Mary Droppinz may not arrive to her gigs via an umbrella like her Disney-inspired moniker may suggest, but she’s totally magical none the less.
Hailing from Nebraska and now based in Los Angeles., the self-described “energy conductor” has been slaying the scene thanks to her euphoric electro house sound, effortlessly cool style and electrifying live performances.
A breakout artist on Zeds Dead’s Altered States label, Mary Droppinz released two EPs in 2022—Galatic Portal and Too Sweet—as well as the standout high-energy single, “NYC.” This year, she also became the first artist to release an electro track on Repopulate Mars with her rave-worthy song “Sandman.”
Most recently, the DJ dropped her gritty electro single “Ignite,” a reimagination of a Zeds Dead and Subtronics track “Gassed Up.” and has a new EP in the works under Altered States, which she calls “the most original music I’ve ever put out.”
When she’s not crushing it in the studio, homegirl is booked and busy on tour, including performances at New York City’s Electric Zoo and the upcoming Holy Ship! Wrecked festival in Benito Juárez, Mexico.
And like Mary Poppins herself, Mary Droppinz is fostering the young minds of the future. She serves as the head DJ instructor at Femme House, a non-profit organization aimed at fostering more equitable opportunity for women and gender-expansive individuals in the technical and behind the scenes areas of music.
Loop Magazine recently caught up with Mary Droppinz to chat about L.A. nightlife, writing new music, her swaggy style, what really goes down at 2 a.m. and more. Check out our exclusive interview with below.
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Loop: You are originally from the Midwest. What was the electronic music scene like at home?
MD: Coming from Nebraska, there is not much of a nightlife scene. I’d go out to some bars in college, but it was mostly country music or hip hop. I listened to emo music and oldies. I started getting into electro because my friend studied abroad in Australia and she was like, “you really should listen to this,” and I was like, “what is this, this is so sick?” I always wanted to find music like this. So I moved out to California and that’s how it all began.
Take us back to your origin story! How did Mary Droppinz come to be?
When I first started DJing, I was working in advertising in Venice, Calif. I had been playing music at home and with a bunch of friends and messing around with DJ gear. I booked myself for my first gig at the ad agency I was working at and I booked myself under the name Mary Droppinz because I didn’t want my coworkers knowing it was me. I was going to surprise them when I came onto the roof.
What can people expect to see and feel at a Mary Droppinz set?
When you come to a Mary Droppinz show, you can definitely expect a bunch of surprises, a spoonful of this, a spoonful of that and a lot of drops. I’m coming in and playing a lot of different genres I’m feeling at the time, specifically curated for that set. It will range from breaks to electro to techno to house to acid and jersey. I’ll even play some minimal deep dub. I’m definitely going to take you on a ride.
What makes L.A. nightlife unique?
Los Angeles has a lot of collectives. It’s cool how different groups of people will come together and want to build an environment and a vibe at parties out here. I feel like I see a lot more of that out here than in other markets.
You regularly play a mix of festivals and nightclubs. How do the crowds compare?
The festival crowds have been super fun. I’ve had an amazing time at all these festivals. I feel like people are there to really hear the music: they’ve camped, they set up their things. They’re coming out strong and I love those vibes on the dance floor. Nightclubs are so fun too, I’ve had incredible times in nightclubs. I’ve got to give a shout out to the It’ll Do Club I just played in Dallas. Absolutely blew me away. One of the coolest spots I’ve played and the community and the vibe there was unmatched. So it depends, but festivals are my favorite vibe.
Any memorable fan encounters?
I have a few that stand out. One was a message that I read at my set at Red Rocks. Right before I was about to end my set, I got a message that said you to play one more [track]. I was not prepared. Out of nowhere, I selected A$AP Rocky. I was playing bass, electo, and then just played the “OG” track. I was nervous about the choice, but the crowd’s response was insane. It was roars of thunder. I got back into my phone and I was still in my head about it and I got a message from a guy who said that was him and his dad’s song and his had dad passed away 10 years ago. He said he hadn’t felt him until that moment and was saying thank you for that.
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This past summer, you dropped your electro-inspired single, “Ignite.” Tell us how that went down.
“Ignite” is a legendary track that was originally inspired from Zeds Dead, Subtronics and Flowdan’s track “Gassed Up.” It’s one of the best tracks I’ve heard in a long time. I had the opportunity to ask if I could remix it and the guys gave me the stems. So I took it and put my own spin on it. It’s a Subtronics style dubstep, hard-hitting track at 140+ bmp and I brought it down to 132 and put electro beats that still kept hints of the bass. And I obviously kept Flowdan’s vocals because it’s my favorite tone to listen to. Zeds Dead was so awesome, they wanted to release it as a single on their label Altered States. Big shout out to them for opening the door for me and believing in my music. And I love getting gassed up, I love getting everyone hyped and happy and free on the dance floor.
Let’s talk about your upcoming EP on Altered States coming out soon. What can fans expect?
I’m pumped. I’m going to be putting out three tracks on it, a couple remixes that I haven’t had before on an EP, so this is huge for me. The original tracks I’m putting out are probably the most original music I have ever put out. You know I started out as a DJ, really sample heavy and I’ve remixed people’s tracks. This one is all my own beats, it’s all my own vocals and all my own lyrics.
What was your writing process like for this EP?
I wrote all the tracks in January. I finally had time off and started the year off on a health kick. I wanted to have my glow up. I was working out, eating healthy and I did a fast. In a fasted state I came up with one of my tracks, “Really Don’t Care.” It was such a unique experience. I hadn’t made music in that way. I spent all winter working it, made a bunch of tweaks since then. But the ideas originated in a raw and enlightened state.
Ok Professor Droppinz, let’s talk about your head DJ instructor role at Femme House.
I’ve been working with them for the last couple years. We recently did out first in person DJ class, all of them had been on zoom before. It’s just been growing. I even had a dad and his 10-year-old daughter drive three hours to come to class. She going to be an amazon DJ, I can already see it in the way she moves and is feeling the music. It’s been super rewarding for my journey to be a part of this.
You’ve got a killer sense of personal style and swag. What inspires your looks?
My vibes and my style are inspired by what I’m going through, the environment, the music that I’m listening to. I’ve always been into stying myself. I actually got voted Best Style in high school as my superlative. So it’s not random. I’ve always loved to dress up.
How do you answer the viral question, what do DJs actually do?
From my perspective, and what I’m teaching my students for Femme House, I’m not an ipod. I’m an energy conductor, so when I’m up there, I’ve obviously have my playlist but I’m selecting songs based on energy or certain instruments or keys. I want to create a certain story and a flow and a moment of goosebumps you can feel in your body. I’m also orchestrating to you how those beats sounds and move. So when I’m moving while I DJ and I’m dancing it’s because I’m showing you how those beats move. The music is literally coming through me and that’s what I am for you.
Having the approach that this is about creating an energy, an environment, a vibe; that’s more of what a DJ is. You can’t put a price on vibes. We can all agree music is extremely powerful and within the control of the right person who can create that story and journey in that moment and those feelings. You see people making out here, people are crying here, people are hugging here, people are taking photos here and having a memory they will have for the rest of their life. That’s what DJs do.
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