On The Record: Lowell Viloria
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Constant grind, humble ambition and ample doses of humility have guided Lowell Viloria, aka DJ Logoe, behind the turntables and in business.
From well-respected DJ to store and clothing brand owner, the trials behind the decks and running a shop are one in the same, and he has learned that the setbacks can eventually lead to great rewards.
DJing as a member of the two-time world champion turntable collective Nocturnal Sound Krew (whose members include
Jami, Deception and Eskae, all from Hawaii originally but now settled in Las Vegas, St. Louis, and L.A. respectively) taught him to remain consistent through adversity, have a goal and follow through even during tough times.
“I practice those things in everything I do. I was not the best DJ, at one time I wanted to be the best battle DJ in the whole world but I lost every DJ battle I entered. But that didn’t stop me,” he said.
Despite early disappointments, Viloria said he focused on his strengths and kept moving forward. He is especially thankful that he didn’t abort his journey when failures arose.
“It took me more than ten years to get to a point I wanted to (be) in DJing; from a bedroom DJ, to scratch DJ, to a mobile DJ, then having residencies at the top clubs.”
Over the last few years, Viloria’s priorities have shifted into building his NMLSWorld brand and store. He opened his first shop three years ago in a quaint location on Depot Road in Waipahu and has added a new store on Piikoi Street. He calls the move “a natural progression.”
“NMLSWORLD stands for Never Meeting Lower Standards, it means to always do your best,” he said.
“Everything I do in the business game I relate to Djing,” Viloria noted.”One of the biggest lessons I learned in business is patience and hard work.”
In Viloria’s new world, less is more. He focuses specifically on exclusive runs of merchandise with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
“This is really our lifestyle,” he said.”The love for DJing and streetwear are both relatable. In DJing good gigs don’t come overnight, just like in business. you have to be patience and work hard to achieve.”
In a day and age where aspirations of becoming a DJ and or running a clothing brand are very common, Viloria has chosen to remain as anonymous and “behind the scenes with the store and brand,” being comfortable with living his passion quietly and deferring any popularity points and attention.
The ITF World Team trophy and a poster with autographs from DJ legends like Q-Bert, A-Trak and The Beat Junkies is displayed in the shop to remind him of of where he came from and what it took to get there.
He may not be present in the clubs as much as he once was but he admits that the turntable in his show draws young, aspiring DJ from time to time. After assessing whether they are into DJing for the art form or just the trend, advice and encouragement usually follows.
“I’m always straight up with them. It takes practice and game planning in the direction where they want to go.”
Viloria, who mentors a handful of young DJs, is a big supporter of the local DJ and hip hop community.
“It’s just a natural instinct for me. I feel we should support our local artists. Hawaii has a lot of talent. Why look up to the mainland talent, when we can look up to ours?”
“I want more for my store but I know that takes time, I had no investors, no bank loans, just sweat equity,” he said. “It’s a challenge being running a brand and doing business in Hawaii. My ultimate goal is to able to take care of my family.”
Kalani Wilhelm covers nightlife and music for the Pulse. Contact him via email or follow him on Twitter.