Coldhands is a malleable creative community that’s warm to new ideas

By Christina Campodonico

Coldhands cofounder Lalah Brooks (a.k.a. Spaaced) designed the group’s emblem

Every couple of months, Skyler Mendoza and his friends — a collective of musicians and artists called Coldhands.life — host a kickback, creative gathering at a secret location in Venice. The chill event, usually featuring music and artwork, could be in a friend’s backyard or some other creative hang, but the spots are almost always unexpected.

While the inspiration for Coldhands had been swirling in Mendoza’s mind for years, the right name for it remained elusive.

“I had the concept and the execution and all the ideas,” he says. “It took me awhile to find something that fit the theme and that was attention grabbing and still modest.”

Then the name “Coldhands” struck about nine months ago, like a hit of inspiration … or pot.

“I was taking a walk in my neighborhood and smoking a joint and ‘Coldhands’ came to me,” recalls Mendoza, who teamed up with his partner, visual artist Lalah Brooks (a.k.a. Spaaced), to form the semi-underground music-and-art group. They’ve been organizing free gatherings in Venice Beach to bring the Westside’s creative community together ever since.

Last August, the group held their first “Nothing Major” party, showcasing various deejays and the 3-D artwork of visual artist Brea Peck for an eclectic audience of globe-trotting partygoers. Around Halloween, they threw a party themed “Menace Beach.” And the Coldhands team recently worked with fashion house bebe to produce a song for one of its promotional videos.

“We collaborate to put together events and blog posts and mixtapes,” says Mendoza of the collective. “I think the best way to describe it … take what you want from us. If you need us to be a community, we can be a community. I want it to be whatever you want it to be.”

A music-driven blog and Instagram presence (@coldhands.life) helps document and promote the group’s events and artists online, but Mendoza wants Coldhands.life to spark creativity and connections in real life, too, not just on the internet.

“We’re trying to bring the entire website to life. You’re going to meet the deejays and producers and friends of friends,” says Mendoza of the next “Nothing Major” party, happening from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday in a clandestine corner of Venice. (RSVP to find out more.)

Mendoza hints that the event will be “near the beach,” and that even locals with an intimate knowledge of Venice may be stunned by the party’s under-the-radar locale.

“We try to surprise them,” he says.

According to the party invitation, Mendoza, who also goes by the deejay name Mood Ring, will be joined by DJ Rahmos and EDM duo Deep Tribe. Brooks, Peck and artist Jamie Sterle will be contributing artwork and designs as well.

“Expect to see some stuff you’ve never seen before and hear stuff you’ve never heard before,” says Mendoza.

Like inspiration, you never know when or how Coldhands will strike.


RSVP to “Nothing Major,” happening from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 14), at coldhands.life/nothingmajor.

 

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