In car-conscious Los Angeles, a vehicle is a music artist’s outfit, a means to show off one’s identity. But in today’s era of information overload, one has to be exceptionally flashy to captivate.
Long after Los Angeles-based car customization chain 310 Motoring imploded in 2008 and unorthodox automotive accessorization TV shows like MTV’s Pimp My Ride ceased to broadcast, Roadstarr Motorsports has emerged as one of the leading companies in the field, servicing the music industry’s vehicular needs. Although Ghanaian twin brothers Hassan and Hussein Iddrissu, who founded the shop in 2001, don’t always agree with many of their clients’ extreme approaches to customization, it’s their ability to bring those wild ideas to life that has kept demand high.
“Ridiculous is the new cool. Now the biggest thing is, ‘How can I outdo you?’” says Hassan as he shows off his Culver City garage, packed with a dozen BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and Bentleys in various stages of assembly. “If everyone has a Lamborghini, you want to make your Lamborghini stand out.”
Roadstarr has remained one of the industry’s stalwarts where celebrities will readily drop five figures and higher on a minor appearance package. Clients include Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Tyga, the lattermost of whom tapped Roadstarr to give his $160,000 Audi R8 supercar a liquid-gold paint scheme.
The brothers maintain a keen awareness of emergent trends, allowing Roadstarr to keep customers ahead of the curve. Trends in extreme car customization include “chameleon” wheels that change hues, rhinestone-studded tires that glitter like diamonds and bright mismatched paint (or wraps) in clashing hues.
“The colors don’t even make sense,” says Hassan. “But that’s the whole point. You just want to be loud.”