West Coast Power: We talk to Neo-LA’s Aleks Bonilla

To get an idea of how quickly synthwave is growing you need only look at how quickly Neo-LA has grown as a promotional powerhouse on the West Coast. From hosting one off shows with a who’s who list of acts, promoting mini-tours, and putting together charity compilations, Neo-LA has become a legitimate name on the scene. They’re even involved with Echosynthetic Fest!


We recently had a chance to talk to Aleks, the mastermind behind Neo-LA, and pick her brain about what she’s been up to, where Neo-LA is headed, and so much more. Check it out:

First of all, thanks so much for talking to us. For those who don’t know about Neo-LA already, can you give us an idea about what it is?

Well thanks for asking me! Honestly, I have been dying to do an interview with you so I am super excited for this chance! So Neo-LA is kinda my fast growing brain child. I only started Neo-LA a few months ago and at the time I really wasn’t sure what my goal was. I had quickly re-booked a show that had been canceled due to a beloved venue closing down. I felt bad for all the artists and scrambled to find a venue for the artists to get to perform. Once that happened, and I got the rush of promoting and putting together a show and running things, I thought “Wow, I could do this more.” So I kicked the idea around for a few days, came up with a name, and announced the beginning of Neo-LA. I currently use Neo-LA to book, promote, sponsor events, and shine light on emerging synthwave artists, But Neo-LA is still evolving so who knows what else I’ll take on!

What’s your main goal?

My main goal is simple, help grow the synth wave scene in LA and soon the West Coast. I want to provide artists a platform to grow, perform, and gain traction. I want to support the artists, and the fans who need more synthwave in their life!

Can you give us an inside scoop on some of the talent you’ve been working with?

OH BOY! Well I can tell you…I have booked a few folks like Protector 101, The Encounter, Syntax, Street Cleaner, Glitter, Elevate The Sky, Rated-R, Dreddd, just to name a few. I have had some other amazing artists reach out to me for some bookings and I am so excited to announce them once some things get confirmed. I can tell you that Shredder 1984 is coming over from France and will be doing a few shows with me. I am currently working on an LA Synthwave Festival and if all goes well I think the line up will be awesome! I have met some awesome artists in the process as well, like Perturbator, and Justin from DWTD, really sweet guys! At my first official show The War Horse and Droid Bishop came out! Not to mention the great little shout out from Droid Bishop on Beyond Synth, I almost screamed when I heard it! I am just hoping to really build this up and meet so many more amazingly talented artists from this!

What are some shows you’ve got coming up?

Currently I am focusing on the mini tour I have booked for Protector 101, Street Cleaner and The Encounter with special guests Syntax and FacexHugger! We have 3 dates booked and I am so excited to announce they will be closing their tour in SF at the legendary Turbo Drive at DNA Lounge on Oct 29th! I am already booking November and December, but I have so much going on and shows and events I will be attending so next year things will really be booming when I have things up and running to my standards!

How can people help support what you’ve got going on?

The best way to support is to come to the shows, share the events with friends, family, artists. The more people we have at the events the faster Neo-LA grows. The more artists that want to play, the more shows I will book. The more support, the harder I work! Like Neo-LA on Facebook, Twitter and IG for updates!

You’re one of the sponsors of Echosynthetic Fest this November! What part are you playing in the show?

YES!!! When I heard about the show I just knew I had to support somehow. I will be providing an AirBnB house for the out of town artists to stay in, and for the in town artists to come hang out! Think of MTV’s The Real World meets Real Housewives Synth Edition in ATL! LOL.

Neo-LA has a big compilation coming out this Halloween! What can you tell us about Grave Wave?

Grave Wave is the first compilation released under Neo-LA. Pre-orders went up on Friday October 13th and have been doing pretty well. All proceeds will be going to charity. The charity we will be supporting with this album is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. I think suicide and depression are not recognized enough and I want to end that. I personally have suffered from depression most of my life, and music is the one thing that has always helped me so I wanted to make sure the charity was something that really meant something. I am so grateful for all the artists on this album, they have been amazing and the tracks are amazing! I also want to thank Gregorio Franco who designed the album cover, AND suggested the name. This was truly a collab with so many great artists and I hope to compile and release more albums under Neo-LA! Check out the Grave Wave album on Neo-LA’s Bandcamp!

Anything else you’ve got up your sleeve?

Well I am going to continue booking, promoting, and supporting the scene however I can. I have been asked by a few artists to manage them and I am mulling it over. I will soon be relocating to Seattle and start booking up there, so maybe one day I’ll be booking up and down the coast!  I really didn’t expect everything to take off so fast, but I am damn glad it did…Neo-LA has become my biggest passion and my drive everyday to do everything in my power to help the scene!

What have you learned since you started Neo-LA?

Hmmmm, that’s a hard one because generally you expect someone to say, “I learned to not do this, or not do that” but so far what I have learned has all been positive! I have learned how supportive the synth wave fans and artists are. I have made so many friends from this and I am so grateful! I have learned to not slow down, not second guess myself, and to jump in feet first! I have learned that asking goes a long way and never give up or take no for an answer.

Any parting words?

First off thank you again for the interview! I would also like to thank my husband and kids and family for supporting me and telling me to keep pushing! I want to thank all the artists that have booked with me or have reached out to book with me. I want to thank all the fans for showing up and spreading the word. I wanna thank Adam of Graphic Mercenary for the amazing art he does for my shows that really pushes every show over the top! GAHHH I feel like Miss America right now!

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