Where It Started: Valentino Khan

Your passion and love for music can start at any age. That’s something that hangs in curiosity for many fans. What did this person listen to when they were younger? Who influenced them?

The ‘Where It Started’ series is a platform for artists of all kinds to speak on the anthems that raised them to be who they are now.

Meet Valentino Khan: The Los Angeles-based DJ and producer truly knows no bounds. His versatility has granted him production credits for the likes of Lil Pump, French Montana, 2 Chainz, T.I, and Dizzee Rascal. His collaborations as a producer further include working with Major Lazer, Skrillex, Diplo, Bruno Mars & Tyga. A heavyweight in his own right, Valentino Khan continues to break barriers with original tracks. Now presenting his newest project inspired by his formative years listening to French electro, Valentino Khan showcases an incredible level of production on his “French Fried” EP. Given the occasion, we couldn’t find a better time to discover his musical roots.

Where It Started: Valentino Khan

“My introduction to dance music over a decade ago came from passing by my brother’s room and hearing the distorted electronic sounds that were coming overseas from Europe.  This music was fresh to my American ears and created a new culture that motivated me to push boundaries as a producer. Sharing these records here with everyone shows why I’m so passionate about dance music.

 Boys Noize – Jeffer 

Boys Noize is one of the guys who defined this era of dance music.  He always found a way to seamlessly merge European techno sounds with a more aggressive electro edge.  Jeffer is an interesting track because it’s got a happy vibe to it but it still bangs.  I always thought it was fascinating how he blended two different emotions in one song.

Justice – Waters of Nazareth 

This was the beginning of my love of dance music.  I walked by my brother’s room one day and heard something super distorted and asked “what’s that?”  The coolest thing to me was that although it was super distorted, it managed to all make sense.  There was a weird melody you could follow.  And it was clearly moving the sound forward in so many ways.  The entire ✟ album from Justice is arguably the most influential body of work for not only myself but dance music producers of my generation.

Mr. Oizo – Positif

Oizo was instrumental in breaking rules.  His sound is like no one else’s, even to this day.  Positif has so much energy and I still play it out in my sets.  I think his uniqueness is perhaps his best quality.  I’ve always been inspired by artists like him who sound like nobody else.  It’s important to stand out from the pack and give your listeners something that will hopefully open up their minds to a sound they haven’t necessarily heard before.

Carte Blanche – Gare Du Nord

The rhythm of this is so start & stop in a way that it makes you want more every time the loop comes back around.  It has that aggressive edge to it without going too overboard, which I personally love.  Gare Du Nord is a song I’ve always loved listening to because it really captures the whole “blog house” sound.

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