In this week’s edition of our ongoing hat tip to some of the best independent businesses from around the UK, we tracked down Nadia Dahlawi, CEO of Young & Lost Club.
A local favourite previously commended by one of our favourite music bloggers, Tim from The Blue Walrus:
There are so many great people living and working in music in London, but I have to say the people I revere most at the moment are Sara and Nadia from Young & Lost Club. They have brought so so many amazing new bands to the fore over the past five years inluding Fixers and most famously Noah and the Whale
For any of our readers who aren’t aware of you, can you give us an intro to the business?
We are a small independently run record label and club night. We also do awesome DJ sets!
Where can we find you, and why did you choose to set up shop where you did? - What attracted you to that area?
What inspired you to start your business?
It goes; Once upon a 2002, two quiet fifteen year-old girls, best friends since twelve, read punk bible Please Kill Me and got heavily into Patti Smith and Television. Then the Strokes exploded the London scene and we got suddenly, irrevocably, heavily into new bands. Ran away from boarding school after dark and went to see these bands playing rowdy London shows. In 2003 we launched our first club night, during halfterm break. A Saturday showcase for Rough Trade, where the likes of Neil’s Children, Art Brut, Les Incompetents and Xerox Teens. Young & Lost Club was born at the tail end of 2004. “A record label felt like the next step.’’
We kept on putting out singles for the bands that we loved, like Good Shoes, Larrikin Love, Joe Lean & the JJJ, Johnny Flynn and Bombay Bicycle Club. We staged memorable early gigs from The Klaxons, The Horrors, These New Puritans, Vampire Weekend, Jamie T, Laura Marling, The Virgins, The xx, Friendly Fires, and every other buzz band of the moment.
What’s your philosophy in a nutshell? What would you say makes you stand out from the crowd?
We always wanted it to be like a real club; that people could feel they were a part of, and we wanted to do a good old-fashioned singles club.
Can you explain how your business works and what differentiates it from your competitors in the industry?
As its just the two of us we do everything ourselves, we are really fussy about who we work with and how we do things. With Young & Lost you really get a full package!
Do you have a signature product you could tell us about?
One of Y&L’s more signature products is our free digital club - every two weeks we give away an exclusive track or remix by a band we like.
What would you say is the secret to a successful independent business? What advice would you give to someone looking to follow in your shoes?
Be prepared to work very hard for little money and sometimes none at all at the beginning! It’s worth it though to be your own boss, when you are running your own company the long hours don’t seem hard.
Can you share a few of your favourite local, independent businesses with us?
We love Key Productions (based in Camden), they make all our Vinyl and CDs. They have great customer service and have always done great work for us.
Charcoal Grill is the best place to get a Lebanese meal in Central London. Very reasonable and always good! Be prepared to queue though, especially in the evenings.
Finally, what can we expect from you in 2011/2012? Anything our readers should be looking forward to?
We are expanding the free digital club and putting out an album by the awesome Being There.