What a night! 3LAU killed it in Honolulu for their 5th annual Winter Wonderland at the Kaka'ako Groove Hawaii. I got the great pleasure and honor of interviewing this very talented artist and got a sneak peek on what he has in store for upcoming music and events. Not only was he a down-earth-artist to chat with, but he put on a fantastic show, full of energy and passion. He gave the crowd what they wanted, popped champagne left and right, and did not leave one moment dull. I was even lucky to get a birthday shout out from him during his set! Find out more about our discussion with 3LAU below!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How did you first get your start in music, even if it was a different genre other than electronic?
I started with piano, and when I was about 5 years old, I had classical training with piano. I picked up the guitar, I picked up the drums, I sing and it all started with making indie and cool different folk music.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Who were some of your initial musical influences?
Radiohead has always been my biggest influence, even through it's far from dance music, although not too far. Thom (from Radiohead) did some pretty interesting electronic stuff, but I would say that Radiohead is my biggest influence. And bigger influences musically, like classical composers to neo classical music is just fantastic, and I usually look to that for inspiration.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What made you decide to start creating mash-ups, and did you ever think it would explode like it did?
I did not think it would explode at all, it just happened out of nowhere. The internet can do some crazy things. I honestly started making mash-ups because a lot of my friends were listening to them. I thought a lot of the stuff they were listening to was absolute garbage, so I said, "This is not mixed well... I can figure out how to do this." And that's kind of how it started. To be completely honest, it was out of self challenge and it really quickly turned into a full career.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You do a lot of work with non-profit organizations an giving back, with your most recent funding to Pencils for Promise. We admire your dedication. Are there more organizations you plan on working with in 2015?
I work particularly closely with Pencils for Promise because I know a lot of people who work there and I can trust them. They have been an organization I have been working with for the past 3 years, slowly raising more and more and more money to achieve longer term goals. I've partnered with the AIDS educational organization known as Lifebeats as well. Basically, anyone who wants to get involved with me, I will be involved with, if they are doing something I find valuable . So by no means am I only exclusive to Pencils for Promises, it's just easier to focus working with people who you can trust . It's very difficult to find people you can trust in philanthropy. *read more about Jusin Blau's philanthropy work with Pencils for Promise HERE.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Speaking of 2015, what do you have in store in regards to studio time, releases and touring? Could you fill us in on anything special?
So I will be playing a couple more of the trademark "3LAU Haus Party" shows in 2015 and it's a special kind of show where we bring in custom production and a lot of my friends play with me. I've only done two of them so far. The first was in Philadelphia (read our EPIC review HERE) and the second was in New York, and they both sold out far in advanced. We are focusing on bring those to a couple more cities in 2015. I got a lot of new music coming. The first release is a collaboration and that is coming January 12th. So that is the first of many for 2015. I don't want to tell too much more about that, but there are some cool stuff coming.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: If you could collaborate with anyone in the industry, who would it be?
I just said hello to Kaskade yesterday and he is one of my biggest influences and inspirations. I would love to work on something with him and Knife Party ... They are so great! I am obsessed with them.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How does it feel being in Honolulu? Anything else you'd like to add?
It's awesome to be in Honolulu! I am ecstatic to play my first show and the crowd out there looks HUGE and awesome. So I am really pumped!
Read our preview to the Winter Wonderland performance in Honolulu HERE, and stay tuned for more news and releases this year from 3LAU, only on EPIC!
AUTHOR CREDIT: ESTHER KANG