After their mother died of cancer, Los Angeles brothers John and Ralph LaGuerre wanted to honor her life in a meaningful way.
The South Florida natives described their mother as a beloved and caring community figure, a pharmacy owner known for giving free medicine to those in need. She was a “very Christian woman” who enjoyed singing in church, said Ralph, 33.
John, 30, added that she has always encouraged them to pursue their passion for music and to give back to others – and that’s exactly what they did.
“It just came to mind,” the 30-year-old shared. “Her passing was very difficult, but I feel like she gave us direction, like, ‘You could be successful in this world as long as you work together and have a plan and a vision and you execute them.'”
The siblings launched Knockhouse Studios in August 2020 as a tribute to their mother.
The DTLA-based music production company, located at 1811 S. Hope Street, serves as a one-stop-shop “for all recording and production needs,” incorporating high-end recording technology and facilities at lower prices to market and affordable, its website reads.
Knockhouse, which powers downtown recording studios The Wynwood and The Cabana, has since served multi-platinum producers like Just Blaze and Nabeyin — and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
The LaGuerres are now preparing to launch the company’s third flagship studio, The Palms.
While The Cabana and The Wynwood are primarily hip-hop based, the new 620 square foot venue is “committed to making recording affordable and accessible to artists of all genres” with fairer pricing than ever before. Its opening is scheduled for February.
“This is the best we’ve done. The first two are great, but that’s what we used to learn,” John shared. “Now, with The Palms, we know exactly how to handle all three. It’s like a well-oiled machine. Someday we want to have four or five spread across LA and maybe beyond.
The price will cost around $35 per hour, which is considered an affordable rate for the market, John shares. The Palms will also offer a residency package, including approximately 28 hours of studio time for approximately $450 per month.
“We want to know who you are as an artist, big or small,” said Ralph, who also works as a comedian. “If you are a new artist, this is one of the perfect places to come. We are here to guide you along the way.
The Palms is just another testament to their mother’s philanthropy and entrepreneurial spirit, Ralph and John explained.
The duo created Knockhouse Studios with the aim of offering artists, ranging from indies to majors, high-quality equipment, a creative environment and top-notch expertise at “below market prices”.
“We grew up with her kind of leading us into the men we are today,” John recalled of their mother. “She was heavily involved in the community, making sure people were healthy and people loved her.”
“It’s kind of our job with the music,” he continued. “We also try to be kind to the artists, giving them hours and helping them with their careers.”
All Knockhouse Recording Studios have a 24-hour online reservation system, “customer service that cares about the customer experience, and knowledgeable staff (who) are committed to providing you with the best possible service,” according to its website.
Guests also have access to all studio, engineering facilities and recording equipment including mixing consoles, computers, microphones and more.
“A big part of what sets us apart is that we’re very involved in the artist’s life,” said John, who works in the asset management industry. “We talk to them constantly and try to make a deep connection – not so they can come back, but just so they know it’s not just about making music, there’s the business side of it. the music.”
“Mainly Ralph is making the artist work to help them, and then I would come in and say, ‘How do you plan to market, what do you think might be good strategies, or when do you think you can finish your EP?,'” he added. “It’s about finding out where they see themselves in the music industry and trying to target where they think they can fit in.”
But that’s not all Knockhouse has to offer.
The production company also promotes custom backing tracks and beats for sale. All of its backing tracks and rhythms are available with an exclusive license.
“I think the most rewarding part is a) owning a business – it’s rewarding and challenging,” Ralph said. “But to be in a room with an artist when he has nothing and come away with something he’s proud of is pretty amazing to watch.”
Both Ralph and John expressed a shared hope to continue to prosper as a business while continually honoring their late mother.
The duo, along with their associates, plan to open a fourth studio in Miami soon, called Knockhouse Plus.
For more information on Knockhouse Studios and its locations, visit knockhousela.com.