Through all the magical wonders in the world, you may have noticed the name Mary Droppinz through all the mystics. From recently performing at AMFAMFAMF Friendship or she’s on your list of performances to see during Miami Music Week at the Altered States event, Mary Droppinz has been rising throughout the scene and making an impact. Not only a producer but also an instructor through Femme House, there’s a lot of magic inside her bag. Electric Hawk recently got to sit down with the magical spirit for an exclusive interview!
seradopa: So my first question for you is I’ve noticed you have had a pretty huge year for yourself in 2022 and, honestly, already a busy beginning of 2023 – how surreal has it been for you to see the growth of yourself and who you’ve become since you first discovered dance music in college?
Mary Droppinz: It’s been a whirlwind. I was just reflecting on when I first started DJing, and I couldn’t care less if I was getting paid or anything like that. I was just excited to be playing! Now when certain things change, and you start getting in demand, you can get in that mindset of- I want more, I want more. So, that’s been a great reflection I’ve been having in the last bit, looking back at where I was when I first started DJing and getting into electronic music.[It’s] been amazing! Like, holy shit, what an honor it’s been to share my take on electronic music and [how] it makes me feel with everyone. I’m grateful!
seradopa: Yeah! Everything you’ve been doing has been monumental, from at least everything I’ve noticed, and it’s just so cool to see your growth over the past few years. Also, it’s cool to hear how you’ve reflected already and thought, “Damn, I’ve been doing a lot!”
MD: Yeah, the reflection is in this current moment. To sit back and be like, wow, this is what’s been going on, and take a minute to be proud of yourself. Like, artists are hard on themselves a lot. I’m a victim of that, too.
seradopa: Honestly, I am as well. I never look back, but when I do, I realize, wow- I’ve done a lot, so I should be proud of what I’m doing as a creative!
seradopa: I noticed you have a deep love of classics, especially with your remixes of “Barracuda” and “Breathe (In the Air).” How did those come to fruition for you? What made you choose those tracks particularly?
MD: Yes, every time I make music, it’s something personal or an experience. “Breathe (In the Air)” by Pink Floyd is my dad and me. He showed me all the classics when I was growing up, and we were big Pink Floyd fans together. We would listen to it super loud on the way to school! And that was how we connected through that. So I had it planned in my producer life that I [would] make something with Pink Floyd.
But this specific “Breathe” edit came about because when my grandpa passed away, my dad’s dad, that was the song he listened to help him through. After his dad took his last breath, he turned that [song] on and listened to it the whole time. [So] I’m inspired about life and death being the same. I needed to make an edit of that track! Also, my three new nephews are about to be born, and he’s about to become a grandpa; now, I need to make a new one!
seradopa: I love that! Well, congratulations on that; that’s awesome!
MD: Thank you! Then the “Barracuda” edit was my song on Guitar Hero. [Laughs] Every time I stood up, I’d say, “Ooh, Barracuda” – that was my jam on there! My mom, back in college, got asked to model on stage when Heart came to town and came out in her swimsuit during “Barracuda!”
So it’s just a funny thing [because] she’s so classy, so sweet. That’s when I thought- I have to make this a techno track right now! It goes deep for me!
seradopa: That’s awesome! It’s cool to see that both of these were inspired by your parents! It shows the deeper connection with your family and everything. Do you have any other potential ones you want to do? Like returning to your roots, maybe anything from your emo side from your college days!
Mary Droppinz: I’ve been working on one for the past month! I’m so pumped because when I first started producing and brought it up to one of my mentors, they said, “no, you can’t make an emo track into electronic.” Then I forgot about it for a bit. But now, I’m extra determined! So I’m making a Senses Fail edit. I love their music so much- the screams, the guitars, the riffs, everything! I just cracked a code on that, so I’m working on it!
seradopa: You’ve built a massive love through a multitude of imprints such as Altered States (Zeds Dead), Dirtybird, AMF, and also Femme House. How cool must it be to watch all the different audiences groove to the music you are making and loving currently?
MD: It’s been amazing. You question it at first, what you’re going to play. Should I cater more to what this group is known for? And then, in the end, I always choose to stay true to myself. And that’s built up such an awesome experience and why I’m playing in a wide range of audiences like Sophie Tucker’s crowd or Steve Aoki’s, or playing more underground. I’m excited to keep staying true to myself! Really, it’s been awesome!
The growth may not be for everybody or the sound that I play, but for those that hear it at that moment, their minds are blown. They’re saying, I haven’t heard this, or [they] feel at home- crazy stuff like that. And so, it’s been cool to play different crowds like that and blow people’s minds. [Laughs]
seradopa: That’s good that you’re staying true to yourself! Everyone always worries about catering, but you’re staying authentic, and it’s showing, at least from what I’ve noticed, that your growth is becoming authentic! While it might be slow, you’re also getting your diehard fans by just being you instead of playing something different each time there’s a diverse crowd! It’s awesome to see!
MD: Thank you! It’s slow growth. It’s a slow build that I’m doing. Sometimes I get impatient and wish I could have [had it] handed to me on a silver platter to have that slot time in that place. But I know in the end, doing this as a grassroots, from-your-heart [type] thing will feel even better when that moment comes!
seradopa: I noticed on your Instagram that you taught production/DJ classes. Through Femme House, how important has it become for you as an instructor to mold and give opportunities to women or gender-expansive individuals who want to join the music industry?
MD: Yeah, it’s been epic! It’s been just as impactful for them as it is for me! [I’m] going out to these shows and seeing people coming up to me [and say], “I’m in your class. It’s so cool to actually meet you.” It added another layer to the community and how embedded I am in it. Because when I first started DJing, I was picking it up on my own and figuring it out naturally. And I’m excited to do a bunch more classes for Femme House! We’re dropping some curated special courses that you can refer back to.
seradopa: That’s awesome! Especially cool to see them going, “That’s my teacher. Holy crap!”
MD: Like, I’m going to drop some knowledge for you children today. Let’s go!
seradopa: I’ve noticed you’re into fashion and was reading that you are considering doing your fashion line. What kind of inspiration encouraged you to branch out from just music?
MD: I’ve always loved fashion! I was voted best style in high school; that was my superlative. [So] it’s always been a part of me because I went to school for fashion design, and that was what I planned to do.
I learned the piano, and my dad was a drummer, but I thought it was only possible to have a career in music if I was a singer. But I needed to do something that expresses myself too, and fashion always came naturally! Now that I’ve found myself and what I love to do, I could still bring that back in! And people have been hitting me up for what I’m wearing or looking up to my style. So I want to share that too! I should share some drip with everybody as well!
That inspired it, but it [will] be a process going back and forth on design ideas. I’m definitely putting everything into this. So don’t expect it until I perfect what I want and feel great about it! [Laughs] So it’s on the horizon, though!
seradopa: Without saying too much, what kind of styles will you focus on?
Mary Droppinz: That’s where I’m in between right now! I love the athleisure style, where it’s comfortable, and you can wear [it] to the gym. But also feel like you could wear it at the rave too. The diversity of promoting health but also feeling dressed up! That’s what I’m thinking of. I’m also down for streetwear and getting some cool one-pieces or sets that match. And then, obviously, there will be a bunch of hats because I love wearing hats! [Laughs] I can make music faster than I can make a fashion line; I’ll tell you that much!
seradopa: With fashion in mind, there always seems to be a very vocal group of misogynistic males having something to say about an artist’s appearance or whether they’re an “industry plant” and disregarding their hard work. What are your initial thoughts about those individuals being insecure about a woman’s success?
MD: Yeah, it honestly breaks my heart that they would ever feel that way [towards] women. I hope those people can find it in themselves to love themselves enough, not compare and put others down for their gain. It makes me sad for them, and I pray for them. [Laughs] You just can’t let that stuff get you down because even if I weren’t a woman doing this, I’d still have some haters. There always will be, so I’m trying not to take things too personally.
It’s BS, and in the end, I truly feel like in these last four years of complete madness that there is still hope that there are going to be people unveiling and realizing, ‘holy crap, we all just need to love and respect each other’ so I’m hanging on to that! If that goes out the window, then f*ck it! I’m going to Nebraska; we’ll have a farm and chill there until everybody fights it out because I’m done with that kind of energy!
seradopa: At the beginning of the year, you mentioned that you believe there will be an improvement with lineups being 50/50 with their bookings. With many festival lineups officially announcing their first rounds of announcements, do you believe talent buyers have been broadening their realm of ensuring that lineups are a bit more equal and practicing what they preach, or do we have a little longer to go?
MD: You know, I like to speak positively to manifest, and so that’s partially what I was saying with that as well, but unfortunately, I’m not seeing it as much as I’d hoped right now. So, still hoping that we can, by at least the last half of the year, do better and add more. But it’s not where it should be!
seradopa: Through a previous article, you mentioned, “there’s so much incredible femme talent out there that deserves a chance,” who are some of those talents you have been listening to lately and want to give a shout-out to?
MD: Thanks for asking! I want to give a shout-out to Etari. I love her music, and she’s an incredible producer and deserves more light shed on her. Then Alex Elena, like how I feel about them all, is that they deserve all the shout-outs! [Plus] Juliet Mendoza, Sam Blacky, Soraya, Kinderella, LP Giobbi, also shout-outs to SOHMI and Annabel Englund, and who else? There are so many; the list keeps going. So I am a bit annoyed to see only two getting on a lineup every time there’s a show. I just named nine!
seradopa: And last question! This is more fun and just out of pure curiosity because I read through multiple interviews. Why do you have a deep dislikening of ketchup?
Mary Droppinz: [Laughs] I was born this way. Since the second I discovered it, it was a no! It smells weird. The concept is weird. I mean, the sweetness of the tomato, it’s a no for me. I like mustard and mayo! You know, ranch, all the other fun dipping stuff.
seradopa: I was just so curious and felt like there had to be a story behind it!
MD: I am just a firm believer. I am anti-ketchup!
Listen to Mary Droppinz and her latest track below!
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