Artist Spotlight: 3LAU
Justin Blau, aka 3LAU, is doing it all right about now. He is producing top notch remixes and mash-ups. He is touring in support of his music and live performances. He is a full time student on the dean’s list. Yup, and he just signed with PGA management group. We first ran into 3LAU when we were on location at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim almost a year ago. We were shooting our vids and he recognized that we were from UniqueSquared and mentioned that he won one of our contests and we sent him NI Maschine. We were stoked and captured that very moment here. Since then 3LAU has been destroying the blogosphere with delicious remixes, performing nation wide, all the while maintaining his GPA. We caught up with him in Atlanta at our studios before his gig at Georgia Tech
How did you get started playing and producing music?
It all started from my experience with piano, guitar, and voice. I wanted to record a more sing/songwriter project and delved into Logic Studio cause Garage Band didn’t seem like it was enough, of course. I used logic exclusively for recording for a long time before my exposure to EDM, which happened last summer when I visited my best friend in Sweden. In January, I started to produce bootlegs, and more recently I’ve been working on a ton of original material. It’s awesome looking back on the path I’ve taken, and I feel like I’m eventually going to try to incorporate everything on an original LP.
Lets talk about playing out live, where can I find you these days?
Mostly college campuses and venues in college towns. I’ve opened for Mike Posner, and I’m going to open for 3Oh!3. Had to unfortunately turn down an opportunity to open up for Avicii; it’s extremely exciting! I’m also just starting to penetrate the club scene. As a house DJ at heart, it’s awesome to see that I’m getting noticed by those venues where I can really play whatever I want.
What type of plans do you have to tour in the future? For your recent projects?
As of now most of my shows are across college campuses from the east to west coast, but we are definitely planning on a complete tour in the future. Since I just signed with PGA Music, we’ve been working on big things. It’s just going to be tough to balance school and music, moving into the future.
What type of gear did you use to get started, and what do you use now?
For live shows, I started with what I use now, and likely always will. The APC40 is a brilliant contraption that works perfectly with Ableton. I’m practically married to it, because i’ve tried the alternatives and have been little impressed. In terms of production.
Where/Who do you draw your inspiration from?
I need to wipe my mind of everything and work in a comfortable environment. With the bootlegs I produce, I’m inspired more by hearing things day to day on the radio, house on my iPod, and I move to combine things from those experiences. I never really sit down and try to produce a bootleg, because I find they come out too forced.
Meanwhile, with the original stuff i’m working on, I find that I get so many of my ideas from the indie-ish stuff I listen to. Sigur Ros’s chord progressions are made for progressive house, and so much indie music can be translated. I get a lot of my ideas that way.
Describe your creative process.
That’s tough, but I need to have a completely cleared mind, that’s probably the most important factor. I think it varies from time to time, but I’ve developed this template over the past 4 months that makes it really easy for me to organize my ideas. Both bootlegs and originals are all about the interaction between sounds, trying to sit everything in the mix so that someone who hasn’t heard any of the inputs independently, wouldn’t know any better. For bootlegs, compression and eq take significant time to perfect. On the originals side, I always start with the hook, designing the lead, and working around it. While none of my new stuff is completely finished I’m extremely excited to show it off when it’s all done!
What advice would you give to up and coming artists, DJs or producer/remixers?
Put the time in. It’s all about working as hard as you can, and if you have what it takes, something will undoubtedly happen.
What artists are you excited about currently?
There are so many house producers that are just emerging and killing it right now. Particularly i’m a huge fan of DallasK, R3hab, Alesso and Porter, all of whom keep pushing the boundaries of their sound within such a short period of time.
What kind of experience can we expect to have at your live show?
Since I’m mostly a house DJ, my sets are extremely high paced. I’ll throw some dub in there on occasion, but I usually play 30% of my own stuff, 50% of my favorite stuff charting on beatport, and 20% bangers that are timeless. I have a pretty sick booth that I travel around with, and we’re working on adding a ton of production to the shows.
What’s the most important meal of the day?
Lunch, cause I skip breakfast more often than I should.
We are very proud to have Justin as one of our very first Unique Artists. He’s a great guy and he works very hard to deliver the musical treats that we all benefit from. We want to congratulate him on recently hitting the 20,000 Facebook Fan milestone. Check out his links and get your hands on some filthy mash-ups, too. Until next time, happy gigs!