Since arriving on the scene, the LA native has clocked up an impressive series of accolades and career highlights. He has maintained a unique identity while producing records of any genre. Having previously collaborated with big name talent such as 2 Chainz, Major Lazer, and Skrillex, he shows no sign of slowing down soon. He now delivers his new single ‘Pump’ which is out now via Ministry of Sound…
Hey Valentino, welcome to DMC World where in the world are you at the moment?
I’m home in Los Angeles packing for Europe, about to resume my Europe tour thats been going on all summer long.
Tell us about your new single ‘Pump’?
I wanted to make a really fresh sounding track that fit with the style that I started with – Deep Down Low – and I wanted the sound design to be really unique and sound different from anything else that you’ve heard before.
What’s your favourite song of the moment?
My favorite song right now is Turn Up On The Weekend by Branchez and Big Wet. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever heard because it combines Country music and Trap which seems like a crazy idea on paper but it actually is an amazing song.
Who are your biggest inspirations in music?
I’ve always been really inspired by my peers around me. Not necessarily to sound like them but just their creative energy always inspires me. Initially I was always inspired by Dr Dre, Timbaland, and The Neptunes.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is really versatile and that’s something I pride myself on. It keeps things really fresh for me. I just wanna do my take on every sound but make it great and make it unique to who I am as an artist.
You’ve collaborated with lots of artists including Skrillex. How did you two meet?
I actually met Skrillex after the night was over and the sun had risen at EDC Las Vegas a few years back. He had put out a big Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1 after taking some time off, and he put one of my songs in it called “The Dip.” I thanked him for playing the song and he told me how much he had faith in me as an artist and things just progressed from there. I ended up going on tour with him and eventually releasing music on OWSLA and then eventually collaborating on Slam Dunk with him.
Do you have any exciting collaborations in the pipeline you can tell us about?
Yeah, I started something with Yellowclaw and I think we’re gonna link back up when I get back out to Amsterdam and finish the song that we started.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would give myself the recommendation of being patient with myself. I think that’s something that I’ve learned over time and its definitely allowed me to progress as an artist and not get frustrated so easily in terms of living up to my own standards.
What have been the 5 pivotal moments of your career?
I would say playing EDC is one.
Selling out shows in Los Angels is another because it’s my hometown and it’s really important. Another pivotal moment would be traveling internationally and being an international artist because not everybody is able to have success over seas and I’m really happy that I’ve been able to do that. Deep Down Low was definitely a pivotal moment in my career as it was a song that I never expected to blow up and it became one of the biggest songs of the last couple of years which is something I feel really fortunate about. And lastly I’d say producing for hip hop artists like T.I. and 2 Chainz, and most recently Dizzee Rascal. I started out as a hip hop producer and I’m glad that i’ve been able to keep that going and produce for artist that I’ve respected and grown up listening to.
If you weren’t a producer what do you think you’d be doing now?
If I wasn’t a producer I would definitely be doing something in the creative world. I’m a really creative person and I enjoy the challenge of coming up with unorthodox solutions to everyday issues.
Can we expect an album from you anytime soon?
I’m not planning an album right now but I think it’s something I definitely would like to do. The timing has to be right and I’m waiting for the right moment to start working on an album.
What are your plans this summer, any festivals?
Yeah I’m touring Europe all summer long, I just played EDC in Las Vegas, and i’m gonna be playing a bunch of festivals in Europe including Parookaville, Tommorrowland, and I’m also playing a really big show with Major Lazer in Ibiza later this Summer.
‘Pump’ is out now on Ministry of Sound