Richie Lee Davis’ Sabrina Fanzine is for underground artists

“Sometimes it’s hard to convince publications to feature underground artists, so I decided to create my own zine,” photographer Richie Lee Davis says. Around LA, Davis is a known and loved force to be reckoned with — for his success as a photographer and stylist, and for his dedication as both a friend and fan of some of the city’s most prolific emerging acts. Whether he’s shooting, and styling, Ethel Cain for Interview Magazine or lounging in the green room with LA punk outfit the Paranoyds, Davis is supporting and engaging in an art form he is truly passionate about, and with the release of zine“>Sabrina Zine, the “fanzine” of which he has published two volumes, he is taking that passion to the next level. 

“Creating Sabrina has been an amazing outlet for me as an artist because I am able to combine all the musicians I truly admire in one… My inspiration for the zine is all of the amazingly talented musicians in the underground LA/NY music scene, and a lot of them are independent. It really shows you that their vision is truly their own.”

Read more: 10 best music books of 2023 that traverse the underground

Entirely self-published, with a focus on underground musicians making their way in the LA and NYC scenes, though they herald from all over the world, Davis dove headfirst into an art form that has been a foundational element of each coastal city since punk music was born. And in keeping with the music fanzine’s ’70s and ’80s roots, the goal was to present each of the 13 musicians, which he shot in his studio in Los Angeles, in a timeless fashion. 

“The personal style they each carry is so inspiring to me because they come as they are without any styling,” he says.” I feel like less is more, and in the studio, I really get an essence of the artist. Being able to create a timeless photo is my ultimate goal!”

With a first edition featuring Arrow De Wilde of Starcrawler on the cover, Alice Glass, Dani Miller of Surfbort, and more — Davis’ fanzine acquired its own, rabid fanbase, with members spread across fine art, music, and fashion alike. The Sabrina Zine is satiating for all, carefully crafted, and incredibly raw — there is an undeniable Warhol-like quality to it. The self-styled, candid images speak to the relationship Davis has developed with each artist, and how seen and at ease they must feel in his creative world. Undoubtedly, for both underground acts and those who’ve broken into the mainstream, it’s both rare and special to find such a balance between beautiful, striking images and an environment built on true intimacy. 

For the second volume, fitting for the project’s name, Davis featured Sabrina Fuentes of Pretty Sick on the cover, with in-book editorials on Frost Children, Jack Powers, Harmony, and more. Check out an exclusive look inside the zine below — and be sure to stay tuned for volume three. Each issue is limited, and goes fast.

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