This week in the Artist Spotlight we have Red Bull Thre3style U.S Champion and Chicago native, Trentino. This man is an extremely talented Dj/producer and turntablist. He’s been a musician since the age of 10 and has been djing for over a decade. Trentino is a must see live act if you ever have the chance. He will be playing live at AfterLife this Saturday, March 7th. Take a look at the interview we did with Trentino where he talks about how it all began, his experience winning the Thre3style U.S Championship, and his recent Mongolia tour.
How did you first begin DJing/Producing?
My first real start with music was with the drums at age 10. I stayed in the school band program in concert, jazz, and marching bands all the way through high school.
I got my first turntables at age 14 after being exposed to them by DJs like Skribble and Funkmaster Flex on MTV and many DJs on Rap City on BET. Drum machines and samplers followed soon after.
I then produced a full length hiphop album with my my high school friend and MC Mike Fishman (T-Scar) at age 16.
I then went to college and earned my Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies with Percussion as my primary instrument.
It wasn’t until a couple years after college that I really started playing clubs. My first weekly was at Grand Central in Lincoln Park (now Barn & Company), followed by brief stints at Level and Le Passage, and a longer run at Angels & Kings Chicago, which lasted until their move at the end of 2010. I also began traveling around the midwest thanks to my relationship with DJ White Shadow near the beginning of 2010.
You won the Red Bull Thre3style US Championship, tell us a little bit about that experience.
By far the highest pressure situation in which I’ve ever had to perform. Every round was one of the most stressful nights of my life. I had to compete five times, Chicago, Midwest, US, World Preliminary, and World Final. Winning the US Championship in Los Angeles gave me a huge boost by exposing me to people all over the country, especially since I beat the crowd favorite and West Coaster DJ Scene.
You were recently on tour in Mongolia, tell us about the tour and your experiences out there.
My Mongolian trip was crazy in terms of the publicity and hospitality surrounding my visit. As soon as I stepped off the jet bridge, I was greeted by airport staff and whisked into a VIP customs room. There were several paparazzi waiting just outside customs and I was immediately interviewed and then taken to my five star hotel by a convoy of Mercedes G-Classes. Next was a press conference with several TV and radio stations, plus I did a few more interviews and performances at some actual TV studios. On top of that, there were several billboards around the city advertising my shows.
Your sets are very versatile/unique, how do you generally prepare
These days almost 100 percent of my time goes into producing. I practiced a little bit before filming my last couple routine videos, and I’ve been preparing kits on my new drum module lately. When I do actually go through new music, it takes time because I set cue points and loops for every track and place them all in crates as they are added to my library.
What was your favorite party of all time that you have played?
Probably my birthday party last year at Castle Chicago. The amount of support I had that night was incredible.
You have been putting out a ton of remixes/edits recently which have been getting a lot of love. What upcoming projects are you working on? Are you
working on any originals?
The focus has been more on remixes but my original “Freedom” has been doing extremely well, and I have an original called “Watts” coming out on Tommie Sunshine’s Brooklyn Fire label soon.
Other than that, I stay in the studio collaborating with as many people as possible, including Freak Island, Big Once, Marquee, Oleg Bondar, Purple Tokyo, Alejandro, Marc Adams, Nurotic, Luka, Avi Sic, and more.
What’s the most embarrassing thing thats happened to you at a show?
Probably in the Chicago 3style Qualifier in 2013 when I accidentally hit the power switch on one of the turntables during a body trick.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on music/DJing?
Skateboard! I didn’t skate at all for about 4 years but I started again about a year ago and it’s been amazing.
What is your opinion on the current EDM scene?
It’s based on smoke and mirrors. You don’t have to produce your own music, and live performance certainly isn’t even a factor, but you do need money and connections.
What do you think will be the next big thing in EDM?
Right now we’re seeing a lot of success with (I hate all of these terms but I’ll use them so people know what I mean) Future House, Future Bass, Jersey Club, Tropical House, etc, but no one really knows what’s next.
What do you think about all these “frauds” in the EDM scene using ghost producers, buying likes and purchasing their own tracks on Beatport?
We’ve seen so many people exposed for not producing their own music, or not mixing live, or both, and it hasn’t negatively affected their careers at all, so I think that says a lot about the scene.
Is there any upcoming releases/shows we should keep an eye out for?
Just what I mentioned above.