Tyler Valentine is one of the most prolific DJ’s in the state
New Jersey has a storied history of musical talent. And arguably, Asbury Park is the birthplace of many of the industry’s biggest names. With varied influences, Tyler Valentine has emerged as one of the most prolific DJ’s in the state. With spots at places like the House of Independents and Paradise quickly filing his schedule. Valentine sat down with me to talk about his early days DJ’ing, his “aha’ moment knowing that his passion would be a career, and what he has planned for the always busy Pride season in Asbury Park.
Tyler, let’s start at the beginning; how did you get into the art of DJ’ing?
Tyler Valentine: I’ve always had a passion for music, and I played guitar for about three years in middle school. During high school I started to discover electronic music. And I began to share all of the weird music that I found with my friends by taking control of whatever device I could play music from. My earliest DJ sets would just be me in someone’s basement on a laptop, blasting music out of whatever sound system I could plug into.
When did you know that it would be something that you would like to make into a career?
TV: I’ll never forget DJ’ing a wild Halloween house party in Northern Virginia about five years ago. It was a super intimate setting. But at the same time, with about 150 people crammed together and dancing in such a small space, it felt like the first floor of the house was going to collapse into the basement. I ended up playing for over nine hours that night. And I knew at that point that I wanted to figure out a way to turn this into a career.
How would you describe your sound to people that have not heard you before?
TV: Loud, different and memorable. My favorite thing to do is to take an older classic song, re-edit it, and bring it into the future.
Artist and DJ wise, who are some of your favorites and biggest inspirations?
TV: Some of my biggest inspirations are Lady Gaga, Honey Dijon, Bassnectar, Skrillex, GRiZ, Troye Sivan, REZZ, and SOPHIE. I absolutely love musicians and artists that are willing to take risks and push the envelope by experimenting with new and interesting sounds outside the boundaries of what is considered mainstream.
What have been some of your career highlights?
TV: For Pride weekend last year, I helped throw a 90’s dance party at House of Independents in Asbury Park. We booked Blair St. Clair from RuPaul’s Drag Race as the headliner. Blair was an incredible performer, and it was amazing for me to be able to help put together an inclusive event with so many diverse people from the community gathered together under one roof. I also recently had the opportunity to open for Ja Rule a few months ago. It was a surreal experience opening for a legendary artist whose music I still regularly play around the house.
You are spinning at Paradise very soon. What does it mean to be spinning at one of the largest entertainment complexes on the East Coast?
TV: I’m very excited! For the past few months, I have been working on putting together a ton of new edits, reworks, and all sorts of interesting mashups so that I can bring my own unique flavor. It’s going to be an extra special set. And there are definitely going to be a few exclusive tracks that I’m only going to drop that night and never again.
What inspires you to keep creating and evolving your sound and craft?
TV: There are so many new artists with innovative music coming out every single day that it’s almost impossible for me to not want to keep pushing forward. I love discovering new, ground-breaking music and sharing it with everyone at my shows. My goal is to always be the first to introduce people to the music that they didn’t yet know they wanted — before it hits the mainstream three months down the road. I always strive to be on the cutting edge of the industry.
What’s next for Tyler Valentine?
TV: I have two original tracks that I will be releasing soon. I’m also going to be putting out a mashup pack of music in the near future. I also have a mini-tour planned for at least four venues across Asbury Park during Pride weekend this year, and it’s going to be the best Pride weekend yet!