Locals Only: KCRW’s Anthony Valadez Shares His LA Favorites

When Anthony Valadez isn’t making your Monday nights better with his eclectic record spinning on KCRW, he’s bringing beats to the dance floor at L.A. clubs like Zanzibar and Hollywood’s The Sayers Club or hosting “Crate Diggers” for Fuse sister channel, FM.TV.

The DJ/Producer’s love for music began the instant he heard “Theme from Mahogany” by Diana Ross as a six-year-old in his parents’ car. “The minute I heard that song and those strings I knew music was something I wanted to pursue. I wanted to share it, create it, document it and forever be a fan of it,” he says on his website.

Since then, Valadez has made his own mark on music with official remixes for Ozomatli, David Bowie and Local Natives. His talents have taken him to national stages where he has spun for the likes of Jennifer Lopez and DJed alongside artists like Bruno Mars and Prince.

You can always catch up with Valadez via social media where he shares visuals of his latest projects and travels—check out his Instagram or Twitter for guest appearances by his adorable dog, Smedley. We talked to him about his favorite places to hang and of course, where he walks his pup.

Tell us what you do?
I host a weekly show on 89.9 FM KCRW in Los Angeles. I also host a weekly show on Dash Radio Tuesday evenings and a bi-weekly podcast on NTS Radio that celebrates LA’s contributions to the globe. I am also the host of CrateDiggers on FM.TV, FUSEtv’s music boutique channel, in addition to being a resident DJ around Los Angeles at various venues. I’m also wrapping up production on my forthcoming album on Plug Research.

How does LA inspire your work?
Every time after a gig I always take streets home. There is something about the calmness of Los Angeles streets that puts my mind at ease. I am also inspired by the people, the buses, the energy, the beach and the food of this city.

Describe the ideal night out in LA.
Truth be told, an ideal night out in LA is not what you would expect from a nightlife person. An ideal night is feeding my pup Smedley, preparing for the next day, cleaning dishes and being in bed by 10 pm. Keep in mind I am constantly out at night, often surrounded by loud music and equally loud folks. So to be home on a cold and foggy night in Venice is supreme. Sorry if I sound boring.

Anthony Valadez and his dog, Smedley.
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What local bands/artists should we have in our radar right now? Why?
Remy Kay is a teacher by day and artist by night. She put out an incredible record entitled In The Mourning that is incredible. Carlos Niño just dropped a a very creative album entitled Flutes, Echoes, It’s All Happening. It’s an album I like to listen to at home and features a lot of hometown heroes. Honorable mentions go to Terrace Martin, SIR, Mndsgn, A Race Of Angels, Anderson .Paak and so many others that currently escape my mind.

What are the best venues for live music?
Sayers in Hollywood. Full disclosure: I’m a resident DJ there, but the sound system is ace! Prince and a few other legends have been known to stop by and just hop on an instrument. I’m there Thursdays and Saturdays and it’s always magic. Blue Whale has some magical jazz nights!

What are the best venues to go out dancing?
Zanzibar in Santa Monica! Full disclosure, I hold down Friday nights. Saturdays at Sayers though is the spot in Hollywood. This is like shameless plug time ain’t it?

What are your favorite bars?
I don’t drink. I told you I’m boring. But Caña Rum Bar has a great vibe in DTLA. Also check out Townhouse in Venice! Great place to have a convo and a drink. Or in my case, a glass of ice water.

Best Latin place to get hangover food?
Los Tacos off of Santa Monica near Fairfax! Not only is the food amazing but the constant people watching after 2 am is like, part comedy and part real life docudrama.

Best place to get a record?
Record Surplus in Santa Monica. I love the jazz selection there. They also have section of beats and obscure stuff.

Best place to walk your dog?
Venice Beach! We talk the boardwalk about 3-4 times a day and grab coffee nearby. He and I both enjoy the people watching. Then we end up at Westminster Dog Park off Pacific and just chill. I throw on some Ray Lamontagne in the headphones and watch my dog just do his thing. It’s really zen like.

Record Surplus. Photo: Mike Spitz
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Go-to restaurant?
Anything my boy Roy Choi does! Line Hotel has his Pot food spot that is amazing! I also love Road To Seoul in Koreatown. On the west side I enjoy C&O. Best Italian food and garlic balls. But heaven for the belly is Fogo De Chao!

Hidden Gem?
6th Street Bridge. RIP.

Most inspiring person?
My dog. I’ve gone through some hard times but he’s always been there. He gives me that side eye which puts me in check. People come and go but a pet’s loyalty is beyond anything I have ever experienced. I told you I am boring.

Favorite local gallery?
This is LA. Too many to list. A few on Abbot Kinney, a few in Hollywood.

Favorite outside spot?
Anywhere under the sun.