Long before Shelco Garcia and Bryan Orellana turned 21, they were ride-or-die house heads. It was the early 2000s, or what the guys nostalgically refer to as “the Myspace era.” Orellana, who goes by the name Teenwolf, would throw house parties and DJ his events throughout the Valley. Garcia, a drummer at the time, regularly attended Orellana’s parties. Eventually, Garcia would trade his drum kit for DJ software and start producing his own music.
Years later, “I got a record signed to DJ Chuckie’s record label,” Garcia says. “Bryan heard the buzz, and he was producing also, and then we just naturally drifted toward each other.”
You could call it synergy. They term the pairing “yin and yang.” But however you describe the chemistry that occurs when the two Vegas DJs get in the studio together, it has worked ever since.
The duo has a production credit on Madonna’s 2015 album, Rebel Heart, for the song “Unapologetic Bitch”—right alongside Diplo and Ariel Rechtshaid, who also worked on the song. Garcia and Teenwolf have records out on Laidback Luke’s label, Mixmash Records, and they’ve got a record imprint of their own, House Party Records, named after their humble beginnings.
These days, the duo mostly calls Downtown Las Vegas home. “We’ve been doing it for so long that we kind of have seniority, so [Downtown bars] don’t really like give us too much pressure,” Garcia says. “We’re able to play what we want, versus when we do a nightclub. [There], you’re catering to the bottle crowd, or you’re catering to management.”
“But we don’t mind the nightclub money,” Orellana adds.
When they aren’t DJing, Garcia and Teenwolf focus on the festival circuit, where their original music can be front and center.
“There’s, like, three different sections,” Orellana says. “There’s the nightclub, where you go and just do like, the money stuff. Then there’s Downtown, where we’re able to be ourselves, play whatever we want and try and throw new nights. And then the festivals are our production stuff, showcasing that.”
You can catch the duo spinning at Therapy on January 25. Teenwolf also holds down a solo residency at Gold Spike every Sunday.
As for that Madonna track? They can thank Diplo for that. “Originally, that [song] was for Major Lazer,” Garcia says, “and then [Diplo] hit up Bryan and was like “Yo, I need the parts ASAP.” He was pressuring us to send the parts right then and there. So we’re in the studio exporting stuff, and as we’re writing, we see Madonna posted something on her Twitter or Instagram.”
The post was a picture of Diplo’s computer screen. “We matched the WAV files [on Diplo’s screen], and Bryan was like, “Yo, are you working on a song with Madonna?” and Diplo was like “Yeah, bro, chill the hell out. Don’t say anything,” Garcia laughs.
Orellana and Garcia still get most excited when they’re in the studio, which Garcia built in the back of his parents’ home, with his father’s help. “There’s nothing better than getting vocals back for a song that we like,” Orellana says.
And while Garcia says this year the pair’s primary goal is “maximizing the records that we put out on the label,” no matter what happens, the two are in it for the long haul.
“It’s always been a slow, slow climb,” Orellana says. “It’s not like, ‘All right, now we’re famous.’ “It’s been small accolades for ourselves, and nothing that we’ve really planned out. We just kind of like to play it by ear.”
Shelco Garcia & Teenwolf January 25, midnight, free. Therapy, 518 Fremont St., 702-912-1622.