Article by: Jessica Duncan
Over the last decade, Las Vegas has become the Mecca of EDM. Thousands of ravers have made the pilgrimage there for the Electric Daisy Carnival every year since 2011. Calvin Harris and Tiesto have had multi-million dollar residencies at its top nightclubs since 2013. Beyond the 4.2 miles of the Las Vegas Strip, a thriving and dedicated local scene has been growing even before EDC and the big names came to town.
The Vegas House Mafia, composed of born and raised Las Vegas producers Sebastian Knight, Type3, and Uknew, are three friends who love house music and wanted to rebel against the dubstep scene. The name started as a joke between them; they were big Swedish House Mafia fans and it ended up sticking. They have been leading the Vegas house scene since 2015. Before them, duos Shelco Garcia & Teenwolf and Halfway House were laying the groundwork for the local scene. According to Type3, “you can’t explain our success without talking about them first.”
Shelco Garcia & Teenwolf were signed to Laidback Luke’s Mixmash Records and went on to create their own label, House Party Records. Halfway House took electro house by storm and was hitting the Ultra mainstage with the veteran Tommie Sunshine, before retiring in 2016.
New Galaxy started building the Las Vegas rave scene in 2008 with its Sounds of the Underground, also known as SOTU, events every two weeks at the Fort Cheyenne Event Center. It was nothing more than a banquet hall with a small stage, a PA system, and some lights, featuring multiple genres ranging from Hardstyle and Drum and Bass, to Trance, Tech and Electro house. It was at these events in 2011 that 18-year-old Type3 fell in love with electronic music, especially house, and where he met Uknew.
Type3 has always been a fan first and foremost. The first big EDM event he attended was Identity Festival at Mandalay Bay in 2011. The lineup included young, soon-to-be DJ legends like Afrojack, Kaskade, and Steve Aoki. The next year he witnessed the massive production of EDC 2012 and “didn’t know [EDM] could be like this, because I was so used to the small hole in the wall raves.”
Sebastian Knight, Type3’s cousin, was the first one of the three to start producing at the age of 14. Type3 originally wanted to be Sebastian’s manager since he was 18 at the time and could go to the events Sebastian wasn’t old enough to get into and meet important people in the scene.
Sebastian started to teach Type3 how to produce in FL Studio and they formed a duo, Type3 Species, where they were making big room and progressive house. The name Type3 Species comes from a combination of stumbling across a youtube video of astronomer Nikolai Kardoshev’s three types of civilizations, Type 3 being the most advanced with the ability to take over entire galaxies -- and a love of Star Wars.
One night by chance at an Eastside party, Type3 met local legend Shelco Garcia. He had heard of Type3 Species and wanted to help them learn and grow by sharing connections, production knowledge, and how to navigate the music business. Eventually, the duo split in 2015 because of creative differences; Sebastian Knight went on to produce under his name while Type3 dropped Species from the name and continued on as a solo project more focused on making tech house. That year, he won a remix contest for Laidback Luke’s “Break Down The House” which became his first release and helped kick off his career.
When he started producing, Type3 went through a rough time where a lot of bad things seemed to happen all at once. To keep himself busy, he dove headfirst into learning how to produce through watching YouTube videos. It was the only thing that kept him going and kept him sane during that time, and it eventually developed into a passion. His musical inspirations are Robbie Rivera, Axwell, Mark Knight, Carl Cox, and Tommy Trash. He aims to create timeless music like theirs and respect what they’ve created, while adding in his own twist. In his sets, he likes to incorporate a lot of their music to show fans his inspirations and because he enjoys exposing fans to songs they may not have heard before.
Type3 learned how to DJ from Uknew as a trade for teaching him how to produce. Trap and dubstep were the top genres at the time, but Type3 stuck to his guns and was playing French house and tech house when he was booked as an opener for these shows. He remembers playing hookah bars and house parties, and having people come up to him and tell him to play trap or rap instead. When Space Yacht first came to Las Vegas in August of 2017, they reached out to him to open and he was finally able to play the music he loved for a crowd that loved it too. This was the beginning of their relationship that led to art car performances at both Life is Beautiful and Beyond Wonderland, as well as other Space Yacht events in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Other big performances include opening for Tchami and Malaa’s No Redemption Tour stop in 2017 and playing the Corona Electric Beach stage at EDC 2019. When asked what it was like playing EDC for the first time, Type3 responded “When you’re a producer from out here, obviously the one thing you want to do is play EDC in your hometown. I really had to sit down and think about it, like ‘Goddamn, I really did that.’”
Pasqualle Rotella somehow got ahold of the track “Wicked” and it was featured in Nightowl Radio episode #084. This led to the release of his first EP, Feelin Myself on Insomniac’s Discovery Project imprint in 2018. Since then he has released multiple tracks on IN/ROTATION, Botnek’s World Famous HQ, Strangelove, and Tchami’s Confession. His goal is to have releases on Mark Knight’s Toolroom and AC Slater’s Night Bass as well.
It seems like once Fisher dropped “Losing It” in the summer of 2018, house music started to take over once again, and the Vegas House Mafia were the first ones riding the wave. Type3 thinks what happened was “the trap kids grew up and their tastes matured over time.” Artists like Tchami, Walker & Royce and VNSSA have been playing out his tracks lately. He attributes his success to staying true to his sound while continuing to adapt to the times, putting in the work of constantly creating new music, consistently sending music to labels, and mutual respect between him and his fans. He likes to call everyone who listens to his music his friends instead of fans, because he will go out of his way to meet them and thank them for coming out.
Looking towards the future, Type3 would love to play more shows outside of Vegas in places like San Francisco, El Paso, Arizona, and even Mexico. He doesn’t have any plans to release an album anytime soon, he wants to keep releasing songs and EPs until he’s ready to create a cohesive body of work. His next single is coming out on IN/ROTATION on July 20.
Stay up to date with Type3 and check out his music below. Be on the lookout for part two of the Vegas House Mafia series featuring Uknew next week.
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