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:

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

SOUNDCLOUD

Mile High Concert with Em Possible, Know Self

Last Sunday, singer-songwriter extraordinaire Em Possible put on a mesmerizing concert. It was at Mile High Spirits in downtown Denver. She hails from the mile high city herself. Em has been singing since before she could talk. She’s spoken and performed at TEDx events. You might have seen her at Denver’s Stars and Stripes Streetfest this summer. Now, her albums Stupid Love and Time are available everywhere.

Following Em tonight was talented rapper Know Self. He formally calls himself Knowledge Thyself. During the concert, the rapper translated his name into his art exceptionally. Know Self‘s mission is to heal and activate through music. His top songs are “Conscious Thought” and “The Healing.” Clearly, his music is full of philosophy and enlightenment. Check out his recent album Flight of the Phoenix.

Accompanied by a lively band, Em Possible’s voice hypnotized the audience immediately. Ranging from sweet and raspy to funky and resounding, the artist defined herself tonight as truly genre-defying. Her performance was sweet yet spicy. It was girly yet, funky. Also, soothing yet, invigorating. Above all, angsty electric guitar accentuated powerful vocals perfectly. The downtown street echoed her unique sound as concertgoers enjoyed the show. Ted Kleist on the guitar truly showed out.

Em’s most entrancing moment was her performance of “Monday Morning.” Raw emotion from the singer filled the venue during this song. Immediately, the funky ballad echoed an excellent combination of soul and rock. Then, she closed her part of the concert with a cover of Emotional Oranges’ “West Coast Love”. Em’s voice complemented the lyrics and vibes with perfect precision. The artist added an edgy twist to the cool beach bop.

Em Possible and Know Self performed a surprise collaboration. Her lovely vocals and his hype lines bounced off each other in awesome harmony. The intimate venue glowed with pink and purple, blue and green lights. Enchantingly, the unexpected duo collaborated onstage. In conclusion, this collaboration cemented the night as fantastically genre-defying.

Spiritual rapper Know Self followed Em’s wonderful set. Refined and uplifting, Know Self’s lyrics took Mile High Spirits on a journey of encouraging enlightenment. It is no exaggeration to say that Know Self was absolutely spitting bars. Continually, I was impressed by his smooth voice and flawless delivery. DJ Roadhouse’s harmonic melodies complemented the rapper’s words. The lyrics were enlightening. Vulnerably, his words were raw and real. No doubt about it, Know Self is a rapper to look out for.

Chat With Em Possible

I caught up with Em Possible after her captivating set. Have a look into her artistic development:

Question: Who inspired you to make music?

Em: My friend Craig in high school taught me how to play a little bit of guitar. Unfortunately, he passed away a year after. I felt like I had to keep going for him.

Question: Which person would you love to collaborate with? Dead or alive?

Em: Amy Winehouse! Someone alive, though, who inspired me to step outside my comfort zone, would be ZZ Ward.

Question: How would you describe your music?

Em: Funk rock!

Party Guru has a full interview with Em Possible by Danielle Sparano here.

Go check out these two superb artists!

Find Artist On:

WEBSITE

SOUNDCLOUD

Celebrate Colorful Colorado at High Ground Music & Arts Experience

On Saturday, October 2nd, a brand new event is coming to Denver, Colorado. The High Ground Music & Arts Experience will take place at Levitt Pavilion at Ruby Hill Park. This event is one of the first of its kind, focusing on bringing a full day of chill, electronic music to the metro area. A wide array of vendors, most of which are native to Colorado, will bring amazing food, drinks, and other products to High Ground.

Those that will be attending this groundbreaking event that’s set to capture the essence of fall in Colorado are called Revelers. An exclusive Facebook group, Revelers of High Ground, is the perfect place to find discussions, polls, giveaways, and more. Another way to meet other Revelers is through a community in the app, Radiate. They are also hosting a giveaway for two tickets! Click here to enter.

Party Guru Press was lucky enough to connect with Noah Levinson, the founder of Levitate Events. He’s worked hard for the past five years to carefully curate essentially every detail of High Ground. This interview happened via email, where we learned all about how the event came to be, what Revelers can expect to see at the event, and what the future looks like for High Ground. Keep on reading for the full scoop!

Let’s Get Chill, Let’s Get Vibey

Kierstin Rounsefell (Party Guru Press): Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about how you first got involved in the music and entertainment industries?

Noah Levinson (High Ground Music & Arts Experience): Hello! My name is Noah Levinson and I’m the founder of Levitate Events. Live music has played a huge role in my life since I was little. My parents took me to shows since before I could remember and encouraged me to learn how to play different instruments. In middle school, I discovered electronic music and learned how to DJ. I used some Bar Mitzvah money to purchase Serato and turntables, and quickly began performing for friends, birthday parties, weddings, and other events. Along the way, I fell in love with event creation and production and started curating shows of my own.

Party Guru Press: What do you do for High Ground?

Noah Levinson: I am the director of High Ground. I have an incredible team that supports and expands my vision, but I’ve carefully crafted almost every detail and aspect of High Ground over the past 5 years. I’ve handled the talent buying, venue selection, creative direction, and team building. Now, as we move into the final stretch on the road to High Ground, I’m working closely with each of my team leads (production, VIP, site ops, vendors, etc) to make sure everything comes together beautifully.

Party Guru Press: This is the first year of the High Ground Music & Arts Experience. What inspired you to create this event?

Noah Levinson: High Ground began as a conversation with my best friend Jacob. Some of our favorite artists at the time were Kasbo, Flume, and others in the “chill” and “vibey” side of electronic music, and we were upset that there weren’t many festivals that fully captured that sort of sound. This planted the seed that eventually grew into High Ground.

A Musical Ode To Colorado

Party Guru Press: I read online that High Ground is “designed to capture the essence of Colorado while providing incredible fusions of live electronic talent.” How will this event combine the beautiful elements of Colorado with unique live music sets?

Noah Levinson: There are so many amazing things about Colorado. Our dedication to the outdoors, the strong local music scene that listens to many genres, our progressive cannabis culture, a bourgeoning local art scene, and so many other things make our state a special place. Yes, we are the bass capital, but we also love so many other genres out here.

When I envision Colorado in the Fall, I also think about snow-kissed mountains, golden leaves on every tree, crisp Autumn air, and the exciting potential for every kind of weather. This is the essence of Colorado, and with nearly 25 artists from around the world (many are from Colorado) who perform live fusions of electronic, funk, jam, R&B, and hip hop, High Ground is set to capture that unique energy as a whole.

Party Guru Press: Has everyone in the general public reacted well to the announcement of the event so far? Do people seem excited to attend?

Noah Levinson: As my team prepared to announce in May, one of my biggest insecurities was that my years of dedication to this project would be met with a lackluster response. However, I couldn’t be happier with the reactions and comments we’ve received so far! People tell me every day how excited they are for High Ground, and thank me for curating something unique and unexpected; something that pushes against the grain.

When we first announced the lineup, somebody shared it on Facebook saying “Everything from the Colorado-inspired branding & chill electro vibe to the venue choice & lineup is impeccable. I predict that High Ground will gain national recognition and become Denver’s first major destination music festival within the next few years as it continues to grow.” This is the sentiment I’m frequently met with, and I get goosebumps thinking about what we’ve created and where we can take it.

High Ground Revelers

Party Guru Press: What artists are you excited to see perform at High Ground?

Noah Levinson: All of them. Seriously, every artist from the bottom to the top are some of my favorites. Kasbo was one of the first artists I placed on my “hit list” 5 years ago, so having him with us this October is full circle; a dream come true. 

Party Guru Press: How did you and your team go about finding art, food, and drink vendors for the event?

Noah Levinson: We listen to what our friends and Revelers (this is what we call our attendees) are excited about! We’re excited to present a full array of vendors at High Ground, many of which are brands native to Colorado. We’re still looking for a few more food and product vendors. Brands can apply on our website on the “Get Involved” page. 

Party Guru Press: What will make this event different from other art and music events that take place in the Denver Metro area?

Noah Levinson: Quite frankly, everything about this will be different. We’re so proud to be working with the Levitt Pavilion, which up until recently didn’t really bring electronic acts to its stage. For many, this will be their first time attending something at Levitt. Musically, there aren’t any other experiences in Colorado that focus so specifically on this style of music. You can find it occasionally at a one-off concert, but this is the first time that you’ll be able to experience a full day of chill, genre-blending, live-performed vibey electronic music.

Finally, we have a narrative that’s fused deeply into all aspects of High Ground. We used the spirits of animals native to Colorado to tell a story of powerful story of rebirth, togetherness, and collective positivity to beckon a greater world for ourselves. We hope this is the most beautiful music festival you’ve ever attended.

“Do What You F*cking Love”

Party Guru Press: There is a lot of uncertainty about events in the face of the COVID-19 Delta Variant. What safety measures do you have in place?

Noah Levinson: We will follow local, state, and federal municipality guidelines, as well as Levitt Pavilion & industry standards to protect our attendees, artists, staff, and everyone else on-site. With the recent full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, we strongly encourage attendees to get vaccinated and stay masked so that our community as a whole can continue to move in a positive direction.

Party Guru Press: What do you hope for the future of High Ground? Does this event have the potential to turn into a multi-day festival eventually?

Noah Levinson: Eventually, I think High Ground could totally become a multi-day music & arts festival… maybe even with camping? But at the same time, it’s most important to us to grow steadily and cultivate a strong community of Revelers. High Ground is special, and we don’t want to make massive leaps at the risk of losing the aspects that make us special. I envision that someday, High Ground will expand beyond electronic to include some elements of psychedelic rock and hip-hop (which we’ve sprinkled in gently this year).

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

Noah Levinson: I don’t mean to sound cliche, but do what you fucking love. I have so many friends that complain about their 9-5 jobs, and I’m like “just do what you love” and they don’t seem to understand how a little leap of faith can turn your passion into your career. Take what you love, combine it with the things you’re good at, and DO IT.

Words Of Gratitude From A Fellow Party Guru

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

Noah Levinson: My mom is my business partner. GANG GANG. But in all seriousness, Jobi Halper is so insanely smart and creative, and as a lifelong music lover with 25+ years of legal and business experience, she’s the best partner I could ask for and I wouldn’t be able to produce this festival without her.

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

Noah Levinson: I’m a fucking weirdo who revels in the face of live music. There are certain forms of energy that exist only within live music, and more than anything, I love creating these environments for people to experience something profound. I am a party guru.

Until October…

After getting to learn all about the event from Noah Levinson himself, we cannot wait for October. High Ground Music & Arts Experience is an innovative, unique event that celebrates music, art, and colorful Colorado. A strong community of Revelers is already forming, ecstatic about what’s to come.

If you want to experience this brand new event first hand, there is still plenty of time to purchase tickets for you and your friends. Click here to secure your general admission and VIP tickets. We’ll see you at Levitt Pavilion!

Photos by High Ground Music & Arts Experience

Find High Ground Music & Arts Experience On:

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

SPOTIFY

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:

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

SOUNDCLOUD

SPOTIFY

Contra Scandal’s Upcoming Album, Full Circle, Is Almost Here

Contra Scandal is a Denver-based producer and DJ that makes some seriously hypnotizing, mend-binding music. His innovative sound is made even more unique by his ability to play the violin, which he incorporates into his music. Since his start, he’s produced a wide variety of dubstep, bass music, halftime, and lighter instrumental tracks.

On March 12th, Contra Scandal is releasing his next album titled Full Circle. Ahead of the release, Party Guru Press was able to ask him a few questions via email. Keep reading to find out more about Contra Scandal, his thoughts on Full Circle, and what he’s working towards this year.

Contra Scandal’s Unique “World Bass Music”

Kierstin Rounsefell (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?

Ezra Arenson (Contra Scandal): If I were to give my music a specific genre it would be considered “world bass music.” It utilizes a lot of eastern sounds and it’s usually very organic in nature.

Kierstin Rounsefell: I saw that you’ve recently been able to perform at in-person events both at The Black Box and Your Mom’s House. How has it felt getting to play in front of a live audience?

Contra Scandal: It’s been an interesting one for sure lol. I definitely love being able to showcase my new tunes but the energy honestly just isn’t the same considering the places I’ve played don’t let the people stand up. :/

Contra Scandal: I will admit it’s nice to be back in the environment and it’s sure better than no shows at all. It’s great to know that things are slowly making their way back to how they used to be, but dance music obviously requires dancing for everyone to get the full experience.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJnCiJsAU2t/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

2020 In A Nutshell

Kierstin Rounsefell: Who or what has kept you motivated this last year?

Contra Scandal: The biggest motivator I’ve had this last year was having virtually zero FOMO and knowing I’m not really missing out on much outside my little studio. The lockdown was honestly a blessing in that regard. I was able to really focus. Having the gyms finally open up has also made my concentration and overall drive a lot more substantial.

Kierstin Rounsefell: What does a typical day-in-the-life look like for you? Has your routine changed much compared to before quarantine started?

Contra Scandal: Recently my schedule has been fairly consistent where I wake up, measure a couple grams of kratom, brew some Yerba Mate, Guayusa, or coffee (depending on how much energy I need) and get to work on music first thing in the morning. I’ve found that I produce my best work right after waking up.

Contra Scandal: Nighttime is for the gym and I’ll usually go back to work a few more hours after a session there. I try to keep busy with the production or even some days will dedicate a day to watching some production tutorials. I’ve also been snowboarding quite a bit recently up at Keystone, which is only about an hour from where I live.

Kierstin Rounsefell: What hobbies do you enjoy aside from music? Based on your social media it looks like you love getting outside.

Contra Scandal: Snowboarding, dirt biking, art, traveling, and eating a lot of Mexican food lol. I’m also really big into podcasts, especially comedy ones like Your Mom’s House, Two Bears One Cave, Whiskey Ginger, and Skeptic Tank. I hardly even watch shows/movies anymore lol it’s basically just YouTube and various podcasts. I like learning and laughing. o_O

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLkpx0XAfOp/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Back To The Roots

Kierstin Rounsefell: I saw that you recently worked on some “guitar reggae vibes” with Alex Laux. How did it feel being able to get in touch with that style of music again?

Contra Scandal: I’ve known Alex for most of my life growing up on the Northern coast in California in Woodside/La Honda. Alex and I used to play in a metal band back in high school and in college played a bunch of reggae/dub music on our porch in Chico, CA.

Contra Scandal: We’ve had very similar tastes and always had a great connection every time we jammed guitar. It’s really easy making stuff with the dude. We’ve actually produced a handful of songs if you’re interested in checking any out.

Coming Full Circle

Kierstin Rounsefell: Your next release, Full Circle, comes out on March 12th. Congratulations! What makes this collection of tracks different from your previous releases?

Contra Scandal: I feel like this is some of my most honest and creative work. I experimented with a bunch of different BPM’s and a variety of moods/genres. Also, “Mile High Livin” is one of the first times I’ve rapped over a tune. I’ve learned so much over this pandemic through watching producer’s Twitch channels and countless music tutorials.

Contra Scandal: I’ve also purchased a bunch of interesting plug-ins so I was really able to get creative. I was also able to really hone in on my process for recording and editing my violin parts.

Kierstin Rounsefell: How did you get connected with Gravitas Recordings to push the release?

Contra Scandal: I sent them a demo with the first 3 songs off the album back around April or May of last year and they liked what they heard. We had a conversation on Skype and decided we were going to move forward with an EP. Over the next few months I just kept sending them tunes and we ended up with these 9 originals, which technically turned into an album. 🙂

What Does The Future Hold?

Kierstin Rounsefell: What goals do you have for 2021? What do you hope to accomplish?

Contra Scandal: If festivals are a thing this year I really want to play more of them. Sonic Bloom would be a dream. <3 I know lineups are on hold with their previous arrangements from 2020 but I’m hoping I’ll be able to squeeze in the mix.

Kierstin Rounsefell: When can Colorado (or elsewhere) see you perform at a show next?

Contra Scandal: No shows at the moment unfortunately. 🙁

Kierstin Rounsefell: Do you have anything excited planned for this summer?

Contra Scandal: Wow it’s getting close to summer! Haha had to check the calendar. Honestly, nothing special. I want to do some more traveling. Hoping to see some of South America, which I’ve never been to. I do have a couple exciting releases planned with some sweet labels in the next few weeks ahead after this Gravitas release.

Kierstin Rounsefell: If you could work with any artists, local or other, on a track, who would you collaborate with?

Contra Scandal: Well some of my current favorite artists are Thelem, Mesck, Shlump, Aztek, Pushloop, Of The Trees, and The Widdler. I would LOVE to start something up with any of these guys. I do have a couple cool local collaborations in the works rn tho so stay tuned. 🙂

Final Thoughts

Kierstin Rounsefell: Would you like to give any words of advice, or motto, to encourage others to remember going into 2021?

Contra Scandal: It could always be worse and you got to appreciate what you got. <3 Also, follow your intuition, it’s there for a reason.

Kierstin Rounsefell: Is there anything else that you’d like mentioned that hasn’t yet been discussed?

Contra Scandal: Follow the socials for staying up to date with all of my shows, future releases, and violin/singing videos. Also, I’ll be dropping a music video here very soon. 😉

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

Contra Scandal: Always and forever!

Conclusion

Contra Scandal seems like a truly down-to-earth guy. This talented producer knows how to create art that appeals to listeners and moves their mind, body, and soul. With each release, his sound becomes more and more refined while still remaining experimental.

Full Circle is set to be released on March 12th, and we can’t wait to hear the entire album. As we look forward to summer, we can’t help but hope that the warm weather will allow Contra Scandal to get some more stage time. Imagine getting to see him perform live, violin and all! To keep updated with this talented producer, follow his social media accounts listed below.

Photos by Contra Scandal

Find Contra Scandal On:

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

SOUNDCLOUD

Get To Know Wreckno Before His Upcoming Colorado Shows

Brandon Wisniski, who goes by the name Wreckno, is an insanely talented electronic music producer and DJ. Brandon was born and raised in a small town in Michigan, and currently resides in Indianapolis. This young producer is only twenty-five years old and has already seen monumental success within multiple facets of his life. In addition to gaining a massive following musically, he’s also become a huge inspiration to the LGBTQ+ community.

Wreckno continues to make a safe space for queer individuals through his music and overall message. Tracks like “Medusa” with fellow queer icon, GRiZ, have become anthems for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community. Furthermore, these tracks do an amazing job of showing acceptance and making the electronic music scene a safe space for everyone.

While 2020 was a quiet year for many, Wreckno continued to stay busy by releasing new tunes and merchandise as well as performing at various events. This month, Wreckno is making his long-awaited return to Colorado for a four-night run. On March 17th and 18th, he’ll be at the Boulder Theater. Then, he’ll be at Cervantes Masterpiece on March 19th and 20th.

Party Guru Press was recently extremely lucky to get to ask Brandon a few questions via email. Keep reading to learn about Brandon’s music, his connection to the LGBTQ+ community, and what he has in the works for this year. Plus, he tells us what to expect at his upcoming Colorado shows.

Music With A Message

Kierstin Rounsefell (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?

Brandon Wisniski (Wreckno): That’s a great question! I would say it’s a tie between “Medusa” & “FTSU“! “Medusa” has the loud and proud message that I’m trying to show the world, while “FTSU” has a different underground sound that I’m really trying to push into the forefront.

There are so many unknown talents that exist in the underground bass scene and working with awesome people like Ujuu and Jordnmoody on tracks like “FTSU” makes my heart happy. There is sOOOOO much more music of all different types to come though. I wanna do it all!


Your track “Medusa” with GRiZ absolutely blew up once it was released. What inspired you and Grant to come together and make this bangin’ anthem?

Well Grant and I had been friends for about a year when he asked me to work with him on a track! He already had the intro and first verse written and saw me as the right voice for the song. It still does NOT feel real at all!

Being a native Michigander, I literally grew up driving 8+ hours round trip in a night just to catch one night of GRiZmas……to make a song that embodies everything I believe in as a proud queer human is something I will truly cherish forever. I can’t thank him enough for having me along.

You and your music have really connected to those in the LGBTQ+ community. How does it feel being able to empower your listeners to be themselves and love who they are?

It feels surreal, and extremely humbling. Growing up in the middle of nowhere Northern Michigan as a queer kid that came out by 14 was an experience that shaped me into the person I am today. I craved queer idols, I craved queer media or at least someone to look up to that would show me that being queer is normal and something to be cherished.

I found that in Gaga initially, as I know so many others did. As I got older though, I got into artists like Mykki Blanco, Brooke Candy, and CakesDaKilla, which were all amazing representations of what it’s like to put your middle finger up with your art and show your pride without flinching.

Getting into the EDM scene later on was a lot different because it still is mostly dominated by cis-hetero white men. Trying to find a queer idol in mainstream EDM was at one point damn near impossible, and I’m so glad that we’re moving forward from those times. When Grant came out I felt so thankful because as a fan I’d just been waiting for SOMEONE to wave their pride flag high.

To have ended up making one of the most queer forward songs of 2020 (in my opinion lol) with him, while being able to give other LGBTQ+ folks new artists they can look up to and see some part of themselves in….it’s just mind-boggling. I would have lost my SHIT over “Medusa” as a 15-year-old. That’s what’s so amazing to me.

2020: “The Mental Shit Storm Of A Pandemic”

Throughout 2020, you’ve performed at both drive-ins and virtual shows. What has been your favorite part about these new types of shows?

Being able to blast music real loud while dancing my ass off during the mental shit storm of a pandemic. 🙂


What is the biggest difference that you notice performing a live stream set compared to performing for a live audience?

I feed off a crowd’s energy and will get more into it as I see they are reacting…. with streaming I really feel like I just be standing there til it’s over.


Who or what has kept you motivated this last year?

My friends and fellow collaborators most definitely!


What does a typical day-in-the-life look like for you? Has your routine changed much compared to before quarantine started?

Oh girl……I wish I had a great answer but some days I have soccer mom on crack level productivity, and other days I’m just a literal ball of human shit. There is no in between. I wish there was!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKrdu8ljfYV/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

I saw that you’ve started to get back into incorporating movement into your daily life (dance and flow/hooping). How did your love for dance and flow help to kickstart your love for the music scene?

Well I was a dancer before even getting into flow culture, so once I tried it in 2014 it all kinda came naturally. I’ve put it to the side for a long time due to some personal stuff as well as shifting my focus to making it in music. I love being able to still pick up my hoops and crush a bit tho. 🙂

What’s Up Next?

Congrats on signing with Paradigm! What are you looking forward to most as being one of their artists?

Ahhhhh thank you! I am just really hoping I can do them proud! I’m honored to be part of such an immense list of talents they have under their wings.


What goals do you have for 2021? What do you hope to accomplish?

I really just want to keep creating stuff that makes my heart happy, with people that I care for. The rest will come if I just focus my energy there I believe.


When can listeners expect to hear new music?

There should be a few feature tracks dropping in March with some baddie friends of mine. 😉

Do you have any exciting merch drops coming up?

We just did the Mean Girls inspired shirts with Soundwave, so we’ll be taking a break for a little bit! But should have something new cooked up by mid-spring!


We are so excited to welcome you back to Colorado next month! What can those lucky enough to attend these shows expect? Do you have anything special planned?

Well I have a very special SOPHIE inspired segment of a set planned. Rest In Peace SOPHIE. Other than that I will be playing a lot of unreleased and new tunes, doing some reaction tests. 😉

Final Thoughts

Would you like to give any words of advice, or motto, to encourage others to remember going into 2021?

Follow your heart into the places that you TRULY feel loved. Don’t waste time trying to be something you’re not….Oh and stop falling for straight guys if you’re gay, it’s not worth it.


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

Well I’m Gay so…..there is that.


Final question, would you consider yourself a Party Guru?

Girl…..I am THE PARTY. They have guru’s about me. Period.

Conclusion

Wreckno is an incredible human being, producer, and DJ. He helps to create a space where everyone can feel safe, accepted, beautiful, and loved for exactly who they are. His music is upbeat and inspirational, along with his overall message.

This month, Wreckno is making his way back to Colorado for four nights of seated, socially-distanced events. We are so excited to welcome him back to the bass capital! To keep updated with everything Wreckno, follow him on his social media accounts listed below.

Photos by Wreckno

Find Wreckno On:

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

TIKTOK

SOUNDCLOUD

SPOTIFY

Oreoku’s Big Unicorn Energy Is Here To Stay

Oreoku is an electronic music producer and DJ based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He focuses on genres including trap, house, and dubstep while also bringing insane energy to his music. Throughout this past year, he’s done an impeccable job of keeping his momentum in these ever-changing times.

Party Guru Press recently got the chance to ask Oreoku a few questions via email. We learned about his hard-hitting music, his experiences playing shows in 2020, and what fans can expect from him in the near future.

Introducing: Oreoku

About a year and a half ago, Oreoku dove straight into the producing world. However, he’s had his stage name ready since 2008 when he was in high school. His favorite anime, Naruto, inspired it. His first EP that he worked on was with Broken Inglish, who is also based in Colorado Springs. Previously, he’s used FL Studio to produce his music.

If you haven’t heard one of Oreoku’s slammin’ tracks yet, he suggests that you listen to his latest release titled “Work It!“. This piece starts off with a bright, upbeat melody backed by light vocal chops. Quickly, it transitions into a more energetic track with intersecting rhythms and sounds. Oreoku’s favorite part of this track is the second drop when he adds “the huge bass into it and then it kind of flips into a jersey house mix,” he explained.

The album cover of this track is bright baby blue with a picture of an animated unicorn that is, yes, twerking. This image combined with the sound of the track does an amazing job of capturing what Oreoku calls “big unicorn energy”. He uses this term a lot on social media platforms, so we asked him what it means. “Big unicorn energy is the best energy in the world because it’s magical! The meaning of big unicorn energy to me is that moment at a show where you lose all control and the music just completely takes you,” said Oreoku.

Family Matters

Family has always been a key factor for Oreoku. In fact, it is what keeps him so motivated and driven. “Early last year, me and my wife found out that our daughter has cancer and knowing that has pushed me to work even harder to make things better for her for her future,” Oreoku said.

In addition to this major life change that he and his family had to adjust to, he’s also had to slightly change his career path. Before COVID-19 hit, he was able to support himself and his family by playing shows and selling merch. Now, he has to work a supplemental day job.

We asked Oreoku what his typical day-in-the-life looks like. He said, “I usually just wake up, go to work, home by 2:00, spend some time with the wife and kid until she goes to work, and then work on music while she’s working.” This definitely sounds like a juggling act, but so far Oreoku has done a great job at balancing everything.

Maintaining Momentum in 2020

In the early stages of COVID-19, lockdowns, closures, and travel restrictions were mandated almost everywhere. All venues had to temporarily close and there weren’t any alternative methods to live shows yet except for live streams. Oreoku played plenty of shows on Facebook Live and other platforms, but he missed feeling the rush of being in front of a crowd.

When he finally got to play at drive-in shows and venues again, he was elated. He elaborated by saying, “the in-person events and the drive-in events were amazing! Just feeling the energy of the crowd again was something different. Like I went so long with just playing on Facebook Live and other virtual shows that I almost forgot what it felt like to perform in front of a crowd again.”

This past year, Oreoku played at various locations in Colorado. Additionally, he was able to travel to other states including Florida to bless them with big unicorn energy IRL. The most recent show that Oreoku played was at Your Mom’s House in Denver, Colorado. This show was a fundraiser for the Black Lives Matter movement. “The rappers that performed had an amazing message and all of them had amazing performances,” Oreoku shared.

Coming Up

Fans of Oreoku can expect quite a lot from this up and coming house, trap, and dubstep artist. Regarding music, he has an EP scheduled to be released next month. After that, a bunch more music is on the way. Oreoku said, “my plan for this year is to drop at least one song each month.” By the end of the year, he hopes to have an entire album.

Colorado and the rest of the country will have multiple opportunities to experience the big unicorn energy of Oreoku in person this year. “Colorado will for sure see me play a lot more here in 2021. As far as the rest of the country, I’ll be playing in Florida quite a bit this year and there’s a possibility that I might get booked for Michigan this summer,” Oreoku explained. This year, he also hopes to play a Dapper Promotions show at Sunshine Studios if everything opens up again to allow for that.

For those that want to rep Oreoku, he currently has items like hats, hoodies, t-shirts, stickers, and masks available for purchase. This year, he is going to re-launch his tank tops and is hopeful that those will be successful as well. In order to get your hands on some of these sweet items, send Oreoku a message on his Facebook.

Conclusion

To any of our readers that love high energy music like trap, jersey house, dubstep, and more, we highly suggest that you check out Oreoku. This Colorado local has been killing the game both here and around the country.

Considering that he’s only been producing for a year and a half, he’s been able to make a solid mark on the music industry. Last year, he was able to stay active in the scene, and he’s not stopping in 2021. Be on the lookout for new music, merch, and show announcements!

We asked Oreoku for words of advice or a motto for everyone to remember going into 2021. He said, “don’t get discouraged when you can’t figure something out musically the first time. Stay consistent and eventually, things will click.” He also wanted to thank his wife. “I would just like to give a shout out to my beautiful wife Lauryn. If it wasn’t for her I would have never even started this career,” Oreoku exclaimed.

To wrap up the interview, we asked Oreoku if he would consider himself a Party Guru. To this, he said “HELLS YEAH!!!!”

Photos by Patrik Essy

Find Oreoku On:

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

SOUNDCLOUD

A Chat About The New Keep Pushing EP

You are probably always on the search for new music and artists, right? Well below you can find an interview with Colorado’s own Longevity Productions! We were lucky enough to have a moment with Bri Long, owner of Longevity Productions. The full interview can be found below!

A bit of background first, they bring ones from diverse backgrounds into a realm of similar objective parallelism. “Creates happiness or invokes emotional response. Overall bridges a gap unimaginable by many but for seen by few.”

Longevity Productions is a company that thrives to bring you the best acts and all around musical experiences they can provide. Working with people in the local Northern Colorado community to bring art of all styles together. We focus on artist booking, artist management, promotion, and event facilitation.

Longevity Productions began in September of 2017, by Bri Long of course. Community and close friends helped Bri begin her dream that shortly turned into a career. We were lucky enough to have a moment of Bri’s time to talk about the new EP and other future projects.

EP Talk

Patrik Essy: Very glad to see an EP on the way! We are very excited for this. What makes this project different from let’s say the next artist’s EP?

Bri Long: This project is unique because of the collection of artists, these are mostly Colorado artists that have worked together in some capacity but haven’t released music together. It also will be the first release from Longevity Productions, which make this very exciting.

Patrik Essy: How long have you all been working on this project?

Bri Long: The idea originated around December of 2020.

Patrik Essy: You say there’s 8 artists on this EP, why so many artists? What made you choose these artists? Besides the fact a lot of them are on your label.

Bri Long: A majority of the artists are under Longevity Productions management, the other artists are producers that we’ve worked with on many events in the past. Each one of these artists continue to push themselves and their sound to the next level, we’re always stoked to see what’s coming out from them.

Patrik Essy: Who did the album artwork for this? Can we be on the lookout for anymore collabs between you and them? 

Bri Long: I did the artwork so hopefully haha. 

Patrik Essy: Any merch drops to be on the lookout for? Any livestreams that will be associated with the drop of this EP?

Bri Long: I don’t think we’ll have either of those for this one, but we’ll probably do some livestreams in the near future.

Past and Future

Patrik Essy: Any plans for 2021-2022 besides this EP release?

Bri Long: We hope to get back to throwing events in a safe capacity before the end of the year. We have some releases in the works for spring. I think overall you can count on a lot more content from Longevity artists as a whole this year. 

Patrik Essy: How long has Longevity Productions been alive for? Have you ran other production companies before? What are some of the most important things you’ve learned from running your own promo company?

Bri Long: Longevity Productions has been alive since 2017. I had thrown quite a few shows, and a couple music festivals before branding Longevity. 

Patrik Essy: “We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams” that’s a very beautiful quote. Did you create this? If no where did you discover this? Does this quote have any sort of impact on the work you do?

Bri Long: It’s a quote from Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. I’ve loved it since I was a child and I do think it impacts the work that all of us do. As far as a company goes, I’m the dreamer and the artists are the music makers, together we create magic.

Patrik Essy: Alright just a few more questions here, do you plan on doing any live shows for 2021? How are those shows going to be different from what we have seen before? Obviously besides all the covid precautions.

Bri Long: We plan on getting back to shows this year. We strive to bring artists that haven’t been to the area as well as some returning favorites, I think the pool of artists will be very unique in 2021. 

Patrik Essy: How is Longevity Productions different from than the rest? What makes you all stand out?

Bri Long: Longevity Productions has always stood out in Fort Collins because we started from such a strong friend group. There is so much respect throughout our crew, for each other, artists in the community, and the community as a whole. We have members that mentor children music in the community.

Party Guru or No?

Patrik Essy: Would you consider yourself a Party Guru? If yes, why? If no, why? I would say you are!

Bri Long: I would definitely consider myself a Party Guru! I’ve been throwing parties since as early as I can remember, I’ve always loved getting people together to party in any sense of the word, whether it be food, music, art, or comedy. Partying is what I do. 

Patrik Essy: What kind words of advice would you have for somebody trying to make it in this industry? For someone who might like to run their own production company or label one day? 

Bri Long: Be prepared for a lot of learning, not every show will be a sellout, don’t do business deals after 2am.

Patrik Essy: Final question, what can we be on the lookout for? Plug yourself here hahahah. Tease the fans of what we can be on the watch for! 

Bri Long: It’s still pretty early to tell, but we’re planning on bringing back Blissfall Music and Arts Festival this year in some capacity, you can count on a few livestreams, and we’re working on some philanthropy for this year. Be on the lookout for good vibes all around coming from the crew!

Conclusion

As we get excited for the new EP to release we can check out all of Longevity Production’s past projects below. They have done a ton to impact the community. Learn even more about them all in the links found below!

You can also view a full gallery of artists that will be on the new EP below. They are all ones to be on the lookout for. Plus you never know, maybe they have some tracks that you could add to your weekly playlist.

Photos Provided by Longevity Productions

Find Longevity Productions On:

FACEBOOK

Moontricks: A Boot-Stompin’, Grassroots Duo Has A New Tune

We recently had the chance to hear from Sean Rodman and Nathan Gurley of Moontricks! A duo that provides “grassroots blues, wistful soul, and boot-stomping bass” through a combination of folk, blues, and electronic music. Their inspiration comes from their location in British Columbia, Canada.

“Not only is it beautiful here, but both electronic music and folk music are quite popular. When your life flip-flops between dancing to heavy bass and jammin’ harmonica around a campfire, the marriage only seems natural.” Nate tells us. Since their debut in 2013, the pair have performed at shows such as Lightning in a Bottle and Shambala and are only getting started.

The Journey So Far

“Ideally a good song is going to reach someone carrying some emotion and meaning for them to relate.” Sean said. Every artist from all genres tries to convey emotion or meaning in all of their works, but from a different viewpoint. The folk-electronic fusion that Moontricks provides leads many to feel from the duo’s point of view. “It’s all a bit hit or miss and varies song-to-song and person-to-person, but we try to write songs that will leave that door open for anyone.” Sean says.

The pandemic has provided the duo with many ideas for songwriting. Drawing from the ups and downs of these crazy times, Rodman and Gurney have had no shortage of topics about which to write. Sean said, “I think difficult times are inspiring places to draw from. If i’m in a rut for writing, I’ll get out into the world and take it all in.”

Rodman finds ideas from walking in the forest or around town or going on a road trip. “There’s amazing material everywhere that you can experience and translate into music.” If you are a budding songwriter reading this: Get out there, experience life, and write it down!

The duo has many influences, but draw much of their work from friends and acts with whom they have worked such as Frase, Dirtwire, and Gone Gone Beyond. “Having toured long circuits with such talented acts, we really get to take in their music and who they are. It creates a [sense] of strong inspiration, influence, and friendship,” Sean said. “We’re very lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people in this industry and call them friends.”

Anyone that listens to Moontricks knows that the banjo cuts through and gives the duo a signature sound. It used to be an obscure instrument, but now many consider it more mainstream, making its way back as a widely-accepted instrument from a long history of jokes, twang, and hillbilly nature. Sean said, “Both Nate and I have a soft spot for folk music, so incorporating banjo into the music felt like a bold move. I started playing banjo while I was working in a music store called Mountain Fruit Folklore.” Nate laughed and went on to add, “I remember the first time we tried bringing banjo to an electronic music show. We were worried people might start throwing beer bottles at us.” The rest as they say, is history. The pair found a sound all their own that has brought them big success.

New and Upcoming

Moontricks has a fresh new release. The Nirvana-like style features acoustic guitar, standup bass, and harmonica with an electronic flair. “We recorded the beginnings of this song in 2016 in a power outage by candlelight and battery-powered recording equipment. That made it pretty easy to capture the dark, moody magic in this track,” Sean said. The track features Canadian artist/vocalist Frase, from Montreal. The track also features Fawna on backup vocals. “Being a Nirvana fan in my youth, when Frase first played the cover on guitar, I was drawn to it,” Nate said. “I hope that we embodied even just a little of what acoustic Nirvana is all about.”

Additionally, Moontricks has a lot of their music used in film and television. When watching an outdoor advertisement like snowboarding or mountain biking, you may have heard some of their tracks. “It’s extremely inspiring seeing people do outstanding feats while our music is playing in the background,” Nate said. “It’s nice to see that music written in the mountains can be used for the mountains!” Next time a ski or snowboard advertisement comes on TV, turn it up to see if it features some new work by Moontricks.

Photos Provided by Moontricks

Conclusion

As we all know by now, quarantine has not been kind to artists. The pandemic has had somewhat of a silver lining for Sean and Nate as it has given them a lot of time to write, record, and hone their musical talents. “We’ve learned a lot in the last year and we’ve been working hard every day,” Sean said. The livestreams the pair has offered gave them a way to connect with their audience and “keep the fires burning.” The duo is eager to get back on the road and bring their fans the live music everyone has been missing.

Moontricks is gearing up for a lot of new music in 2021 featuring more covers, collaborations, and remixes. “We are currently sitting on a boatload of new Moontricks originals,” Nate said. “We are really excited to share our new sounds with everyone.” Keep updated on all the new Moontricks happenings by following the links below. You can also go check on the new track down below! Make sure to add it to your weekly playlist.

Find Artist On:

Moontricks Website

Instagram

Sound Cloud

Click here to listen to their new song

Exploring Star Monster’s Mind

Dubstep and Star Monster are two names you could and should associate together. He has been and will continue to be one you should stay on the lookout for. Releasing this upcoming killer track with LoFreq on the 8th of February, 2021. We are all in for a spooky treat. Recently we were lucky enough to have a chat with Star Monster about all of his upcoming projects, future merch, and much more.

A bit about Star Monster before we get into it. This Wisconsin based artist has been traveling all around performing live shows before Covid. Star Monster has played along artists such as Flume, Rusko, Boogie T, Champagne Drip, Figure, SoDown, Zeke Beats, 12th Planet, and many more. He has also worked with companies such as Ocular Presents, Burning Man, and again many more. Star Monster actually played Denver’s own The Black Box not too long ago!

During this interview we will get a tease at some upcoming releases from this artist. Let’s dive in!

New Tunes

Patrik Essy: Let’s start off with your new weird and spooky tune coming out on February 8th, what’s some of the inspiration behind that tune? How long have you been working on it? Would you say that it is some of the best made yet?

Star Monster: Well, like most all my tunes, that one went through a major transformation. The first incarnation I made in a day and I really liked it and still play it out from time to time. I really just had some BASS sound ideas I wanted to try and they jelled. But as usual it wasn’t enough for me in the long run and I wanted it to go deeper. I’m really into horror flix and the opening sample is from one of my favs..(I wont say which one haha) so that was the inspiration on the transformed version of the tune. I just went a lot deeper into making some sounds you’ve never heard before…whereas the first version is using some common sounds that are circulating around right now. I wanted to make it really menacing and different. I get tired of the regurgitated sounds. The last drop is my fav. I don’t know if it’s the best i’ve made, i’m working on some new stuff also that i’m pretty stoked on.

Patrik Essy: Do you have any other tunes to be on the lookout for? Merch is always something that artists are dropping also, do you have anything in the works? Do you have any thoughts for merch?

Star Monster: Yes, I have soooo much new music that i’m really excited about. Im completing an EP as we speak. I’m hoping it comes out in the next month. Then a second EP for spring and a bunch of singles and collabs. One with Super Future that is dope af. This year i’m planning on dropping a lot of music. I also have new merch galore haha. A merch drop that will happen in the next week- 2 hats, a LTD jacket and a really incredible Official LTD Hocky Jersey by Above The Sky that i’m stoked about.

You can actually go check out one of Star Monster’s most recent mixes in the meantime. Find that linked below! You are sure to be spooked with these massive amounts of bass.

2020

Patrik Essy: As 2020 was a bummer, what was the last show that you played? Where was it? 

Star Monster: Ya it has been tough (but a great time for making music). Well, I have gotten to play a couple Covid safe shows…a Denver Drive In with Luzcid, Buku, Minnesota. Also a show at the Midway in SF with Ravenscoon, Xotix, and Subdocta. Cant wait to get things going again but gotta stay patient…and keep making new tracks!!

Patrik Essy: Looking back on 2020 still, did you do any live streams? If so how’d you make those sets different from a live set? If you didn’t play any live streams what did you do instead?

Star Monster: Yes I played quite a few. I went all over the place and experimented in some. I love pure DJ sets where I get really out there and use the decks to create really out there sounds. I’ve also done some that were really honed. I’ve been working with UTAW Visuals and have created some pretty dope sets with the whole visual component i’ve been making. Many people don’t know that i’m a visual artist so bringing a full visual journey is something i’m very serious about and you’ll see more of that soon.

Let’s Travel Back

Patrik Essy: Seeing that your current insta dates back to 2016, how long have you been creating music for? How long have you been mixing for? Who were some heavy influences in your style of music?

Star Monster: I’ve been making music for a LONG time haha. Since I was a kid really. Someone gave me an old 4 track reel to reel and some sampling CASIOS and I used to make this music in my basement I called “Grey Radio”. Ive been mixing for only 3 years! But i’ve been performing with live instruments heavily for many. Early influences on my style I would say were Liquid Stranger, Peekaboo, and Bassnectar.

Star Monster’s Sound

Patrik Essy: Would you say that you have “found your sound”? Do you enjoy the music that you make and the career you have made out of it?

Star Monster: I think i’m pretty close but I never want to have a definitive sound. I always want to surprise! But I also want people to know it’s me by the inner feel of it. I’m a mystic. I put things into the core of the music that I think my biggest listeners feel. I absolutely LOVE making music, I want to do this forever. I have such big ideas haha. If I didn’t have creating music i’d be a basket case. lmao

Patrik Essy: What makes Star Monster stand out from the rest? 

Star Monster: I don’t know if I do but… Im just being myself. I think I take chances, with sounds, themes, vibes. I try to make it how I want it…not necessarily what’s popular. Although I do love popular music. I try to put something deeper in there…and I work forever on a track until I think it’s ready.

Patrik Essy: What advice would you have to somebody that wants to get into producing. Kind words of advice here hahhah.

Star Monster: Have fun…put your whole real self into it…be individual as hell…we all want the new and real you.

A Few Final Questions for Star Monster

Patrik Essy: If there was one place in the world that you could be, Covid in mind or no Covid, where would it be? Do you keep this place in thought when creating music?  

Star Monster: hmmm, i love the world and traveling everywhere…but i love Romania and Hawaii…especially now when its so cold here in Madison…definitely Hawaii haha.

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

Star Monster: Oh yaaaa. haha. I’ve studied the Andy Warhol party book lol. I’ve also hosted a lot of parties here at Smart Studios (the old recording studio where Nirvana recorded Nevermind and the Smashing pumpkins first 2 albums…where I live and work.) I live for a good party.

Wrapping Everything Up

As we all patiently wait for Calling For Me to release we can listen to past mixes and music. That can all be found below.

Go check out the new track linked down below! If you are still reading this Star Monster we’d like to thank you again for this opportunity for a chat, we cant wait to hear the new track.

Photos Provided by Star Monster

Find Artist On:

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

SOUNDCLOUD