New York City remains a constant source of artistic inspiration, crossing genres and mainstream to independent spheres.
West Coast-based producer Mary Droppinz explores the city’s rave culture of the 2000s and 2010s on recent track “NYC.”
Considering music to be a transcendental experience, Droppinz strives for an eclectic sound covering the full dance music spectrum – from minimalist techno and electro through euphoric house, with some acid elements and hard kicks thrown in.
Today, she immerses herself in Los Angeles’ dance music scene – as a DJ and producer and in working for Native Instruments, a leading studio gear manufacturer.
Droppinz moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and has since turned into a fixture of the city’s club scene, where she blends ‘90s rave and hip-hop to bring back the vibes of warehouse parties of previous decades.
The pandemic further contributed to her rise: Turning to social media, she began to open as a DJ for Robot Heart, LP Giobbi, Justin Martin, and other artists’ Twitch channels.
As a producer, she signed to Altered States and released EP Galactic Portal back in March 2022, with significant support from Spotify’s Housewerk list. Track “NYC” is a look back at a time in her life – living in New York City around 2010 and hustling to get her electronic dance music career off the ground.
We had a chance to speak with her about her background and recent release:
How did you get started as a producer?
I was DJing for about four years when I felt like it was time to take the next step and explore who I could be as a producer. By then, I felt confident in the sound I had developed as a DJ, so I wanted to start making music on my own.
Back in 2018, when I was working full-time in LA, I started going to night classes at IO Academy in Hollywood and learning my way around Ableton.
From there, I started feeling more confident with my production style and began meeting up with friends (and other artists) for studio sessions that taught me many new things on top of that.
Fast forward to 2021, I officially started putting out my own music and released my first original single that year.
What about NYC’s rave scene from the early 2010s interested you? How do you incorporate it into your music?
I lived in New York for about a year, and in that short time period, I felt extremely connected to the city. It was the first place I moved to after leaving my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
The scene there was so vibrant, and I had never really experienced live electronic music and nightclubs before then.
When I wrote NYC, I definitely wanted to highlight the specific, special time in my life when I really started stepping into dance music culture in such a fast-paced, new, and exciting place.
Your track “NYC” pays tribute to the city’s ‘90s rave culture. What did you do, production wise, to capture the era’s sound?
The track includes rave stabs, a sample from 50 Cent shouting out the city, and sirens (which you hear ALL the time in the city).
I really wanted to make a song that transported you back in time to the rave scene that is the foundation of our scene today.
Aside from NYC’s rave culture, what else influences your style and approach to production?
My fans and friends all know how much inspiration I draw from the UK scene – from breaks to UKG.
However, funny enough, I was super big into the emo scene in the 2000s – I loved that style of music. The passion and emotion that genre brings really parlayed the same emotions and passion that is at the forefront of my electronic music production now.
As a DJ, you began DJing on the West Coast around 2015. What influenced your cross-country move?
Honestly, I moved out here because of a serious relationship that didn’t end up working out.
However, it brought me to a place that really welcomed me and helped me find myself and find my identity in music – so for that, I’m forever grateful.
You used the pandemic to grow your audience through Twitch. What was your approach?
Consistency and engagement are key. I would do weekly shows, such as Breaks for Breakfast, and really take the time to engage with my audience.
Whether it be talking to everyone on the mic or chatting with them afterwards on my Discord, I just made it a point to connect.
As the pandemic continued to last longer than expected, those two factors really helped me grow my community.
How does DJing via Twitch differ from how you perform live?
You just can’t beat the real thing.
Now with the pandemic mostly behind us, how have you been using social media to build your brand?
I carry out the same principals as my Twitch channel – I utilize social media to stay connected with my fans and always make sure to take the time to respond to as many people as I can.
This industry is nothing without human connection, and I think social media is a great tool to do so.
What can we expect from you next?
I’m currently working on some big releases – the first being a single that is coming out next month on Repopulate Mars.
Additionally, I’ll be dropping some bootlegs that have been popping off during my DJ sets, and I am working on a forthcoming EP.
This year, I also want to give back to the community much more by continuing to teach DJ classes to up-and-coming artists through Femme House.