Performing as Technicolor, DJ Morgan Gould’s Downtown presence—performances at Insert Coin(s) and a residency at Commonwealth—has led to great things: headlining Tryst, the Boulevard Pool and most recently Hakkasan’s Ling Ling Lounge on Thursdays. Now Technicolor has arrived at a crossroads: Should he conform to the mainstream sound to get more play on the Strip, remain a Downtown trendsetter or somehow find that elusive middle ground?
Give us your recent pre-DJ background.
Local boy! Went to film school while my grandpa [choreographer David Gould] was in Hollywood—he won two Oscars. I worked in the service industry for a bit while I was practicing my DJing. I got on working with Jabbawockeez, who were good friends of mine, doing managerial stuff, helping with the show. During a break in the show I put all my efforts into DJing.
After Insert Coin(s) and Commonwealth, how did you make the jump to the Strip?
Luckily, someone at Tryst saw me DJing at Commonwealth and wanted to book me. A lot of people do go Downtown; it’s becoming a really awesome cultural hub.
What are the major differences between playing Downtown and the Strip?
It’s tricky … Downtown, there’s more of an open format, and you can put your own flavor on it. On the Strip, you have to play by their rules. When I play Commonwealth I can create a vibe at first. People are enjoying their drinks, and from there I can go on with a more Top 40 trap sound they really like. Whereas the crowds down on the Strip, people want to hear songs that are current to them, which might be a little bit older. They want to hear the big fist-pumping, sing-along songs. At Commonwealth I play a unique style as opposed to something more commercial. In the club it’s harder to take crowds on a journey. You have to keep the hype up at all times–there are no hills and valleys. It’s all fist pump.
What’s the key to a successful transition from Downtown resident to Saturday night Strip headliner?
By playing songs the crowd likes, but doing them in a way that I’m sprinkling in the cool. It’s playing what the crowd likes, but having a little way of flipping it and making it my own. That’s what I’m learning: understanding songs more, listening thoroughly and seeing how I can change them and make them cool in my eyes.
What are your career goals and next steps?
Short-term goals are getting larger gigs in Las Vegas and L.A., playing more and really honing my craft, working out my turntables, getting better at that, getting better at producing. Long-term goals are having some serious production jobs, hopefully signing [with] a label, and releasing my mixes, remixes and original tracks. I’m really diving into Ableton, programming, working on edits, remixes and doing original songs. And I’m working with a lot of talented producers who are putting me in the right direction.
Las Vegas has solidified itself as a dance-music hub, yet we don’t have our own superstar Top 10 name. What will it take?
It’s probably gonna be on the production end. We have some great, big DJs who are from Vegas and doing very well. But based on what people gravitate toward, it has to be producers of big hit songs, who work with a great sound and a big name. Hopefully some of the big names that play here find someone who plays with them and listens to their tracks, and wants to sign with Mad Decent or Fool’s Gold or one of those major labels.
If you had to buy stock in a couple of local DJs other than yourself, who would you buy?
DJ Five. He’s probably my favorite local DJ, he’s very talented. Those SKAM-Artist guys are all really good. DJ Crooked is really good. A lot of the local staples are really good, but production-wise, I still think we’re working our way up.
What’s going on behind the scenes in the local dance music community?
There’s so much talent that people don’t know about; we have some of the best dancers in the country. Like the Jabbawockeez show is out here, Super Cr3w’s out here [winners of Season 2 of America’s Best Dance Crew]. I DJ b-boy battles, and our talent is impeccable. I’m lucky to be a part of the Good Crew and Knucklehead Zoo as their DJ, and I love playing those really funky break beats.
How will EDM evolve from its very commercial present form?
There are new genres inventing themselves off of each other—right now it’s 100-beat-per-minute twerk music. I was hoping with “Blurred Lines” this summer that people would kind of go back to that grooving sound and flow, instead of the really hard, hit you in the face, fist-pumping music. I’m looking forward to that groove style: chill, cool, good feeling. Disco house would be nice to come back to, for sure.
Commonwealth talent booker Jerry Lemon has said of the aforementioned fast-paced electronic music, “That car alarm sound is just ridiculous. It’s not even music. It’s horrible!”
I agree. That type of sound is really in the forefront right now, that electric, Dutch-inspired shit. A sound that drills into your brain like a jingle, it just catches you, and boom: “We’ll sell so many tables!”
What are your sources for new music, and what are you feeling right now, genre-wise?
I’m a blog nerd. I’m always on blogs: SoundCloud, Hypem, DJcity. I’m constantly listening and picking out what sounds good to me. Genre-wise, I really like the garage sound right now. When I’m in my car, I’m always listening to classic hip-hop songs. And I like that mellow flow trap.
Favorite single of the year?
“Latch” by Disclosure. It’s such an amazing song, really emotionally charged, and the vocals are amazing.
Artist to watch over the next year?
I think the Weeknd’s gonna go more into the forefront.
Technicolor spins October 4 and every Friday night at Commonwealth, 525 Fremont St., 9 p.m.