Club culture can seem childish to some, but L.L.A.M.A makes it feel more childlike. The Los Angeles DJ and producer, newly signed to Astralwerks, approaches both his music and the world with curiosity, playfulness, and joy. He’s the life of every party—his name stands for “Love, Laughter, And Music Always,” after all—the sort of musician who can make any scene or sound feel totally new. But L.L.A.M.A refuses to be attached to any one genre, preferring to be as fluid with his music as he is with his imagination. “Labels are for clothes,” he quips. “No musical style is off-limits for me. I just want to work with people that don’t take life too seriously.” And L.L.A.M.A wants to harness that mischievous free-spiritedness to “inspire curiosity,” as he puts it, in audiences too.
This approach is no doubt in part due to his origins, which are just as fluid, mysterious, and wide-ranging. Little is known about his background, except for the fact that he moved to L.A. from the Andean region of South America to fulfill his dream of making music that makes people happy. Also, and we know this is a little unusual, he happens to be the human embodiment of a LEGO® character—you might know him as DJ Llama—which, yes, in a way makes him the first LEGO minifigure to sign a major record deal.
All this considered, L.L.A.M.A sees himself as a global citizen, unrestrained by labels or borders, with a knack for exploring the best that life has to offer—sights, sounds, flavors, experience—a freedom that’s no doubt informed his carefree debut single “Shake,” out February 2021. The single was co-written and produced by BTS hitmaker David Stewart, and Grammy Award-winning artist and songwriter Ryan Tedder, the latter of whom L.L.A.M.A says is a kindred spirit, despite not also being a minifigure. “I met Ryan at a party, he was the only one who could keep up with me on the dance floor,” L.L.A.M.A laughs. “A few days later he turned up at my place and we just clicked. By sunset, ‘Shake’ was born, and it was beautiful.”
When you hear “Shake,” it’s difficult not to follow the directive right there in the title—it makes you want to dance and is exactly the kind of infectious enthusiasm L.L.A.M.A has always wanted to bring to the world. “If I can make at least one person happy then my mission here is complete,” he says. “The world needs a lift and I’m up for being a part of that.”
That energy extends throughout all of the musician’s interests. He’s an absolute fiend for the dance floor, for one. But L.L.A.M.A also loves to skate and paint, and is equally at home schooling you from the couch in a battle royale, or in the kitchen with an oven mitt on. “I love to bake!” he adds enthusiastically.
L.L.A.M.A’s first banger arrives alongside the LEGO Group’s new platform VIDIYO—a Music Video Maker experience for kids with a series of BeatBoxes, Bandmates, BeatBits and AR meant to help young creators realize their creative visions and express their passion for music in new and wonderful ways—which is more than fitting for an artist who approaches his work with a thirst for knowledge, and a mission to spread joy. L.L.A.M.A is exactly the sort of artist we need in a time of uncertainty, one who will keep us blissfully on our toes.