Growing up with his father owning radio stations, it was natural for Louie Vito to be exposed to a variety of music. Louie has a spot for it all from Nirvana, Rage Against the Machines, Beasty Boys, and current-day rap favorites EST Gee and 42 Dugg. Currently in China for the Bejing 2022 Winter Olympics, Louie sat down with us back at Dew Tour while at Copper Mountain and shared his favorite music to get him in the zone while riding, his music search process, and hooked us up with a ten-track custom playlist. All this and more in his latest On Rotation music interview.

Let’s get into all things music. What is your favorite type of music is?
I listen to rap mostly. I grew up listening to everything but rap, especially when I’m trying to get hyped and for riding.

What type of rap music, like 90s rap or current day artists?
I kind of mix. I go from some newer stuff, I’ll go back to five years old rap that I was into, then you have 90s rap and your Beastie Boys and stuff that I listen to mostly on drives because it’s like karaoke in the car by yourself. But when you’re riding, you just need something that gets you in the zone.

So do you usually snowboard with music?
Yeah, I ride with music on and noise-canceling earbuds. 

louie vito on rotation
Photo Credit: Yoshida

Does your playlist change throughout the winter season, or does it stay the same with go-to songs that get you hyped up?
My playlists normally are the same, and I might add some songs here and there. Then what I’ll do is I end up listening to like seven songs, and those will be the most popular ones that I really want to listen to the most. Sometimes if I’m just cruising, I might go deeper into the belly of the playlist.

What about on comp day and you’re in the finals, do you have one song on repeat?
Yeah, one song for a contest runs, and that normally stays the same. Like learning a trick, I keep the same song for that day or that comp that gets you in the zone. You know exactly where the beat drops and where you’re the most hyped.

What’s this year’s comp song that has you in the zone?
GTA, which is a Meek Mill and 42 Dugg song, I listened to that when I was learning and last year’s contest song. So far this year, I kind of went back to I’m A Boss by Meek Mill, and I like that one because I was winning so many events, and at the time, I was 23, and he’s like, “I’m only 23 I’m the shit now look at me.” So that was like the whole Floyd Mayweather aspect of my mind and telling yourself, you’re the best. You’re the boss and self positivity as you’re dropping in. Then I actually went back with Devil is a Lie, but there’s a remix with Rick Ross, Young Buck, and Jay-Z, and that’s been a popular song for these last camps that were in the fall and in training here [Copper Mountain] that I liked. So there is a good chunk that comes back in rotation, but for the most part, Meek Mill has been my go-to contest artist for like 10 years, just because the songs always get me hyped. Him and Ace Hood have good beats and songs that get me in the zone.

louie vito on rotation
Photo Credit: Dawsy

Before recording, you mentioned that you don’t really use Spotify or Apple Music. How do you get your music and find new artists?
There’s a lot of like the DatPiff of the world, and I still get albums, so it just depends. Some websites have singles, and there are artists that I look for. Pusha T is due for some new music, so I always try to get and follow up on any Pusha T track, whether he’s featured or it’s his song. So I read up on a lot of hip hop websites just to see what’s coming out and when albums come out, I’ll get those and listen to it while I’m driving or if they have a feature with an artist I like and I’ll listen to the beginning and middle just to see how the beat is and if it’s the beats good then I want to put it on a playlist.

Just by listening to the begging of a song, you can tell if it’s a banger?
Yeah, but that’s why I jumped in the middle, just in case it changes. If it goes a little bit harder later, so it kind of just depends on the artist, too but normally, I listen to the beginning. Then I’ll jump to the middle and just kind of see the vibe of the song.

Can you name off a few of your favorite websites you check out for new upcoming music?
HipHopDX is one that I go to, is another and then people I follow on Twitter. Those are the two main ones and Rap For All is a website that has a bunch of singles and stuff. I won’t go on them and get new music for a while if I’m getting full albums, but sometimes I like the singles more. I’m a really big fan of EST Gee, and I got that through my friends in New York that are like yeah, check him out like 42 Dugg, right 42 Dugg had a song on Quarantine Pack, but before Quarantine Pack, you’re not really hearing about his album dropping. You’re like looking at mixtapes and stuff, but those are two newer artists that I like. EST Gee, I’ve been really into him for two years now, and then 42 Dugg now kind of popping, and I like his voice. It’s just different. I support all the homies that make music, all my friends, like Jim Jones, Yelawolf, MGK, ACE Hood, Meek, all those guys. I always stay up on what they’re doing because I like them as people, and I like them as musicians. Especially on some features where it’s maybe not like a super publicity type of song. Like when I did a thing with Jim Jones years ago, at the US Open, and he had a song with Meek on one of his mixtapes. Jim thought I’d know Pop Champagne and We Fly High, obviously but since I know his other stuff, I liked Dipset growing up too, so it brought us closer. He’s like, okay, Louie actually listens to the music. I’ve gone to the studio with him, and that’s my favorite part. Going to the studio and watching the song get made is insane because it’s like snowboarding for me. It’s all about the process and journey rather than the destination. What people see on contest days, that’s great, but all the work that got put in to create this piece of art is what I’m into, and that’s the same with music. Like Ohio State football, I’m a diehard college football fan. I’d rather go to practice than the game because I like watching the grind and the work to get to that final product. Music is even more insane because you’re going over and over and over again doing ad-libs or hitting one part of the song. Watching that process is really cool because it’s so much more work than just turning on the radio.

louie vito
Photo Credit: Clavin

Switch gears real quick. Are there any snowboard videos you watched growing up that influenced you?
I wouldn’t say any snowboard video necessarily influenced my music tastes. I grew up watching Mack Dawg and stuff, but my dad owns radio stations, so I grew up listening to a wide variety from Nirvana, Sublime, Green Day, Tribe Called Quest. I had such a wide variety, and my dad liked all of it. When Rage Against the Machine and Beastie Boys were on tour, we were supposed to go cause those were my two favorites. Then I think Mike D or somebody broke their arm right before the Columbus stop, and then Rage Against the Machine broke up. Hence, I never got to see either one, but I mean, that’s the difference in music that I liked. I listened to a lot of music. I also listen to some country now just kind of depends on my mood how long the drive is.

Here’s a fun one to end on. What would you choose if you could pick any song rights free for a video part?
I don’t know. It depends I could say a song, but then if I’m into like a really poppin’ song, that would probably be the one. It depends on the types of shots I have, too. You got to make sure you have the right clips for that, but it’s hard to say. It probably be what I’m in the mood for right now. I’m pretty sure I had a Ghostface [Killah] song for one of my parts for [Kyle] Clancy’s movie. That was cool because it wasn’t one of the big Wu-Tang songs.

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