Valentino Khan

Valentino-Khan-PhotoAs he prepares to head our way for the first time, breakthrough LA producer Valentino Khan wants to “do everything and do it well.” TOM KITSON gets the lowdown.

Khan’s work with Diplo on the twerk-worthy track Bubble Butt last year has seen him go from remixer to headline performer – a result of hard work, dedication and a whole ton of talent.

“This is my first time visiting Australia, so I’m excited to be kicking it off with a tour of my own,” he says. “Perth is my first stop so I’m definitely going to go hard. I’m bringing a bunch of unreleased stuff from my own library and some amazing tunes from my producer friends.

“I tend to play across a number of genres so you can expect to hear a bunch of crazy different sounds throughout the night.”
Utilising the same creative spark he finds when producing, Khan is inspired by discovering new sonic territory.

“I think it’s really cool when you make something unexpected that sounds great,” he explains. “That could mean taking an artist’s sound and making it unconventional or approaching a remix and steering it in an entirely new direction. I think if you produce a track that’s leftfield but organically sounds good; you’ve done a good job moving music forward.”

The success of Bubble Butt has led to more opportunities as he progresses his sound from early hip hop influences towards dance music-centred ideas.

“I think the fact that the song has been getting a lot of radio airplay is significant for me,” he says. “I knew the song would have appeal and people would gravitate towards it because of the hook, but to see it have commercial success is remarkable.”

Khan was drawn into producing after being influenced by the impressive work of hip hop producers such as Timbaland, Dr. Dre and The Neptunes.

“I started producing hip hop as a teenager and then eventually evolved into dance music after I heard Waters Of Nazareth by Justice. I think I’ve stuck with it because dance music gives you the freedom to literally create whatever you want and it’s always refreshing to be able to sit down and produce something that’s as crazy as you want it to be.”

Grateful to his hometown for its bountiful creative opportunities, Khan chats about the hard work required in order to have a career in the industry.

“I’ve said many times before that being born and raised in LA definitely has an advantage as far as starting a career in music,” he explains. “Living in a particular city can give you a leg up, but you have to perfect your craft. At the end of the day, your music now lives on the internet so you can blow up no matter where you live.

“I want to do everything and do it well – it’s a lofty goal to set out, but I think I’d honestly be bored if I made the same thing over and over.”