530 aka Grant Hedrick has made a big impact on electronic music scene in the World’s Biggest Little City Reno, Nevada but what is even more impressive is the influence he’s had on the House scene in Vegas. And he’s not doing it in the megaclubs on The Strip. Downtown Las Vegas is becoming a bit of a hotbed for those who enjoy something that is a bit more underground and 530 is part of that growing scene in Sin City.
We sat down with him to talk music, Vegas and more ahead of what is sure to be an epic Memorial Day weekend in Detroit. You might say we are pretty pumped to have him come aboard two boat parties that we are hosting in the Motor City!
Only The Beat: So, how did you get into dance music?
530: Dance music has always been a passion of mine, as I have listened to it for as far as I can remember. I would have to say it really came to the forefront when I started to attend shows and festivals 10 years ago while I was attending college in Southern California. I am a house head through and through, you will rarely hear me play or talk about anything else.
OTB: You are now based in Las Vegas, what would say are the differences between a club on The Strip versus one Downtown? How does the crowd differ, the kind of music someone would hear, etc.?
530: The Vegas scene is very interesting, in that virtually every club on the Strip has a lot to offer production-wise, they just do not book artists or acts that I am interested in. Very rarely do we get somebody you would see on the lineup at Movement, but when we do, there is a nice contingent of Deep House/Techno/Tech House listeners in Vegas that come out in droves. Downtown’s music scene is far more tasteful in my opinion, and where I play all of my gigs. A lot of what I play would not go over well in a larger Las Vegas nightclub, whereas if you go to a city like San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Detroit, the type of music I play would be more welcomed on a grander scale.
OTB: So, you are obviously playing a lot there. How do you prepare for a set?
530: I try not to think about set preparation too much, as a DJ is supposed to vibe with what the people are grooving to. The most I will do is prepare a crate of tracks that I believe will fit well with the night/venue; however, there have many times where have gone in a completely different direction once my set started, and that is half the fun!
OTB: Who would you say is your biggest influence creatively?
530: Influences come from so many factors, whether that be artists, particular sounds or live sets that have stayed with me after years of experiencing them, so it is really hard to pinpoint specifics. Seeing Hot Since 82, Maceo Plex, & Maya Jane Coles three years ago inside the Yuma Tent at Coachella really made me fall in love with the deeper/underground version of House music has really stuck with me.
OTB: Who are the top three artists your are listening to now? How about top three tracks?
530: Top three artists will always be a tough question, but I am a loyal and emphatic Dirtybird Records listener. Justin Martin’s new “Hello Clouds” album is magnificent and beautiful, it is always nice to see an artist like Justin stray from sounds he would play during a live set and open up to a vast musical format like he did with “Hello Clouds.” A couple tracks I have on repeat right now would include Return Of The Jaded’s new track “Works” off their latest EP, and a track from Coyu’s Suara label called “Whitness” by Miguel Bastida.
OTB: What are you future plans when it comes to music? Short-term or long-term?
530: Plans going forward are always completely up in the air as I try not to think too far away so I can enjoy the moment. Continuing to play gigs here in Las Vegas and in my old stomping ground in Reno, Nevada will always be on the list, but I will also be playing in Europe this summer for Life Before Work’s Yacht Life Tour in Greece. I went on tour with the same company last year for a tour in Croatia, and it was the experience of a lifetime. To be able to play so much during the trip over there was absolutely mind-blowing, crowds in Europe really vibe!
OTB: If you weren’t doing this what else would you be doing instead?
530: It is hard to imagine a life without playing music, but I had played football until my sophomore year of college and always had a passion for sports. I still watch sports avidly, so I suppose I would have pursued something in that profession! Not necessarily a professional player, but possibly broadcasting, management, coaching? That is a tough one, I would rather be in the music industry!
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