May 15, 2020

San Antonio’s DJ SwitchBladeDave to Perform During Virtual Electric Daisy Carnival Showcase

San Antonio’s DJ SwitchBladeDave to Perform During Virtual Electric Daisy Carnival Showcase


Anthony Valles has loved music for as long as he can remember. The San Antonian and University of Texas at San Antonio student started DJing a few years ago and this month was selected from a pool of over 1,000 entries to perform as part of the May 16-17 virtual Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Discovery Project. Known as one of the largest electronic dance music festivals in the world, EDC had to postpone its in-person festival from May to October. Valles, aka DJ SwitchBladeDave, attended the festival last year and set his sights on taking its stage. He chats with us here about how he made it happen. “For me, to be able to make music and see everyone jumping and smiling is a great feeling,” he says.

How did you get into working as a DJ?

I started off by going to a lot of concerts when I was younger. It was a lot of rock, punk rock and rap shows. Eventually, I went to my first rave in Austin and since then I started listening to more EDM (electronic dance music). My parents gave me a DJ controller for Christmas about two-and-a-half years ago, and from there I started practicing and producing. Initially, when I started DJing, I learned how to count beats, about tempo and key and about what songs sound good together and song structure. I watched a lot of YouTube and learned from friends who’d been DJing. I started producing music about a year after I was given the controller.

And from there you got into performing as a DJ?

Yeah, my first big show was about a year-and-a-half ago. It was at Paper Tiger and I opened up for Sudden Death, AFK, Spock and Al Ross. It was Oh Bleep’s six-year anniversary and I played on the side stage. The way I’ve been found from there has been through performing at clubs, since scouts are often out to find people there. I also work with Vivid Productions.

You’ve attended the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) before. Tell us about it.

I went last year for the third time. It’s in Las Vegas and is one of the biggest music festivals in the U.S. I convinced my parents to go with me last year and I also took along some of my closest friends and camped at the festival. It was amazing to be able to share the experience with my parents and show them that world. The music festival is like a home (for me). The production, DJs, everything is mind-blowing. We talked about my being on the stage this next year and being determined to do what I had to do to reach that goal.

After EDC was postponed from May to October, they announced they’d have this online Discovery Project. What was the process like to apply for that?

Due to everything being shut down, they have gone virtual and had an open casting call. About three weeks ago, they asked a few DJs to submit a 30-minute mix along with a recording of you making that mix. For this music festival, there were numerous people applying from all around the world. I took my video, recorded my set, submitted my application and felt really good about it. I received an email at around 3:30 a.m. one day early the next week, congratulating me and my style. I had to reread it like six or seven times. I was so excited, jumping up and down and trying not to make too much noise so I didn’t wake everyone in the house.

What have you been listening to while being at home during this time?

I’ve been listening to a little bit of everything. I don’t have a specific genre that I favor. Mostly, I’ve been really into new disco, which is smooth, groovy, 70s-inspired music. On my list is also a lot of tribal and trap music. There’s been a lot of punk rock, too. It keeps me diverse in my DJ set to keep it interesting and fun.

And you’re also an architecture student at UTSA?

Yeah. I enjoy creating experiences so that is how I got into art sketching. From that I hope to be able to start designing and building homes as well as music venues and art museums. I like to be able to create a whole atmosphere. I just want to create something new for people, and that is also how I got into DJing. If you go into a club and there is top-grade lighting, a fun energy and amazing music, you forget about everything else. I guess you could say that is my drive for everything.

Hear DJ SwitchBladeDave on Insomniac at 1 a.m. May 17. Listeners will be asked to vote on their favorite DJ and winners being given the chance to play in another online festival, and eventually the October festival in Las Vegas.



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