If you happened to catch Deux at Drai’s Beachclub earlier this month, you heard the first single released from DJ sisters Brigitte and Jaimee Navarrete—a thick and cinematic trap banger called “Maximum” featuring London rapper Outlaw the Artist.
The LA-based siblings have been DJing for years and signed with SKAM Artist in 2016, accelerating their goals of touring all over and creating and releasing their own original music.
“The message we are trying to convey and get across to our listeners is also something that’s important to us,” Jaimee says. “Even though neither of us would consider ourselves singers, we still want our music to represent us. We are passionate about working hard and empowering people around us to do the same. ‘If you don’t grind you can never be great’ … the lyrics pretty much say it all.”
Their musical grind is nicely complemented by SKAM. The diverse management group founded by Sujit Kundu launched its own record label more than two years ago to facilitate its artists’ development. Besides “Maximum,” the label has recently released songs from the LA Leakers and DJ/actress/former model Caroline D’Amore.
“Obviously people are consuming music differently now,” Kundu says. “With technology being what it is, you don’t need to manufacture CDs anymore. It’s pretty easy to put music out now and fairly inexpensive. I just wanted to give my artists the ability to put out songs and give them free rein.”
SKAM has been a dominant presence in the Las Vegas nightlife landscape for nearly 15 years, landing dozens of residencies for its DJs at top clubs on and off the Strip. Its massive artist and celebrity roster includes familiar names like Lil Jon, Amber Rose, Swizz Beatz, DJ Crooked, DJ Hollywood, Eric D-Lux, Fergie DJ and Nick Cannon. Some have traditional record deals; others don’t.
“Releasing original music has been a consistent goal in our career,” Jaimee says. “Sujit has played a pivotal role in pushing us to our max—no pun intended—and has been one of the most supportive people in helping us pursue our dreams.”
“We’ve worked our butts off to earn support from SKAM and are very grateful for the opportunity,” her sister Brigitte says. “The harder you work, the easier things appear.”
Kundu, who also built a collection of recording studios in LA to bolster his artists’ resources, says there’s no specific plan for releasing a certain amount of music at a certain pace. “I don’t think about how much I want to put out. It’s all about their tempo,” he says. “They have to be happy with the finished product. The more assets and resources I can give back to the artists, the more competitive I can make myself against other agencies.”
DJ Sourmilk and Justin Credible, aka the LA Leakers, have released four tracks on the SKAM label—“Ball Like This” with Future, Wiz Khalifa and Kid Ink; “Sucio” with O.T. Genasis, Kap G and Trinidad James; “FaceTime” with Wale, Eric Bellinger and AD; and the newest song, “Selfish” with JustMugz.
Sourmilk says it’s a lot easier to build the duo’s musical brand with the SKAM label behind it. “Sujit is such a respected and well-known name in the music industry. He’s responsible for helping a lot of big names get No. 1 records,” he says. “You know if he’s behind a record it means something.”
In addition to running SKAM, Kundu just wrapped up a four-year stint at Epic Records where he notched 15 No. 1 hits, including eight with six different artists last last year. He says he had the opportunity to stick around but was ready to grow in another direction. “I’m 42, and I just didn’t want to be doing the same thing at 45. It’s not just about money. I’m focusing on SKAM.”