Cultivating the culture of Las Vegas, one lyric at a time.

Artist Mafia is an independent record label developed by creatives Tony Zanello and Anthony Wynkoop. The idea was branded in 2015 during a time when the two sought to take their musical talents and merits to a new level, with the intent of making a cultural dent in the heart of Las Vegas.

Based in Downtown Las Vegas, Artist Mafia doesn’t stop at displaying their artistry in the city solely through sound but has taken initiative to double their brand as an art gallery. Still, the brand continues to thrive in the music department providing open arms to like-minded individuals who inspire to showcase their unique talents. Tony Zanello, Ariana Frayer, Jae Douglass , Jonny Iwamoto, and Andrew Mendoza are also vital pieces of Artist Mafia wether they’re pumping out fire beats, dope lyrics or handling things behind the scenes they all help glue the up and coming powerhouse of music.

The buzz Artist Mafia received in such a short period of time catapulted their confidence and reassured them to get in the studio to mix, master, edit to continue conjuring up some of the best sounds in Vegas. Don’t believe me???  Take a look at the numbers yourself. Recent release of Laissez Faire’s single “Let Go.”  The song features Erin, Artist Mafia singer also known as “Ria”, who channels her deeper emotions through her songs finding it more natural to be free and vulnerable in the midst of creating music. By using these talents she is able to produce raw emotion combined with quality sound, and “Let Go” is the perfect example. The song has already reached over 300k plays on Spotify and Ria aims to stop at nothing, to further connect with her youthful, diverse and complex audience.

“Let Go is like a huge frankenstein project – it’s indie but then the second drop rolls in like a dance all Caribbean beat, and the first drop is Hip-Hop,” Harris says as he explains the complexity of their creations, “we get influences from everywhere.”

One of Artist Mafia’s long term goals is to create music that reaches and caters to different parts of the world. “We want to go to Cuba, Miami, New York, we want to go to Chicago and there’s a lot of weird club scenes where the music doesn’t really get heard out here.” Anthony says. Having so many different people involved in the production of the group helps Artist Mafia grow larger than your average recording group, characterizing each member with having “strong and vibrant personalities.”

Indigo, the youngest singer of the group states that joining Artist Mafia has helped her define her individuality tremendously, allowing her soul to penetrate the music she creates. “I had a hard time fitting in and connecting with groups before, but now I’ve found the family that I truly belong to. They accept me regardless of my age and push me to grow musically with them.”

The varying backgrounds and hardships each had to endure before reaching this point of success was nothing short of an uphill battle. Another notable singer and songwriter of the group, Jae Douglas, recalls a time when his family values conflicted with his passion for music.

“Growing up in a Mormon home, it was deemed an unforgiving act to drop out of college and my mission trip in the name of art. But I did it all in the sheer belief that my music would make it big one day.”

And it’s true – the dream is manifesting quickly for each member and it is evident that music is the essence that strings the group together despite what any critics say. “I always knew I wanted to be an artist,” Jae continues, “but I didn’t think it was in the least bit possible for me. It wasn’t until I saw other artists my age making it that I started believing in my efforts.”  The independent record label continues its promise to be relentless in building foundations for local artist in Las Vegas as they are able to come into the studio with the means to create, write and record, providing opportunities for artistic visions to come true.

Keep an eye out for the hit song “Let Go” by Laissez Faire as they will be releasing the music video Spring 2017.

Words: Jessica Morales
Photos: Zach Mckee