Party Guru Press

If You Like Wubs, You’ll Love Mport and STOIC’s Headspace EP

If You Like Wubs, You’ll Love Mport and STOIC’s Headspace EP

Kierstin Rounsefell

January 25th, 2021

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Mport and STOIC are both Denver-based electronic music producers and DJs. In 2012, they randomly met as dorm-mates in college and immediately became friends. Mport introduced STOIC to producing, and since then they’ve continuously worked together to develop their music and sound.

These artists work together in the form of giving each other feedback, studying their favorite songs, and going to or working shows together. However, they haven’t released a collaborative EP until now.

The Headspace EP was released on January 13th via Wubaholics. This highly-anticipated EP is upbeat, heavy, and wub-filled. It features three tracks: an original by STOIC, Mport‘s remix of that track, and a joint piece as well.

This past week, Party Guru Press got to sit down (virtually) with these two talented producers. If you’d like to learn more about these two, the release, and what they have planned for this year, keep reading!

Kierstin Rounsefell (Party Guru Press): I guess I’ll just start by asking if it’s okay if I record this interview.

Marc Mount (Mport): Yeah.

Aaron Fatora (STOIC): Go for it, go for it.

Cool, thank you. Okay, perfect. How are you guys doing today?

Mport: Good.

STOIC: Good. Good day.

Good! Congrats on the EP!

Mport: Thank you.

STOIC: Thanks.

Mport: Super fun.

Yes! So, this interview, I’m kind of just going to start by doing just a little bit of background questions, just to get to know you two a little bit more. And then, we’ll do some questions about the EP, and then wrap it up with some stuff about next year, if that’s okay. Or, this year I guess.

Mport: Cool.

STOIC: Sounds good.

Okay. So, if you could just start by introducing yourselves and just tell me about your experience within the music industry, please.

Mport: You go first.

STOIC: My name is Aaron Fatora and I met Marc in college, and he showed me DJ-ing and music producing, the whole thing. And then, he would drag me out to the club when he was working at Beta and he helped get me booked there.

STOIC: We just hung out a lot over the years and would listen to music together, kind of talk about music together. You know, I started DJ-ing, producing all throughout then and I don’t know. It’s been super fun and it’s been really cool to have Marc to be able to bounce ideas off of and we definitely push each other to keep producing. We just are always at it, and it’s always been like that since he showed me, you know.


STOIC: So it’s like six years now. Six years.

Mport: Yeah.

Yeah, that’s a long time.

Mport: Oh yeah. It’s been a while.

STOIC: It’s been a while. I’ve mostly done kind of my own thing, really. I produce whatever I feel, and mostly soft release. This release with Wubaholics is actually my first time getting on a label and I’m super thrilled just to see all the support. It’s been a lot of fun.

Good, yay! Congrats. What about you, Marc?

Mport: Well, uh, the year was 1994. No, uh, we met in college and stuff but I started doing production and I was going to school for audio engineering and stuff and music, and I found practicing through production was fun. So, I just kind of started doing that a lot.

Mport: I got a job at Beta Nightclub doing audio/visual work and I kind of discovered what DJ-ing was and then I kind of went from there. I was like, oh, I can produce it and I can play it out. And then, eventually created Mport through wanting to make my own style and sound, I guess. Musically it’s just been really fun recently doing every kind of genre and stuff. This EP, especially, has been very experimental and groundbreaking under my own production.

Cool, okay. That kind of answered the next question I had, but I was just going to ask how you would describe your individual music styles.

STOIC: All these questions are so hard ’cause it’s so personal. It almost, it’s hard to describe almost, right? We’re so in it, I feel like. We are just musicians at the core and so into the experience. It’s hard to even explain how we got here ’cause to me, it feels like we’ve always been here, you know.

STOIC: But, right now, I am into drum and bass and really fast-sounding music, and I’m totally into the stuff out of UK and the old-school stuff I’m just now finding. It’s really cool, but I definitely think Peekaboo has been a huge influence with the groove and speed, and the momentum of his stuff was a big inspiration for me on both these tracks.

STOIC: But, otherwise, “electric” is a good word, and it’s kind of just like whatever I’m feeling, you know. But, drum and bass, for me right now, is what I’m into.

Mport: Yeah, his music is very emotional when you dive into it. It’s great. You can feel what he feels when listening to his music, which is cool. At least, I feel that way.

STOIC: Yeah. It’s definitely about the feeling for me. It’s more like therapy, almost, when I’m producing. I’m just getting my emotions out. And whatever genre that is, it’s what it is, but that’s me.

I like it.

Mport: Recently, mine’s been more, it’s been like trying to blend catchy and heavy morphing. It tells a story over the time that you’re listening to the track instead of copy/paste. Drop A, then build drop, then the same drop again. Kind of make it expand over the course of the time. So, there’s been a couple tracks where I really accomplished it. I think “Wonke” is really one of them too, and the “Headspace” remix I did. I wanted to have it go from two different sections, but still have it make sense.

Mport: So, I feel like my music’s in this really groovy, heavy, but not too heavy area. Like WAKAAN meets Disciple.-ish.

STOIC: That’s pretty good.

Yeah, that makes sense. That works. Let’s see. I was going to ask what inspired the two of you to make an EP. You kind of answered that, because I know you’ve been pushing each other and working along-side each other for so long, so what kind of made you come together to actually put out an EP?

Mport: I think the fact that we just had two. He had “Headspace” and then I did a remix to it, and we’re like oh, that’s two of the same, and then we just started working on “Wonke“. He started, he showed me. He did the whole buzz bass to chord thing, and I was jaw-dropped when I heard it. I was like yeah, we should keep that going.

STOIC: Yeah, I think it was just a long time coming. It’s crazy that we’ve been doing this for six-ish years and this is our first time really coming together and going at it, you know, and it’s not the last. We are already working on new stuff right now ’cause it’s just so fun and we’re clicking. I think it was just inevitable. It just had to happen, and here it is. Our first of many, hopefully, collabs.

Mport: You can go back into history and find the, we made a song together, mainly him, for my my twenty-first birthday. It’s called “Marc Mount 21 Turn Up” (“21 Turnt (Marc’s 21st Birthday song 2015)” on my old Marc Mount Soundcloud, and it’s a banger. The pre-drop is “Marc Mount twenty-one turn up” and it’s like this bangin’ trap song we did. We also did another one that was like house and then garage. Or not garage, it was like trap.

STOIC: The Arabian one?

Mport: Yeah, the “Heartless Gypsy Witch“. Yeah.

STOIC: We have done a few when we were first gettin’ in it.

Mport: They’re still on Soundcloud somewhere.

STOIC: They’re on the internet somewhere. Yeah, we just, we had to make it. No doubt. No doubt.

Mport: Yeah. More official and more put together for sure.

What was, or what has been your favorite part of working together, just over the years, but also on the EP?

STOIC: *In an Australian accent* Oh, just getting in the studio. You know, just gettin’ in it together.

Mport: *Also in an Australian accent* Oi, gettin’ in the studio.

STOIC: *Still in an Australian accent* It’s a good day.

*All laughing.*

STOIC: It’s just a, it’s a good time. I mean, it’s just hanging out and we’re just messing around with sounds.

Mport: Yeah, and the fun part is we can be pretty brutally honest with each other too, and be like yeah, let’s not do that, I don’t like that.

STOIC: Yeah.

Mport: With new stuff we’re working on, there’s some strict rules of like, no vocals, or no that. So then, I put a piano sample in there and he’ll be like, “no! What are you doing? That’s not what we’re doing!”

STOIC: It’s not easy, but it’s not hard. You know, we get it. We’re on the same page, and I think it’s mostly just, the most fun part is just hangin’ out and messin’ around. We’re not even expecting anything out of it. We’re just having a fun day, and it’s really cool when we do achieve something, you know. It’s like an extra bonus.

Mport: Oh yeah.

How did you get connected with Wubaholics for having the release through that label? What kind of sparked that?

Mport: When it was done, I felt like it had potential to get on something better than a self-release, so I honestly just looked ’em up. What songs I found, I found some Blurred Vision tracks on there, who I have really grown to love, so I was like “how did I find him?”

Mport: So I found his song on there, and so they had a submission email, I sent it to them and a couple other places, but they were the first ones to get back. I felt like they had the best fit anyways ’cause the wub-iness of it and I liked all the music they were putting out, so it made sense.

STOIC: Yeah, Marc is really smart at networking and connecting. He really worked hard to plug this anywhere he could, and Wubaholics is awesome. I’m really glad they picked it up, and they’ve only grown more since they accepted it. Wubaholics was a great fit. We’re super stoked on it.

Mport: I think we confirmed it back in, like, near Halloween-ish? Maybe before then? So it’s been like, a, we were on a waiting, you know. It’s been done for a while, but they were waiting. And as we were waiting, they grew thousands of followers, even since then, so it’s only growing.

STOIC: Yeah, they’re working really hard on their team, so we’re really appreciative.

Sweet! For anyone that has not heard the EP, how would you kind of describe it to them? I feel like I may have touched on this with just asking about your music sound, but this EP, if someone’s asking specificadlly about it, what would you want to tell them about it?

STOIC: That’s a good question. I don’t know.

Mport: “Wonke” is like beautiful dissonance, I would say.

STOIC: Yeah.

Mport: I don’t know. Describe your song. It’s like…

STOIC: Yeah, I mean, yeah, I think “fun” is a good word.

Mport: We could tell the story. “Headspace” came about because of The Black Box, right? ‘Cause of that show there?

STOIC: Oh, this is a good story, yeah. I mean the “Headspace” track started, is that Marc took me out to The Black Box to check out one of his favorite artists, and it was a good night, but I kept waiting for a song to hit. And, you know, I don’t know. It never came. It never hit.

STOIC: And, I went home and was like, “I want to make that song that I wanted to hear at The Black Box.” I wanted that Black Box sound, so that was kind of what started it. It’s definitely got a Black Box sound. It’s underground, it’s fun, and it subverts expectations of “Wonke” the way it has that dissonance in it. It’s interesting.

Mport: Yeah. And then he showed it to me and was like, “this is super cool”, and I think I had a couple of different ideas of what to do with it, but he’s like “I like it how it is. Do you want to remix it?” And I was like, “sure!” And then, I did the remix of it.

Mport: And then, yeah, “Wonke” came later, but I would say that mine is like the, I think the coolest part I liked about it is how there’s four, three or four different bass layers, so if you’re going to experience it, experience it on a sound system or headphones. It’s like the first one and then the second one and then the third. It has layers of depth and bass deep-ness. It goes down in notes, musically. But, the lowest note just hits really hard. And then, the second half, for the first time ever, I did an atonal bass line. So, it’s like rolling bass, which I’ve never done before, so that was fun. But, yeah.

STOIC: I think even just wonke-y is a good term. It’s wonke-y music. Wonke-y.

Mport: And the sample, too. I don’t know what it was, was it always “wonke”? What was it before it was the girl? “Wonke.”

STOIC: I didn’t even have anything. You were the one who picked that out. I just sent you the track and you filled the rest of it out on that one, and it was a perfect fit. This weird meme.

Mport: Yeah. This Tik Tok. This girl was describing forks. There’s a four-k, and then there’s a three-k, two-k, and a one-k. So it’s definitely just, wonke means just a one-pronged fork. Wonke!

STOIC: It’s a wonke-y sound.

Mport: We almost spelled it “onek”. “Onek.” Whatever it is in the video. Yeah.

Nice. Thank you! How have your listeners received the EP so far? Have you gotten feedback on it from anyone on social media or friends or anything like that yet?

Mport: Yeah. I think the response has been great. I got to play it a couple times, whether live sets or, I guess the one live set I played last year, or the online sets. And either the comments section are just like, people are like “what’s this song?” or, I think I’ve showed it around to people, how it goes to that chord and everyone seems to love how it just does that switch up. Social media responses seem great, just on people liking it and responding.

STOIC: Yeah. It’s a good response on “Wonke“. I think people are really, it’s just, they’re like “what!”

Mport: It’s got on a playlist, Liquid Stranger‘s playlist.

STOIC: Yeah. The support from Liquid Stranger was nuts. So, it’s really cool to see, and we’re just always watching the comments. Every single one of them just makes us feel really good inside. It’s awesome. Really appreciate the support. It’s amazing.

Yeah. Good, good. In 2020, obviously, everything was really different. How did you stay motivated, not only to work on this project but to just kind of keep pushing music out and keeping productive on that front?

STOIC: Yeah, I mean, personally, music’s always been an outlet for me. I used to work in the industry as a lighting guy and I was laid off and, uh, immediately I was straight back in the studio just producing. That’s all I knew how to do, so being able to write music is what got me through 2020. I hope it shows, in a way.

Mport: Yeah, some of that liquid stuff too, ooh. Yeah, I don’t know. I think music definitely got me through it. That’s what I did. I had a job with the, in the weed industry that didn’t shut down, fortunately, so I got to keep working there, but it was definitely stressful at times, especially in the beginning when no one knew anything going on. Not that we do now anyway, but especially back then.

Mport: I was just writing music. The “Headspace” remix was one of the first songs I wrote in quarantine actually, with one speaker in the living room ’cause I was like, “I’ve got to get out of my room, it’s all I’ve been doing to avoid the world.” So, I just went in my room and remixed that and it’s one of the first times I had fun in 2020 making a song, and then “Proximity“. So it was a good little chunk of time and inspiration. But, yeah. Music got me through it. I got into just doing fun remixes and stuff, too. It got me through it.

STOIC: Yeah. I think it’s funny ’cause these tracks are so live tracks, and I think we both intended, we were super stoked to play ’em out and we certainly have gotten the chance to stream it. Looking forward to one day being able to play it live, you know, ’cause it’s meant to be fun and to dance to, I think.

Mport: Yeah. If you’re in a crowd and all of a sudden, it’s like “wonke!”

STOIC: Right! At The Black Box! Like, what. That would be amazing.

Mport: At The Black Box. One day. One day.

STOIC: It’ll happen.

Mport: “Wonke” will shake the floor.

Where is one of the first places you want to play? You said The Black Box just now?

STOIC: Yeah.

Mport: I mean, oh yeah. For that, that would be amazing. And it’s like open again-ish. Opening. So it’s plausible right now.

STOIC: Totally.

Mport: Totally. Red Rocks.

STOIC: Yeah, Red Rocks, amazing. You know, Pepsi Center.

Mport: We’ll take anything.

STOIC: You know, honestly, anywhere would be cool. We’re always down to check out new places and see what’s goin’ on. There’s an amazing scene in Denver, so we’re just lucky to play anywhere in Denver.

Okay. Let’s see. I only have a couple more questions left. You mentioned that you already were working on more stuff together. Do you hope to release more music together in the future?

STOIC: Of course, definitely.

Mport: Yeah.

STOIC: Big t’ings. Big t’ings. We’re having a lot of fun with it and I’m already excited to put it out, but it’s a lot of the hard stuff now. Polishing, and, uh, figuring out what to do with it, how to release it.

Mport: Yeah, I feel like we’re separate. We’re two, such different genres of music sometimes, but also the same. And together, it’s like a whole different kind of genre. Just ’cause it comes out always pretty unique and interesting ’cause we’re definitely both very perfectionist in our own ways.

Are you working on anything individually that Denver can look out for in 2021? What else do you have in the works, that you’re allowed to say?

Mport: Oh, so much. All of 2020. I’ve got a whole EP with my friends Kyral x Banko that’s themed and maybe seventy percent done. It’s really sick. I’ve got a whole EP of myself, but I don’t know if I’m doing an EP or singles, but at least eight different tracks. I’m trying to just plan some big stuff for this year, and yeah.

STOIC: We are always grinding on new stuff. I’m about to start releasing a bunch of drum and bass remixes like every other week, so look out on my Soundcloud. I’ve got a lot of cool stuff, like a Pendulum remix and a Porter Robinson remix, Oceanlab remix, all in drum and bass style.

Mport: And Machine.

STOIC: And Machine. Different vibes. It was all the stuff I was working on in 2020. My goal is to really push forward and release it this year, try to focus on just getting it out there ’cause it’s done. There are a couple of things I’m still shopping around for labels, but I’m totally fine with self-releasing, you know. At a certain point, you’ve got to get it out there. So, keep an eye out on my Soundcloud, you know. I’ve got some big remixes coming.

Mport: Put it on Youtube too.

STOIC: But, yeah.

Cool. Okay! I think that is all that I had. I was just wondering if there was anything else you would want mentioned in the article or social media that we didn’t talk about today, if you can think of anything.

Mport: I can’t, no. Not right now. Just lots of cool music on the way. I’ve done a bunch of stuff on social media of little beat creations of sampling stuff, and people seem to love that stuff and that’s stuff I’ve done in a day, so I can’t wait to release the stuff that’s taken me three months to finish.

STOIC: Definitely check out Marc’s Tik Tok ’cause he’s got a lot of cool stuff that he does, musically, on there that’s really fun to see.

Mport: That’s creative, that’s what got me through 2020, is sampling random things and making music. Keep inspired.

Okay, sweet! If you think of anything else or any questions or anything you want to add, just let me know.

STOIC: Cool.

Mport: Awesome, sounds good.

STOIC: Thank you so much for having us.

You’re welcome! Thanks for taking time to do the interview.

Mport: Yeah, of course.

Alright, have a good day!

STOIC: Take care.

Mport: Bye.

Photos By Luke Renoe, Mport (Facebook, Instagram), STOIC (Instagram)

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