How Emo Nite’s Cofounder Turned Her Music Dreams Into A Reality

With mentions from such heavy weight music mags from Rollingstone to Billboard, Emo Nite is like a quickly spreading disease. The party has grown from a barroom karaoke night started by three friends in Los Angeles, to a traveling concert featuring celebrities, musicians and DJs mashing-up, reimagining, and remixing tunes from the age of music we lovingly call emo.

With its two-year anniversary blowout party sold out and ready to shred on December 6th, Emo Nite has featured DJ sets by Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, Mikey Way of My Chemical Romance, and more — and has become a night where pretty much anything can happen.

For one of the founders, Barbara “Babs” Szabo, she never thought it would become what it has. Spawning a brand new super fire apparel line, plus several other show locations like San Francisco, San Diego, Toronto, Portland, Seattle, Omaha, Denver and Atlanta, amongst others — Emo Nite has become a dream come to life for Babs.

However, it wasn’t a straight and narrow path to #girlboss-dom for Babs — in fact, she wanted to be hairstylist, then a dentist, and worked as a newspaper delivery girl and multiple retail stores along the way. Which proves, you shouldn’t lose that hustle when the grind gets rough.

Be inspired by our Q&A with the badass that is Babs, and then check out the brand new Emo Nite apparel line, including one familiar model you might recognize, one of Galore’s very own Kittens, Miss Luna Lovebad.


Stream the event live HERE

What did you plan to do as a career originally?

When I was little, I wanted to be a hair stylist. I would go around and french braid anyone’s hair who would let me – even strangers. A few years later, I was set on becoming a dentist. Then in high school I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had straight A’s and was is the top 10% of my class, but didn’t apply to any colleges because I was completely in the dark about what to do with my future. It wasn’t until taking a news writing class in community college that I fell in love w

ith writing and realized I would study journalism. I then moved to San Francisco because their state college has one of the best journalism programs in the country. It was there that I realized I loved writing about music. I was the first person in the history of the school to do on-camera interviews with bands that came to our college to perform. My professor said it was a terrible idea and that it wasn’t newsworthy, but my first interview, an incredibly awkward conversation with The Growlers, was the most viewed story of the semester. While I was there, we were the first college in the U.S. to put out a digital version of our school magazine, with videos and interactive elements. While in college, I worked at Sony Music as a College Marketing Rep, and started to shift my interest to social media and digital marketing. I think it was a smooth transition because curating social media is essentially telling a story, much like what journalism aims to accomplish.

How did you get started with Emo Nite? Did you think it would be a one time event?

When I moved back to LA, I met TJ, one of the founders of Emo Nite, at our friend’s birthday party. We sang Dashboard Confessional “Hands Down” together, and the next day decided we should throw a night where we can get all of our friends together in one place and sing along to the emo and pop punk songs that we love and that have shaped our lives. We didn’t know if it would be a one time event, but we most definitely had absolutely no idea it would turn into what it has become.

What are you most excited about for the two year anniversary party?

I’m most excited to see Movements again. They are my favorite band right now. Seeing All-American Rejects do an acoustic performance will also be life changing for me. I’ve been a fan of theirs from day one. I think overall I’m most excited to celebrate alongside this amazing community of people who come every month. I’ve met so many great friends through Emo Nite. I’ll probably shed tears of joy several times throughout the night.

Did you ever think Emo Nite would spawn an apparel line? What is your favorite piece?

I never thought Emo Nite would spawn an apparel line, but I’m so glad it has. It grew from one tee shirt to over 15 pieces in our overall collection. My favorite piece is our 2016 Summer Tour Tee collaboration piece with Obey, I wear that one at least once a week. But mostly multiple times a week. I have like 4 of them. I’m really excited about these new pieces as well. From this new collection, my favorite is the “every nite is emo nite” jacket.

Have you ever fangirled over any of the artists that have played?

When The Used showed up and played an acoustic song, that was forever my highlight of Emo Nite. I was so happy. It doesn’t get much better than that. I go back and forth about [my favorite emo band] because there are so many that I love dearly. I’d say The Used has been consistently my favorite.

What are your top three tips to become a #girlboss like you:

Work hard, stay humble and be kind.

Listen to the Two Year Anniversary Mix-tape, by Captain Cuts “The Life of Emo”:

For more on Emo Nite:

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Photographer: Damian Borja @kombucci
Models: Zoe @zoebelleelyse

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