Origin: United States
Kenny Oliver is a 27-year-old producer from Southern California, who fell in love with house music in 2018. His first release was on House of Hustle in 2018, which got support from OMNOM, Morelia, Arnold & Lane, and more. He has also played at his first festival in 2019 at Phoenix Lights. Kenny is a diverse producer and his DJ sets are a blend of house and techno. Kenny’s journey has been organic, and one born out of his love for the house scene. 2019 is sure to see more growth and more music from him.
Hometown: Moreno Valley, CA
Currently Living: Avondale, AZ
Origin of Name: Kenny Oliver is actually my real name.
Weapon of Choice: Ableton and CDJs.
Source of Power: House music and noodles.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
The advice I would give someone is to not doubt yourself and to have confidence in your abilities as an artist. And do not give up if you are not chosen; keep trying and work hard. You got this!
I don’t have many hobbies. I consider myself to be boring compared to other people. I like to hit the gym, go hiking, and make music. Music is my life and has always been. It really is my form of expression. Whenever I get sad, I make music; I feel like my emotion is in whatever I make, and I feel better. The same goes for when I’m happy or inspired.
I’ve had many ups and downs in my career, but I feel like everything happens for a reason. House music saved me, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. EDC 2009 was my first EDC and one I will never forget; that’s when my dream of playing at EDC started.
Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
Honestly, I spent days creating, and I racked up a bunch of songs. I did the process of elimination, and “Lose Control” was the one that got the best feedback. I have a bunch of versions of it, but I’m very pleased with the final product. I’m glad Insomniac picked it.
Are there any dots to connect where/how you grew up to your musical output?
My parents are Mexican, so they would play cumbia, salsa, ranchera, Spanish rock, etc. My mom would listen to a variety of music from Eminem to Nirvana… my parents would also listen to house in the ‘90s. I remember when my family would have get-togethers—everyone would go to the garage and just dance to house music.
Tell us about your most memorable night out as an artist or as a fan.
Tame Impala at Coachella 2019 was definitely the best experience I’ve had. It opened a door for me creatively and was very inspiring to see. The visuals and production were crazy.
As an artist, the most memorable night was playing at Shady Park in Arizona and opening up for Justin Martin. After my set, a lot of people complimented me on my set. I’ve never had that many people come up to me; [it] was truly a good feeling.
How, if at all, does listening to music factor into your creative process? What’s the last song you heard that made you drop what you were doing and go into the studio?
Music inspires me all the time. Seeing Cirez D perform live inspired me a lot. His set was amazing; it was my first time seeing him.
What sound or noise do you love?
Boots and cats.
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
I think the production and technology. I’ve been going to festivals since 2008, and compared to now, everything is bigger and better. So, I know 20 years from now, there will be crazy production and technology being used.
What’s the hardest professional lesson you’ve learned thus far? How did it make your life easier—or more difficult?
I think the lesson I learned was to get out of my shell and talk to people. I was very asocial and didn’t really reach out to people, but I started going up to other DJs and talking to them on social media. It boosted my confidence as an individual. If I never did that, I wouldn’t be here; I’d probably still be in my shell.