December is an exciting month for Minneapolis amenities: the new Nicollet Mall opened up earlier in the month, and in just three days, The Armory will be hosting its first show since the remodel. The Horizon tour, featuring Seven Lions, Kill The Noise, and Tritonal, will fill The Armory with all kinds of dance music this Friday. While this may be the first Armory show since its remodel, The Armory has been around for over 80 years. Take a look at this quick timeline of the history of this new venue.
The Armory was originally built for the Minnesota National Guard in 1935; however, the National Guard allowed it to be used primarily for public events, such as political conventions, sporting events, and concerts starting in the late 1930s.
The Minneapolis Lakers started calling The Armory as a secondary home starting in the 1947-48 season. They continued to use it as part-time until the 1959-60 season, which they dedicated The Armory as their primary home. In 1960, however, the team moved to Los Angeles.
The Minnesota National Guard ceased operations at The Armory, allowing it to be used fully as an entertainment space. The ’80s were an era of cultural prosperity for The Armory. In 1982, Prince shot the iconic video for his song “1999”; and in 1984, Hüsker Dü and The Dead Kennedy’s played one of their best-known shows at The Armory.
In 1989, Hennepin County bought The Armory with plans to demolish it and build a county jail. However, with a big pushback from the Minnesota Historical Society, the plans for the jail were taken down in court, and the county sold the building a few years later.
In 1998, right after Aerosmith recorded their video for “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in the space, Hennepin County sold The Armory to a private company. Shortly following the sale, the company was granted the right to turn the space into a parking structure so long as the building itself stayed preserved.
In 2012, The Armory was sold to Swervo with plans to redevelop the space and bring it back to its glory days. Ned Abdul, the owner of Swervo, noticed the musical history of this space and decided to bring those days back. Shortly after, renovations started.
On Friday, December 15th, Seven Lions, Kill The Noise, and Tritonal will be the first artists to play at The Armory since its resurgence. The Armory will be the first of its kind that Minneapolis has seen: state-of-the-art lights and sound and a large-scale capacity all right next to the US Bank Stadium.
Come be a part of Minnesota music history and join us for the first Armory show with the Horizon Tour! Tickets are available here.
At this point in his career, almost every EDM fan knows Bro Safari: his slamming tracks and clever trap beats are sure to bring some wall-twerking action to Skyway this Friday. Electric Mantis, known for his trippy future vibes, is creating a signature sound throughout the Pacific Northwest, and yet many out here haven’t been exposed to his music. If you haven’t heard Electric Mantis or don’t know much about him, check him out below before his Minneapolis debut this Friday at Skyway Theatre!
Wyatt Pearson, better known as Electric Mantis, had an interest in music ever since he was a young child growing up in Anchorage, Alaska. His father was a musician and encouraged Pearson to pursue his musical interest. In elementary school, Pearson taught himself how to use GarageBand and quickly learned how to play the trumpet and the drums, focusing much of his time as a child to producing tracks. While he was a teenager, Pearson put his productions on hold and joined bands of numerous genres, from metal to jazz to latin and all in between. However, when he was in college, Pearson dove back into producing music and birthed Electric Mantis. He dropped out of college, moved to Portland, Oregon, and focused on making a name for himself in productions. And overnight, he became an international phenomenon.
After releasing dream-state tracks with little hype, Pearson made a quick reddit post one night featuring his track “Flips and Flops, Drips and Drops”. He woke up the next morning to find that the track had gone viral, gaining over 175,000 Soundcloud plays in just three days. “Flips and Flops” was a perfect way to showcase this young producer’s significant talent and understand of interesting musical techniques, playing around with time signatures, volume changes, and overlapping soundbytes. After releasing some more tracks and remixes to expand his reach across the internet, he released his first EP titled Braincase about two years back. This EP gained recognition from Thissongissick, Dancing Astronaut, and many other acclaimed EDM publications. Since then, this 24-year old has worked with and gained support from the likes of Haywyre, Porter Robinson, Odesza, and Giraffage and has continued to spread his sound across the world.
Electric Mantis is a pure foreshadow of the progression of EDM, and he is sure to set the vibes strong before Bro Safari takes the stage. So make sure to come out and support this Portland homie this Friday at Skyway Theatre!
On this week’s edition of #OnTheRadar, we’d like to connect with a rising local by the name of CZU!
SIM: Thank you for joining us today, Benjamin! Could you please start by telling our readers what led you to start producing, and how long have you been producing for?
Benjamin: It really started when I went to my first big event, Stellar Spark, where Benny Benassi blew my mind. Eventually that lead into wondering how and what they were actually doing behind the decks.
SIM: Now did you go to school for production?
Benjamin: On the Dj side of things it was all self taught, I went to The Institute of Production and recording for audio production and engineering as well as taking classes at Slam Acadamy to further the craft.
SIM: And what would you say is the genre you are mostly known for?
Benjamin: I have been mainly focusing on variations of House music, primarily Deep House, I have some experience in hip hop and lofi beats.
SIM: How important was it for you to take classes for production at IPR and Slam Academy?
Benjamin: It was super awesome going to school and being around like minded people with a similar goal, really helped promote growth. Of course being around them help develop and focus my sound. Really the best part of it is picking up new techniques along the way to make you kinda stand out.
SIM: Would you say starting out was the easiest part for you, or not so much?
Benjamin:Starting out was a real struggle, mostly when it came to getting the proper gear. Just rocking a laptop to now getting a working studio 10 years later feels amazing. I have been blessed with great people around me that have been very generous in helping my musical goals, shout out to all the homies!
SIM: How do you keep yourself on track?
Benjamin: For producing and DJing it’s all self motivation, it is a passion so working on the craft is seconded nature. Granted there are times when it’s a bit of a struggle, but that comes with creativity. With [hosting] the monthly event Deep After Dark at the Kitty Cat Klub, I have a group that holds it down.
SIM: What mentality have you applied to your craft to keep yourself motivated and focused on the long-term?
Benjamin: The thing that has really worked for me is to just do your own thing and don’t try to fit the mold of other people. Being an artist allows you to really express yourself and prompts personal growth. With doing that the people in that scene will start to take notice and the rest will come.
SIM: And what have been some of your favorite moments as a local?
Benjamin: Being able to go to school and being in the environment is something I would never take for granted, I can not express how important I believe it to be. You are who you hang with, and if you want to move forward, it’s a step that you’re gonna need to take. Having the gear was also a huge milestone, it was then that things really took off.
SIM: What are some of the next goals CZU has for himself?
Benjamin: I have been super focused on releasing my first album, I finally think I have some suitable material that is up to my par.
SIM: What is something you hope never changes about yourself as you become more successful?
Benjamin: I never want to take myself too seriously; the love for the music and spreading it to the masses is what my goal is and always will be.
SIM: Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Benjamin: Check me out on:
SIM: Thank you for taking the time to interview with us, Jonah! To start, can you tell our readers what “Proppa” stands for, what style you curate musically, and why we should be keeping an eye on you as an up-and-coming artist?
Proppa: Thanks for having me! “Proppa” is really just an extreme abbreviation of what I do. I guess you could relate it to the word “proper”. I kind of embraced the name Proppa before I even knew what it meant but as I started to see more emotional development in my music I claimed the tag #ProppaStateOfMind, shedding light on the idea that music can trigger an unthinkable amount of emotions. I’d say I make any kind of music that emphasizes melodic value. I’ve always been one to push boundaries and I think you’ll see a lot of that in the future.
SIM: Take us back a bit. When did you begin to dance with the idea of producing, and what series of events led you to start pursuing production seriously?
Proppa: My interest in producing electronic music was a result of a lot of events actually. Since I was 11 or 12 years old, I’ve been a self taught musician. I kind of figured out early in high school that I wanted to pursue a career in music, but I was more interested in being a drummer and later-on a hip-hop lyricist. I retained basic mixing and production knowledge, but I dove into it head-first when I discovered the rapidly growing influence of electronic music while DJing friends’ house parties.
SIM: You’ve spent the past few years navigating the Chicago music industry and networking with other artists. What are some of the most important things you’ve learned about both yourself and your vision for “Proppa”, as well as about the industry as a whole?
Proppa: A lot of people will fight me to the end of the world over this topic, but I truly believe that the worst thing an artist could have in his/her head is the “it’s all about who you know” theory. Networking is really important, but there’s a million ways to do it wrong and a few to do it right. On many occasions, a show, collaboration, label release, or business agreement of any sort can harm your career if you don’t time and plan your moves right. I like to tell new producers to spend as much time independently as possible. Once your production reaches a respectable level, the connections will come to you. It’s important to make friendships with other producers instead of “connections”, the input/influence that they could have on your work is exceptionally more beneficial than jumping on the collab train. My management handles all of the business connections and it helps me focus on the music.
Videography by Haley Lan
SIM: You’re known among your friends to have a high-production standard, and a relentless work-ethic; you don’t really stop to sleep. Yet, we all hit our walls, and need a way to re-charge and re-group. How do you move past your own “writer’s block”, and keep your creatively constantly flowing?
Proppa: I definitely experience writer’s block on a daily basis, it’s the most common symptom of being a music producer. Every producer has a gift, for some it just takes a lot more time and effort to express. I try to be involved in other activities that don’t involve the scene. I’m a gym rat, and I’m also a part-time bartender. It helps me take my mind out of the studio and puts me back in the real world. You definitely need to separate yourself at times.
SIM: You’ve got quite the collection of impressive Proppa remixes on Soundcloud. When can we expect a few Proppa originals to see the light of day?
Proppa: I can’t say much but I definitely have a few prospects for my first single. Just be on the lookout in 2018.
Make sure to catch Proppa open for San Holo tonight at Skyway Theater! Make sure to grab tickets here before it’s too late.
San Holo will be taking over Skyway Theater with his innovative take on future bass in just a one day, so it’s time to take a closer look at him and his career. Here’s five tidbits that you may not have known about San Holo!
1. How San Holo got his name
Sander van Dijck spent years producing for other DJs, mostly participating in ghost producing, and experienced a great amount of success. He was prompted to go solo, so he chose the name San Holo.
2. San Holo and Walt Disney
His success caught the attention of Walt Disney Pictures and they threatened to file a law suit because of the similarity of his name to the Star Wars character Han Solo. He disputed these claims on the basis of the fair use law, and no additional response from Disney was released to the public.
3. San Holo’s viral success
San Holo released his debut EP titled Cosmos in 2014, which included a remix of Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” that went viral. It currently has over 150 million views on YouTube and is often seen as the turning point in his career.
4. San Holo’s self-started record label
Sander van Dijck founded his own independent record label, Bitbird, in 2014. He had originally chosen “Bitbird” to be his stage name and made five songs under it but never released them. Since the start in 2014, artists such as Droeloe, Just a Gent, and Vic Alexis have released tracks on the label.
5. San Holo on the charts
San Holo‘s single “Light”, released in November 2016, made its presence on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs within the month and peaked at #13 in February 2017. His tracks have continued to hit the charts since February.
San Holo‘s six week North America tour is set to be his biggest to date. He plans to bring other Bitbird artists with him on the tour and debut a new type of hybrid performance. Instead of spending all of his time rehearsing for a completely live act, he made it his mission to continue creating new music in the studio and come up with a hybrid show so that he can do everything he loves. Attendees will need to prepare themselves for new visuals, songs and even Sander playing his guitar. Bringing Just a Gent and Droeloe with him on tour, they plan to spread positivity and to have a fun time. Make sure to get your ticket here before you lose your chance!
Written by: Krissy Woida