KnockHouse Studios brings affordability to DTLA music scene

LOS ANGELES — The paint has barely dried at KnockHouse Studios in downtown Los Angeles, but for brothers Ralph and John LaGuerre, this isn’t merely a business venture.

It’s the culmination of a creative vision inspired by their mother’s love for music and her entrepreneurial spirit.

What You Need To Know

  • KnockHouse offers professional production facilities and support at below market prices
  • The studio hosts weekly jam sessions to build community and networking opportunities for developing artists
  • Brothers John and Ralph LaGuerre lost their mother to cancer but say her spirit of kindness and community guided their journey
  • The LaGuerre brothers are planning another studio in Miami

“One day, [we said], ‘Why don’t we just open up a studio?'” said Ralph. “We just talked about it, and it just started unfolding.”

It sounds easy, but it was a steep learning curve and a lot of hard work for the LaGuerres, who had never owned and operated a recording studio before.

“People walk in, and they don’t realize the work you put into it,” John said. “But also, I’m happy when people are using the rooms. It just brings such great joy.”

Ralph and John lost their mother to cancer but said she was a pillar of the community, operating her own pharmacy and helping those in need who sometimes couldn’t afford their medications. Now, the LaGuerre brothers are paying that kindness forward.

Pro studio time can be prohibitively expensive in LA, and KnockHouse Studios’ affordability and artist support makes it the perfect place for developing artists.

“This is more than just a recording studio,” John said. “There’s other aspects of music business that you need to account for, whether it be marketing, whether it be videos, whether it be you want to get signed.”

KnockHouse has three different production rooms, one of which is a large recording space where, every week, they host jam sessions to help create a sense of community and give artists a place to feel comfortable to create.

The LaGuerre brothers are a close team and have complementary skills, Ralph being on the creative side and John having the business mind. And while making their dream a reality hasn’t been stress-free, it hasn’t changed their relationship, they say.

“On New Year’s, we were having an intense conversation about like responsibilities and what we’re slacking on,” Ralph said. “We’re having a healthy dialogue, but it’s all for the love of the business.”

The brothers say the way KnockHouse fell into place was proof their mother’s spirit was keeping them on the right track and instills them with the desire to give back to the community in their own way.

“She was the spirit behind a lot of the things that we have and we do,” said John. “It was community-based for her. It was not about finances or numbers. It was literally about, you know, just the strength of the family.”

“Without her spirit in this building, I don’t think it would work,” said Ralph. “She was just a beautiful person, and we just can only follow in her footsteps.”

KnockHouse in downtown LA is just the beginning for the LaGuerre brothers, and if things fall into place again, guided by their mother’s spirit, they next plan another studio in Miami.