Colleges and Universities have played a big part in the success of many producers through out the US. Artists like Dillon Francis, Disclosure, and Grimes, went to college to later find out that they preferred music above all. Starting out as a student, majoring in finance at Washington University in St. Louis, Justin Blau realized that his passion for creating music was not just a hobby. After turning down a lucrative job on Wall Street with Black Rock, and getting his economics professor to convince his parents to let him drop out of college, 3lau became a world wide success.
At an early age he became interested in singing, playing guitar, and piano, which is where he got the 3 in his name. At the age of 13, he moved to Vegas. It wasn’t until he turned 21 where he made his debut into the realm of dance. A trip to Sweden sparked his interest for EDM, where he was able to experience the dance culture in full force. Having discovered EDM before it was introduced to the US, it was his ticket through the door. He was able to build his brand, and realized that his bootlegs were a way to build his fan base. Since no one was doing a good job at mashups he took it upon himself and made it happen, the right way. Along side that, came his first two released bootlegs, “Girls Who Save the World” and “All Night Long” His style was to mix vocals of the a capella versions of a famous pop songs and play it over unfamiliar dance tracks. He also dropped his mixes, “Dancing in the Back Seat,” “Jagger Bomb,” and “E.T. Youth take Shots.”
He found fame by playing shows at his university – from sorority parties to senior formals, which was a stepping-stone for his exposure on social media. His professor, Glen McDonald, was the one who made him realize that if he didn’t risk it all, then he was going to miss his shot at becoming part of the New wave. EDM was no longer a dying trend but something much bigger.
3lau had many influences that helped shaped the music he always envisioned. Artists like, Radio Head, Interpool, and Broken Social Scene were big influences on the type of music he want to create. He chose to dig deeper and incorporate indie, punk rock, ambient, and cinematic effects into his music. Not only did he gain inspiration from the music that fed his soul, but also admiring other legendary DJ’s like Porter Robinson, Kaskade, and Oliver Heldens. Only having released three mixtapes since his debut in 2011. In 2012, 3lau released his second bootleg album, Dance Floor Filth. He was named one of the fastest rising DJ producers in the US, from playing shows in the Cosmopolitan, to making $5,000-$10,000 per show at the Marquee. Alongside his success came his follow up mixtape, Dance Floor Filth 2, which showcases his production.
In 2015, he expanded his horizons into Europe, where he went on tour in Barcelona, Germany, and Ibiza. Later embarking onto his tour in Asia where he played shows in Bangkok, Jakarta, and Tokyo. In 2018, he dropped his official album, which took the number one spot on the iTunes electronic charts. He released Ultraviolet on the label BLUME. The album has a plethora of hit singles like, “Touch”, “On My Own”, “Walk Away”, and “Star Crossed”.
In that same year he launched the first ever block chain-powered music festival, OMF (Our Music Festival). Before bitcoin was a hot topic, 3lau was already interested in cryptocurrency. Getting the idea from his dad, he created a festival that uses OMF tokens to purchase tickets, VIP upgrades, merchandise, food, and drinks. Very similar to bitcoins, Justin Blau figured it would be a form of eliminating the inefficiency at festivals and used technology to his advantage to enhancing the overall experience of a music festival. Not only is it a new way of exchanging or purchasing tickets, OMF also strives to involve the fans by giving them a say on who should and shouldn’t be on the line up. Already having launched the festival this past October in San Fransisco, his team is already planning round two.
Whether you like him because of his brains or his infectious music. Once you step into 3lau’s Hause, you will defiantly be in for a treat. With a mixture of sound, whether its electro house, poppy vocal samples, tech, dubstep, deep and progressive House. He will be sure to catch your vibe.