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Beyond the Booth With 3LAU

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With Las Vegas as the EDM mecca for America (if not the world), it’s no wonder that a few locals have climbed the ranks to stardom. One such son of Sin City since his teens is Justin Blau, or 3LAU as he’s known behind the booth. With heavy radio rotation for his 2014 track “How You Love Me” featuring Bright Lights, and headlining slots at both LiFE and Drai’s (next up on February 20), his popularity continues to rise in 2015—and he still finds time to raise money for Pencils of Promise to build schools in underprivileged areas. We dug deeper into Justin Blau’s musical repertoire to find out what makes him move and be moved beyond the dancefloor.

What is your favorite band of all time?

Definitely Radiohead. I have so much respect for the continual evolution of their sound and how effortlessly they consistently break musical and production boundaries.

Who is your DJ/producer hero?

When I started it was definitely Porter Robinson; he was an amazing model to look up to, being another young American producer myself. More recently it’s been Calvin Harris for his ability to bridge so many genres into pop, and create something that sound both familiarly catchy and emotional.

What do you think is the best soundtrack ever?

Song by song, I would say Garden State. But honestly Hans Zimmer’s work on the Gladiator soundtrack will always be my No. 1; it’s one of the most heart-wrenching modern scores I’ve ever been able to enjoy outside of a film.

Which track do you wish you had written?

Eric Prydz “Allein.” There’s something about it that’s unexplainably uplifting; it’s timeless and beautiful.

The most unusual sample or element you’ve incorporated into a track?

I sampled a weird part of Radiohead’s “Like Spinning Plates” with lots of delays during a breakdown of a track. You can barely hear it in the mix, but it adds a lot of atmosphere!

What’s the best baby-making music?

Obvious Answer: The Weeknd. Less Obvious Answer: Older Flying Lotus.

Who is your favorite composer?

Ólafur Arnalds—hands down, the face of modern classical music in my opinion!

What instrument can’t you play but wish you could?

I was traveling in Barcelona with my family and we saw a street performer with a special kind of Tibetan singing bowl.a beautiful instrument that made sounds I couldn’t even imagine were possible from something organic.

What three albums does every dance music fan need to own?

Justice † , Boys Noize Oi Oi Oi, Deadmau5 Random Album Title.

Any dream collaboration you’d want to see on an album?

It would be really cool to see more hip-hop stars working with house music in more unique ways. We’ll see; it’ll happen soon.

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