel Radio and founder of street art consultancy Guerilla One. Eddie works with artists and brands to bring graffiti to the masses.
He's curating the Love Los Angeles Style online art show, featuring prints from Tristan Eaton, Estevan Oriol, RISK, Taz, Saber, Dave Navarro aka Life After Death, CES, and many others. Coming soon: Find out more at www.sugarpressart.com and you can follow Eddie at https://www.instagram.com/guerillaone/
We talk about what's happening with graffiti and street art during the pandemic and how some artists are using the time to step up their game.
This episode also features a replay of my favorite story from our 2018 interview with Estevan Oriol. If you haven't heard that episode, you're going to want to hear this story. It's about not giving up and seizing the opportunity of a lifetime.
Cameron Almasi: How to compete with huge companies
Cameron is founder of Intertia Artist Management which handles the careers of some artists on the bubble (meaning you prolly never heard of them but your kids might have, or they will) including 10k.Caash, 7ru7h, and Spaceman Zack and producer of the Family Business Festival, a partnership with Young Thug.
We talk about the pivots he's made in his career so far — from metal to EDM and now hip hop, from promotion to management — and what he sees for the future.
He also shares what it's like being an independent promoter in a business dominate by a couple giants, and how he turns that size difference into a competitive advantage: "We're boutique of two dudes, and we're just really good at our jobs and we push and go the extra mile to make sure every show sells out. And we're looking for artists that we can push to the next level of artistry and to build a brand that consumers trust."
Mario Kristian: There's no rules to any of this
Mario is co-founder of No Free Coffee, a new coffee brand dipped in urban culture sensibilities ("fire merch"), and launching with Clubhouse chats, an Apple Music playlist, hella content. Very different from the hipster Seattle vibes we're used to with our coffee.
Makes sense tho: he's also a creative producer at Instagram and an accomplished preditor (not our word) with credits from the Fader, Complex, Atlantic Records, and Tyler Perry. If Mario's going to make something, he's going to make it look good.
Our interview gets into what it's like to kick-off a side hustle without knowing the ins and outs of the business and bringing his strengths to a new venture.
Nimesh Patel: How to get people to pay you on YouTube
Nimesh Patel is getting us through quarantine. With two comedy specials — Jokes for Quarantine and PATEL2020 — plus an album — Head Nimesh In Charge — plus snippets popping up reguarly on YouTube and TikTok, he's giving us a steady stream of laughs to keep us going.
Check out our interview where he gives us an hour of insight into how he went from messing around with music to working in private equity to writing for Chris Rock and Hassan Minaj and Awkwafina to being the first Indian writer on SNL to doing his own thing. Learn why the failures along the way are maybe as important as the successes (our words, not his), and what he's learned about making money on YouTube.
You can find him at instagram.com/findingnimesh + everywhere else.
Customer ReviewsSee All
My fave culture interview show
It’s kind of like a mashup between how I built this, and freakonomics. Very smart and interesting interview style tickets behind the scenes and under the hood and brings fresh perspective any topic
Be A Rebel
Josh (host of the podcast) is a friend, but I wouldn't be saying this if I didn't truly believe it :: With Rebel Radio, you are getting something that you won't get anywhere else. I've been involved with Verge Culture for many years, and with that backing me up, I can say that there are really no other podcasts that cross into as many different spheres of lifestyle and marketing than this one. In order to do this, you have to have lived through a life of subculture and urban arts, and Josh Levine has done so. Experience counts for so much, and the guests of this podcast have singularly unique experiences that we can all benefit from hearing about. Then go out there and have your own!
Terry Gross for millenials
Josh Levine has found a unique way to explore the minds and souls of the pioneers of 21st century culture. He uses his unique voice to purvey the unique voices of his guests who are breaking ground in creative spaces rarely visited by the media. Tune in to be blown away.