Keith Fort and Bruce Williams like to keep things casual.
Meeting the duo, better known by their brand name Seaux LA, at The Radio Bar for our interview, I find them in a booth playing around with a Canon film camera and drinking Urban South’s seasonal Lime Cucumber Gose.
The clear easy-going demeanor of the two friends matches their authentic approach to business.
Since its inception in 2014, Seaux LA has become a mainstay in the local music scene, known for curating diverse lineups that foster community among artists and attendees alike.
“It’s become bigger than us,” Williams says.
Fort and Williams compare their booking style to pairing complementary hues on a color wheel. When forming a lineup, the duo aims for contrasting genres in order to expose showgoers to new sounds they may not ordinarily seek out.
For Seaux LA, creating a show is all about the timing. “We book on feeling a lot,” Fort says. If artist availabilities don’t match up, or a venue falls through, they’ll wait until schedules match up, rather than fill a slot last-minute.
By keeping their process organic, Seaux LA has gained a loyal audience over the years.
“People trust us,” Williams says. “It doesn’t feel like we’re out of touch with the culture.”
The duo says they always remember their audience. They’re realistic in keeping gigs affordable – usually at $10 – and host about one show a month. Fort and Williams do grassroots marketing through social media or posting flyers around the city.
As Baton Rouge music veterans, Seaux LA is used to working with local talent staples and watching them thrive from the sidelines, from rappers Michael Armstead and _thesmoothcat, to pop dream band Mr. San Francisco, to psych-funk group Hydra Plane. They’ve also worked with the likes of Alabaster Stag, Luna Loxx, Nice Dog, Baby in the 90s, Loudness War and Quarx.
“We can give Baton Rouge an identity,” Fort says. “There can only be progress.”
For the duo, their brand is a way to give other creatives a space to network and perform. When they’re not discovering new local talent or at their day jobs, Fort is a DJ, and Williams is a writer and photographer.
“It’s like a win-win for everybody who shows up,” Williams says. “It helps build everybody up,” Fort adds.
As the talent evolves, so do Fort and Williams. The pair has learned how to adapt, from producing last year’s Bloom Music and Arts Festival in the rain to making connections in states as far as California.
Even at their most packed events, the shows still feel intimate, the pair says.
They’d like to eventually expand their team and book more shows in neighboring urban hotspots like Lafayette and New Orleans. Eventually, the goal is to open a venue of their own that would embody the “creative freedom” Seaux LA offers.
“When it stops being fun, then we won’t do it anymore,” Williams says.
Seaux LA’s next show is Saturday at Mid City Ballroom, featuring Joe Scott, Luna Loxx, Cody Riker and Olde Spanish. Tickets are $10 at the door.