It's quite impossible to not have heard of VALENTINO KHAN's music. From hip-hop to four on the floor, his production prowess knows no limits. From producing for Bruno Mars, 2 Chainz to signing into OWSLA, Mad Decent and more -- Valentino is truly a rare talent with a thirst for innovative music. Known for his forward thinking discography that ranges from progressive house, trap, techno to hardstyle and more, he is one of the most sought after producers for remixes. We got a chance to meet with him for the first time about his latest record called "Gold" with Sean Paul after his sold out performance at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.
What got you started in music in the beginning?
I just started messing with production software in the computer. At the time I was really inspired by Dr. Dre, Pharrell, Timbaland, etc. I thought they were all really innovative and pushing music forward. It really appealed to me. When I started to do it and kind of make whatever I want and immediately fell in love with it. I was spending all my free time doing it.
Who or what would you say is your biggest inspiration?
I would saw early on I was inspired by those guys - Timbaland, Dr. Dre and The Neptunes. In terms of dance music, I'm kind of collectively inspired by everybody. That's why my sound is so versatile. I think it's a really cool collective of artists for the most part that are making sounds that are forward-thinking. I'm really trying to embody that in my music.
Describe to us your sound.
My sound is very versatile. It's kind of all over the place. I don't really stick to the same thing over and over. It keeps it fun and fresh for me that way. It makes it way more exciting when I'm able to go into the studio and make whatever I want. It's refreshing.
Talk to us about your recent single “Gold” with Sean Paul?
Yeah, it was cool. Sean and I got set up in the studio session together. Before he came in I made the immediate track in about an hour. Afterwards, it came together really smoothly. He's a really good dude, amazing to work with. We didn't write anything down the whole time in the studio, he would just spit everything off the top on his own. We were all on the same page the whole time which made it really easy.
What is the story behind the music video?
Shout out to Little Internet who directed it. We wanted to something with it since it was based in Jamaica. Sean's from there and I got to fly down. I never been there and I was hanging with Sean and everyone. We just wanted to make something that captured the good vibe of the music.
What gets you into the creative mode when you're in the studio?
To be honest sometimes I could just sit down and the thing that would inspire me is just finding a really weird sound. Or having a vocal is kind of a starting off point for me to make a song around. I try to work in a way where I'm not regulated by having to start with drums or synth. It can kind of come together in a multitude of ways. It definitely helps me jump off any source of inspiration.
You've such an impressive and tasteful discography this past years, do you have any upcoming records you can share with us about?
Nothing I can share right now. They're all singles and collaborative works that I cannot talk about yet. But I am working to finish all of those and lining them up for 2018.
You've been touring a lot. How's it been so far?
It's been awesome. The only thing I sometimes I wish I could do is just teleport instead of going on airplanes. Beside that it's amazing to be able to travel to the world and meet so many cool people. Going to cool environments and play the music that I love making.
What is one achievement you're most proud of this year?
Doing multiple touring runs in Europe. Sometimes it can be really hard for an American artist to crossover. I've been really fortunate to translate over there because I have a huge fanbase in Europe. Not just Europe, but going to Asia and Australia, etc. It's been really cool and interesting.
What is one thing you are currently obsessed with?
I've been on Amazon a lot recently. I've been suckered into that 1-Click Ordering. That's very dangerous. It's so convenient. I start to run up my credit card bill that way.