The saga of Valentino Khan‘s massive “Deep Down Low” anthem (one of the biggest tracks of 2015), continues today with an official video directed by Ian Pons Jewell (Vince Staples’ “Señorita”, NAO’s “Bad Blood”, DJ Shadow’s “I’m Excited”). To celebrate the launch of this awesome psychedelic visual piece we had a chat with the mustachioed production giant.
Check the new “Deep Down Low” video below along with Khan’s words on high school mixtapes, facial hair tips, and the upcoming sequel to his biggest track to date.
Over the last year you’ve had some awesome collaborations with Floss, Wiwek, GTA, and more. Are there any artists you’d like to work with this year?
I think it would be dope to work with other artists that have a sound that is completely different from me. Boys Noize is always someone who I think would be amazing to collaborate with. It’s always been a focus of mine to broaden my horizons musically and I’ve always wanted to get in the studio with producers that are either extremely versatile or can make something completely left field from what I do.
What sounds or styles do you think will become bigger this year?
I think you’re going to see a much more genre-less approach to music in the dance world. This has always been important for me. I like combining opposite sounds and making them work together in harmony. I just want to continue to make and hear stuff that is forward-thinking. There’s something cool about not being able to define the character of a song because it has so many different influences.
The video for “Deep Down Low” is amazing, how are you feeling about it?
I know that I and the team around me really worked hard to find the right vision to fit the video. After I saw the work of our director Ian Pons Jewell, I knew he was the right choice to bring the song to life. The fact that it was shot in Tokyo was perfect even though it came about through happenstance. I think it all worked out well and visually creates this really dope and trippy vibe.
What shows are you most excited about playing this year?
I have a bunch of festival dates in the summer that I can’t mention yet, but very excited for those. I’m about to go on tour with Carnage as direct support for his whole tour for the next couple months and that is definitely going to be fire. And I just got off of Holy Ship which is maybe the best possible experience I’ve had as a DJ.
What are your favorite opening and closing tracks?
I know it’s the obvious pick but “Deep Down Low” is great because the crowd chants along with the vocal now. It really makes for an awesome moment. If I’m doing a radio mix I like using really musical tracks that evoke a different emotion from the rest of the selections. That “B2U” track from Boombox Cartel really fits this mold well.
Who are some of your musical influences right now?
I don’t know if I’ve ever been influenced by someone in particular but rather the collective creative energy around me. Especially living in Los Angeles … you are constantly surrounded by wide range of very talented musicians who either live here or are passing through. Whenever I hear something new and dope it motivates me even more to get in the studio and produce something great of my own.
What do you like to listen to before or after a show?
Probably anything but EDM (lol). Usually I’ll have listened to about four or five hours of dance music depending on when I get to the venue. So it’s great to switch things up and listen to some hip hop or perhaps some ’70s or ’80s stuff. It helps give you perspective too and keeps your ear fresh on the dance side of things.
What are your favorite spots to eat in LA?
Wurstküche in downtown is the best hot dog spot I’ve ever eaten at. I guess technically they’re sausages but literally everything from the fries to the beer is amazing over there.
Tell us a secret.
I eat pancakes very late at night.
Any tips for keeping a healthy stache?
Good genetics that provide a healthy level of testosterone. And obviously scissors so you can trim that shit and keep it in check.
If we found a mix CD of yours from your high school days what would be on it?
Probably anything produced by Dr. Dre, Timbaland or The Neptunes. I listened to so much hip hop growing up to the point that I know all these obscure details. Hip hop producers like those guys were really influential in getting me interesting in starting to make beats so I probably owe a lot to them.
Are there any tunes out there that you wish you had produced?
Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” … simply because the first time I heard it, it literally sounded like nothing I had ever heard in my life and I was like, “WTF IS THIS?!”
How do you recommend producers get their music heard these days?
Put yourself out there and build your own fanbase. Politely sending your music to fellow DJs is a great way to gain exposure as they’ll possibly support your records in their sets. There’s no guaranteed overnight way to get discovered but if you continue to put yourself out there and actually work hard at your craft you’ll eventually get noticed by listeners and your peers.
We’ve heard you’re working on a sequel to “Deep Down Low”?
I’ve been patiently waiting for the right moment to revisit that sound and I think I may have something with some legs to it. ;)
Cover Photo: CYK Media