Steve Angello Announces Two-Year Residency at SLS Life in Las Vegas
Angello, Erick Morillo and the other DJs that sign residency deals with SLS Vegas have the opportunity to leverage all of those properties and platforms in cities around the U.S.
Las Vegas residencies by big name DJs are nothing new, as seemingly every time a new hotel opens on the Strip, it includes a mega club that needs chart-topping EDM acts to draw in tourists and locals. Coming from Swedish House Mafia, Steve Angello could’ve had his pick of locations. After looking for, by his estimates, three and a half years for a Vegas spot to call home, he has entered into a partnership with LiFE at the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas.
“The last three and a half years I’ve been on the lookout for a venue where actually the visual and sound is what matters,” Angello tells Billboard. “And I think that’s when I fell in love with LiFE because it has that typical club sound I missed becoming a touring DJ and only playing 50,000 people places. It’s a real club and it’s designed by people who know what sound is about.”
With the money being spent on the Vegas mega-clubs almost all of them have top of the line sound systems and production quality. What separates SLS though is that the hotel’s parent company, SBE, has hotels and nightlife venues set up in L.A. and Miami as well as Vegas and plans to expand into New York and more, giving Angello, Erick Morillo and the other DJs that sign residency deals with SLS Vegas the opportunity to leverage all of those properties and platforms.
“The way they have really focused on L.A. and built massively over here it really strengthens the relationship to the club in Vegas because they have so much more to offer and they have so many more opportunities than just building a club night in Vegas,” Angello, who kicks off his run at LiFE on his birthday, Nov. 22, says. “We can play in L.A., Miami, Vegas all in one weekend and make a lot of fun stuff together.”
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He definitely looks at the relationship as a long-term business partnership. “I started my own brand 12 years ago, running all the SIZE nights and my other artists and building artists from scratch and this is a perfect partner for SIZE to have because they are established in so many cities,” he says. “It’s a really good partner for Size in general because we also do the SIZE In The Park concerts where they will always have an involvement. It’s about building a partnership that will last, not buying somebody to run your business like a lot of people are doing. We want to team up with people that we can build for the next ten years.”
Costas Charalambous, President of SBE Nightlife, concurs with Angello’s view this is a long-term partnership and says that he will have a role within the company similar to other big-name talent SBE has brought in in their respective fields. “We see Steve being the person who’s helping us with the musical part across the board within the SLS,” Charalambous says. “We have Mr. [Philippe] Starck, who’s the designer, we have some of our chefs — Jose Andres, Katsuya — which participate and help with the taste of our restaurants. And Steve fills another piece, which comes into what we’re playing and the musical part of SLS. In addition, as Winter Music Conference is happening on an annual basis, this year will be the third year we’re participating, Steve will have his place there, as will his label, SIZE.”
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Charalambous also envisions SBE getting to the point of being able to put on independent major market tours across their properties, which include involvement in Create nightclub, as well as Hyde, Greystone, Sayers Club and more in Los Angeles. And without getting into specifics he does say the agreements they have with DJs extend beyond Vegas. “The exciting part for the majority of these artists is the other offerings we could have within the SLS platform and in a way creating a small tour as they are on the road. So yes there are expectations and exclusivities that carry into other markets,” he says.
The centerpiece of the relationship though is Angello’s residency at LiFE, which he was instrumental in designing and conceiving. Entitled “Reflections,” it is indicative of where he is musically post SHM.
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“A lot of people are very one-sided, a lot of artists and producers can do one thing and they stick to that one thing. I grew up differently, I grew up from the DJ culture, where we used to play 12-hour sets, eight-hour sets and the music was different. I’m missing that today, so my audio vision for ‘Reflections’ is obviously reflecting on a lot of musical styles. This is about building an experience from start to finish,” he says. “And the ‘Reflections’ idea visually was really inspired by design aspects I’ve always had about reflecting images and reflecting a personality more. We wanted to create something that was broad musically, but also implemented all the changes that are happening in dance music. Dance music is at a standstill and the next phase of dance music, the DJs, are starting to come through again. And that’s what interests me, because it’s not about the big 90 minutes at Coachella or EDC. I judge a DJ by how he can travel with a crowd for eight hours and I’m missing that a lot. I’m missing the whole purpose of the DJ, so I want to put that purpose back and I want to make this a musical journey more than it’s going to be me coming there, showing up for my paycheck and get the fuck out.”