labrat-music

Labrat Music, Miami’s experimental sound design and music production studio was co-founded by singer-songwriter, Keba Williams, and producer, Erik Nuñez in the heart of the Historical Studio District in North Miami. The two young entrepreneurs met each other while working on jingles at Animal Music for international brands and companies, a business they have continued with Labrat Music, having worked on commercials for Coca-Cola, Honda, McDonalds, and many more. Their successful TV, radio, and film work has allowed them the freedom and capital to house and nurture independent artists. They are committed to servicing talented musicians and helping them build a name for themselves while allowing them to retain the rights and ownership of their own material.

“At Labrat, we create opportunities for the independent artist. From our young artist workshop to artist production, we offer a range of services for artists developing in the digital age.”

Like many in Miami, Keba and Erik are both immigrants bringing a fusion of cultures to their work. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Keba moved to Miami, FL at the age of 16 to attend Florida International University where she earned a degree in Chemistry and later, a B.A. in Vocal Performance. Keba grew up performing since she was eight years old on the clarinet, piano, and steel drums.

Born and raised in Argentina, Erik Nuñez began his music career at age 17, directing and playing bass in the rock band, Bravo, which rose to international fame in most of South America. In 2003, he migrated to the United States with the dream of producing original music on a grander scale. Since then, he has worked with artists such as John Minnis (Diamond girl), Donna Allen (The Voice), and Pitbull. He also produced the soundtracks for the cultural documentaries, Celia the Queen and War at Guam.

In 2013, Keba independently released her first studio album, Wildfire, which was co-written by Erik. This was the first independent project the duo had undertaken together and it served to solidify their musical partnership. The success of Wildfire led to an international tour hitting several states in the U.S and European countries. Keba’s sophomore album, Filmstrip, will be released this Fall.

Through their collaboration on the brand, Keba Musik, Keba and Erik have been able to build Labrat Music, offering production and sound engineering services accessible to the independent artist. With the studio and network they have created, Labrat is focused on expanding opportunities for independent artists. They are a beacon of hope for the rising artist community in Miami.

This Friday, August 26th, Keba and Erik will be performing live at Villain Theater during TGIF with the Villain cast of Musical Tales from the Magic City. Doors open at 7:30pm. August birthdays get in free with valid ID.

villain-theater-familyVillain Theater is the home for improvisational theater and sketch comedy in South Florida. The company opened with eight students in May 2015 and performed at different venues in Miami before moving into the coworking space Made At The Citadel in August 2015.

miami-improv-showLess than a year later, with over 160 students and alumni, Villain Theater brings in audiences for five weekly show nights including Teatro Villano: Impro en Español, TGIF: Sketch & Improv Comedy, and Saturday Gigantic. The booming success of Villain Theater can be attributed to its community integration, recognition from respected publications, and amazing performances.

saturday-giganticVillain’s board of directors, Jeff Quintana, Peter Mir, and Sheela Dominguez, strive to better the community around them by collaborating with local organizations and small businesses including The Prism Music Group, Reach Design Co., Roots Collective, Distilled Opera, and FEAST Miami.

villain-loves-communityThey have held fundraising and outreach events such as Women in Comedy: A Love Letter To Myself, a women’s networking event and all-female comedy show that raised money for the Chicago based organization, Women in Comedy, which strives to empower and connect women in the industry.

orange-is-the-new-wackMore recently, Villain Theater’s YAAAS! partnered with Miami’s LGBTQIA+ talent for a benefit showcase, No Fear, We’re Queer, in order to raise funds for the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida. The highly anticipated event was featured on NBC 6 and inspired goodwill when morale was low.

YAAASEvery Thursday night, Villain Theater hosts BYOT: Bring Your Own Team, an Improv-Stand Up- Sketch-Solo open mic where improvisers, actors, and comedians from South Florida come together to perform on a single stage, connect, and support each other. It is one of the most eclectic show nights at Villain and serves as an outlet for local artists to grow and perform.

villain-theater-stageVillain has also brought some of the best talent in the industry to train their actors and students, offer workshops open to the community, and perform on the Villain stage to sold out houses.

villain-ticketsMick Napier, Second City director and owner/ director of The Annoyance Theater in Chicago and New York who trained industry greats such as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Bob Odenkirk, offered a three hour workshop with 100 students at Villain Theater and performed on two show nights. His touring improv team, Trigger Happy, accompanied him and also performed on the Villain stage.

annoyance-takeoverTJ Jagodowski, known for his work on the Sonic Commercials and The Wizard Of Oz, and Dave Pasquesi, known for his work on The Da Vinci Code and Veep, were recently brought down from Chicago. Together, they are known as TJ & Dave and are often cited as “the best improvisers in the world.” Their show was sold out months in advance and their workshop was sold out within minutes of being posted.

TJ-and-Dave

In August 2016, one of the most respected names in improv, Jimmy Carrane from Improv Nerd will bring his podcast to Miami to interview Villain Theater Artistic Director, Jeff Quintana. His previous interviews have included improv giants Jon Favreau, Nia Vardalos, and Cecily Strong. He will also offer a workshop at Villain Theater that is open to the public.

jimmy-carraneVillain Theater has been featured in multiple publications including The New Tropic, Miami New Times, and Tropicult, all of which covered the grand opening of Saturday Gigantic in August 2016. Miami New Times also covered Women in Comedy: A Love Letter to Myself, Mick Napier at Villain Theater, and No Fear, We’re Queer. Most recently, in June 2016, Miami New Times crowned Villain Theater Best New Theater. The title represents Villain Theater’s commitment to it’s students and audiences.

villain-theater-lovesHowever, the attention Villain receives from the media is only possible because of great shows every night. The professional company is comprised of 35 actors who rehearse weekly, with over 130 additional students and alumni. The cast and students are comprised of people from all walks of life, careers, and industries. The training center curriculum teaches a mix of the best from Chicago training centers, brought together to form Villain’s own unique approach to improvisation, acting, and sketch. The five level system teaches improv, acting, sketch writing, film production and directing.

villain-theater-classThe Villain Theater Comedy Network on YouTube showcases video sketches and improv shows.

video-sketchVillain Theater has nurtured a community of artists and an audience to appreciate it. Villain Theater’s mission is to build a supportive, inclusive, and diverse comedy community, create the highest quality theater through our training and performance program, and produce theater that is affordable and accessible for South Florida.

villain-theater-one-year

Villain Theater’s one year anniversary is a few days away. We could not be more grateful for the overwhelming support from all of you. It is because of our outstanding audiences, dedicated performers, and fearless leaders that Villain Theater has become such a powerhouse for entertainment in such a short amount of time!

Come celebrate with us and our special guest, Jimmy Carrane on August 13th. Not only will he be offering workshops during the day, but he will be conducting his nationally-recognized podcast, Improv Nerd, and then performing with our Villains in Tales From The Magic City at Villain Theater Presents: Saturday Gigantic.

Ticket information available here.