Thes-One remixes a house he calls “California No-Style”

BACKSTAGE PASS: Christopher Portugal
By Eric Ducker

Christopher Portugal describes the original look of his home as “California no-style.” The 2,500-square-foot house was built in 2004 on a 10,000-square-foot hillside lot in San Pedro. It was, he says, “just an amalgamation of random stucco and tile that you see springing up everywhere, with no general architectural direction or proper contractor supervision.”

Portugal bought the home when it was in the early stages of construction and moved in with his wife, Ritu, after their honeymoon. They soon started seeing small problems, and when the rainstorms caused flooding, they realized how seriously flawed the building was. “When we moved in, we were looking forward to getting on with our lives,” says Portugal, who records under the name Thes One and is a member of the hip-hop duo People Under the Stairs. “I was thinking about touring. I was thinking about doing music.”

Instead, he immersed himself in fixing up their house, though he had no prior home improvement experience. “It was very dramatic, those first two years. Then I realized I liked doing it,” he says. “I liked being outside and being involved with the construction.”

Take a peek inside the latest installment of our Backstage Pass series on the homes of Southern California’s music industry -- homes as entertaining as the personalities on stage and behind the scenes.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)