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Meet Jai Al-Attas of Loqules in Culver City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jai Al-Attas.

Jai, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia to an Indonesian father and white Australian mother. I grew up surfing and skateboarding, which got me into punk rock music from an early age. In the year 2000 when I was 16 years old, I started a record label with my best friends called Below Par Records – it was an independent punk rock label – we signed US bands Brand New and Yellowcard for the Australian market and after the success of one of our Australian signings Kisschasy we were acquired by EMI Music in 2008.

I then moved to LA to direct a documentary on 90’s punk rock called One Nine Nine Four, where I interviewed bands like Green Day, Rancid and Blink 182 and the film was narrated by Tony Hawk. It was the experiences that I had running the record label and making the documentary, that lead me to realize that it was these experiences that made me who I was and Loqules was born out of that idea.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My first real failure that hit me hard was the documentary. I mean we finished the film, but we could never clear the music because it was going to cost us more money than we had budgeted for. This was around when I was 24 / 25, and as well as personally losing over 100k of my own money on it (money which I had got from the sale of my label) it was a real hit to my ego and pride.

This was a tough thing to deal with when most of my friends were still finishing college or university I was dealing with something that I didn’t really have a precedent for. It was tough, but as they say, life goes on, and it’s these failures and how we deal with them that makes us stronger. Today, I don’t see it as a failure because it was the greatest experience I’ve ever had in my life and I would do it all again in a heartbeat – albeit approach the music budget differently.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Loqules – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The company today is called Loqules, and we help companies with employee engagement through social impact experiences. For example, some of our clients include Uber, Salesforce and WeWork and we may do team building experiences where a team gets to learn to surf from a pro surfer or spend an afternoon in the recording studio with an Artist.

What makes these experiences “social impact experiences” is we use them to create employment opportunities for people from underserved communities, where we train, mentor and pay them to work on our corporate experiences and then help them find career opportunities in the creative industries. Our clients and their employees get to engage with a group of people they wouldn’t normally, and enable life-changing outcomes for people that traditionally haven’t had the opportunity, access or support.

Proudest moment would be when we helped a formerly incarcerated Woman named Michel’ei follow her passion of becoming a .chef, and after going through our program seeing her become a full-time chef, rebuild her credit and is now doing social justice advocacy work in her community.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
The future is bright, our program where we mentor, train and pay people from underserved or disadvantaged communities to get career opportunities in the creative industries is actually called Creative Futures. 2019 is going to see us develop and launch the next phase of the program.

Our theory of change is that we can help break cycles of inequality by providing opportunities to those that haven’t traditionally had them because they weren’t born into the right neighborhoods, have the right family connections or went to the right schools.

What is really exciting is how Fortune 500 companies are extremely interested in the talent coming through our pipeline to help them with their own diversity and inclusion initiatives, which is a big problem in corporate America.

So we’re working towards creating real social impact where we can see the tangible change we help create in the communities we’re working with, and help companies reach their business objectives by embracing a diverse and inclusive culture.

The next generation of creative industry leaders are going to come from places that companies haven’t known how to or bothered to unearth before, and to us, that is the future.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Taylor Curran and Jai Al-Attas

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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