Beats, Beers and Bragging Rights: Inside Vegas’ Miller Soundclash Finals

Despite language barriers, jet lag and competition, the Miller Soundclash crew – from DJs and sponsors, to media and marketing professionals – got along as smoothly as the ice-cold bottles of Miller Genuine Draft (MGD) went down.

Taking Las Vegas by storm, this final leg of the Miller Soundclash DJ competition featured an assortment of 11 DJs from around the world – from Russia and Turkey, to Panama and Honduras – including two Canadians (somewhat surprisingly, no Americans made the cut).

Toronto’s Selekta Shellz and Vancouver’s Nevin C. Stylez were there to represent Canada with solid sets in the Vegas sun.

A sprawling penthouse in the Skylofts at the MGM Grand became the Miller Hub – the home base for five days  (August 9-13)– offering an MGD-filled escape from the Vegas craziness. The trip was full of all the ingredients that makes it one for the books; exclusive parties (complete with VIP treatment and booths), MGD-stocked cabanas, incredible DJ sets, eating, drinking and being merry AF, as one does in Sin City.

DJ Selekta Shellz

DJ Nevin C. Stylez

In addition to the all-expense paid trip to Vegas for them and a guest, the DJs were competing for a chance to support The Chainsmokers with a performance at XS Nightclub and to receive a record deal with the record label Aftercluv Dancelab.

Day one (Wednesday) was full of introductions and mixing and mingling on the Omnia terrace at Caesar’s Palace, with prime views of the Strip inspiring no shortage of social media material. Over a gourmet buffet, well-curated food stations and clinking bottles of beer (naturally, the MGD was limitless), intros were made and friendships were formed. Afterward, we were free to take on the ever-vibrant Vegas Strip, hit a club or hit the sheets – we had a big day ahead of us.

The most ambitious day (i.e. booze-filled) for many of us was the day of the actual Miller Soundclash competition, held at Marquee Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan on Thursday, August 10. Here, we had two private MGD-filled cabanas, each complete with its own private pool. Throughout the afternoon – which eventually became busier and decidedly rowdier to the point where you could barely see any water in the main pool; just dancing bodies and gold floaties – each DJ was given their 20-minute chance to shine, getting the bathing suit-clad guests dancing like they may not get tomorrow.

Not surprisingly, the competition was stiff – it seemed everyone had a different idea of who the winner would be.

Leading up, each DJ was judged on their mixing ability, creativity, originality of track selection, fluency of programming, Mixcloud popularity and a consideration of how well the sound worked in Vegas. On the big day, the criteria of consideration included Mixcloud popularity throughout the competition, technical ability, flair, creativity and superstar potential.

For those who survived the competition day enough to catch a second wind (beer, heat and sun have all the ingredients for an early bedtime), the crew later hit MGM Grand’s Hakkasan, where Tiesto was DJing. On the theme of famous DJs, the next day (Friday), the DJs took part in a master class with Grammy-nominated sound engineer Luca Pretolesi, who has worked with talent like Calvin Harris, Diplo and Major Lazer. The seasoned DJ was also a judge.

Miller Soundclash Competition Winner, DJ Irma Vane

One thing the Miller brand doesn’t do is cut corners. In between breakfast and evening plans, on both Friday and Saturday, we enjoyed a private cabana at the MGM Pool, complete with beer pong, branded towels and never-ending food. On Friday night, the winner was revealed after an intimate dinner at Hyde in the Bellagio (the lobster camembert was a quick crowd pleaser). As an added surprise, The Chainsmokers were on site to announce the winning DJ before their set at XS Nightclub – where the crew would hit later.

While neither Canadian DJ won, the good news is that the only female finalist did. Panama’s Irma Vane (Vane) took home top honours, becoming the Miller Genuine Draft 2017 winner and opening herself up to a ton of opportunity in the process.

Of course, the Miller Genuine Draft brand will stay fully behind the finalists for the next year of their careers; long after the Vegas haze has subsided.

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Which DJ is your favourite? After listening to their mixes, let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin is a Toronto-based writer, actor and queen of the side hustle. When she’s not writing the day away in a face mask, she’s taking in the city’s vibrant arts scene, doing a red carpet interview or brunching with her leading ladies. Follow me: @erinnicoledavis
Erin Davis
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