In 2017, Channel Tres’ debut single “Controller” was seized upon by clubs, leading to his rapid anointment as “LA’s new dance king.” Since then, he’s gone from strength to strength, via his “Black Moses” EP, reconceiving Isaac Hayes’ famed celebration of Black pride, to his impactful first album, “i can’t go outside,” dropped in 2020. Born and raised in Compton, he immersed himself in LA dance culture, and listened to everything from Reverend James E. Cleveland (courtesy of his great-grandmother) to DJ Quik and Pharrell. Today, his gritty, synth-laden rap embraces influences from all over, including Chicago house and Detroit techno. Political activism—including a rejection of media portrayals of Black masculinity—is omnipresent, all delivered in his deep baritone, but Tres never loses sight of the power of party music. We spoke to him about the road that led him to being a sparkling, in-demand collaborator.