While many artists look to achieve success by heading west toward Los Angeles, Split Checks is a production company looking to strike gold in its own backyard.
Hailing from Riverside, Split Checks is composed of Jake Aldaco, junior graphic design major; Ethan Anderson, graduate graphic design and digital media student; McKay Vandenberg, graduate English student; and Alex Casillas, former California Baptist University student.
Together they produce electronic dance music with undertones of house, trap, hip-hop and dubstep.
While attending CBU together, the members of Split Checks created the company in 2016 after finding common ground as artists who faced competition among their peers and came together with the idea of working as a unit to find success.
While the group’s name might come off as simple to some, it carries a very heavy meaning that provides insight into what they set out to accomplish as artists.
Vandenberg recalled times the four would go to Denny’s for late-night pancakes. As “broke college students,” Casillas would always be the first to let the waiter know they would like “waters all around and split checks.”
Aldaco described how the name Split Checks became synonymous with their mission of bringing the entire Riverside community together.
“It’s like splitting a check — it takes multiple payments to complete the whole thing,” Aldaco said. “That’s what we want to do with the community — involving everyone, bringing everyone together and including them.”
Riverside County has given birth to many well-known artists, such as Hit-Boy, Travis Barker, Bobby Hundreds and Deladeso. However, the local music community is not as discussed as much given it is located inw neighboring Los Angeles.
As event companies such as Brownies and Lemonade, White Rabbit and Space Yacht continue to grow and source out to well-known venues in Los Angeles, Split Checks looks to build on the music communities and venues that are already established in Riverside.
“We have really good venues such as the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, the Fox Theater and the several smaller parts are good spots too,” Anderson said. “The venues have had nothing going on, but are finally starting to get things like White Rabbit and Havoc now.”
As venues are relatively pricy to rent, the members of Split Checks decided to take things into their own hands.
On Halloween, Split Checks had its first official event at Aldaco’s home, which solidified them as a group.
Accompanied by an hour-long Halloween Soundcloud mix, Split Checks hosted the event from Aldaco’s home in Riverside.
“We’ve had a few different events so far but it seems like our Halloween parties are the most packed out,” Casillas said. “This last one was a ton of fun, with maybe 40 or so of our good homies just hanging out listening to good music and having a good time.”
With less than a year under its belt, Split Checks is still in its infancy but has already thrown some successful events and shows no intention of stopping.
Each member of Split Checks has individual projects he is working on, but they still work together on projects, as they understand the benefit of solidarity with othersin the music
Moving forward the group intends to increase its awareness through branding and continuing its traditional house parties as Split Checks.
To listen to their music, visit their page at Soundcloud.com/split-checks.