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Aalok Bala’s Guide to the LA Music Scene

The Chilean-American artist give us her picks from Los Angeles’ thriving underground.

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Weekly updates

The granddaughter of a renowned Chilean composer, Aalok Bala was exposed to an eclectic variety of musical and cultural influences while growing up in Queens, New York. As a child, she taught herself to play guitar and piano among other instruments, and as a teenager, she became obsessed with the art of recording music, spending countless hours in studios learning production.

Now based in Los Angeles, the producer, songwriter and visual artist continues on the utopian, otherworldly vision offered on previous singles, ‘Moon Juice’ and ‘Sueño’ with her new EP Sacred Mirror, which further builds on Bala’s power and mystery.

To celebrate her latest release, we caught up with Aalok Bala to get her picks of some of the best artist’s in LA’s thriving music scene.

Follow Aalok Bala here for more and check out her list below.

01. Raays

I met Aaron Rays at a birthday party. We soon found out that we had similar friends, and before we knew it we were in the studio making sounds. In his studio he has a spaceship modular rig. The sounds he can get out of his gear is so fun to watch, he’s truly a sound designer. After months of sharing music and inspiration, he started to share tracks from his album he was in the middle of creating. As soon as “Prelude” was close to being done, we started to work together on a visual for his Spaceship masterpiece. Prelude the visual and Album were premiered at a Studio in downtown Los Angeles.

02. Maral

Maral is an Iranian-American producer who makes beats that bump. I met her when we both played at a Leaving Records “Listen to music outside in the daylight under a tree” event. She sat at her computer, smoked a joint and started to play her beats. I loved the dirty, crackling sounds that were coming out of the speakers, with middle eastern melodic samples coming in and out between sounds. I enjoyed it and have been following her evolution ever since.

03. Zsela

I can’t remember how I came across Zsela, but I found her song “For Now” and I definitely love what she’s doing. Her voice is so unique and I love when I hear artists with more alto or “less familiar” tones. Don’t know much about her, but I think there needs to be more outlets for emotional and chill music like this.

04. Nate Mercereau

Went to the Echo in Los Angeles and Nate played some songs from his latest album Joy Techniques. There were also some guest musicians from the LA community. I love seeing people just jamming out together. Nate has a guitar tone like I’ve never seen or heard before. Melodies were on point and vibe was on.

05. Matthewdavid

Matthew David is an ambient artist, music producer and the founder of Leaving Records. I met Matthew at an art show, little did I know years later our paths would cross at an outdoor event Leaving Records curated called “Listen to music outside in the daylight under a tree”. This became the heartbeat of the music scene in East LA. Matthew’s music has a mystical and earthy quality to it, though its mostly electronic. His sounds and samples either come from acoustic instruments or analog gear.