[Q&A] Valentino Khan Says “Hello”
[Q&A] Valentino Khan Says “Hello”

We’ve reached unsurpassed levels of excitement as Valentino Khan suits up for a string of highly anticipated back-to-back shows with team Bassrush this coming weekend. The enigmatic producer responsible for penning anthems with A-listers like Diplo and Skrillex, the inimitable Valentino Khan stands alone with his fiercely unapologetic kick drums and no holds barred energy.

As we count down the hours until Khan runs it red alongside the Bassrush crew on a three-night run that will have us blasting from Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego, we settled in for a late-night conversation with the L.A. icon about his early day blog-house influences, bass music mentors, and a look into the making of his latest single, “Hello,” released on Stache Gang. Of course, if you’re one of the lucky ones headed to EDC Las Vegas this year, you’ll want to walk down memory lane with Valentino as we reminisce about EDCs of years past and look forward to the mayhem he’s about to unleash on the legendary bassPOD next month!

You’ve been known to burn the midnight oil. How late are you finding yourself in the studio?
I’m definitely a late-night person, especially when I’m working on music. There are some nights I’m in the studio until broad daylight the next day and I end up getting to bed at 10am. Those nights sometimes are the most productive and inspired nights, though.

What helps keep you focused?
Hearing new dope music and the pursuit of constantly improving on my past work keeps me driven. I just try to focus on creating dope music and content for everyone to digest. If I think beyond that, I run into the danger of over thinking things which can get in the way of your creative flow.

The bouncy vibes on “Hello” are leaving ravers exhausted and asking for more. How did you link up with Keno for this track?
Skrillex actually connected us over text a while back. We both admired each other’s music and got in the studio. I made a classic New Orleans bounce beat originally and Keno rapped over it. Even though the beat was really authentic and fit in that lane, I never felt like I made a drop at that tempo that did it justice to fit into the dance music space. So I sped the track up to house tempo and put it together with this weird Dutch-y drop that I made. In the end it kinda came full circle because the tempo shifts down into moombahton territory via those NOLA bounce drums. It was dope to combine so many different worlds and cultures on one track like that.

When can we expect a proper new music video from you?
We just shot a video for my next big single that’s coming out very soon. We’re trying to do something that’s visually exciting again since the bar was set so high with the “Deep Down Low” video.

Who are some of your house music influences?
I got into dance music during the blog-house era so I was really inspired by artists like Justice, Boys Noize and the Bloody Beetroots. The European influence, particularly Dutch and French music, can definitely be found in my music, I think. Labels like Ed Banger really were pushing things forward in terms of bringing a sound over to America that I think was aggressive enough to resonate with us in the States. I still think there’s a classic appeal to a lot of those records and they’re still relevant today.

What about bass music?
Guys like Skrillex and Kill The Noise have always been dope to me because they designed the craziest sounds you’ve never heard in your life. That alone is always inspiring to me and I always try to make every song I do unique from one another.

We’re excited to have you join us Under the Electric Sky! Do you have any fond EDC memories of years past?
No matter how many I end up playing, there’s always going to be something special about this last year. I literally closed out the entire festival weekend and played to a full crowd at the cosmicMEADOW stage until the sun rose. You can’t really experience anything like that anywhere else. After saying my goodbyes at the festival, I remember I didn’t get back to my hotel until around 8am, which was brutal but totally worth it. I had to fly out internationally a day later for my Asia and Europe tour and I remember still being hyped from how awesome of a weekend it was in Las Vegas.

Do you feel Bassrush fans are ready to go a harder route, Valentino Khan style?
It’s so difficult to predict the future of dance music but I know no matter what I’m going to do what I feel is dope. I think that I have a strong fan base as a result of that and I’m incredibly appreciative of that. If my style is harder or different than the rest then I simply embrace being unique and own it.