HEYZ – The Man, The Laughs, The Legend

Mike Hayes, a.k.a HEYZ, has been seen gracing the recognition and labels of MAU5Trap, Circus Records, and Deadbeats, just to name a few. The energetic (and particularly hilarious) social media star brings an energy to his performances and a sound design that is highly underrated, and hard to come by. The multi-faceted creative and bass music producer hails from Greensboro, North Carolina, and is rising to the very top of the electronic music scene with no plans of slowing down. We had the opportunity at Party Guru to chat with the viral legend as he prepares for his Temple Nightclub debut this Thursday. Check it out below!

The Official Interview

Party Guru Press: Maddi

Artist name: HEYZ

Temple, Denver

October 21, 2021

1. Hey Mike! It’s great to finally meet you and watch your come up as an artist. From MAU5Trap, Circus Records to DeadBeats…how would you say your journey as an artist has evolved since you began? You were recently here this summer opening up at the DeadBeats BBQ… how have you applied your knowledge/experience towards your sets here?

Nice to meet you too! Oh man, from mau5trap to now Deadbeats, my journey has changed a lot. I got signed to mau5trap so quickly after I started making music I was thrown into figuring out what kind of artist I wanted to be and what music I wanted to make WHILE just starting my journey. So I’ve pretty much changed in every way possible from when I started to where I am now, just growing and getting better and figuring out who I am! The DB BBQ was sweet! I just know Denver is spoiled with good bass music so every time I play here I know I need to and WANT to bring my absolute A-game. Temple is about to get it 😉

2. We’ve got some questions for you about Denver here. How do you feel about playing Temple Nightclub tonight? [It is your Temple debut…?]

It is indeed my Temple debut and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s my first Denver headline show so that makes it extra special. I see a lot of amazing artists playing Temple so I definitely want to come in and throw down and that’s exactly what I plan on doing. I’ll be playing a ton of cool edits and a bunch of unreleased music!

3. What makes Denver, Colorado stand out in your eyes?

The amount of amazing music that comes through Denver is incredible. I landed the other day and checked my BandsInTown and there are like 10 shows a night with quality stuff, it’s almost overwhelming lol. The FOMO must be strong here! Beyond that, I just really like the city and the people. Great vibes all around and there is a ton of fun stuff to do on a daily basis.

4. Denver is nationally recognized as being the Bass Capital of the U.S. Got anything planned in your set tonight for us? We hear your style has evolved into a very bass-forward sound, which has been awesome to watch over the years. Tell us a little about this.

I’m pretty much playing all my favorite bass records with a number of edits I’ve made to spice it up. I just try and pack my set full of energy and always leave covered in sweat and very happy and hope that goes for the crowd as well! My sound evolved from a Techno to a Bass-forward sound because it just felt more “me”. I love the energy and genuinely geek out over bass music records, and it’s super fun to make. It’s definitely more my world.

5. Can the Mile High City expect to see you here in Denver before the year ends? Or should we be on the lookout for next year?

I doubt by the end of this year BUT, I’m probably going to move here next year so expect to see me A LOT haha!

6. So, the funny thing is — I know I myself and others actually have found you on TikTok first. Explain a little bit about your journey on social media. Your TikTok has earned you over 361,000 followers, and 6 million-plus liked videos.

Yeah…it was insane. It was a result of boredom during quarantine and my strange personality, which apparently resonated with Tiktok. I started blowing up and yeah, now it’s just part of who I am I guess. I definitely want to branch out in the type of content I make but Tiktok makes it hard. They pretty much reward you for repetition and making more of the content you originally got virality from. I do really love Tiktok though, once you tailor your feed enough there is some absolutely hilarious stuff on there.

7. What is a dream collaboration you’d like to see happen? At a show going b2b, or on a project/song?

A dream collab for me would absolutely be Zeds Dead, hopefully, one day I can make that happen! I also love GRiZ and LSDream and think they bring a unique style to bass music which is really refreshing. I would love to do a b2b with one of my best friends Sippy just because I know we would absolutely go wild on stage together haha.

8. Tell us a bit about the musical plans you have planned for the rest of this year, and possibly into next year? Can we be looking out for any new music on the way?

I have a very sick Halloween mix coming out with Deadbeats next week that I’m stoked for. Beyond that, I have a lot of music lined up for next year with the first release coming very early 2022. I think next year is going to be big for me, the music I have planned and finished is definitely the best I’ve ever made.

9. Have any merch or special drops (any NFT’s?) this year?

Merch next year for sure! Haven’t explored the NFT space yet but feel like I’m missing out haha.

10.  Be honest – do you think you’re the ultimate Party Guru?

DUH, JUST WAIT AND SEE THURSDAY AT LVL TEMPLE!

We can’t wait to see HEYZ perform at Temple Nightclub this Thursday. Make sure to check out his socials below to keep up to date with HEYZ!

Find Artist On:

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SOUNDCLOUD

Tsuruda, Chee, and Esseks Threw Down Together At The Fox Theatre

This past weekend, Tsuruda, Chee, and Esseks threw down together at Fox Theatre In Boulder, Colorado. Esseks warmed the crowd up first with deep bass sounds before suddenly amping it up about halfway through his set. Chee kept that momentum going and controlled the energy of the crowd with creative transitions. Tsuruda pushed the energy of the crowd to even higher levels with his heavy-hitting tracks. At the end of the night, fans were treated to a short back-to-back set with Tsuruda and Chee which was the perfect cap to an already exciting night.

Photos By Kyle Brim

Fox Theatre hosted quite the show tonight. On top of the surprise b2b set to end the night, all three artists had new music to present to everyone in attendance. Esseks just released a new album The Villains Journey with nine tracks. While Tsuruda and Chee played their new track together Trailblaizer. Be sure to check out all three of these artists if you haven’t already!

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An Interview With Future Joy

Up and coming musical duo Future Joy has been blazing a trail of success for themselves for the past 2 years. They’ve began making quite a name for themselves in a relatively short amount of time and have become one of the most exciting funk and bass music duos to keep our eyes on. 

We’re thrilled to say that we’ve recently had the chance to get to know them a little better and ask a few questions in the form of an email interview. The eclectic duo filled us in with the details behind their newest single “Triple Stack” featuring Vibe Street. They’ve also let us in on some of their biggest musical inspirations as well as some backstory on themselves as artist on their journey into and through the music scene both as individuals and as a duo.

Interview: Future Joy

Party Guru Press: Lets start by talking about your newest single “Triple Stack” with Vibe Street. The song is funky and upbeat and seems like it would’ve been a lot of fun to work on…

-What was the best part of working on this new release?

-Is there anything worth telling telling about the creative process that shaped this one?

-What is your relationship with Vibe Street like and are there any plans to work with them again in the future?

Future Joy: We met Ben, aka Vibe Street at Mad Mountain festival in Casper, WY the summer of 2020. We brought our RV/renegade stage and were able to jam with him after his sets. We hit the road full-time shortly after.

In November we headed back to Colorado for some other recording sessions and got word that Ben and our friend Austin were working on music. We drove straight through from Arizona, arrived around 2am and started recording. We spent the whole weekend working on a few different projects but this song was the most fun.

Austin started with a ukulele bass line, Zach laid Baritone sax, Ben did the rap, Emily played the synth line and sang the backups, Kyle was there for moral support- the song was starting to take form. It was truly a family collab! We enjoyed our time hanging at Ben’s studio and I think we would all enjoy making another song together sometime soon.

 

Party Guru Press: So how did you two meet? what initially sparked your creative flow as a duo?

Future Joy: Zach attended a karaoke night that Emily was hosting in May of 2019. We both sang, then Zach asked her to sit in with his band the following night, and we’ve been making music together ever since. This was just the beginning. Now we’ve been living on the road in our RV for over a year and have played 80+ shows!

 

Party Guru Press: You are clearly both quite musically inclined; not just with music production but with actual instruments as well. Of course we know you love to incorporate the saxophone, which you seem to feature feature throughout the majority of your songs…

-So where did that all come from? What got you started playing music and specifically saxophone in the first place?

Future Joy: Zach started playing saxophone in fifth grade. Emily started piano lessons in grade school and classical vocal trining in high school. We both spent the last 10 years as club/bar DJs. So we were well trained in the dj/electronic side, as well as many other genres of music.

Zach has always been playing sax with DJs, so combining the live element with the tracks just made sense. Emily had been singing in bands, and playing bedroom piano, so it also made sense to start combining everything. We added the piano to the set last winter and its been fun to watch the project grow.

 

Party Guru Press: How has your creative process evolved since you originally began your musical journey? Do you have a routine for producing? Also how does that reflect in your newest project?

Future Joy: Our only routine for producing is to get friends involved. Collaboration is really what takes our songs to the next level. On this project Ben and especially Austin wanted to stay behind the scenes though, so you only get his first name and no artist name. Hehe..

Party Guru Press: Who are your biggest influences or other artists within your genre that have helped inspire your style of music? And do you ever take influence from artist that aren’t necessarily in the same realm or genre that you produce? Have any of them added any additional inspiration to your new release? Or any of your releases?

Future Joy: Zach grew up in Denver playing funk, jam, and electronic. The scene in Denver is so eclectic it really helped him expand his sax playing and enjoyment of many genres. In electronic Music; Daft Punk, Deadmau5, and Excision are early inspirations. On the Sax Sonny Rollins, and Skerik are his big inspirations.

Emily grew up outside Chicago and House music runs through her veins. She had the chance to see world-class acts come through the city and takes inspiration from Anabel Englund, Nicolas Jaar, and Disclosure. She spent the past 9 years DJing and singing at weddings and corporate events so musical diversity was important. It’s fun to be able to play funk, pop, dance, house, rock, hip hop, dub, and bass all at the same party. We strive to stay eclectic in our Future Joy sets too.

Party Guru Press: So 2021 looks like it has been a busy year for you two… Whats been some of the biggest highlights so far?

Future Joy: We had some great shows and festivals this year. Notably: Fool’s Engagement Festival in Branford, FL and being able to fill-in last minute for Russ Liquid, opening for Manic Focus in Gainesville. FL. We also had a blast at our Denver homecoming at Your Moms House in July.

Party Guru Press: We see that you have a show coming up in Denver on October 15th at Summit Music Hall… Are you excited for this one?

-What can we expect to hear from you that night?

-Any chances of bringing out Vibe Street when playing that new tune?

Future Joy: We are sooooo excited for Summit! We got to link up with Float Like A Buffalo in Tulsa, OK last week and the show was huge energy. Denver get readyyyy!!! We plan to play high energy and show Denver a taste of everything we got. We brought Vibe Street to play the collab at our headliner back in July, but since we’re opening we probably won’t have features on October 15th at Summit. We may or may not be joining the Float guys for a special encore though, wink wink. Its also our last show in town before we head south!

Party Guru Press: Anything exciting happening for the remainder of the year? What plans or goals can you share with us regarding performances or new music leading up to 2022 and beyond?

Future Joy: Performing at Summit in Denver and then we truck it to 10.23 at VooSwar in Atlantic Beach, FL and then 10.28 we’re bringing our renegade RV stage to Hulaween. After that we have some festivals in December and February already coming together in Florida. We don’t want to see anymore snow, so find us down south for winter. 🙂 We have big plans of hitting every festival we possibly can next summer!

Party Guru Press: So tell us… how is your biggest canine supporter, Gus doing? Still Repping the “Future Joy” merch?

Future Joy: Gus is the best!!! We adopted him last October while on the road in Virginia. So he was there while the song was created. He loves the road and we truly think he saved ussss!!! FurrGusSon Joy our saviorrrr!!

Party Guru Press: Lastly, we’d love to know… would you two consider yourselves “Party Gurus”!?

Future Joy: We Definitely consider ourselves Party Gurus! We linked up for a stream back in 2020 and we’ve been on the guru train ever since. Woo! 

With all the excitement around their newest single as well as their ambitious plans for the coming year, Future Joy is without a doubt among the most exciting up and coming duos to look out for. Their future shows featuring their marvelously wide range of genres and high energy performances are something worth getting excited about. 

Their desire for a friends and family environment within each of their projects is admirable and inspiring, as is their passion for collaboration with equally exciting artists. Its clear that they thrive off of the creative freedom that comes with sharing thoughts and ideas with like-minded artists who share similar musical visions. That is something that reflects highly throughout their latest release. 

We’d like to thank them for their time spent getting back to us for the interview, and we thoroughly look forward to watching the progress of this incredibly promising duo. We’re wishing them the very best with all of their future endeavors. Thank you, Future Joy!

CHECK OUT THIS ARTIST!!!

LISTEN TO THEIR NEWEST SINGLE: “TRIPLE STACK FT. VIBE STREET”

CLICK HERE FOR SPOTIFY

CLICK HERE FOR APPLE MUSIC

OTHER LINKS:

LINK TO ARTIST WEBSITE: CLICK HERE

LINK TO ARTIST FACEBOOK PAGE: CLICK HERE

LINK TO ARTIST SOUNDCLOUD: CLICK HERE

Summer Camp Music Festival: 20th Anniversary

Memories and music filled all four days of the 20th anniversary of Summer Camp Music Festival this August. Typically, the festival occurs in late May over Memorial Day weekend. However, it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was rescheduled to August 19 – 22nd this year. Roughly 25,000 people attended. Summer Camp’s home is in Chillicothe, Illinois, so we took the 14-hour drive from Denver on Thursday. It was definitely one of the most memorable festival weekends of all time!

Summer Camp is known for the festival’s consistently stacked lineup. Summer Camp always features hundreds of artists across all genres, both rising talent and big names. The true kings of Scamp are the bands Umphrey’s McGee and Moe. Both dominate the weekend year after year by playing daily sets across most or all of the stages. Other huge names on this year’s lineup included Ween, Three 6 Mafia, Emancipator, and Billy Strings.

Day One

Friday highlights for us started in the afternoon when Borahm Lee of Break Science jumped on main stage with Manic Focus and played a killer set as Manic Science. Meanwhile in the VIP Tent, electro-funk band The Floozies took the stage. The Floozies brought us back to the angsty times of 2000s rock with their Emo Hour DJ set.

Across the park at the Campfire Stage, a smaller crowd of people stomped and hollered to bluegrass band Kitchen Dwellers. Denver local Maddy O’Neal dropped an energized set drippin’ in bass and hip-hop beats. Emancipator gifted us a beautiful and chill set, layering string instruments with downtempo drum beats.

Umphrey’s McGee‘s Friday night set featured a serious classic rock flavor. They teased parts of the Zeppelin song “Kashmir” between transforming “Looks” into “Preamble”. A sampling from “Stairway to Heaven” rang out when Umph turned “The Triple Wide” into “The Linear”. They also covered portions of The Rolling Stone’s “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”. After Umphrey’s, Billy Strings took over the Starshine stage.

Late night highlights for Friday included the much anticipated CloZee b2b with LSDREAM, VIP lounge set from Aqueous, and a dirty dubstep Subtronics set to close out the night.

Day Two

Saturday’s overcast weather was what we’d all been waiting for after the brutal temperatures and humidity that made for a sweaty Friday.

Music highlights included the afternoon sets of Doom Flamingo at the Moonshine Stage and Sunsquabi at the Starshine Stage. A few hours later, the two stages featured conflicting sets by Dirty Heads and BoomBox, making for another tough choice among some festival attendees. Livetronica legends STS9 played a dreamy, ethereal evening set at the Sunshine stage while the killer collab of Keller Williams and Sunsquabi – dubbed KellerSquabi – threw down on the Starshine stage. Marvel Years and later in the night Manic Focus both played funktastic and saucy sets. One of the best and possibly underrated sets of the whole weekend went down on Saturday night, when The Spicy Bois (self-described as “Flavor Town of the Underground”) brought the late-night heat with a supercharged surprise set from the top of an old white bus covered in sunflowers.

The new stage, Goodbus, and it lives in the Illumination Woods, a whole new area of Scamp that made its debut this year. During the day, the shade from the trees in these woods provides sanctuary from the harsh sun with colorful swinging hammocks and other spots to take a seat and relax. At night, the magical space transforms into a psychedelic haven, with the rainbow net of strings tied between the trees mimicking a laser show, giant mushrooms, and lit-up interactive art pieces.

The Campgrounds

The early hours of Sunday morning consisted of wandering the campgrounds. I realized so many of the aspects we love about festivals start right here – from one-of-a-kind unofficial merch (check out this reddit post for an example of one of the coolest fest posters I’ve ever seen) to hearing hilarious conversations you’d never hear anywhere else, to meeting some of the most unique and genuinely awesome people of all time. I met a gang of Power Rangers, witnessed an intense light saber battle, danced with a crew of bananas, met an author who sold me some plants (a jade and a lime tree to be specific) and caught a surprise sunrise set at a random camp by a lesser-known producer named Operatr.

Sunday was a huge day for talent. Early in the day, the brilliant and creative Keller Williams played an amazing set at the Moonshine stage. This year may have been one of the biggest yet for Sunday single-day pass purchasers.

Sunday’s bill held the much hyped and anticipated sets from some of the biggest names there such as Tipper, Dirty Heads, Ween, and Three 6 Mafia. Although times got bumped slightly, there was still a choice to be made between Tipper and Ween, We ended up bouncing between the stages to get a taste of both.

Griz helped close down the festival with his much anticipated set, featuring a special guest appearance by ProbCause. Everywhere was packed full with thousands of people dancing beneath the psychedelic lasers. Moe.’s Sunday night set was powerful and full of classic Moe. songs. And let’s not ignore the artists who are not as well-known but are extremely talented – LeSpecial’s campfire set was one of the best all weekend.

Conclusion

Leaving Summer Camp is always bittersweet, and usually makes for a rough Monday morning. With no time to hunt down a golf cart to help haul our gear, we navigated ourselves and all our stuff out of the park, weaving around the festival zombies dragging their feet in the heat. For the entire fourteen hour drive back home to Colorado, I had so many memories replaying in my head, and an amazing sound track from the weekend to match.

Many people who normally go to Summer Camp – or “Scamp veterans” – were unable to make it this year The pandemic has greatly affected live music, both small shows and festivals alike. Covid-related complications did cancel some acts such as Papadosio, Lettuce, Big Something, and Cherub. For those who weren’t able to attend, you can check out some awesome recap videos on the SummerCampFest YouTube channel.

Until next time, Summer Camp! The experience surely will be hard to beat next year. Summer Camp Music Festival is set to return next Memorial Day Weekend for its 21st anniversary – May 27 to 29, 2022 – so be sure to start planning ahead by snagging your festival passes during the Early Bird sale. Tickets aren’t available for purchase yet, but keep an eye out for updates on Facebook, Instagram, and the website’s ticket page. Want to get involved in the festival and save money on the ticket? Check out the volunteer page. Finally, be sure to sign up for the mailing list on the Official Summer Camp website!

Photos by Matt Lakener and Emily Kemper

Find Summer Camp On:

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Minnesota brings “Break The Mold” Tour To The Fox Theater

Minnesota brings “Break The Mold” Tour To The Fox Theater

Christian Bauhofer, known as Minnesota hails from the West Coast, specifically California. He creates a unique sound and truly an unforgettable experience for his audience with his energy and truly “breaking the mold” bass sound.

Back in July, Minnesota kicked off his start to his 38 stop “Break The Mold” Tour. On September 8th, Minnesota brought the heat to Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado with support from Avry and Vctre.

The Openers

Starting the night off was Avry. He brought a relaxed vibe with chill tracks and sub-bass. He certainly set the tone and got fans ready for what was about to come. Many fans were up and moving, relaxing and vibing with Avry‘s energy and others around them.

Next up was Vctre. He brought the heat instantly with some heavy bass lines, getting fans dancing. Vctre played some deep bass with his “Failing Up” track off his “Die Happy” EP, he also played “Bustin” (Subs), and his currently unreleased track with Eazybaked.

Break The Mold

Minnesota took the stage, and definitely broke the mold. He played a mix of older songs and newer, and even brought some deep dubs including mixing a g jones song. Minnesota played some of his popular songs like “Float” and “Too Faced”. The crowd was packed and dancing to each beat. He delivered an impressive set unlike another, expanding his sound while delivering deep-hitting bass.

Conclusion

Overall, it was truly an unforgettable night. Avry, Vctre, and Minnesota all brought unique bass filled sets to the Fox Theater. Their second night in Colorado was the next night, September 9th, at the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins. Be sure to check out Minnesota on his “Break The Mold” Tour and his recently released “Feel Again” EP. We can’t wait to see what Minnesota has in store for the future!

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Said The Sky: A Red Rocks Debut

Said The Sky: A Red Rocks Debut

The evening of September 4th had finally arrived. For sky gazers across the state of Colorado, the significance of the day could not easily be put into words. The entrances at Red Rocks Amphitheater were set to open for a very special night featuring a headlining performance by Trevor Christensen, AKA Said The Sky.

Seeing as performance would be the first of its kind with the melodic prodigy taking the stage at his very first headlining performance at the legendary venue; the excitement was shared and magnified through Trevor himself. 

Said The Sky has made several appearances in Colorado recently, once at Global Dance Festival for a triple back to back performance with Dabin and Illenium. Said The Sky again surprised the crowd as a special guest for Slander at their own Red Rocks show. Trevor has been very vocal about his excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to have his very own show at Red Rocks. He has previously mentioned that this has been one of his biggest dreams as an artist for a very long time, a dream that was not becoming a reality.

Doors to the sold out event opened at 6:00pm and fans began filling the Amphitheater. Many kicked off the evening by running straight to the merch booths. The booths offered a variety of exclusive Said The Sky at Red Rocks apparels such as jerseys, shirts, jackets, hats, and flags that were sure to sell quickly.

As 7:00pm came along the music finally began. An opening performance by Sundial, as the sun began to set, was a perfect way to set the tone for the sure to be emotional and tear jerking evening. The California based pop duo provided what was a rather intimate atmosphere for such a large venue. Their performance featured their own live vocals, as well as bass guitar and keyboard. 

Night had fallen and following Sundial the large LED screen, near the back of the stage, had lit up. Things were taken up a notch with a beautifully crafted performance by CloudNone. The masked Monstercat artist played their signature blend of ambient breaks and feel-good chill out music. The set started slow and progressed into a variety of melodic house and trance vibes that got the crowd jumping and energized while featuring nostalgic vaporware style visuals in the background.

As the night progressed, a cool early September breeze swept through the Amphitheater. Next up on the decks came Kyle Girard AKA Midnight Kids; known for his and previous duo member Dylan Jaggar Lees’ quality remixes of popular songs. He made sure to bring plenty of twists on tracks that would provide some good old fashioned sing along vibes for the crowd. Remixes included: “Ready 2 Go” by Martin Solveig, “The Island” by Pendulum, and “Bulletproof” by Laroux to name a few. 

Transitioning between throwbacks, electro house tunes, some unreleased music, and ending with Midnight Kids original “Run It”, the set was definitely a crowd favorite. Midnight Kids set the vibes high before the highly anticipated Said The Sky headlining set.

After a brief intermission whilst the stage was set, it was time for the main event.

This was the moment everyone had been waiting for.

The stage went dark; while lightning, visible from higher in the crowd, flickered through the clouds over Denver. The cool breeze continued to sweep through the Amphitheater. The anticipation built as cheers rang out throughout the audience.

As the stage began to light up, every LED panel on stage started to glow brightly with footage of clouds and sky as if you were floating amidst a radiant orange sunset. The music started to build as an intro version of Said The Skys’ “We Know Who We Are” began to play. The words “Said The Sky” were spelled out on the big screen as the crowd cheered, while the man himself walked out from backstage and up to his gear. With stage production in full force, the long awaited headlining set was underway. 

The set featured bright and colorful visuals that transitioned between b-roll of breathtaking nature shots and beautiful scenes that resembled a well written and almost vintage love story that served as a poetic accompaniment to the songs that were being played. Pyrotechnics and fireworks were frequently used to accent the ups and downs of the overall story and flow of the wonderfully crafted journey that the song selection provided to the audience.

He moved around the stage with passion and enthusiasm, jumping between his keyboard and drum pads. He would occasionally stroll to the raised platform behind his electric keyboards, mics, and DJ equipment to sit at a large and elegant white piano for the more intimate, warm and heartfelt moments of the set. The expressions on his face and motions of his body spelling out just how much the performance meant to him. He was truly showing his heart and passion on stage, sincerely grateful to be connecting with his audience in such a magnificent setting. 

Drummers would frequently join him on stage to accent the drum lines in many of his songs as well as a full string quartet to play along in the melodic journey.

Diving deep into the emotional discography, Said The Sky seemed to be hitting all the fan favorites and even made sure to include some unreleased music for the special occasion. Joined on stage by Olivver The Kid, they performed an emotional live vocal version of “Hero” followed by what was said to be the final song of the night, Said The Skys’ newest single “Treading Water”. 

The supposed finale ended with Trevor expressing his gratitude to the audience saying “Thank you Red Rocks, I love you”. He walked off stage but the stage stayed dark, hinting that the headlining artist had one more trick up his sleeve for the special night.

After a few moments of silence and the crowd chanting “one more song” an acoustic guitar was heard, followed by a spotlight hitting center stage where Said The Sky was sitting up front on the stage floor. Joining him in the special moment was vocalist Annika Wells. They sat facing each other as Trevor strummed the guitar and Annika sang. It was a truly intimate and heartfelt finale as they performed an acoustic rendition of “Sad Songs ft. Illenium” whilst a ring of lasers circled around them on the floor.

Following the heartwarming finale, Said The Sky yet again expressed his eternal gratitude to his fans who attended the show that night. He invited every artist and performer from the night out onto the stage for a family photo with the crowd and one final goodbye.

Back To Backwoods

Returning back to any music festival in 2021 can feel a bit strange. With that in mind, Backwoods was able to help make that experience extra special for their 4500 person event. Capping it off at that number helped improve a ton for the festival. 4 music filled days graced Mulberry Mountain on August 26th-29th of 2021. The weekend ranged tunes from Jam Bands such as Lotus and Disco Biscuits to experimental artists like Of The Trees and G Jones. This festival had something for everybody.

Backwoods began strong on Thursday with artists CNOPES, MLOTIK, and MOLOKAI. All of which you could say have done projects with Spicy Bois. After their takeover at the Casino Stage, the crowd moved over to main stage to catch Lotus and Andy Fasco & the Un. Getting that bit of jam bands in for Thursday night the crowd could move back over to Lusid after for those experiential vibes. Sound Camp was another stage at Backwoods. This stage was filled with Funktion-One sound, creating that deep bass for whoever took over that stage.

Friday

The weekend was finally beginning on the mountain, more attendees were pulling in and setting up. Each day began with multiple different workshops to choose from, ranging from Guided Meditations and Yoga to Hoop Dance. A comedy hour also helped start off each morning with lots of laughter. Dirtfoot, Maddy O’Neal, Shiba San, and Sunsquabi all took main stage Friday afternoon while the sun was high in the sky. The Irie Lions, Opal Agafia, Artifacts, and more all took over Circus Casino as well.

Aliens invade the mountain! ATLIENS step aboard main stage as the sky turns dark. Following up the madness they brought, G Jones brought quite the performance. Strobes flashed and custom visuals played as this glitch artist played. Ganja White Night finished off main stage Friday night with their unreleased collabs featuring Rusko and Dirt Monkey, amongst many others. They played a live set which took the audience everywhere from deep wobbles to upbeat house and DnB. Festival goers could end their night with Flintwick or a Sound Camp set.

Saturday

Saturday morning began with cool clouds over the mountain, breezy guests of wind could be felt throughout your tent as the mountain began to wake up. This was truly the day for any jam band enthusiast. Day sets consisted of groups Stiff Necked Fools, Bumpin Uglies, Papadosio, and two Disco Biscuit sets. Cycles, Arkansauce, and Spafford could all be found during the day playing sets also.

This was truly the night for late sets as the crowd was show a Of The Trees set with Data Byte Visuals. PLS&TY took the stage after to finish off Circus Casino. If you were still looking for music after that, DIRTYSNATCHA played a late night set that included a ton of unreleased music.

During the weekend, food trucks and many other vendors could be located around the venue. Custom merchandise was made for the festival along with artist merchandise, most artists could even be found there! For food, they had many options for attendees, some of which included Vegan options. One nice addition that the mountain offered was a General Store, where you could find many helpful necessities such as ice, air mattresses, tents, and much more. Free water was offered in multiple locations.

Sunday

The weekend was about over but the music was far from done. The Fungineers were added to the lineup later on as a replacement. That made for an awesome Sunday opener. Following them on that stage was Ryan Viser, Modeling, Acid Katz, Com Truise, and Keller Williams. Of course we also saw an insane Carbin set which was different from what we have heard before. Many new collabs were thrown out that featured artists INZO and DIRTYSNATCHA.

Main Stage saw some insane talent this day. Freddy Todd gave and insane performance as a Keytar was brought out. Adding that live element with blue skies made for a perfect day set. Zeke Beats followed the stage to give listeners live scratching. Rumor is Freddy Todd and Zeke Beats did a renegade b2b set. Mulberry Mountain was cooled off later with a quick rain fall, which didn’t last very long.

Following the rain, CloZee played one of the most beautiful sets of the weekend. Showing new visuals, that we believe might be from the Neon Jungle Tour, to showing an insane laser show, this set was perfect. Greensky Bluegrass hit the stage after for a bit of change in the night. The Floozies finished off main stage with an hour and a half set. These brothers played classics along with unreleased tunes. Some would say it was a great way to end that stage for the weekend.

Conclusion

Overall the weekend was great, the rain didn’t stop the mountain from having an amazing time. To keep up on all things Backwoods, check out the links below. They actually feature a blog on their website that gives a bit more insight into everything! Keep your eyes peeled for a Day 2 and Day 3 recap from Backwoods. If you weren’t able to make it this year we would highly suggest making it next year. Until next time Mulberry Mountain!

Photos by Patrik Essy

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SoDown And Manic Focus Team Up For Mission Ballroom

Mission ballroom was looking to bring a solid variety this weekend with a well balanced line up. Though each artist played very different styles of music, the choice of talent was well received by the crowd in attendance. Fans were treated to jaw dropping mixes one after the next and even a few surprise guests. Each set was filled with individuality and a truly unforgettable display of sounds including throwbacks and live drumming from Megan Hamilton, The unique, bass heavy rap style of Wreckno and who could forget that beautiful sound of a saxophone played by SoDown himself.

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New EP from Mize Captivates the Music Scene

Mize is an emerging experimental bass producer from Alabama. During the past few years, he has won over the electronic music community with a magnetic appeal that comes through in his innovative style of music production. 

This week, Mize returns to the music scene with a highly anticipated EP, Balancing Act. His innovation and talent are obvious throughout this EP as Mize demonstrates his unwavering ability to create music of exceptional quality. This EP takes listeners on a journey filled with peaceful atmospheres and whimsical melodies, complete with exciting and energetic drops. Balancing Act is now available to listen to on all streaming services.

Mize’s Creative Journey

Ian Evans started producing music in 2012. For the first several years into his project, he went by the alias ‘ianqt.’ Eventually, he changed his name to Mize to memorialize his grandmother’s last name. 

Mize discovered his signature style by pushing the boundaries of electronic music and experimenting with sound designs. He was inspired by genre-defying artists such as Tipper and Netsky. Mize spent years mastering his craft, developing a sound that combines psychedelic downtempo and melodic dubstep with hip-hop influences.

In 2020, Mize debuted with WAKAAN when he released his single and follow-up EP titled ‘Thought Process.’ In February 2021, he released ‘Satori,’ a collaborative single with Super Future. This was the first single released on Liquid Stranger’s new downtempo label, SSKWAN. Now, Mize is returning to SSKWAN with his EP, Balancing Act. A testament to Mize’s ever-growing talent, this EP demonstrates his potential to become a top artist in electronic music.

“Balancing Act is both a call back to some of the sounds and places that made this project come together in the beginning as well as a foreshadow of the new ideas, techniques, and themes I’ve been diving into as of late. Constantly as I grow older I notice that many aspects of my life are endless periods of balancing many things whether they be relationships, work, leisure, time, and even things as simple as taking care of your own body. I find that sometimes being an artist can be a Balancing Act of adopting new ideas while also attempting to keep the essence of what brought me here alive.” —MIZE

Photos Provided by SSWKAN

Conclusion

The incredible talent of Mize is undeniably inspiring a new generation of music producers. We are so excited to see what he does next. Click here to listen to Balancing Act, now out on all streaming services!

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WHOM?’s Debut Album, Shibari, Is On Its Way

WHOM? Is a San Francisco based producer and DJ who focuses on making beats with nostalgic sounds and sexy minimalism. His mantra, “heavy on the hips, easy on the neck” means that his music is made to dance to, not thrash to. WHOM?‘s unique take on bass music explores various genres, satisfying the ears of countless listeners. In fact, his recent track titled “Twisted” has already received glowing recognition.

On July 9th, WHOM? is set to release his debut album, Shibari. Ahead of the release, Party Guru Press was able to ask him a few questions via email. Keep reading to learn all about WHOM?, his debut album, Shibari, and what he’s working toward in the near future.

Get To Know WHOM?

Party Guru Press: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us how you got your start producing?

Jeffo Shatzen (WHOM?): I’m Jeffo, I grew up in the suburbs of ATL and I’ve been super into music since I was like 2 years old. My parents still talk about me learning how to use the stereo when I was a toddler so I could cue up “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cydni Lauper…I guess that’s besides the point lol.

WHOM?: The WHOM? project just started as me DJing in my college town of Athens, GA from a music business project my friends Chris and Ciara did to practice running a collective. I didn’t get interested in production until I saw Detox Unit for the first time. I may have been heavily intoxicated during his set, but it was the first time I had heard original beats in my head – and in that moment WHOM? became less about DJing and more about production.

WHOM?: I goofed off in Ableton with my free time but didn’t really start making and completing music I liked until this year. Burnt out on work and looking for a change – I started putting all my free time into learning and crafting my sound and this album is a direct result of that hard work.

“Music That Makes You Move”

Party Guru Press: For anyone who has not heard your music yet, how would you describe its sound and feel? What track best showcases this?

WHOM?: So I would normally say my music is genreless, because I kinda just make what I want, you know? Like I think genres are pretty dumb, I feel like I hear and see people arguing about genres all the time and I’m just like ‘Who fucking cares?’

WHOM?: I just try to make music that makes you move – aim for the hips…not the neck. This album however is a tribute to all things 140bpm so there is a definite wobbly vibe to most cuts on this project. Who knows what my next project will sound like haha. But I think “Listen” Is a really great example of a dubstep track that is more about dancing instead of the ‘break your fucking neck open up the pit’ vibe that has become so popular in bass music.

Party Guru Press: I saw that your debut single “Twisted” from your upcoming album, Shibari, has been streamed over 7,000 times on Spotify and Soundcloud combined since its release. How have your listeners reacted to the track?

WHOM?: So I wrote that track in like 6hrs one day in January and it was so inspiring to see it go ‘crazy’ immediately. I say crazy in air quotes because getting 3k plays in a week or 2 is nothing to so many producers but I was so overwhelmed with the support I got on that choon that it literally inspired me to write this project. Also the Spotify support was so sick – I see so many of my peers with a bigger followings than me struggling to get Spotify plays so it was really cool seeing people who like electronic music and people who don’t both appreciate the same song.

Incoming: Shibari

Party Guru Press: Your album is scheduled to release on July 9th, 2021. What is a track from the album that you’re excited to release?

WHOM?: “Bop It” is honestly such a vibe, I think the kids are going to eat that shit up – I don’t think Bobby (Aptic) or myself normally make tracks with that kind of ‘EDM Festival Banger’ energy but we have both worked on that track so much and still love it so I think it’ll be one of the most well-received tracks on the project…that feature from Brandon (Wreckno) definitely doesn’t hurt either.

Party Guru Press: Is this album going to be different from your previous releases? If so, how?

WHOM?: FOR SURE, this is a super different direction than my previous releases, much more focused and clean. Tons of bass but not poorly mixed like a lot of my older releases haha. I’m looking at this project as a more…professional starting point in my music career. I also listen to this project every time I go to the gym and I normally hate my music so I think the ‘re-listenability’ is super strong with this project.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CQg7ROLniZf/

Insane Collaborations

Party Guru Press: I saw that you have a few collaborations on the upcoming album with various artists including Wreckno. Congratulations! How was it working with these other producers on tracks for your album?

WHOM?: The collabs are some of my favorite moments on this album. Josh (Grayskale) and Bobby (Aptic) are both such incredibly talented UNDERRATED producers. Producers know who Aptic is but the listeners don’t really know him yet..like his bass patches are too much for my smoothie brain to comprehend. Constantly blown away by what he does.

WHOM?: And with Grayskale…that man has glitch-hop down to a science. Both of those boys can produce better than me with their eyes closed so I’m so honored they were down to work with me. And like…what can I say about Wreckno that hasn’t been said before…man could read a grocery list and I’d be like “…this MF spittin’.”

Party Guru Press: What other producers would you like to work with one day? Any dream collabs?

WHOM?: I have been trying to work with VCTRE since like 2017…lol – I wanted him on this project so bad but my deadlines did not align with his schedule so we’re rain checking that one, that man is a legend in the making so I’m trying to make something saucy enough for him asap. Less realistic collabs I’d love to land would be with Detox Unit, Pheel..maybe Ooah..love his pantyraid stuff.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CQjcPp_nn81/

Regaining Motivation

Party Guru Press: When producing, what is a random studio-essential item that you must have? Ex. candles, a certain type of food or drink, a beanbag to sit in while taking breaks, etc.

WHOM?: My Puffco Peak, my water bottle, microdose capsules, and my vape pen lol. Whole lotta vapor going around in the studio – I almost put a shoutout to 710 Labs in my liner notes for how much their rosin helped me get through the writers block when I had off days – even named a track after one of their newest strains ‘Gak Smoovie’.

Party Guru Press: What has gotten you motivated this year to get back into the grind of regularly producing music?

WHOM?: I was so disappointed with how little I focused on my passions in 2020 with the pandemic. I feel like I had all this free time and I really just dicked around playing video games with my girlfriend and when 2021 was coming up I was like ‘I don’t really like “resolutions” but I love a good remix’. So I decided I was going to remix my life and focus on my passions more. Started going to the gym again and dedicated (at a minimum) 1 full day a week to working in Ableton on production.

WHOM? Is A Dog Dad

Party Guru Press: What hobbies do you enjoy aside from music?

WHOM?: I love to cook, my dad was always working in restaurants when I was growing up so I’ve been cooking since it was safe for me to handle a chef knife. I’m not like amazing at it but I’m a pretty good cook. Love going to the movies, and dancing in dark clubs with my GF, eating interesting food is always fun.

WHOM?: I feel like outside of music my hobbies might not be that interesting lol…Oh how could I forget! I love taking care of my dogs and plants – just got an Aussie doodle puppy in January so that’s been…an adjustment to the freedom I had before – but raising a dog is honestly so rewarding and has been a real test of my patience…I swear she’s making me a better human…at least I think.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CP8sQhirjXZ/

Up Next for 2021

Party Guru Press: What goals do you have for 2021? What do you hope to accomplish?

WHOM?: Well my main goal was to write this album this year and now that it’s done I think I’ll probably write an EP with a less focused sound. Just want to show off more vibes I am keen on. A big goal would be a festival booking. Maybe Solasta will call me back soon…or one of those DEF HOUSE shows in ATL…Those look crazy, serious back alley boiler room vibes.

Party Guru Press: Will you be playing any shows or livestreams this summer? If so, where?

WHOM?: SHOWS ARE BACK BABY! I just got my first direct support booking for this Wreckno show in September with Sound System Cultures and then I have another set of booking a few weeks later in ATL and AVL…It’s like a baby Southeast album tour. I’m so stoked for those to happen, gonna be making a bunch of flips, remixes, and live edits until then.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CQJ0EWPLeiw/

Final Thoughts

Party Guru Press: Would you like to give any words of advice, or motto, to encourage others to remember during 2021?

WHOM?: After the pandemic comes the renaissance…also fuck Donald Trump, stop Asian hate, black lives fucking matter, and ACAB.

Party Guru Press: Is there anything else that you’d like mentioned that hasn’t yet been discussed?

WHOM?: I’m releasing my album on vinyl so if you are fan of vinyl get yourself a copy while it’s available. Probably only going to sell it for a limited time. 

Party Guru Press: Final question, would you consider yourself a Party Guru?

WHOM?: Hahahaha amazing question, yes.

Conclusion

After getting to know WHOM? on a more personal level, we can tell that he’s a genuine guy that is also crazy talented. Over the years, his music has evolved to become more clean and focused. However, he still stays true to not fitting into just one genre.

Shibari is set to be released on July 9th, and we are so excited to hear each funky, wub-filled song in it’s entirety. Hopefully, WHOM? will be adding more shows to his summer schedule so that everyone can see him perform live. Regardless, we highly recommend taking a listen to his current tracks and following him on his social media accounts listed below to keep updated. Bass music lovers, mark your calendars for July 9th. WHOM? is coming.

Photos by WHOM?

Find WHOM? On:

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