Episode 90: Valerie Lee (Mixmag)


This is back that. What's up back to backers? This is Willie joy, welcome to the show. This is back to back. This is my podcast. How are you? How was your week? I'm doing great been working in the studio all week on some brand new music with some awesome up and coming producers that you'll hear about I'm sure in the months to come. We're Megan some some really fun stuff. And speaking of fun. My guest today is Valerie Lee from mix MAG, and I had the most fun doing this interview. It was a treat to talk to her. It was cool for a lot of different reasons. She's the first journalist I've ever had on the show. And that's something I've been wanting to do for a while. I'm really happy that it was her to be the first one because I'm a huge fan of what she does. She's the global culture editor over at mix MAG, which is a big deal, but she's involved in a lot of different. Projects. She does the on rotation podcast for mix MAG, which is if you like this podcast. You should definitely go check out on rotation. She's fantastic on there. And many of you might be familiar if you're one of the, you know, whatever ninety trillion people who watch the Coachella livestream last year. She was one of the hosts of that. I guarantee you saw her there. She was running around talking to everybody. She's a fantastic writer, and it was just a treat to talk to somebody else who clearly just loves talking about thinking about being passionate about electron EQ music. It was great. You're gonna love it. We're going to get into that. In just a second before we do this show has gotten a lot of new listeners in the last couple months, which is fantastic. And I've been hearing from a lot of people talking to a lot of people, and I get asked, you know, what's the best way. I can get involved. What's the best way? I can support this show. And I really. Cannot say it enough the best way that you can support this show that you can support me the you can help us grow. It's really just word of mouth. That is how we get bigger. That is how we get more resources to talk to more people better guests, everyone you want to hear from all of that just comes from the strength of this community from all of you guys listening out there. So if you have a friend who just loves music the way that you do who would really appreciate something like this just put him onto it. Let them know. You know, if there's a particular episode, you're feeling you could make a post about us even just re tweeting something that I put up there all of that is the key to making this show run. I love seeing all the support out there. And I've been putting in a lot of work this year to make sure that I'm giving everyone out there the best product. I can I have a lot of ideas for where this show is going to go and how we can grow more people to talk to all of that. But it all starts with you guys. And I appreciate everyone out there. Another. Thing that I do every week is I update the back to bangers Spotify playlist that is a playlist that you can go to every single week to find music from my guests myself music that we talk about on the show and just a lot of other related goodies just stuff I find that. I think everyone out there would like things that sort of fit in the context of these conversations the link to that is in the description of this episode make sure to subscribe to the show and don't forget, you can always reach out to me at anytime. You want back to back pod at gmaiLcom is the Email address or you can hit me up at Willie joy or at back to back pod on all social media. All right. So for this conversation with Valerie Lee, she's somebody that I had kind of had bouncing around in my head for a long time of talking to. And I was reminded of it recently because just in Baretta from the glitch mob was talking about Valerie and. How awesome she is? And it just sort of you know, realit- that flame under my ass. I was up in LA. And like I said before she was just a pleasure to talk to. I'm always looking at ways to expand the focus of this show talking to somebody on the media side. The journalism side was fascinating for me because I get trapped kind of in the artist side of it a lot of the times, and it was really interesting and actually pretty inspiring to get the perspective of how a different side of the business operates and Valerie's stories. Pretty amazing. I think she's kind of bridging the worlds of old media new media bringing a lot to the table. You can tell just from hearing her talk. She's got a million ideas her love of the whole culture, I think really just shines through. And when you're done here. Definitely make sure to go check out her on rotation podcast that she does for mix MAG. It's a fantastic podcast. It's her and another host talking about dance. Music interviewing artists playing some music. She also just launched a series with mix MAG called magnified, which is a ten part series looking at some up and coming artists that she and her team thinks a really exciting right now, I'm going to link to mix MAG, and where you can find all of her work in the description of this episode. So definitely go check that out when you're done here for the time being I just want to jump into this conversation because it's just so good. We went all over the map her whole story. You know, how she got to where she is crazy travel Coachella, snoop Doug's, we'd website. There is no stone left unturned here. That's all I'm going to say, it's fantastic. I hope you enjoy it. So check it out. This is me and Valerie Lee back to back less. Go. Citizen. Interesting. I mean, it's worth saying, you're the first journalist first person from the media's I've talked to on this show honored to have you here. I've been following your work and actually shout out to Justin from glitch mob. Yeah. He I think when their last album came out you and I had both done stuff with them kind of around that. And that's when I reconnected with those guys known them for a while. But not as well as I know them now, and they were talking about an Justin particularly talking about the work. He had done with you and how much liked it. And he was telling me, you know, putting the bug in my ear, those guys are they great students. They're the bathroom. Yeah. They really are the best. I mean, we don't have to go too far the glitch mob. But what I love about them is that they sort of occupy this unique space in dance music. Like, I don't really know. I think I even. Ask them this on their podcast episode was like who is your competition or like who'd? Yeah. Even play shows with there's no one else like them. I mean once you start thinking about the fact that they built their own instrument. You're kind of like, okay. We'll there is no one else. Like, you writing rock electric crazy live stuff, and they make almost this cinematic soundtrack music, but is still perform live at festival. I don't know. It's one of those things that doesn't make sense on tape. It's super cool. It's fun. It's fun to realize also how long they've been doing it. That was always the one thing because I became friends with Beretta after actually I was like covering them. Just as a fan when I was out. Dancing astronaut, and we kind of were friends on the internet and decided to meet in real life. And once I realized oh, my God, you been doing this for like ten years. I was a child when you guys were first doing this. And yet they're still so grounded and still like breaking the mold and doing things, it's just crazy. Still excited and having fun. Yeah. I know that's another thing too. And it's something I want to ask you about what you do as well, as you know, sort of how do you how do you maintain the excitement and the engagement, you know, as as any of us professionals in the music industry, right? Yeah. We all get into this because we love music, but then comes that point that inevitable point where your passion becomes your job. Yeah. And I think I'm sure you've seen I've seen a million times especially with older artists. The you know, they're putting in the work. The spark is kinda gone, and I have to imagine for journalism. It's probably the same thing. Right. If you start off excited to write about this culture in this music. And then it's I think here's the thing. I think with media I'm really lucky position where I don't necessarily have to do a lot of things that I'm not super excited about. And I think the reason why that is is because it translates, right? It's like if I go to a show to see an artist that I'm just really not interested in. I'm not gonna write something great about it. I'm not gonna have any good things to say about not because you know, they, you know, it's just not my taste, right? And I've talked about this a lot before, you know, when people especially artists asked for advice about like how to get their music covered by certain journalist or a platform. I'm always like just fine. The kids that are actually excited about what you're making like find the base head on the staff of journalists at the blog that you wanna get on. And they'll probably really excited about it. So that's been really I think a blessing in my job. And I've been able to kind of I think I was given like a really early glimpse of things that felt really far out of my Rome. What do you mean growing up? I think as a kid when EDM was the big thing here in the US. I'm so far away from. You know, growing up in London where they're like always there surrounded by electric music, everywhere, they go like their parents relating to it. It's exactly and it's like, it has a different level of respect out there and same thing. Like, I didn't grow up in Chicago. I don't know. I don't know the deep history of house are I didn't know that. So I've been able to work with a lot of people who saw the value in teaching someone like me about all that stuff. And that's helped me realize that you know, whatever you're excited about right now is so small in comparison to the wider genre history all of it. And it's exciting to take step by step in that way. Like, you can get excited about every little thing. But then also remember that like whatever you're working on right now isn't like the only thing that's out there. There's so much out there to like discover great perspective to have anyone. I think you're absolutely right for people working in the industry for listener. For fans any of it because you see that evolution with listeners to write and just people like the music is they'll get into it for one specific thing. And then the people who stick around the ones who aren't just the tourists their tastes evolve. In chain. There's so much to discover, and I think that's a funny thing that, you know, are John rea-, let's say electronic music as one why John we're such a weird genre in that. I feel like we're were. So harsh on ourselves. Like, we're always quick to be like, oh, we're like, Tunisia. Like, we're really small like people don't really care about us. But if you think about it like house music has been there from the very beginning. It's always people always come back to it. You know in hip-hop like whatever's on or you can kind of find your way back in road. And then also between John RAs. Dogs trying to get some attention. But also even between, John like, we're so nitpicky with each other. Like, it's hard for a person who loves techno to respect somebody who likes dub, stop, even though. There's there's plenty to be. There's plenty value in both an I well, this is something I talk about a lot and think about a lot idea of lowbrow versus highbrow culture. And what we do. And I think, you know, say techno voice is dubbed step is maybe a greater. Yeah. That because you know, techno has this stereotype, sometimes deservedly, you know, that's where the pretentious snobs are. And you know, that's like the the most evolved. If you had that brain me m- where it's like regular brand shiny brand exploding. Quoting Bryn, Pokemon. Right. After did you? But you know, and so it has that reputation. Whereas dub step is dirty, grimy, whatever, you know, Neanderthal music. Again, these are just the stereotypes I love both. But it's interesting to me because I the way I got into dance music and kind of my mentality. Still is the lowbrow stuff. Like, I was I was a metal head as a kid, which is another scene where you take a lot of pride in like, this is my thing. Fuck everything else. And and then I started with hardcore and happy hardcore and Kabir and that kind of stuff and there's a long time ago. But that's still like it's still in me. It's still in my heart. And I still love stupid simple Bangor music. Like, I love it. And but I also love the the more, you know, cerebral, whatever you wanna call it. And it's interesting to me. Here's the whole point. I was trying to make ten minutes ago. Tell me about the history of your job. I'll stop now. The whole point is that I think there's this weird thing where the highbrow culture looks down on the lowbrow culture. Right. But the low brow culture to me is oftentimes more accepting like, I know a lot of people who like the sort of quote, unquote, uncultured this the simple music, the bangers who love deep techno and weird ambient music and all that. But I don't see the reverse so much, and I want to bring it back to to what you do in journalism in general too. Because I I've always felt like for certain journalistic outlets, if you don't have that kind of cultural perception behind you, it can be easy to feel like you're just counted out. Yeah. And. And I think probably that's a hard line to walk. Right. As far as what do you said light on? What do you wanna talk about? Where is there? Actual culture worth reporting on. Yeah. Yeah. And is that something you've in counter journalistically? Yeah. That culture war. I mean, there's there's a lot to impact there. I think in general the whole genre war. Here's the thing. So for me for my experience, again, kind of going back to what I was saying about how I was given the opportunity to kind of be like the outlier in a lot of rooms really early on in my career, which I think helped me realize that there's value on both ends, right? Because like I started loving like Africa, and I was like front row EC like really partying it out. And then and there's something to be said about artists like that. Or, you know for saying low row like the dub step, which isn't always low. Rob, you know, let's just say that. Even the Dutch house stuff that gave to the big room how stuff which is one of the most mocked John reside feel like now a hundred percent. So if we say like, okay lowbrow, why do people look down on it? Why do like techno snobs or how snobs look down upon all that stuff? My thing was always like, okay. For each person. There's a different purpose or something that you're taking from the music, and I think that's just kind of the general divide. What always comes down to his like when you go to a dub step show? I think ninety percent maybe even higher you're going because you are trying to release an emotion and just like have a really great time. And have this experience that comes with dub step, and I don't think that's the case for a lot of people who go to for example, quote, unquote, highbrow show, if you're going to see someone who has like this really intricate live setup, or if you're gonna go experience a techno show in this venue that has like all this crazy history. I think there's a little bit of. The difference of. Why are we attending these shows? What are we hoping to get out of it? So I think that's where the divide is. Right. Because it's it boils down to the very simple. Like, oh, you just don't understand what I want from this. Which is why people get so angry about it being like, no, I'm like, my John RAs the best like, yeah. If you're trying to just like head bang and just like feel like you're getting like release of like, physical and emotion and all this stuff than. Yeah. Probably you should go to show. I don't think you'll get that from like this like beautiful like Niko jar show. Like, you're not going to get that kind of release think. But you're if you're trying to dislike appreciate like history and like go on the six hour journey with an artist like that's completely different. So and I mean, I guess that's sort of the beauty of the scene. We're in right. Is that you can have both of those experiences to you. And maybe at a certain point you want the one thing, and then a couple years later, you might want the other thing. Yeah. And that's also the other side of it. Least for me because I went through that of Lucien. I'm like I came into the scene because it was popular. You know, I didn't grow up in a household dot even really had a strong like music identity like my parents, loved music and in their own way. But I had the freedom to kind of uncover what my own musical taste was and grew up at a time when people were going to raves and EDM was cool. So I got in that way. And then did my research because I really loved what I was finding and then ended up being like, okay? Like now, I listen to all this kind of music that definitely wasn't the stuff that was at the top. When I first got into it. So where's your grew up? I grew up in a place called Davis up in northern California like UC Davis Davis that way, but it's a pretty small time. Besides being a university town. It's quite a small cute safe town. Yeah. And what did you folks do? Why were they in Davis? So my mom is professor she teaches it sucks. Stay up there. Which is why were there and my parents, divorced? So my dad lives in China. So he's off elsewhere. But that's why we were in Davis. And yeah, I think that's just I think what I was saying earlier about my parents, not really haven't, you know, like you hear about people who their parents grew up listening to Tom petty and the Beatles. And that's what they love like, I didn't really have that experience. And I think a lot of kids of immigrant families probably have a very similar experience because you're just coming from families that have different cultures and things that they grow up with. So I definitely wasn't like a musical kin with music in the house at all. Or there was I mean, I'll put it this. I like, my mom was definitely like she loves a good like soulful singer, which I think actually I thought about this the other day, I think it comes from just like her loving like traditional Chinese music, which is a lot of like opera style singing because she loves like the selene Dion. And they douse of the world. Like emotion on them. Like, I'm here. She's not alone in that. And then my dad was kind of into some more like traditional like American or western music, but it really liked that was kind of like the limit. Okay. So you were kind of just left to your own influences. I learned how to play instruments, and it was always like a lot of class like piano and flute and stuff like that stereotypical Asian instruments. But yeah, I just didn't really like music wasn't really even a big thing that I was like I'm passionate about like a big fan. Yeah. Yeah. Until I think maybe when I got to college. I think that's like really when it started happening for me. 'cause I I went to UC Santa Cruz. I and anybody who knows anything about the bay area knows that the berries music scene is just one of kind. Definite key where? Yeah. And it's just unlike anything even like having traveled all around the world at this point. Nothing is like the Bayer is music scene. There's like Barry a hip hop, which like I didn't grow up there. I was born in Vallejo. Put that out there. I do have like fair. Yeah. Me and. But yeah. So like, there's berry hip hop, which is like just so unique and like so much history to learn from that, and then moving to Santa Cruz, I became familiar with this really crazy fascination with electronic music, but not only electric it was like a very specific stroke like basic. Which is just really exciting. When like you're in college. And someone's like, hey like someone's having this rave in the middle of the forest like you wanna go find it. It was like, I guess. When you say like a specific strain of bass music. What what are we talking about in? What era is this? I mean, I think it's called like west coast base. The base nectar is probably like, yeah. Base. Probably like the number one kind of example of what it was like, I know what you're talking about guys like Minnesota. Yeah. Like all those guys. So that was just really it was so different than anything. I was listening to because I remember I would go to the catalyst which is a really famous venues. Yeah. And I'd be going for like hip. Hop shows coming from like, oh, I like like bay area, like the pack and stuff. So I'd go see hip hop shows. And then they also have like dance music people saw base nectar. And I was like I have no idea what's going on. This is really interesting. This is crazy. So that's kind of where I started an interest in like what was going on? When what about interest in journalism and in writing where you writing as a kid reading? Kid like where does that side? Come. Yes. I think that's definitely like I was saying as a kid. I wasn't like the music it. I was definitely like the writer kid. I was writing like fiction like chapter books and stuff when I was a little bit. Yeah. Like, just I I can remember one was about like a dragon a Princess it was very silly. But it was really fun and then not translated into like I got into poetry for a little bit. And I think there was even a portion of my life where I was like writing songs, and I've never revisited them. Really funny to see what I wrote. Yeah. And then that definitely came to life a little bit more. Once I got to college because I was one of those kids who went to college knowing that I should go to college. But not really knowing what I wanted to do. Yeah. And thankfully, I had parents who were like, you know. That's okay. But like, we really just want you to be there, and like figure it out, which is really supportive, and helpful way to look at it. So once I got there. I started blogging. Like for fun. And it wasn't. It wasn't like I had my own blog platform is definitely like I was on tumbler writing like almost diary style entries which quickly started leaning towards like I was writing about music stuff that was experiencing was this in the the blog explosion of the late two thousands. Yeah. It must've been I graduated high school in two thousand ten okay. So it was around that era. I obviously didn't know that that was happening at the time. But I was writing my own blog and did that for two years while I was in Santa Cruz, and I actually ended up transferring down to USC here in LA, which I think it was the whole thing where I went to school being like, I just wanna go to school, and then realized pretty quickly that I was like, okay, I like school. And now, I know what I want to study and USC has a really great communications and media department and degree. Yeah. Communication. So I somehow managed to get into USC. Which was a total. I did it. So you could do to. And you must have been decent school. If you're writing, you know, stories at whatever I was I was I was I was good. I think for me it was kinda one of those things where like college is definitely better than high school. And that I realized like, oh, I like learning about things that I care about. Sure. But I definitely was never like the typical Asian Syria type of always getting as and like just always doing the best. Which thankfully, my parents were like not crazy in that way. As long as you're doing. Well, I realized that I really wanted to get a degree in something around communications, our media and it worked out and definitely coming to LA was a blessing in disguise that I didn't realize part of the package and getting into US was really excited about. But being in LA really helped me like take the next leap into being like, okay? I'm really interested in this writing about music thing. What can I do with that? So that's interesting. So when you're in college and kind of in that transition point it was the second year that you move to LA thirty. Yeah. And at that point, did you have any kind of a vision for where you wanted it to go definitely because I remember I was I was I got to USC, and I really wanted to dive straight into kind of like the internships like figuring out what was going on. And I guess I might have had some sort of inkling that I was interested in music because I did end up a music marketing company and. He would. And it was doing really basic stuff like learning what a press release was and like learning how to make a Mailer campaign and realized that wasn't for me. I didn't like that part of it. But I did really like being involved in the music side. So that quickly turned into me looking for a place like like, I was still blogging throughout this whole time and blogging to no one I think is really important because I still did it even though it was like my five friends who didn't care about music. We're reading. Yeah. I wrote a lot about that. And now I look back on the stuff that I wrote. And it was definitely I didn't realize it was like journalism at the time says writing like, you know, opinion pieces and like features on like crucial things that were happening in the scene sort of unconsciously rating things they could be categorized as like pieces. Now just really liked doing that just like just observing the culture around dance music and sorry at the same time had your interest in dance music. I assume that was sort of growing alongside. Yeah. I mean, it definitely helped to be in LA where all of a sudden I could go to these huge festivals that always seemed really far away. 'cause like I think at that point. I had maybe been to outside lands like once or something and seeing like, oh, this is what like big music festivals. Like, but then you tell a and like hard was happening all the insomniac events were happening like every single weekend. So I got to quickly get involved in that. So that translated to me being like, all right? I really like this. I want to do this a little bit more seriously. And I I was looking for someone who could teach me more about you know, even just the technicalities of writing. 'cause I was in. I was in college. But not really getting that exactly what I wanted from it. So I end up putting in an application for dancing astronaut. It was just a cold call. They're like we're looking from a writer's and join them this was probably around the peak of their powers. Yeah. It was like high time for blogs at that point. Yeah. Definitely. I never thought about that. But you're so right. Like, I joined right one the like blog blog life. Strong. Not so good, basically like unlocking, the key to like the city of like you had to go to all of these shows now, and you meet all these people, and it was great because blogging is really great to do while you're in college you can like manage dislike here in that. Like go to class, and then write about your things that you really like lifestyle. Yeah. Yeah. So that was what I did all throughout college, and I loved it. Yeah. It was great. And so was there any kind of theme you're known for anything specifically they hired you to do. Or was it kind of like a mix of different pieces. Yeah. It definitely I I just got brought on to be like a basically writing the news and just getting it out there. But I think pretty quickly I kind of fell back into the same trend that I was doing before of culture, observing, you know, doing more of like opinions of like, why is this happening? Like what what is instigating this? Where's this going? I remember. Over one of my favorite pieces that I did with DA was talking about the laws in the US that are related to drugs, and how that relates to dance music culture specifically, and I think a lot of people know about it at this time like the rave act, literally it was called the rave act point, which is kind of wild and just unpacking that history, and that was like the very first taste. I think that I got a realizing that it it goes a lot deeper than what you think it is. You know, it goes all the way back to what is like the nineties or even before that when they were like trying to crack down definitely. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Like, literally then and like that law got so just folded into what's happening now. And that's a big reason why we went through that phase of all these kids were dying. And it seemed as though no one could do anything about it. Even though the media was talking about it nonstop. And there's like all these laws that prevent people who want to do something to prevent it from actually taking those actions will sure, and that's always the stereotype, right is dance music is drugs music. And you know, everyone there is on drugs. And that's what you do. If you go there, and for me, it's always been bizarre. Just because like I've never been a drug person. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Like I was just like a lame nerd kid. And I like this weird music, and like me, that's all it was. And in some ways still is. But yeah, it was always interesting to me because it's such a strong stigma. But I don't know maybe, you know, because I'm sure you've looked into this way more than I have. I mean, statistically, like numbers wise is it that much worse than any other music subculture. Well, that's the thing is when I started doing this research and getting really interested in this subject is you realize that it's just everywhere. It's not just physically just think about this seventies. When people were listening to rock and roll. Like there was there were a lot of drugs involved with all that. I'm sure people were dying. Unfortunately, it just wasn't talked about in the same way. It's the same thing with hip hop. There's a lot of drugs and a lot of drug references in hop. But it doesn't get spoken about in that way either. So yeah, I think it's just one of those things where yes, there are sure there are big majority of people who feel like they can't enjoy the music. Without drugs, and that's too bad. But there's a lot to dance music that is not just circled around that. And we know that. But other people don't I guess, I mean, how do you change that conversation? How do you change that perception I think it's about doing stuff like this, actually, which is why I was really excited till find out that you're doing this like telling stories, you know, it's so simple. But once you start talking to people, the people who make the music people go to the shows, and you talk to them, and you realize that like, oh, the people that go to these festivals. And dress all crazy are actually like doctors and lawyers like need that kind of release and want to do something really fun on the weekend. And they're all people. I think that's a great point just talking to someone in that way. Yeah. I mean, I think that's that's a good point for kind of everything. Yeah. The US is going through right? I mean, it's the same thing for artists like you never talked to an artist. And they're like, oh, I just wanted to like fuck kids up make them like take drugs music like that's never anybody's. Like, I've talked to a lot of his you've talked to a lot of artists like that's nobody's story. And then you look at places like Europe where they do have like that history to hold onto understand that like that's why people really like this stuff. Not because of the drugs that like happens on the side. But also happens everywhere else, and that's another interesting point too. So I mean, if we all make an intro and all of this will have been set already. But I do want to say your position now is the digital editor for mix. Meg am. I read about that. Yeah. I'm actually it's actually changing my new position, which will be announced very soon. Probably by the time because it's the exclusive I'm the global culture editor MAGS. Oh, that's really cool. And so actually that's even better for the question. I was about to ask which is talking about cultural differences between the scene here in the US, which as we've talked about there's a huge history to it. In fact, the roots of dance music are in the US, right, but dance music also has a very short memory. I think and it cycles through listeners and audience is very quickly. So I think the current crop of people who are excited about dance music. There's this young culture to right. There's a it's a new feeling thing. Whereas you look at Europe in the UK, and there is a history there, right and more not more culture. But it's more. It's an older older culture. And so for you, and for what you do, you know, be it reporting or the video content or the podcast or anything. Is the aim to talk to people here, or is the AM to sort of shed a light on what's going on here. And try to explain it to people elsewhere or little both. Yeah. I mean, I would say it's a little of both. I feel like this kind of goes back to what I was saying earlier about you know, I I never under value. The fact that early on in my career, I was one of the kind of anomalies in the room a lot of the time. What do you mean by that? So I worked with a company called international music summit right after I graduated which for those who don't know they call it kind of like the Ted TED talks of dance music series. It was based in it's been around for ten years now. So they've had it like kind of all around the world. And I remember at one point I was working with the conference, and I was like in this room. We had just launched a conference in China. Dance music was so so so new and I was standing in this room. And I was definitely the youngest person in the room. Probably I think one of the only girls, and I realized that like what I represent is what all of these people in this room who are super knowledgeable about dance music have been around like their managers of conic names that you see like top on the top of every Bill of every festival, but they don't really understand like what I can bring to the table. And they don't know my perspective. But they value that perspective, which is huge. And I will always appreciate them for doing that. And so it's kind of the same thing. It's like when mix MAG realized that they needed somebody on the grounds to be like, okay. The US. There's something really interesting going on there. We don't understand it even though we know about like, the extensive history of dance music across Europe and London, but we don't know what's going on over there. So we need somebody who can bring that to like our audience, but then also show vice versa. You know, the kids who are who were partying with me back in the day who don't know about you know, who was in the nineties and like who what? Acid house is what hacienda all that. They don't know that stuff. So it's kind of a vice versa. It's to put people in the same room. And be like, look, you guys have a lot in common might not realize it, and that's it's a very forward thinking. It sounds weird to say that. But I think it's actually forward thinking of an outlet like mix MAG to work with somebody like you in that capacity because and this goes back to I think young versus old sort of this culture war thing, we've been talking about where there are all these established media outlets four dance music. But I think at least coming from the artist's perspective the way, you always think about them is that they kind of have this older perspective. And they're not always at the the bleeding edge of what's happening. I feel like a lot of it. What I always says it can. I don't wanna put mix Meghan that category. Because I actually love mix MAG. Yeah. Yeah. But I I know what you mean in that like it can feel very inaccessible to a lot of younger artists or artists that don't fall like certain, John or something like that. But then on the other hand, you know, we were talking about the blog air, right? And that was the wild west and that was very much youth movement. Right. Yeah. And but now we're seeing this issue, and you don't have to agree with me on this. But I mean, even part of the reason why I started doing this podcast was I was sort of fed up with the really garbage level of discourse. That was going on in dance music, mainly from the blogs, which I think blogs are not doing so hot right now in in terms of everything really. But I think there's a content issue where before they were sort of contributing to culture now, they're just sort of Leting off of it. Yeah. Certain extent. So it's I think you're occupying. This kind of amazing space that. Hopefully, we see more of where it's the energy from the blog stuff being there at the forefront of the culture, but then combining it with sort of the polish, and maybe the maturity, yeah. The more established outlet, I think, well, I think that's a a responsibility that you know, people it makes my long before. I was there have taken really seriously, which has helped us kind of be there be where we are today in that they recognize that we have the ability to talk to some artists that are out of reach for, you know, maybe a small blog because they they know the history of mix MAG, but we also kind of oh that same power to artists that feel like they can't reach us because they're just getting started. But they've got a really cool sound and their their story is worth telling. So to be able to kind of like do a little of both because I mean, it was hard. It was hard for blogs because the media world change, which is why why the content changed so fast to kind of be a little less exciting. I think for readers and artists and everything they were just trying to feed into like what are people clicking on which? More about the money. I think yeah. Yeah. Which that's a whole different conversation. The money. Everything in media's crazy, right? But yeah. So I think that I've always really appreciate it like from what I've learned about the history of mix MAG, and the people who you know, were running the magazine like so early on. They've always taken it really seriously to be like, we need to we need to put people on the cover do stories on people that it'll be like their first big break because it can be that for them like a mixed cover really can be like, oh my God. That was the moment. Everyone realize like this person was going to be big. And then in five years, we're like, yeah. We were the first always also really cool feeling. Involved with stories like that. Yeah. I mean, not like I don't wanna take any credit for what like the magazine team does. Separate team. But I think that you know, we were one of the first people to pick up on Pegu as an artist who was like a really exciting person and look at her now, she is like has like the top track of last year and just like this huge phenomenon in her own way. And then just on my own personal end. I know that we're working on this really cool series. I love it's called magnified where we picked our team hands lectured ten artists that we're just really big fans of and they're artists that are small like, I would still call them small in a respectable way. But to give them opportunity like we are bringing them into the lab and they get to play their own lab. And we did these really amazing mini like documentary features on them, which is so rare for an artist, you know, because video contents expensive, and it's hard to do. So like a lot of places. Always reserve them for the big stories of the big names. But to talk to a lot of these people, and they're like, this is my first video interview ever. And to be able to find out like, oh, you came all the way from here, and like you've gone through all this already. And you're still just only at the beginning is a really cool new perspective. I hope that people like, yeah. And I think I mean, it's great you're doing that in general because I think that's going to contribute to the culture and keep it moving forward. You know, like we can't we should celebrate our legends. But if that's all we do, then we're just kind of retreading the same things, and yeah, it's interesting. I mean 'cause I think every story the story of somebody struggling starting off. I think is just as valid as the story of somebody who got over that hump. Yeah. Exactly. And it's interesting talking about the video stuff because I know you've started producing a lot of video content. These days you were the host of the Coachella livestream. Well, all right all video stuff. How is the transition for you going move? Ving into video and kind of new media stuff coming from more of a writer -ly background. I think it was a lot easier for me to be honest than it was for some people out there like we were saying before media changed so fast, like even past five years, you look back and things were just entirely different. But because I kind of came up in this untraditional way of learning about the world of media and writing, you know, like I learned from people that I worked with on a blog like I wasn't in the same room as these people we were over Email overdue chat. And like, that's how I learned which I think some people, you know, more traditionalist person would look at it. And be like, oh like, you didn't really like learn like journalistic ethic and all this stuff but benefit I would. And I think it has really worked out in that. Like, I've been lucky to be part of brands companies that really want to just try stuff like, you know, mix. Didn't have a podcast before. And we were like, well like, let's try it. And we just picked up microphones and did like test run. And we're like, I think this is okay. And it and worked, and it's like really fun to do stuff and same thing. Like, I didn't I've never had any training of like how to be on camera until like host and interview people like you, and I were just talking about earlier about all the little like things that you do when you're interviewing artists like you're worried about checking looking at your phone notes thinking like they might think that you're checking grammars and things, but like that's all stuff that we learned just by doing it. You know? So it was the same thing. So that was yeah. That was definitely a highlight. And coach. Show within come about. So there's this wonderful guy named Raymond Raymond Roker who works at Coachella with the team. And he actually started his own magazine called herb, you are b. Yeah, that's crazy because I was thinking about urban driving over here. Yeah. Because I was thinking about how mixed maggots still going strong. And how a lot of other aren't yes. And when I was coming up. Herb was like the like, I, you know, I got like an article in herb about some of my early stuff. And it was like I've made it good literally like ten Kavi thing. And now doesn't exist and no one even a new kid doesn't know what it is. Exactly. Yeah. So yeah. So those who know so he started herb many years ago and has worked his way up and is working with the Coachella AG team. And so he actually reached out to me on Twitter. And I was like who is this random person? And I did some like Lincoln searching, and it was like, oh, he's like a real person. He's not like some random creep like a real like I was I was like. Yeah. Yeah. No. So and talking to Raymond it's really great to see how something is monstrous Coachella can value something like that. Because you know, he came from DIY grassroots like I'm just going to make this magazine because I love house music, and I love the scene, and he still has that knowledge even though Coachella lineups or like so current and like everything they're doing is. So different than like what that was. So he reached out to me on Twitter. We had a great meeting, and he was like, you know, I just found you based on my knowledge of what makes Maga's, and it seems like you could be a really good fit for what we're trying to do. They essentially built out a new team along with mentally. He's done it for several years. Now, a new team of people who kind of knew their stuff about every genre. So like we had dusk who works at complex. She was all hip hop and a girl named Brittany who was just like this wealth of knowledge about. Live and rock music. So that was it was it was so fun to be a part of that team to kind of also like learn from people about other John rose because sometimes I get so like, oh like, I do know a lot about dancing Zik. But I don't know anything about other honors and to have those conversations with like young women who also new new their shit about. It was really really cool to realize that it's all kind of happening in parallel to what you're doing. And you're a part of a bigger thing. Those are and to hear other perspectives like Brittany. And I who she was like the live rock music girl. We had a really funny and lively and pleasant debate about the, you know, where rock music has gone in Coachella and now taken over by electron music. So that was a really fun conversation. I like really really enjoyed that chat with her. I was like, okay good. Like, this is this is the person I need to talk to about this. Let's get into. Yeah. And I saw a few of those clips of the interviews and the hosting redoing act Coachella. How is it different for you? Because you know, a lot of those were sort of these shorter like five minute chunks. You know, talking to an artist then throwing his, you know, some performance that kind of thing how did that feel was it different? Was it enjoyable to kind of or how did you change your approach when you know, you just have like a couple of minutes to talk to somebody versus an hour long podcast, or you know, yet, I page article definitely it's very high pressure. Also that because we're kind of like, the kind of tell you exactly how much time you have right before you have it. And you're like, okay, three minutes. Okay. What can I talk about in three minutes? But I was also really lucky in that the artists that I talked to you this time around because of the work that I've been doing for the past five six years a lot of them. I have met before and have interviewed them at different points in their careers. So to kind of have that chance to talk to them at Coachella, which I think a lot of people take like this huge like big important moment in their career, and they're just like happy and thankful to be there that helped a lot like, for example, Troy, I remember I had interviewed him. Maybe like when he was had just moved to the US and was like just people were starting to be like, oh, this guy's really cool. He's making like a really interesting sound, and then just like a year or two later to be talking to him at Coachella or he's like bringing out all these live dancers. And like has this whole show was like this is cool to be able to like you trust me. And that like, you know, I know your story. So I know what highlights like pull out right now that was like a really really cool way that it worked out. I think that what you just described that relationship is one of the things that those the more established media outlets can provide. Is there's that trust. Ideally, there's that trust between a journalist and an artist that can evolve over years of over coal careers. Sometimes that you don't always see with the more, and I just keep shitting on blogs. But like the more click Beatty just kind of like of the moment gossip stuff. Yeah. The sort of here in God. And you look at it. And then you never think about it again. Yeah. It's I don't know. I love those kind of relationships. I love thinking about how you can marry sort of the old way of doing things with the culture just always comes down to the fact that Eno a lot of people are like really jaded about music and music industry. But the two rules of like, you're an artist, and you write about music or visit culture, those are the two rules like you really in it just because you love it. If you're not in it because you're going to get a guarantee of Ilic, you're paid out like a ton of money or. Like, you're going to get all this fame or anything. But it's really the same shit. Right. Like it's like for what you do. I mean in the same way. I'm just making this up as I'm talking. But I for what you do. I have to imagine, you know, you had to find your own voice. Yeah. You have to you know, in the same way an artist does like it's all the same thing in a way. Right. Yeah. Like, you're known for a certain perspective, you're known for a certain style. And in the exact same way an artist would be. Yeah, there's a lot of and, you know, there's that's what I think my favorite parts of my job are to find the stories that are worth telling. Whether it's you know, you just find artists. No one's ever heard about or you have known artist for a long time. And you remember like there's this one story that really like shape them to be who they are. And I can like help them tell that story and show people like, whoa. There's this whole other side to that person. So how do you find those stories? I don't know. I think it's just, you know, just being true to just wanting to be a positive part of the culture, and like that person's story like, honestly. So just your natural. Love of what you're doing kind of a tracks. Yeah. I think that's what it comes on. Because again, it's kind of that thing where I never got official traditional like training. Like this story. This is how you know. Like what sticks? It was just more of like you realize that's what people wanna learn about like people don't want the like PR blurb from the artists that they're talking about like their new album, and they wanna talk about like that weird moment where they like met. Some person in the like, this is a real story also met like found a person in the middle of a jungle who is like playing on this like Japanese instrument, and they were like, oh my God. This sound is amazing. How can and they like had to go hunt and find that exact instrument. There's only like ten of them. Like what? I can't believe that happened to somebody like that happened to somebody. That's why they made their them that way that's cool is is part of the interest for you sharing those things too. Like for me. I was a DJ for long before I was a producer. And even as a kid before. I was a DJ. I was just always like trying to make other people. Listen to things I thought were cool. Yeah. And that's still kind of probably what drives a lot when I do. Basically like this really cool. And for some reason, you also think that. Yeah. I mean, I think it's just it's so cool to see how it connects people. I think I realized that a lot when I worked with I s 'cause I went to you know, I went to China and Singapore visa, and to me all these people who have that same excitement that people have when they first uncovered and seizing even though they've been in their respective industries for however long, let's talk a little bit more about that the IMS period. Was that your first, you know, out of college sort of I like major official gig working in media. Basically, you wanna contest versus right. Yeah. There was a contest. So a friend of mine had passed along this contest that I m s launched that year that I graduated is called the visionaries contest. And essentially it was pretty forward thinking of them in that they wanted to open up a door to young people in the industry 'cause they kind of looked around. And they recognize like, oh, a lot of our people that are involved are a little bit older. You know, they're. The guys that have been around for a long time. But we want to make it more accessible to people who are like, my who are graduating and really interested in getting into music, and the the premise of the contest was to find an idea to help either fix the problem or improve the music industry and present it, and it was really great because I had been doing that research about, you know, the drug laws in the US and how it relates to dance music. So I was like this is a great way to kind of just get into that. So I ended up entering into the competition and winning which is really great because the prize was to actually speak at one of the conferences, and they had one in LA that year. But then this is like a long story so have to bear with me a podcast. So I had this incredible billing I think I was supposed to speak like right after cascade or something like that. And right before Quincy Jones, which has I have no idea why decided like that was my spot. But I I've very much appreciate that. But anyways, all this stuff happened. Like, there was a technical difficulty. And then Quincy Jones arrived early. And they were like we really can't make Quincy Jones way. And I was like that's totally fair because it's Quincy Jones. So I was like, okay. Like all that. And I actually ended up not being able to speak about conference which at the time. I was like, no. Like a missed out on this amazing opportunity. But then Ben Turner, who is one of the co founders I m s was like really upset to hear that happen. And we ended up having a meeting 'cause he was like, oh, maybe we'll get you out to the next conference or something. And by the end of that, he was like, you know, what I think actually the conference could really use just like a younger perspective. Like I'd really like for you to start working on my team. So that was straight out of college. I was like all right. I'm gonna do this and help them launch. I m s in China really helpful Chinese and then did a couple rounds with them. But it was kind of funny because while that was happening just graduated and my parents were like, well, you got to pay the bills known like, okay? And I was great. But it was definitely more like a part time thing because it was like per conference. So I actually also signed on for different fulltime job while I was doing the MS stuff. And I worked with snoop Dogg's management to help them launch a site called Mary Jane. I like there's no reason to not. Yeah. So I helped them launch Mary, Jane, which is a a website kind of like a lifestyle website. That's all about lead, which is kinda funny. Because like, I'm just not like a crazy. We'd person like I'm totally fine with it. But like, I just have never been the kind of person. Like, I know all the strains everything that happened. So that was a really interesting like I jump into real life. I was like in the daytime I'd be helping them just launched from like a very like technical aspect of like, here's how to build a back in. Let me find you writers. Let me get you off the ground. Okay. So you're kind of doing everything. Yeah. It was the website had was not existent before which was very exciting. Because I was like I've really helped them build it from top to bottom all that. Yeah. From from school. Yeah. From working with dancing like it was so full circle. It was a really strange strange way of how it worked out. Did you get to spend much time with? New came in for several like big meetings. And he's honestly of nothing bad say about him. He's a friendly super nice guy was smoking like crazy throughout the whole conference meeting. But he just like he had all these really insightful points to bring up because he really understands audiences and what people are looking for. And what people like so that was it was it was great. It was like being in the the genius. And it was was about to say, I actually think he is kind of a Jesus. Yeah. He's reinvented himself so many times. Yeah. Can appeal to kind of anyone at any age? He's like a mean. But like one that you take seriously right time, which is very hard. And he's managed to find this space where just sort of everyone loves him. Just this lovable presents no matter how you perceive. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. He's. Yeah. He's a very very interesting character. And obviously like amazing talent. Yeah. So, but I was like working with there. Team as my day job. And didn't really tell them that. I was also working functions at the same time, which hopefully they won't listen. But yeah. So I would be kind of like leaving for a week at a time being like, I've got a number gency. I really have to go like so many of -mergency. Yeah. Yeah. It was really I don't know how I got away with it. But I saw I'd be like in China like awake at like four AM like sending an Email out to them being like, I'm not in China. It was a very strange time in my life. But it was really exciting to be able to like figure out what I loved and what I didn't like because I think by the end of like a coup- couple months. I realize that I really loved working, and I just like couldn't let it go. But also, I was like burning myself out pretty quick. So it all was like a like somehow everything worked out kind of moment. Where Ben for my mess heard. My like cries for help essentially he was like, oh, I've actually heard that makes MAG is looking for somebody like an editorial person in LA like let's figure out a way to make that work. So that's how I actually got connected. So it was all oh just being in the right place with our at time now, which is I don't know. It's like that old saying like, I'm going to butcher this. But it's something about you know, you're the luckiest when you're working the hardest. Yeah. Yeah. Because it's a right time, right place. But also you're doing what you wanted to do. Yeah. I really hard burning the candle at both ends whatever you wanna call. Yeah. To me. That's when those moments always happen. It's not when you're sort of just sitting around and get lucky with it. Yeah. Why have to imagine to as somebody who said, you're very interested in culture. And dance music culture. Must have been fascinating working in other countries. Right. Yeah. And especially in Asia, which you know, China's still right now is crazy for dance music. How was that experience? You know, seeing it through different lands. What did you learn about sort of how they process dance music versus how we in the states do. Yeah. Yeah. That was one of my favorite things about learning it or working at S was how much I learned about the different cultures. And why they reacted dance music in the ways that they do China's specifically as you mentioned I have been going to China since I was a kid like every single year to visit family and just re up on my Chinese language. And so it was a really interesting experience to go to China for the first time as a work trip, and then, you know, talk to people who've been working in the country trying to build up dance music culture there, and like, you know, creating these festivals. So that was really. Interesting thing because it all it comes down to just every single like every single part of culture affects the way that they receive this kind of music, for example, obviously, people know that China's quite restricted you can't go online freely in the same way that you can hear, you know, Facebook Instagram all blocked. And at the time, I didn't actually even know that soundcloud was also blocked YouTube all blocked China. So such a different experience base level. Yeah. So that was the craziest thing is realizing like that people weren't hearing from people in China simply because we were just living on different digital planets. You know, they're all these kids. Who were like, oh, yeah. I've been trying to learn how to produce. But like, I can't look up YouTube tutorials. I can't go on Facebook. And like message my favorite deejay, and I've also got my tracks uploaded. But no one hears them, except for people in China that like if you just think about it for a little bit is like so mind blowing that you're like, oh my God. Like, it's insane. How we got here insane. Yeah. Yeah. So to like be in the same room. And then also like realize the way that they appreciate like when an artist I come to their country. Like, I remember that year that I was there like scroll. Headlining festival and just like to see the way that those kids react to scroll IX because he's literally never there, and they have no access to him. Besides like, maybe at this point. He has like a we chat profile setup. But I doubt. It's like, I doubt. It's quite as updated as his regular Instagram him. I guess even the biggest artists probably still felt underground. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And just the way of like what's happening in China's underground like it's crazy to think about that. Like, what are we missing out on? No, that's such an interesting question to me because in the states there are plenty of of dance music stars from overseas, but not a ton from China that have broken over here. Yeah. Really, none at all. And I honestly don't feel qualified enough to talk about like what could be going on. But it's just I mean, even just thinking about the possibilities is really exciting. And then I remember another like important experience from that conference was I met a bunch of people who had come over from India to conference to just kind of meet people and be in the same room, and realizing that like India has apparently they've got like hundreds and hundreds of dialects, and you know, like to Indian people could be standing next to each other not be able to speak to each other. And the way that dance music, apparently like brings people together in that crazy way 'cause they they don't have to be disconnected because of language like just little things like. That like it sounds really cheesy. But it really makes you think and be like, okay. Like there is like a very important reason why we're all coming together. And having a music conference to talk about it. I think sometimes feels a little like, oh like is this just like a ego? Potty other on the back kind of thing. Massive, Tori, work. So if you really dig in and let those people come to you and tell you their stories like, that's really cool. It's so interesting to me the way other cultures perceive what's going on here? Yeah. Because you know, I think we all know at this point in the last ten years like dance music in the states, just gone crazy. There's this big explosion. I mean, that's the reason we're all here probably still here doing it. But you know, you go overseas. Like, I think for my perspective playing shows over there, and it's it's perceived so differently, right? And if you saw sort of if you saw it on film with the sound off it would kind of look the same. But then when you're actually there, you realize that a lot of these experiences like I think about in China, you know, there's these crazy bottle service clouds right with his insane over the top production and all that. But then there can be this kind of mismatched energy where you can. Show up, and it's sort of like, you don't really know what they expect from you like, it's it it almost becomes more about the spectacle. Yeah. Never sent. Like, literally goes all the way back to what we started this conversation saying about everyone is looking to take something away. Like, everyone's looking to take something different away from the music, and even if it's the same music and the same artist just because of the way that person has experienced culture and life and been exposed to all that like, it's. Yeah, it's very interesting. I've learned a lot about the world through music has been like a corridor to travel. I mean, you said you you had been to China a lot as a child has music opened up like other places, you might not have gone. Oh, yeah. Hundred percent, I grew up with a big kind of inherent love with travel because my mom is a professor and she travels a lot for her work. And as a kid, she always luckily show, his took me along and kind of like. Let me see the world really on. Yeah. Super valuable. And so I guess like. Yeah. Places I've traveled to with music, I've been a lot. So I mean, I'm to all over Europe into like an Amsterdam and a lot in like Central America to Costa Rica to Colombia for like a day a lot in Mexico, which has been really interesting to learn about Mexico through music for sure. Yeah. There's a lot going on. There's a lot going on. Yeah. Again. I think the US seen is maybe a little ignorant or blind to cause it is. Yeah. Yeah. Mexico. Yeah. I mean, I've had a very interesting experience with Mexico. The first time I was there. I was up PM festival when. Yeah. Yeah. When there was a shooting at a nightclub, and we were at the nightclub. Yeah. So what what was that? Like frightening. Yeah. I mean, we're you close to it was I mean is this like running for your life kind of situation. Yeah. I mean. Yeah. It's so weird to think about it. I never really think about it very often. But you don't have to talk about. No, it's I mean, I think people should know that that kind of stuff happens just like the current climate of what's going on. We had just gotten. It was the very last day, my friends, and I had been at PM for really long time. The festival was like ten days long guard. So he's been there for all ten days for some reason. And I kind of went into going to Mexico with like, the typical stereotypes I think where you're like. Ooh, it's going to be a little unsafe like apt to be really careful and it had been like a whole week of nothing going wrong. Like, no one like the worst thing that happened was like one of our friends swindled by taxi for like to pay like double the price like great. Let's go home. With that as our story. So we were all going to like blue it for the very loss party and we walked in. And thankfully, we were like we were in the backstage area. And we'd like just gotten there. Maybe like ten minutes later we heard like gunshots. I think you kind of really never know you don't can't prepare for them that like I think when we heard it. We were like wait does that really happening is that really what's going on fireworks? Like is it not? But I remember at the time when it happened. It must have been right ofter another mass shooting somewhere else. I think it was like very fresh in people's minds. So people started running right away. And we were like hiding in an area and just kind of like waiting to figure out like what was going on. It probably was only for a couple minutes. Yeah. Just yeah. You just can't really like prepare for a moment. Like that. Really? But we think got out. Okay. And like, I mean, if you don't know what happened. It was pretty terrible. Several people died security guards died. There was some terrorists that died as well. And I know friends who are also at the club who were in different parts of the club or had like really really really scary experiences. Where like they almost like got caught in a stampede. They saw things that were like pretty horrific. So yeah, I mean, I just feel really lucky that we were we got out. Okay. And it was fine. That's. I mean words kind of fail me in a way because it's so senseless, right? And it doesn't you know before. And after this thing is happened. And it's significant and it requires processing. But I don't know what you do with that. You know, the thing. Like, I remember after it happened. That was my first time in Mexico. And it was like you would think that I'd be like coming here. I never want to go there again like terrible place, which like I may never go to like Playa del Carmen again rush because it's like a little frightening to think about going back there. But I went back to Mexico like twice afterwards to like different cities. And I really had a lot of appreciation for people who had known about what happened, and they were like so eager to be like, it's not this way. You know, we have so much appreciation for this music. And we're like the people who put on these festivals have strong love for it. And yeah, I just think I mean, it's definitely something unfortunate. Ashby said like people should be aware that stuff like that happens. Certainly. I mean, it happens plenty in the states. Yeah. Exactly. So that's definitely one thing. Like, I you kinda take for granted. Like when you go to club or you go out. You're like I'm here. How fun like about anything? But like you kind of always have this moment of like, I'm gonna look around. And like do I feel safe here like my comfy here? Move. Yeah. I mean, it's it's one of those things where it's like that old name of lake you can't let the terrorists win. You know, if we start house, blah, blah, which is true. And I mean for me like I think about that kind of thing. And I mean, I'm lucky in that I have not been through that kind of experience. But I like to think that even if I did, you know, I would still be doing the same things. I'm doing right now. But you're right. That's smart. I mean, it's a weird time, and this I was just talking to together. And he was saying he literally I guess this like he has a thing about shooting like mass shootings, and it's like weighs on him. And he was saying he plays shows in kevlar vests now, and that's just like, wow. How how he's right. And I mean, that's an extreme version. But it's I think it's worth saying it is affecting the way people are conducting themselves on all. Sides of it. Yeah. I mean. Yeah. Definitely like, I it breaks my heart like thinking about like the news. That's happened. Like over the past, however, many years every time, especially when it's about like music about that club him just like who've like people, I know, you know, could be me. I mean, I'm happy to say that like I still go out very often. And like still I I'm not like terribly affected by it. I definitely like the back of my mind. But it's like, you know, it's cheesy. But like he like what you like and feel safe when you got to these shows, you feel really happy you're just gonna keep doing it. Well, that's absolutely, especially for dance music. That's why we're all here, you know, going out because you feel happy because the music, you know, it's an escape in a way. Right. We've touched on the roots of dance music bunch of times. That's how it all started. Right. Was like it comes from communities of either minority or underprivileged? The LGBTQ community all that. That's where it all started. And it was an escape. Right. It was where you know, people in those communities could go be happy escape, you know, whatever terrible happening at the time. And I mean, I think it's still for me. It's still is that. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. Maybe that's a good way to start wrapping it up, but. I honestly could talk about just know stuff like this forever. Well, maybe that's one more thing to mention is talking about sort of the roots of dance music, and you were talking about how you've kind of done the homework after the fact, right? Like, you got into it. And then started learning about all these connections and one issue I have with the Dan seen, particularly in the US is that it does have a very short memory. And that it often does not know its own history. Right. And especially as it pretends to minorities, and as it pretends to underprivileged groups of people who were the originators of this music. It was their music and now that it's blown up into the mainstream. There's a certain element of, you know, white people doing what white people do and just being like. Oh, yeah. That's great. I'll take that. I mean, so on your side of it from the journalistic side, how how do you thread that needle of shining the light on either the originators or the p the roots of it or the people who aren't getting the shine that maybe they should be versus the popular stuff versus you know, what people I just have this hunger to consume. Yeah. I mean, I think it just comes down to respect. I guess I mean, it's been kind of a theme of what we've been talking about this whole time of like if you like if I go to a kid who like thinks techno people are all snobs. And I'm like, hey, like, I appreciate like what you like. And like I'd love to learn about it. And learn about why you are such a fan of it. I hope that that person would feel the same way about the other end. You know, they'll go and be like all right like fine. Like, I've never really understood techno. But at least I'll like try it out. And like learn about who Jeff mills is. Learn about who liked the Belleville three are like really like figure out like is is important to me. And you know, if it's not like cool. Whatever. That's fine. Because there's also that element of like those like there are people who like it's always going to be a little underground fine. It's not for everyone, which is kind of the cool part about it. You feel like you're part of something really special. Yeah. And I think that's just kind of at least it's worked for me bus far just kind of approach things that way like even Besic that. I don't listen to in my personal spare time, I, you know, talked to a lot of artists that make that kind of music and respect where they come from. How far how far they've had to trudge along to get there. So when I I guess I I agree with that. And I think that's a healthy attitude. Yeah. I guess the the point I keep thinking about it bothers me even doing this podcast. Like, I've had trouble not making this the white dude's talking show. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's both in terms of race ended terms of gender. I feel like there are that's a strong issue in dance music, probably all of music, but I feel like specifically dance music has kind of bad. Yeah. Even before when you were talking about that you felt like you're the anomaly in the room, and it's like a young woman in this group of older dudes is that something you've experienced in your own career as far as has it been have something's been harder. If people not taking you seriously. Yeah. I think I've definitely experienced my fair share of it. I'm thankful that. It hasn't been obviously hasn't affected me in a terribly negative way. Because I feel like I've gotten to where I wanna be actually thanks to the support of a lot of older guys seen the value of being like, all right? Like, I would like to bring this person in because I value like I know that they're younger, but also are willing to learn and can bring a lot of things to the table. And I. Will never never not. Appreciate that. But yeah, I mean, there's happens to all women. It's like you'll be the only one in the room, and like a guy will come around and shake. Everybody's hand except for yours. And you're like, it's fine. I work here this conference that you are attending. But it's fine. And they find out later, and they're like, oh my God. I'm so sorry didn't say Hello. And I'm like, really? Yeah. But I think it just comes down to like this conversation that we've had over the past year about, you know, paying attention to women in music has been really important. I think it definitely got to the point where I think a lot of women were like, I'm tired of talking about this, which is also really important to acknowledge respect. And, you know, don't don't like single out be like cheese, my favorite female DJ on your like, why are they not just your favorite DJ? They can be just a regular j too. Cringe like all female line. Yeah. And it's like I understand there is a good intention their country. But just to even just keep it in your mind, when you look it whatever project, you're working on and you look at a lineup, and you're like, whoa. A lot of white dudes. Like, no one knows. It's cool. Like, you still should pick. Someone who deserves it like don't pick someone just because they're woman or minority or whatever. But I mean, we've rude recognized that like throughout all of our time makes a lot of the work that we do naturally, thankfully. It's just included women and people who are minorities, but it is important like when we look at something like, okay, like we really have to make an effort to like if we don't know of someone who fits into this mold like, let's dig someone's out there and just to take that extra effort and just to follow that logic of you know, because they're always be those. Well, just call them Astles will make the opposite argument of you know. It's just merit based you know, the best person for the best job. But if you follow that logic line, and you say, okay, there's like an all white dude festival. And if you actually think that only white dudes have that merit. Then are you just think that white dudes are better, and like I'm not gonna follow that way down? But we kind of know where that goes. That's that's a dangerous row at man. That's the other thing is I mean, all it all relates like, you go see these places other places in the world. And you're like, whoa. Like that person deserves my attention. I just for some reason have never seen them before. Because they just haven't been like the typical place that I look that it apply like in China. I don't look in China for like Sonko DJ's because then on there. But there are probably many of them that are really awesome. It's the same thing for women. It's like, I'm I think now it's it's very encouraging to see how many people are really getting into it. Whether it's like, you work behind the scenes or you're an artist or you're right, or whatever. Like I've seen a lot of women who have been like I'm stepping up to the plate. And I'm going to be here. Whether you like it or not. The media side have. I mean, I'm sure it does. But does it strongly have those issues as well? As far as a lot of it being white, dude, focus because I see more from the artists side where I definitely noticed the issue. But I've never really thought about if it's the same thing on the media side. I would say I mean, probably as much as any other industry, there is a level of it. But I think that from what I've noticed at least there's less of it in in the sense that I think a good media outlet respects different perspectives and different ways that people tell stories and the number one way to do that is to find people who are different, you know, like, you you get a different story when you are, you know, younger than that writer or you grew up in a different place in that writer, or if you look different than that writer. I think you just naturally will get a different story because you're looking at things differently and people talk to you about different things. So I think less in that way. But I mean. As every industry there. Yeah. Of course. And I think that's that's a good note. Just for anyone who thinks about getting into this industry. Right. Is that your perspective? And what you bring to the table is more valuable than almost anything else and your specific experiences. No one has that. But you so. Yeah. How much of what you do for your work is something that's pitched to you versus something that you personally, just say, I wanna write a story about this. And what do you look for when it is pitched you like what catches your your is? Yeah. I mean, I think definitely at this point care. It's a lot less of like what's pitched me versus like. Okay. I found that really interesting, and we're gonna go for it. And that's not to say that PR is important because there's a lot of Allieu in having somebody on your on your side working really hard on the PR side. But yeah, I think I just realized a long time ago that people. Are looking for stuff like this. You know, like they wanna hear the kind of off guard perspective of like an artist or story, or whatever it is. They don't need the same click bait copy paste post that has been fed out to a lot of people already. And it takes a lot more work to do stuff. Like that as I'm sure, you know. But I think the value is always so much higher. You know, like, you always get along people like when somebody comes out of something that you created wrote recorded, whatever. And they're like, wow. I really like never thought about it that way or like that's new to me that that's like, oh, I've done it. That's it. I'm good. I don't need anything else. But that or if they're like angry about if they don't agree with it. But they're like thinking about it differently. You're like cool. I don't agree with you. But like at least you're thinking about it differently. That's awesome too. So it's a human connection again. Right. Yeah. I think that's so valuable I'll wrap this up the only other thing I wanted to ask is this whole time while you were talking I've been thinking about the questions I ask a lot of artists on this show. And one thing we end up covering lot is sort of musical influences, and that sort of thing, but I'm curious if on urine were there writers who influenced you along the way or other outlets. You know, any big ones that really affected the way you thought about what? You did or change the way you thought about what you did. Yeah. We're even your life. Yeah. Definitely. I mean, there's a lot of really impressive music writers. But I think as you finish that question is that other people in your life, and it kind of always comes down to I mentioned before that like, my mom traveled a lot when she was when I was young and she took me with her, and my mom, actually is a professor of criminal Justice just kind of wild and her research specialization is in human trafficking, which is kind of crazy when you start thinking about it. And I grew up with that like a early exposure. I think to that kind of subject early on. I think which obviously it's a pretty dark and terrible subject. But it helps you think about the world in a different way. When you learn about stuff like that exists early on in your life. And yes, I think that that really helped me put a strong value on like, okay? There are so many stories that are underneath the surface big difference between. You know, reading an article about something versus digging into it yourself, right? And starting to tell the story from your perspective. Yeah. Like hearing the stories that she's like learned about from interviewing people and just being in the same room as people who were like spending their whole lives learning about this kind of subject. I obviously don't do research on very similar subject. But I recognize that I have that same interest in learning about like, why does the music affect people this way, or like why is this all happening because of that? And I think that that love that interest for me came from like her murder, but that's so cool. Yeah. Yeah. Shot at mom shout. I wanna talk about just what you're doing right now. I wanna make sure we mention all the stuff people should go. Check out. Obviously, you have the on rotation podcast, which I feel strong kinship with you about that. Because I think we're kind of the only two people making stuff like that as far as I know, there's some other. I don't. Yeah. I don't see that anybody. But in terms of like, it's a podcast about music. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And it's it's you and another host. Yeah. Harrison the other host and yet speaks MAGS podcast. And we kind of approach it every week where we talk about just things that are going on that we cover on the website. But then also kind of perspective from us just being to people who are also really different. You know, he's like total New Yorker like Brooklyn I and like a DJ he like is such a music head, and I respect him so much for that. And then I come from a very different perspective like growing up on the west coast. And so we we have a really fun banter. I think about all the things that happen. And then we talk about like new music and always interviewing artists, so it's really cool, and you're also making a lot of video content. Yes. It's almost to me. I know it's all sort of part of the mix MAG job to me that almost feels like the separate show. You know what I mean? Yeah. It's definitely a treat like makes MAG has really pushed hard on like creating more like original cool stuff like. We've been working on like I said this magnified series that I'm really proud of is our most recent ones check that out if you're listening. Out. Now, there is still rolling out. I was going to speak, but probably by the end of February they'll all be out. So it's just like a really cool series that shines light on some artists that hopefully, you have heard of them, and maybe haven't heard of others, but they're all kind of like worth your time, which I think is a really important thing. Learn about all kids. Yeah. Yeah. That's literally my favorite. Yes. Like that that new energy? That's I think what keeps me here. Is there anything else? You wanna talk about that people should be looking out for anything. You're working on anything that your new. Yeah. That you're excited about I mean, I'm excited about. Yeah. My new rule it makes Maga's just going to be a lot of what I'm doing. But then also taking us into like just places that we haven't been before. Like, you don't realize until you start being told that like dance music is everywhere. Like, it's in fashion. It's film. It's all over the place. So hopefully, it'll be seeing a lot more from that. Besides that it's kind of funny like I'm not an artist. I'm like, what am I surely? Yeah. Doesn't need to be allowed. I mean think with what you do you're always working. There's definitely like projects that I hope to bring to life. I think in the next year or so, and I just hope that people realize, you know, like being journalist is kind of a funny thing nowadays because it's like, I hope that people appreciate my perspective. And like wanna hear more of the things that I've learned in the things that I'm observing? So I appreciate you. If you're following along in the journey, and there's more to come. What what is it that keeps you here? What's exciting to you? Right now, what still fun about what you do. What's the most fun part for you? There's just like never not something that I don't know. I just can't know everything even the discovery. Yeah. Like, I'm always learning about new artists or like new parties and new festivals or whatever it may be. So there's just never not something that I'm uncovering and sell like, I just hope. That I can do my part and showing the people that love this stuff. I'm glad you're here doing it. This has been really fun. I'm going to end with the same question. I asked at the end of all of these just a moment in your life. And it could be recently or could be from when you were a kid when in a moment music, really deeply affected you. And that could mean change the way you thought about something it could mean was connected to an important moment in your life. Yeah. Give you goosebumps. Just kind of the first thing that pops into your head. Yeah. Well, actually, new you're gonna ask this question. Listener guy damage, but no. But I mean, I genuinely thought about it not for too long because I was like should be one of those one of those what I love the by the way, you're the only guest I've ever had who asked me how they should prepare. This literally the only one that's ever has unlike the interviewer gets interviewed, maybe so happy. But then it made me question my own preparations. I didn't know what to tell you. I know it's been great. I like the way that it flowed grid. Yeah. So I think the moment that I can never forget, which I now think holds a lot more weight as I get older and realized that, you know, like when you grow up with parents who they're not necessarily like music, I kind of people I think when they do kinda show you something that they get really excited about it it sticks forever. And I remember my dad he was driving me around at some point when I was probably like a young teen. And like so in like typical DUI dad fashion. He's like. Like, I've got this really cool CD that I'm really excited about like. Let's listen to it. And I was like, okay. And he pops it in and it's like, it's Paul Simon's. Graceland. Just classic. It was like new to him at the time. And like, I just remember. We're listening to like you can call me, Al. And like I had I had like the CD booklet out. And I was like reading the lyrics, and I was like, I wonder what this all means. What does he talk about? And we were just like having such a good time like listening to because it's just like such good Vic and just like such an innocent. Like, I don't know what any of his music's about or anything. I love that the in to me that that just makes me think of a theme that's been running through this whole conversation. Which is just the connection that music can bring people, right? Yeah. It brings you and your dad together, you share this experience later on you think about that music. And remember it finally because you had this moment, and like he's from a country that doesn't speak the same language, but it's like jamming out to Paul. Yeah. It's really fun for me. Yeah. I love that. Well, this was great. Thanks again. Yeah. You feel good. I feel great. It was really. It was really fun. Okay. Awesome. Yeah. Let's do this again sometime. Yeah. All right that the show shout. Valerie that was so much fun. I had a great time sitting down with you. I really do. Hope we get to do that again sometime. Make sure to check out all of her projects the on rotation podcast all of her work with mix MAG the link to that is in the description of this episode. My name is willy joy. I hope everybody out there in -joyed that as much as I did. I hope you're having a good week. I hope you're taking care of yourself. Let me know if I can help you can always hit me up back to back pied g mail dot com or at Willie joy or at back. Toback pot on all social media. You know, let me know what you think of the show. Let me know who you wanna hear from what artists you'd like to see anything you want to chat about really I'm around. So just holler. At me. That's it for this week. That's it for January. God damn that went fast twenty nine teen. We're often running. I hope everyone out. There has a great. Week, and I will talk to you next Tuesday for back to back. This is Willie joy peace.

Coming up next