Earry Hall is a modern day renaissance man transforming the way we build our community and how we experience music. After several years of working in corporate as a designer, he realized “how much power we have as individuals to shape our own destiny.” This allowed Earry to pave the way for See You Soon; the culmination of years of designing and his desire to unite people with a shared interest in music and fashion.
Now approaching its second year, See You Soon provides events each week including, my personal favorite, TGIM (Thank God It’s Monday) at El Dorado Bar in Downtown LA. What distinguishes these events from the rest is the lack of “VIP sections and bottle service,” which “is no way to build a community, especially for me,” Earry humbly stated as he shook his head. Often times you’ll find yourself dancing alongside celebrities and strangers alike, forgetting the invisible (and literal) barrier society places between the elite and the rest of the world. Even more impressive, the evolving platform anticipates to expand its horizons by collaborating with media giants like Red Bull Music Academy.
Earry credits much of his success not only to being driven, but to his community of friends and family. One of the more prominent influences in his life is his girlfriend and muse, Myra Hasson; graphic designer for Tamara Mellon and DJ. Power couple, am I right or am I right? Moreover, the couple emanates an inexplicable sense of warmth and belonging, which sets the tone for all their events. It’s no wonder why building a “tribe” is the foundation for See You Soon.
Read the interview below to learn more about Earry and the evolution of See You Soon. I guarantee you’ll want to join the movement too.
All photos by Julian Essink . // Instagram.com/j.essink
What got you into producing/DJing?
My mentor, Ray, is a 70 year old designer, published author, and all around creative. He designed BMWs for 30 years. I remember I told him, “I’m tired of designing bro, you know? I’m jaded.” He said, “Well, you should walk away from design for a little, and try something new.” So I gave myself the freedom to create and learn for myself, and that’s when I started DJing.
Lately I’ve been working on remixes first, like a remix tape. It’ll probably be released in December. I’m also working on a Flying Lotus, Dilla typa’ thing. It’s trappy, soul, Gospel chords, trap percussion, super soulful bass, Pharrell sounds. A lot of what I’ve been making is really colorful, with deep percussion. It’s interesting how it feels.
So you were designing before you got into music?
By trade I’m a designer. I’ve been one for 8-9 years for a several brands. I started this marketing and design firm when I was in college called Urban Anatomy. It was a dope lesson in terms of betting on myself. It gave me the courage and ability to move to New York with a portfolio, and the ability to get clients. I kind of put that away after I got that entrepreneurial experience, and I built a career in corporate, working for companies like Nike, Beats by Dre, and Apple.
Now I have all this knowledge of how Fortune 50 companies run. It’s just dope because when I started See You Soon it was right when I met Myra. We were still friends. She was there for all of it. It’s dope to see what choosing the right companion can do for you. You know, for me it seemed like the perfect storm of support and resources.
“She was there for all of it. It’s dope to see what choosing the right companion can do for you. You know, for me it seemed like the perfect storm of support and resources.”
What was the inspiration behind See You Soon?
When I lived in New York I had this beautiful community full of creatives, bosses, hustlers, and you know lovers and friends. LA’s social moves so differently than New York’s; LA is huge. Everyone in LA is in their car – like moving boxes. So when I moved here I wasn’t really meeting my community.
So I started a case study called See You Soon three years ago. I started this research about health benefits of having a community, a tribe. I thought, How do we design moments that help people build their community, their tribe? People that live the longest have a close knit community.
I kind of created this formula. I got really good at accumulating value aesthetically through designing and marketing a brand that communicated friendship, coolness. We wanted people to be in a room that are cool, that have taste. Not that they have taste, because taste is our personal definition of beauty, but guess I wanted our definitions to be similar.
Like a collective idea?
Exactly. I wanted people with a common thread to have that same standard of what cool and having taste is. Marketing the event was about Hey, if people think this is dope, then probably a whole bunch of people are thinking the same thing. I officially launched See You Soon 19 months ago, and since then I’ve grown to have a following of 30,000 people.
That’s insane. When we first met I remember you telling me that your following was about 25,000. In a matter of six months it’s grown by 5,000.
Yeah, crazy. I get DMs from people with stories. “I met this guy at your party. We started dating, and we’d go out to your guys’ parties just to dance. We fell in love. We have a son. We talk about you guys all the time.” You know, stories like that. People are meeting their spouse, building their communities, changing their lives by being in a space that’s comfortable for them.
For me it’s all about branding; how you create value around a product. You know, these shoes are ugly, but they’re so valuable – gesturing to his Wolf Grey Nike Air Yeezy 2s. (We interviewed and took photos on different days.) It’s all about branding.
So if you think they’re ugly then why do you rock them? Just because other people place a high value on it monetarily?
Well, they’re valuable culturally, and for me it’s about having a piece of history.
It’s intriguing to me how people place values to things; how it makes them feel. That’s pretty much what pushes any great business. It’s not about how fly that LV belt is. It’s about what it means to wear it, what it represents. I’m a fan of that part. There is an art in storytelling, and you’re telling a story about that object in a way that turns it into a necessity.
My design process isn’t about how it looks. It’s always about how it feels. As a creative in general, the most beautiful art comes from feeling. It’s like when you look at something, how does it make you feel?
“My design process isn’t about how it looks. It’s always about how it feels. As a creative, in general, the most beautiful art comes from feeling.”
I love that you’re all about community, and I know that you don’t like the whole idea of VIP sections. How are you going to prevent that kind of elitist culture from forming within your own community?
Two things: First, I believe that your marketing communicates a very specific language. It’s partially marketing. You never see that frat boy, blow money, I’ll buy you a drink type of person at our functions. Those places exist in LA; that’s because those people get the marketing and identify with it. The tone and music, marketing, and spaces that we occupy all tie into it. Second, we curate our staff so that you feel like you’re at home and welcomed at all times. That’s what I want to try to create consistently for everyone that comes to our parties.
You’re an extremely accomplished person. At any point were you afraid of failure?
Absolutely, but that’s how you know you’re going in the right direction. If you’re not scared, there’s no risk. It’s scary to leave home for the first time, but you have to. It’s only because of comfort that you’re afraid. There’s a point where the initial fear is there, but you can choose to focus on the fear or the adventure. Fear is a choice, actually. Danger isn’t a choice; it’s a reality. Choose wisely what to be afraid of.
That being said, I owe what I have right now to quitting the right things. In addition, the key to success for anything is being vulnerable. If you write an article up, there’s a level of vulnerability to put something out there that’s yours.
“I realized that my legacy shouldn’t be about me. It should be about connecting people.“
How do you get past the mentality that being vulnerable translates into being weak? Because I’m definitely going through that process right now.
We’re taught that vulnerability is weakness, but it’s immense strength. I learned this as I grew older. I’m a 6’4 black guy. In media I’m portrayed, and I see this as well, as dangerous sometimes. In reality, I’m the most loving guy. I could be that guy portrayed in media, but there’s no strength in that.
What does the future look like for See You Soon?
We really just want to turn into a global family. First year is building a base community in a major city. Right now it’s Los Angeles, and that’s the center of the creative conversation. Next is inspiring one-on-one connection through a dinner initiative we’re launching this year. We’re also going to get residencies in other cities, and then launch our first moving festival in the summer.
When I was 30, I was thinking about what I wanted my legacy to be. I realized that my legacy shouldn’t be about me. It should be about connecting people. I remember this quote by Tupac, “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” I love that, because I feel that way.
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