Setting a beat in the 805-Music Scene


Alec Bertrand, also known as MindOff, is a musician and sound engineer. He currently works at 203 Studio in Camarillo, a recording studio he started out with Destructive Films, as a music video producer and creator. The two work as a dynamic duo, with Bertrand mixing music to go along with the videos of Destructive Films. Bertrand says that the goal was to open the music scene to a younger crowd, providing an outlet that would be affordable for teenagers. “ [If] you’re a kid, and you put out a music video rapping, you can get ridiculous numbers […] especially if you’re in high school,” Bertrand said.

Bertrand knew he wanted to be a part of the music scene since he was a senior in high school, and went on to study music in college at Cal State University Channel Islands. Initially, he wanted to record instruments, such as the guitar. This changed, however, after Bertrand had his first experience with house music at Coachella. “It all was just so cool,” Bertrand said. He then started mixing music and experimenting on his computer, dubbing the title of “music engineer.” “An engineer, especially in the context of hip hop, means that an artist will come to you, they usually already have a beat…and the engineer will record them. And then mix and master them,” Bertrand said.

Bertrand has had the chance to work with many local artists, as not only a music engineer but also a producer. He has seen people from Moorpark, San Fernando Valley, LA and finally Oxnard, which is now what he refers to as “the holy land”. “Now there’s this fever […] like, it just seems like now kids are all like, well, we can go to the studio and make a song,” Bertrand said. Besides the booming music scene in Oxnard, Bertrand sees hope in the artists. “We’re starting to see the beginnings of someone potentially becoming really big. Or maybe a scene becoming notable in the U.S., rather than it just being like, oh, and some passion here,” Bertrand said.

With the growing music scene and popularity in Oxnard, Bertrand is aiming to target the younger audience through social media. “We really want to push the podcasts really big, we want to get our media apparatus,” Bertrand said.

After finding a producer, an artist interested in creating music can take many routes, as there are many different styles. Some of these styles can even be considered specific to the local music scene within LA County. Bertrand considers himself familiar with these genres. “G funk is huge in Oxnard… now it seems like it was definitely the West Coast sound and it’s bled into Oxnard and to LA it’s called New West Coast,” Bertrand said.

MindOff’s beginning started with a high schooler with an injured shoulder and a dream who now runs a production studio alongside Destructive Films. “As a high schooler, you may find this opportunity appealing due to the type of music they make and the affordable prices. “We don’t really see the benefit of making it so expensive to where, you know, a kid from high school can save up a little money or ask their parents for some money and get us off. It shouldn’t be that way; it should be accessible,” Bertrand said. He encourages younger crowds to revamp a unique sound for California.


Shoo42 (Shoo), is an independent artist and member of SlumpBoyz, a Southside Oxnard, Pacific Islander rap group from Terrace Ave. Shoo stands alongside Cuzzy, Saby, Moeliccs and Maccy, completing the ensemble. They collectively have over 110,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, with their hit song, “Walk ‘Em Down,” garnering seven million streams.

LED lights drowned the ambiance of 203 studios in a blanket of calm shifting hues of reds and blues. Shoo, heavily tattooed, almost blended into the vibrant surroundings. Before stepping into the recording booth with MindOff, Shoo agreed to sit down with the Panther Prowler to discuss his career. However, within the first minute of the interview, Shoo shifted upright from his slumped posture. “When you asked me where I’m from, do you mean, I’m from Oxnard? Cause, you know, if you ask me where I’m from, I take it a certain way,” Shoo said. The SlumpBoyz’s songs primarily relate to vices and street life. “I’m trying to represent the 805,” he said.

The SlumpBoyz began their music career in 2019 while still in high school when Shoo had convinced the group to take their freestyling talent from the streets to the studio. “Seeing the homies on the block and how much talent they had, I just said. ‘Man we should take this to the studio because y’all got way too much talent just to throw this away,’” Shoo said. The group decided to produce music under the name “SlumpBoyz,” the nickname given to their clique by peers at school.

Unlike the rest of the SlumpBoyz, Shoo prefers writing down his lyrics rather than freestyling. “I like to go to the beach by myself, listen to music in my car and write a little song right there,” Shoo said. “I come up with choruses [for the SlumpBoyz] and the homies follow through with it.” Shoo said, listing the song, “LifeStyle” as having his favorite verse which delves on gaining fame. “The love is different now, they love me a little more, see a brotha poppin, now they jockin and I feel it Though.” Shoo said, elaborating, “ Now that you poppin, (brothas) show that extra love. If you wasn’t poppin like that, brothas wouldn’t have that type of love for you.”

Discussing his motivations for rapping, Shoo said, “I’m going to keep it a hundred. I want people to know me as a great music artist. But what really inspires me is taking care of my kids,” Shoo said. He hopes to one day put his family in mansions. “I love making music but at the end of the day, I love my people more and I want them to be straight.”



YoungPlayaa (YP) is a Moorpark hip hop artist, representing the 805. With just a year in the rap scene, YP’s rapid rise to prominence in the local hip hop community has set a precedent for aspiring rappers beginning their music careers in high school.

The 203 studio’s recording booth walls were masked in $20 bills. Within the booth, YP faces the producer’s chair on the opposing side of a see-through plastic wall, asking his crew of several men covered in black hoodies marked with the word, BigSteppers, “Do I look Firme?” YP said. Their ecstatic remarks of “Orale!” and, “Heck yeah, foo,” gave YP the go-ahead to begin the interview. “I’m YoungPlayaa, I’m repping the 805,” YP said. He started pulling out a golden neck chain with an unrecognizable biblical figure emblazoned. “It’s YPeezy, this is my piece right here,” YP said, referring to the chain.

YP was previously part of the high school graduating class of 2024; however, he ended up dropping out of school and fully pursuing a rap career. “ I hated school; I would be [messing up] too much, You know? I ended up getting kicked out over some snitching stuff,” YP said; preceding to tell his entourage, “No snitch kid around here, man!” YP said. Continuing his recountment, “Then I got sent to another school, and the same thing kept happening. So I guess I ended up dropping out, and that’s when I started taking it seriously with rap. That was about a year ago,” YP said, adding. “I started seeing my older homies rap and they got me into it.”

According to MindOff, Moorpark artists have more influence from the San Fernando Valley and tend to collaborate with emcees from the regionAngelenos more often. Other 805 rappers such as Shoo42 have expressed a slight animosity towards Los Angeles (LA) artists, disliking their perceived pretentiousness towards 805 artists. “They on some lil bro [stuff],” Shoo42 said. Although this has not stopped Shoo42 from collaborating with LA artists such as Shoreline Mafia’s OhGeesy, YP hasn’t shied away from the City of Angels. “They [mess] with my stuff, and I [mess] with theirs, so we focus on collabing,” YP said, pausing and promoting LA rappers. “Shout out to 818 MyGeezy, shout out to DG Da God”

“Within his first year, YP has dropped 18 singles and 12 features on SoundCloud. He lists his top three songs: “DIRTY CUP$ ft.TAYDOH,” “No Cupid ft. Mr. TakeALot” and “Racc City ft. HD Chino,” his biggest song which gained five thousand views. YP reveals his method and recommendations on how to gain traction quickly. “Be consistent and invest in yourself. Promote everything, whatever helps get more ears on your music,” YP said.


Lazy Vault

Lazy Vault is a local midwest emo/post-hardcore band composed of Westlake High School students, Adam Niemann, Tom Cheetham, Matteo Chiappetta, and William Robinson. While the band has yet to release recorded music, Lazy Vault performs live in various local venues such as the Rock & Roll Pizza Bar in Camarillo. Performing in front of live audiences can be nerve wracking, but also very rewarding. Tom Cheetham, sophomore guitarist, finds performing in front of live audiences brings a sense of pride toward their music. “I think it is just one of the best feelings, being on stage and playing songs that you write,” Cheetham said.

Lazy Vault performs some covers, but mostly original pieces including their personal favorites Peppermint Oreos and When Will You.
Currently the band has yet to publish their Adam Niemann, sophomore guitarist, explained that the band is currently working towards recording their songs to share their music with bigger audiences. “I want to put out a single or EP with our best songs. I really want to see how far we can take this,” Niemann said. The band agrees that being able to publish their work on a music platform is a goal they hope to achieve in the foreseeable future.

All the members of Lazy Vault have been playing instruments as kids, which influenced them to start their own band. Matteo Chiappetta, sophomore bass player, finds inspiration for his music from his dad. “I think what got me into playing music and playing bass in general is my dad and my dad’s music taste,” Chiappetta said. Similarly, Niemann finds inspiration in his music taste from his dad. The band also finds inspiration for their music in each other, “My main inspiration for this kind of music is for sure Adam since he put me on to it and it’s awesome,” Cheetham said.
One of the many benefits of music is its ability to provide artists with distraction. William Robinson, sophomore drummer, finds that music helps him in more ways than one. “My focus has really improved since I started playing music,” Robinson said. He often finds himself drumming on his desk to focus on school work.

The local music scene provides musicians and community members with a fun, beneficial activity to unite the community around a positive cause: the love of music. Musicians and listeners find comfort in using music as a positive tool. “It has been an incredible outlet for expression. Being in a band has given me the opportunity to create something and share it with people and it is one of the best feelings,” Cheetham said. Lazy Vault continues to perform with their next performance being on Saturday April 27. For more information: @lazy.vault on instagram.