Damian Lazarus is mostly a rare-breed music conductor who creates and executes some of the best collaborative experiences in the international music scene—and music industry for that matter. Yet, it's within the cult audience that follows every spin of his career that leaves us in a love haze when thinking of what type of mind this unique creature may be holding. From creating record labels like Crosstown Rebels and producing Pakistani hits, to worldly Lazpod curations and an August 23rd music gathering, Get Lost LA, he just may be our new favorite music man. Who wouldn't fall in love with someone who lives and breathes the word, anyways? Get turnt, for with Lazarus comes a whimsical journey (OK, now we're adapting his tone): LA CANVAS MAGAZINE: Tell us a little bit about yourself and music backstory. DAMIAN LAZARUS: I grew up listening to old music hall favorites and movie soundtracks with my Grandfather and ended up playing underground deep, trippy and weird house and techno music to people all over the world. In between, I created super cool record labels and worked with some of the most inspiring people in the world of music. LAC: What are 3 main things that influence your progression as an artist? DL: Being in love, being lost and being free. LAC: Was there a specific event that took place when the light bulb struck and you knew you'd be a music man? DL: Realizing as a kid that I enjoyed Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as much as I did the theme tune to the Pink Panther.
"It’s exhilarating to travel the world playing music to amazing people. Sometimes life moves so fast you don’t know if you’re coming or going, but once I’m in front of a crowd doing my thing, I feel relaxed and at home."
LAC: Are you currently working on anything we can look out for? DL: I have just completed the final touched on my new artist album project, Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons. The first single is out now which is called Lovers Eyes and features legendary Qawaali singers from Pakistan on vocals. The album is out early next year and I am currently preparing a new love show with The Ancient Moons. LAC: It's a pretty unbelievable track, along with the traditional-inspired video. What's the flavor behind the song? DL: It is a modern day Qawaali love story which has deep, hidden meanings and it works just as well on the radio as it does in the clubs, which is no mean feat. Damian_Lazarus_LA_CAVN LAC: What's it like to spin to a packed topless rooftop in Istanbul and only a few hours later, turn it out to an audience of 7k + in London? DL: It’s exhilarating to travel the world playing music to amazing people. Sometimes life moves so fast you don’t know if you’re coming or going, but once I’m in front of a crowd doing my thing, I feel relaxed and at home. LAC: What global destination, musically, makes you feverishly hot? DL: The pyramid site in the jungle in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where we create our Day Zero event on January 10th, 2015, makes me all hot just thinking about it. LAC: If there was a logline about your musicianship, how would it read? DL: He played with your mind… and you loved it. LAC: We recently enjoyed streaming Lazpod 27: The Lovepod at LA CANVAS HQ while hustlin' for print deadlines. It calmed our nerves. Tell us a bit about that series. DL: I created Lazpod some years back to allow myself a platform to show all the other music that I love and cherish and think that is cool that I cannot play in clubs and parties. The show now has a global-cult following and I really feel connected to the people that listen. It gives a solid understanding of the kind of artist by providing a back story to what I’m doing when I’m behind the decks. LAC: What would you say to your '10 years ago' self? DL: You’ll never guess where all this hard work and passion is gonna take you... LAC: Any insight on what we can expect from you at Get Lost LA on Saturday, August 23rd? DL: A day of magic, a night of madness. *See you there, chum." rel="nofollow" title="INTERVIEW: DAMIAN LAZARUS GETS LOST AT THE EGYPTIAN THEATRE' />


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If EsCaLA’s décor looks as though it’s inside out, it’s by design. The open windows on the NE corner of 6th and S Kenmore Ave in Koreatown, blend the outdoor seating area and the indoor together. But there’s more than just that which bolsters the motif: The interior’s doorway is covered by a shingled roof that gives way to a tiered water fountain and the walls are covered with street art. All of which speak to owner, OG Chino’s story, rife with nods to his time spent working in the arts. And everything, from the gramophone-clustered light fixture to the two disco balls by the kitchen, amount to a casual, inviting milieu; appropriate for dinner, drinks, dates, what have you.

The menu is also reflective of Chino’s Korean and Colombian heritage. Through mutual friends, he connected with celebrated chef, Seoul Sausage’s Chris Oh. Together, they combine traditional Colombian dishes with subtle nods of Asian flair. Their ceviche (most popular dish) comes backed with black sesame seeded rice cakes that look like the inside of a dragon fruit, but only much more flavorful. Made of tilapia, shrimp, corn, and red onion, the spark in the dish comes courtesy of the diced Asian pear. Tamales, empanadas, crispy pork skin guacamole, loaded fried yucca, and a side portion of rice and beans, continue the Latin theme; but the menu’s star—for me—are the Colombian-spiced chicken wings. Perfectly seasoned, crunchy and juicy, these wings (large, I might add) come with a serving of their peppery hot sauce, “Candela,” and lime wedges. Make use of the lime wedges! The added burst of acidity on these wings is revolutionary.

Drinks? From a varied assortment of beers on tap to artisanal cocktails, EsCaLA has drinks aplenty: “El Jefe” features anise-flavored, Colombian liquor Aguardiente, the sweet and bubbly “La Mula Gringa” packs a punch in a tin mug—and they even have the Colombian beer Aguila in a bottle, along with the native soft drinks: Colombiana (which is a champagne soda) and Manzana (apple soda).

One disclaimer: If you’ve been to EsCaLA’s website, no doubt the fried egg, fried chicken and waffle combo caught your eye. This item is only available for brunch. Come during the week; come back on the weekend (if only to eat the chicken and waffle). That’s what I plan on doing. – Isaac Lekach

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