The Rise of the Vegas House Mafia Part Three: Sebastian Knight
Article by: Jessica Duncan
It seems like producers are starting younger and younger these days, with the wealth of knowledge available on YouTube and the affordability of digital audio workstations like FL Studio. This definitely holds true for Las Vegas native Sebastian Knight, who started producing in 2011 at the age of 14 alongside fellow Vegas House Mafia members Type3 and Uknew.
Sebastian has always had a love of music, and prior to learning how to produce he learned how to play guitar. His love of electronic music began when Brandon, his childhood friend, showed him Basshunter, and his older cousin Type3 showed him French legends Daft Punk. He also used to listen to the Music Choice channels on cable. One of the facts that popped up when “Dota” by Basshunter was playing shared that he used FL Studio to create his songs, so Sebastian downloaded the demo version to try it out.
To learn how to produce, he looked up tutorials on YouTube such as “how to sound like Deadmau5” and “how to sidechain.” He would also take courses on Sonic Academy, which is how he learned how to use Ableton. He showed Type3 how to produce and they formed a duo, Impulse 2, which was more focused on creating complextro like artist Mord Fustang, from 2012 to 2013.
In 2013, they changed their name to Type3 Species and started taking production seriously. They also started playing their first shows at hookah bars. He learned how to DJ virtually on his laptop and was then shown how to do it on CDJs by Uknew. “He was the only guy with CDJs, so we would go to his house to practice.”
This was also when Shelco Garcia started to mentor them, Sebatian shared. “He was basically our first manager, showing us how to deal with labels and publishing, telling us what to ask.” In 2015, Type3 Species decided to split up because they wanted to make different types of music. Sebastian still collaborates with Type3 and plays back-to-back sets with him often.
The name Sebastian Knight pays homage to two producers who inspired him: French electro pioneer SebastiAn and house legend Mark Knight. Daft Punk, Benny Benassi, Crookers, AC Slater, Kaskade, and Deadmau5 are some of his other influences. These days his sound is more influenced by 1999-2004 house and early 2000’s UK garage.
The first DJs he saw live were DJ Ton!c (Deorro’s old name) and DJ Bl3nd in 2012 at the Henderson Pavilion. He also saw Tiesto perform at the Fashion Show Mall later that year. When he was 16, he tried to sneak into EDC 2014 but got caught by security. He was finally able to attend EDC in 2019 when Type3 played and went as his plus one.
The first festival he attended was also the first one he played, Beyond Wonderland 2018 with Type3 on the art car hosted by Space Yacht. Other big performances included opening up for Malaa’s Illegal Tour in 2018, Collective Zoo’s Sound Yard in 2019 and Zoology in 2020.
While he doesn’t DJ that often, Sebastian would love to start playing more shows for local promoters RVLTN and Elation in Vegas and outside of Vegas with Space Yacht. Arizona, New York, Mexico, and France are other places he would like to play shows.
In addition to playing at Beyond, some other big moments in his career came when: the upload of his track “Desire” on the MrDeepSense YouTube channel surpassed 1 million views; Avicii supported his track “Wicked” with Type3 on his radio show in 2017; and signing to Botnek’s World Famous HQ. “That changed everything. Those guys helped out a tremendous amount.”
He sent them “Boombox,” a collaboration with Type3, when he heard they were starting a label -- they loved it! He has also released tracks on Tchami’s Confession and Fish Scale’s The Boat House. Other labels he would love to release with include: Night Bass, IN/ROTATION, CID’s Night Service Only, Ultra Music, and Spinnin. Over the years, his tracks have been played out by some big names including David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Don Diablo, GTA, AC Slater, Morgan Page, Fedde Le Grand, and Tokimonsta.
When he started producing, he was making electro, big room, Melbourne bounce, and progressive house because those were the genres that were popular at the time. He has adapted his sound to the current trends while putting his own twist on things. Going forward, he wants to “dilute the techno influence and make it more soulful.”
Lately, he has been making more music that he wants to put out, but not necessarily what labels are looking for. He started his own label, Midknight Records in 2016, for the songs that weren’t picked up by other labels and for showcasing tracks from his inner circle. He doesn’t have any plans to release an album anytime soon, he will keep releasing singles and EPs until he feels like he’s at a high enough level in his music career. He is currently working on a song that will be featured in a video game that comes out in 2022 as well as dropping a new single in July.
In regards to the Vegas House Mafia, he thinks what sets them apart is the quality of their music and their driving desire to prove themselves in EDM. “We have to be the guys to get our scene out there.” What started out as a parody of Swedish House Mafia has inspired them to create a Vegas sound while maintaining their individuality. “Each one of their [SHM] tracks is unique. You can hear an Axwell song and know it's his. We want you to be able to hear a track from us and know that it’s us.”
From left to right: Type3, Uknew, Sebastian Knight, Bellecour
The Vegas house scene has grown a lot since 2008 when Shelco Garcia & Teenwolf were coming up. The Vegas House Mafia wants to highlight the next wave of producers coming out of Las Vegas that Moonlvnding readers should be on the lookout for. Sebastian Knight has been working with Pauly Madrid and says “he has been putting out some straight classic fire.”
When asked who he thinks is going to be next, Type3 replied with “Walt-J for sure, he’s making more disco house stuff.” Uknew loves what Matt Campbell, and JDHD have been releasing lately, “they have been making stuff that’s pretty interesting and catching my attention.” Other names to look out for include Papa Groove, Talons, Banana Phone, and One&Two.
Next time you’re in Las Vegas, leave the flash of The Strip behind and dive into the local scene at Discopussy or Commonwealth, where a different genre is on display pretty much every night of the week. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the talent and vibes you find.
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