By Alexa Solis
SnowGlobe Music Festival has made its home in South Lake Tahoe, California, giving students at the University of Nevada, Reno and colleges across the West a place to ring in the New Year with some of their favorite artists.
For many, it is a place to have fun and enjoy their favorite DJs and electronic artists surrounded by the towering mountains of South Lake Tahoe. But for Johnathon Pablo, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Pablo, a DJ from Modesto, California won an online competition called the SnowGlobe Talent Search. Pablo took first place in the competition, giving him the opportunity to perform an opening set at the music festival.
A former student at San Diego State University, Pablo has been putting his time and energy into mixing music and learning the piano, guitar and drums since leaving the university. Pablo’s pursuit of his passion for music has been occupying his time for the past year, and that is what brought him to enter the talent competition.
“[Pablo’s] sound and taste is so cool because it’s not [the] generic songs you hear all the time,” said Kaylin Halleran, a friend of Pablo. “Music is his everything and it makes me so stoked to watch him working so hard on it. After playing SnowGlobe, he got super inspired and is now trying to book shows throughout California to play.”
According to Pablo, the competition was easy to enter; creating a mix and an account with music-sharing website wavo were the only qualifications. More than 500 competitors posted their mix and promoted their work through all manners of social media in order to convince others to vote for them. Pablo came in first place with over 1,000 votes and won the opportunity to play a mix at SnowGlobe.
“Before SnowGlobe, I had really only played small warehouse events,” Pablo said. “I’ve performed for a few hundred people at most, but SnowGlobe was insanely eye opening for me. It was a teaser of what I want to experience on a regular basis. It was really inspiring.”
Pablo had been playing DJ sets for a year in his hometown. He noted that he found the online community of DJs and electronic dance music fans to be an inspiration for his music as well as a support system.
Playing at a large music festival along with his musical idol, Porter Robinson, gave Pablo a new perspective and renewed drive toward his pursuit of a musical career.
“[SnowGlobe] just inspired me to keep doing what I am doing, to strive harder than before,” Pablo said.
Pablo prides himself on remaining true to himself and his musical tastes when creating his mixes. Though he is using samples of other music, he is careful to select music he feels is relevant, and strays away from what he considers to be mainstream electronic music.
“I’ve seen him use music as a source of output for emotion, and it’s inspiring,” said friend of Pablo Kyle Gier. “He figured out a way to release everything he feels into his hobby, and I really envy that.”
Performing at a festival the size of SnowGlobe is something many up-and-coming DJs aspire to, and Pablo is no different. According to Pablo, the festival was exactly what he needed to further his musical aspirations.
“It’s given me a better idea of what I want to write in the future,” Pablo said. “I’m not sure there is one specific goal [for a career in music], but I want to keep doing what I am doing and I want to perform more and connect with more people. Music makes me happy and the goal is to stay, well, as happy as possible.”
Alexa Solis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @thealexasolis.