In the midst of the EDM takeover, there is also a broken world surrounding us. A world that is saturated with hate, a world that is plagued by diseases, a world that is drowning in poverty. Some of us might be blinded by this broken world because we are living safely and comfortably. We don’t have to starve for food everyday or worry about developing an education. I am sure that we are all aware of these problems, but the real question is: are you willing to help? Are you willing to sacrifice a little something of yours for someone else?
Whether you are currently willing to do so or not, your heart can change. This is what happened for Steve Brudzewski, co-founder of the powerful and inspiring movement, Electric Family. Brudzewski was born in Toronto, Canada and moved to Michigan at a rather young age. He was a star hockey player. Not only did he play college hockey at Bowling Green State University, but he also played in the Columbus Bluejackets and Calgary Flames organizations in the ECHL after graduating. He knew the limelight, and in fact, he craved it even more. However, when he visited Las Vegas for the first time, he experienced something beyond himself: the beauty of dance music.
Three weeks later he packed up his things and moved to Las Vegas. He was always a fan of the music and fell in love with it while he was in Poland for hockey and medical school. This infatuation grew as he experienced the EDM takeover in the United States. The experience was electric. While living in Vegas, Steve began surrounding himself with influential people such as Jared Garcia, A&R at the Wynn/Xs, that were prominent in the industry. Soon this network evolved into a family.
Taylor Demulder, one of the Electric Family co-founders came to Steve with an idea that resembled the “Livestrong” band. Taylor wanted to sell EDM-related bracelets to benefit some sort of charity. In March 2012, they took this idea and began to make it happen. After calling a meeting with friends, the founding members were set, and each had a strategic vision for the brand – Drew Nilon (operations), Matt Dronkers (graphic designer), and Sam Pfleg (assisted with legal aspects). Together, these five individuals made this conversation a reality and Electric Family was born.
Due to Electric Family being a startup, they barely had any money in the beginning. Weeks would go by and only one bracelet would be sold. Their Facebook followers consisted of family and friends. It was very difficult for them to build a loyal following. However, they decided to create an Instagram account and figured out the art of “hashtagging”. This is when things began to change. In response to a growth in their fan base and the launching of their website, they set up their first vendor booth at Soundwave Arizona (Calvin Harris headlined) in September 2012. The people who visited their booth were very curious and intrigued by the idea. They sold a few hundred bracelets and even received several donations from those who visited their booth.
At this time they didn’t have a “rep” program set in place, but a young female named Jessica Stadler reached out to the team and wanted to be a representative – promoting the brand at shows, across the internet, and in her hometown. She offered to bring bracelets with her to Decadence in December 2012 and knew she would be hanging out with Krewella at the festival. She asked all three members of Krewella to take a picture with the bracelets. Not only did they pose for a picture, but they also posted this picture to their social media accounts. This shout out started a new wave of support – sales and following picked up immensely and other big artists/names in the industry began giving them shout outs on social media as well.
Now that their fan base was sufficient enough, they wanted to take Electric Family to the next level…partner with a well-known DJ. They had the opportunity to sit down with Leighton of Adventure Club and pitch their idea to him. They told him that they wanted to partner with an artist and the DJ would pick the charity. Leighton loved the idea and took a risk. Adventure Club became the first act represented by Electric Family (“Fuck Cancer Charity”). Krewella was their next target. Even though they reached out several times, the Electric Family team kept pushing and with some convincing from Jahan, Yasmine, and Kris, Krewella became the second in January 2013 (“Dance for Paralysis”). Both partnerships solidified Electric Family as a legitimate company. As a result, just about every artist they reached out to have now become a part of their roster. Their goal is to partner with 1-2 new DJs every month for a long time and to raise over a million dollars for several different charities. Currently, they have raised over $50,000 with just 7-8 DJs/charities.
Recently, Electric Family has also decided to branch out and not just sell bracelets. They are now doing their own merchandise, and merchandise for artists – “Stay Gold” with Adventure Club for instance. In addition, about a month ago they hosted an event called “Do Good” with a food bank in Los Angeles. Approximately 200 people including Adventure Club, showed up to help feed those in poverty. At “Do Good” the object was to donate community service hours, rather than money. They want to continue hosting more philanthropic events across the country in the future. There’s no slowing down.
The big goal is to own a store. They want to become the first organically grown EDM-lifestyle brand. Everyone can wear Electric Family clothing because it’s classy, fashionable, and charitable. If you look at the tag on each article of clothing, you will find the words “love this moment”. Why? Because the team at Electric Family wants us to remember that we should live in the moment and appreciate it because we have been blessed with another moment to live. The beauty of an EDM show is it wipes away all of reality and it unites us all together.
Brudzewski craved the limelight for a good majority of his life, but once he watched his life and others change through the power of dance music, he found something more meaningful and realized that he too could make a difference. He, along with his four co-founders have made it possible for everyone to get involved – DJs, producers, managers, fans, etc.
Join the movement. DJs/producers – partner with Electric Family to give back, music fans – support and promote this movement to spread awareness. YOU can make an impact. Here is your chance to do something bigger than and beyond yourself. Something meaningful. A chance to give back. A chance to save a life. Here is your chance to cure a piece of this broken world. Are you willing to join the movement?