If there’s a new movement going on in Reno nightlife, then DJ AFS is at its helm. Since becoming the resident DJ at XOXO, AFS is changing the Reno scene one new genre at a time.
“Ever since house music was chased out of the clubs, Reno nightlife has been pretty bleak,” he says, “I’m trying to push new genres that no one else plays in town—music that’s accessible but not necessarily known. I’m trying to start a movement.”
Andrew Foster Snow, 24, was born in Reno but grew up in Las Vegas. He got his first pair of tables at 17, and being a regular on the rave scene made him a big fan of electronic music. He started DJing his senior year of high school then spent his four years as an undergrad at UNR practicing, unable to book a show.
“Getting booked in Reno is political because there are so few venues,” he says. “It’s all about who you know. I was getting bummed out because I had like 1,000 records and no one to play them to. I didn’t understand the networking of it.”
In early 2005, Snow started listening to other genres of music. He started spinning indie rock at Satellite when his friends’ bands performed.
“During those experiences, I realized there were types of music other than house that I could spin and enjoy doing that had more of a market.”
A popular regular Thursday night gig at Fritz followed, but it wasn’t until he joined XOXO in June of this year that the really movement began.
“When I got to XOXO, I was still doing a lot of indie rock, but I was also paying attention to what people wanted. I started spinning more hip-hop, more danceable music. I realized you have to spin stuff that’s accessible, or you’re just playing for other music nerds and yourself.
“I only play music I like. The thing is, I like all kinds of music. I’ve learned if I want to be successful DJing in this town, I have to diversify.”
That philosophy has worked. AFS recently won second place for best DJ in the RN&R’s annual Best of Northern Nevada contest. “That was a big accomplishment for me. I think it shows the people want a change in Reno nightlife, and that we’re the next generation to bring it to them.” Snow has also received recognition outside the state. A summer mixed tape he did for Island Def Jam subsidiary Stolen Transmission Records was such a hit with execs that they’re using it as the label representation at the upcoming CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.
Snow admires the work of other disc jockeys, like Diplo, A-Trak and The Rub, whom he describes as “seriously good DJs who are pushing new sounds.” Snow, too, has been exposing Reno to new genres. At his shows, he regularly mixes in Baile Funk, a type of Brazilian dance music, and Baltimore Club, a blend of hip-hop and electronica.
DJ AFS also plans to use his UNR marketing degree to promote shows and bring new acts to town.
“I know a lot of good DJs across the country, and they appreciate what I’m doing here,” he says. “I want to start bringing DJs and interesting acts to Reno. I want to do new things in this town that have never been done before.”