Recently, I was able to see Justin Blau, known as 3LAU, live at PennState performing at Levels nightclub where the young mashup DJ/Producer rocked the house from the beginning of his set til the end. He has been traveling around the nation on his 3LAU Your Mind Tour , raising money for the philantrophy Pencils of Promise, and we were able to catch up with him and answer a few questions while on tour:
1.) What started you getting into DJing and producing? Who are some early influences you’ve had?
My entire life I’ve been a musician, from piano to guitar to drums to vocals, but I never would have guessed that I would have wound up in dance music. My goal growing up was to make enough money young, so that when I was settled I could focus on my music; no one’s a fan of delayed gratification though, and I’m certainly glad I could start sooner. I started Djing not too long ago actually, just about two years, after making a trip to sweden with my best friend Johan. It was around the time Bromance first came out, and the club/dance music culture there was mind blowing to me. That’s when I decided I wanted to try my hand at it! Some of my earliest influences were Avicii, Porter, SHM, the classic influences, but lately I’m finding a lot of inspiration in non-dance music genres.
2.) How’s it been like balancing a school schedule alongside of performing around the nation?
I’ve actually taken a leave of absence since this tour began. It was really impossible to balance all of it this past April, and I wanted to focus 100% on my career!
3.) Huge year for you in festivals, especially that killer set at Electric Zoo MainStage, what festivals can we hope to see you perform in 2013?
We definitely have a lot of awesome stuff confirmed for 2013, nothing I can really speak about yet, but we’ll be adding even more when my first single comes out (hopefully in January)
4.) What sort of music do you listen to base your mashups on/what future mashups do we expect? Will we see some 3LAU originals in the works?
The mashups are random mostly, I’ll just hear something and immediately know the different elements fit, so I’m forced to sit down and do it because I know my listeners will appreciate the mix. I’ve been spending most of my time on my original content lately, and I have a few I’m really excited about. A lot of it is finished if not 90% there and at this point we’re just making sure we blow the releases up as much as possible, so the greatest number of people can hear my own tunes!
5.) How have your mashups enhanced your relationship with other artists and performers that you’ve sampled and have you developed close relationships with artists that you wouldnt have if it werent for your tracks?
This is an awesome question actually, one I don’t get too often. R3hab had heard some of my stuff and reached out to me to bootleg his instrumental “Never Be Mine,” that turned into my edit B#tch City which sampled a bunch of old school dance anthem vocals. I was super stoked he reached out cause I’m a a big fan, and we’ve kept in touch since! Same goes for Hardwell who plays out some of the edits I make from time to time, he’s a huge inspiration of mine and it’s an honor to call him a friend!
6.) What is a typical weekend like for you when you’re not performing? In the sense of partying, hanging with friends, what do you do on your downtime?
Haha the most boring, but true answer: I literally sit and make music in every spare moment I can, no TV, rarely hang out with friends…this is really important to me and I won’t be satisfied till I can take this thing to the next level, so every moment I try to stay focused on the goal. Other than that, I go to the gym I guess hahahaha. Sometimes it’s always good to step away from the 4 on the floor and pick up an instrument too :-)
7.) Whats one word of advice you would’ve liked that you would give to aspiring young producers?
Work as hard as you possibly can. Nothing comes easy, and I’ve put my life into this. If you have what it takes, and you work your ass off, you’ll make it. It’s just about being realistic with you self-expectations and goals.
Needless to say, we anticipate 3LAU to have a break out year in 2013 and can’t wait to see his productions go to the next level. We wish him the best in the future and can’t wait to see what the new year will bring! If you haven’t already check out his latest new mashup here
and show your support of the aspiring new artist!