DJ Stellar has been a staple of the Las Vegas DJ scene for quite some time. With humble beginnings in minimal and techno, the now superstar DJ has locked in a residency with Light nightclub in Vegas.
While switching between styles and huge energy are his performance staples, Stellar prides himself on being an infectious personality both on and offline, leading to a loyal and responsive fan base. His productions, like his DJ sets, focus on the heart pounding energy and aggressiveness of the nightclub, leading to forays into house, electro, big room, and trap.
SanJose.com: Have you played in the bay area much? Do you think the San Jose crowd and set will be much different than a typical Las Vegas show?
DJ Stellar: Every time I’ve played in San Jose it’s been a really great time; everyone is responsive outside of commercial music. I have a lot of respect for the dance community out there. I’ve yet to play this club, I’m really excited, I’ve heard great things.
You mentioned energy, do you find that Las Vegas crowds change based on what people are in town for or is it pretty consistent?
It’s somewhat consistent. I’m grateful to be able to play at Light, it’s an amazing club with amazing production. Even if some of the people on a given day aren’t necessarily interested in electronic music, they’re still going to have a great time. That really adds to the whole show. Music-wise, I always love playing outside of Vegas because it challenges me. I try to push as much as I can to play my original tracks and remixes to test how people react.
Do you feel like your experience in crafting a DJ set and playing for a crowd influences your production at all?
Definitely. I would say I am an emotional style producer. How I’m feeling at the time will always come out in my music. There’s sometimes where I’ll be inspired by a night and I’ll reflect on the night when making a track.
What’s the process like? What comes first?
I use Logic, there are millions of sounds and sound packs and plugins I utilize. I’m just trying to hone in on my signature sound, that big room aggressive style.
You seem to have a very loyal fan base and social media following. Where did you get started and how do you think your fans developed?
That’s really big for me and always has been. I’m very energetic; I want people to feed off of me as much as possible, especially when they’re hearing something completely new. Also being active with social media as much as possible, I always try to respond to and speak with fans online. That was something that was important to me as a music listener before I was an artist. I took my top favorite artists, thought about why they were my favorite artists, and really tried to portray a piece of each to my fans.
We’ve been talking about fan interaction—when playing a residency it’s important to keep things fresh. How do you prepare for a new set?
I’m always looking through new music. I get thousands of demos from my label so that helps with getting new and old sounds. I love bringing back familiar old school stuff. I never pre-program sets. I set up new folders and read the crowd and go from there.
It seems like the Las Vegas DJ scene has a pretty tight community. Do you often find yourself trading tracks and discussing sets?
Absolutely, I’m big on communication. The community of artists sticking together is really what keeps us going. I love sharing my music and sharing other people’s new music. I’ll send fellow artists a clip of me playing their track so they can see how it went off (laughs).
You have produced in a wide variety of styles between big room and electro and trap. Are you trying to find a singular groove or do you like staying versatile?
It’s been a crazy ride for me, overall. I come from a minimal/techno background, so from there to where I am now has been an adventure, it’s been crazy. I truly love making people dance and I would never play a track I didn’t like. I really enjoy what I do.
Every night at Light I close with minimal and techno. It’s all about having fun. As far as production goes, it’s inspired me to go in different directions, but mainly what you’ll hear from me in 2014 is driving, aggressive, big room.
DJ Stellar peforms at Studio 8 on January 23. More info.