In 2018, Sheldon Young released his first solo project, “Controller,” under the stage name Channel Tres. Four years later, following two album releases, a Coachella debut and several collaborations with artists such as James Blake, Polo and Pan and Tyler, the Creator, Channel Tres will perform this Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo.
The Compton native combines classic Chicago house, Detroit techno music and West Coast rap to produce funky, fresh and unique dance tracks that are blazing the trail for a new era of dance music.
In November, Channel Tres released a single titled “6am” ahead of his new EP “Real Cultural Shit.”
“It’s a motivational song as far as grinding and working hard … It’s one of those songs to motivate through life but in the context of partying,” Young said in an interview with Forbes.
Young’s highly anticipated EP will be a solo project.
“This particular EP doesn’t have any features on it, because I’ve kind of had a post-pandemic-being-in-the-house situation. I’ve really used this project to get myself back into [the] motion of making music that I like to perform live and people play in clubs like that,” Young said.
His performance style has also grown with his music. From club performances behind a DJ booth to sold-out shows with backup dancers and full sets, Channel Tres’s shows make it impossible not to dance.
“I’ve been performing some of those new songs live from the EP and this is my first year with a proper stage and proper lighting, so the show is definitely on another level from when I started. I’m just continuing to build on that,” Young said.
In addition to making addictive dance beats, Channel Tres’s music has an underlying impactful message.
“You don’t really have to be a product of your environment. You can defy statistics and defy limitations that are placed upon you,” Young said of his upbringing. “If you really put your mind to something, and you continue to do it every day, you can make it happen. That’s really the message behind my story and a lot of the music I make. There’s a lot of negative things, but you can find the positives, and you can choose to get closer to that.”
Channel Tres also expressed his gratitude for his recent rise in popularity.
“Being that person that I’ve fantasized about, and now it’s a reality, I think that always surprises me. Just like having people know the words in other countries to songs that I wrote, it’s still surprising, it still makes me grateful for all of this.”
Channel Tres’s smooth and raspy vocals and complex funky electronic beats, combined with his effortless style, all come together to create his “Sexy Black Timberlake” persona.
When asked what advice he would give to the San Luis Obispo crowd, Channel Tres replied with his usual down-to-earth energy.
“Just build relationships and just hang around people that are either where you are trying to get to, or you guys have a common positivity or have a comradery of manifesting and encourage each other,” Young said. “That’s what got me where I am — being able to learn with people and being able to also manifest with the people I’m around.”
Tickets for Channel Tres’s upcoming show can be found at fremontslo.com/shows/.