Interview: Mt Sierra Explains About Origin Story, Plans, Icon Collective Enrollment & More

August 2, 2021 -

Justin Angle

Mt. Sierra is repositioning himself in the ever-expanding realm of electronic dance music. Whether it be through attending top-class music schools like Icon Collective or simply living through the beauty of life as it comes, Mt. Sierra has a hunger to experience and express himself through sound. His single, "Mt. Joel," is the first of what is set to be a hefty handful of singles waterfalled until the end of the year.

Gentle, existential, and full of character, "Mt. Sierra," creates a serious, somber moment with it's arpeggio-induced melodies, four on the floor rhythm, and dynamic energy levels. Moment to moment feels bittersweet as the different samples wash over with an intrinsic emotional disposition.

The latest also gives insight into the evolutionary changes Mt. Sierra has made as a musician since, "M.M.X.X.," his debut release in 2020 under this alias. A fine-tuning of his creative direction and maturity musically seeming to play a positive role in his recent release.

Mt. Sierra took the time out to do an interview with Daily Beat, sharing more about his origins, schooling, plans, introspection, and more.

What were some key moments that led to your DJ/producer career today?

Growing up musically in the 'pre-edm' era easily. I got to see a lot
of my favorite DJ's, before they were superstars, and it really helped
shape my musical taste. I saw Steve Aoki at my first rave back in '08,
long before he was the legend we know him as now. I saw Kaskade in a
250 cap venue which is wild considering he just sold out the 70k
capacity Sofi Stadium, and even saw Felix Cartal back in his electro
days. I also saw a bunch of techno legends, long before I knew who
they really were. Now that was something haha.

One key moment that sticks out is watching Skrillex during the
Mothership tour, and hearing him jump on the mic talking about
'following your dreams'. I don't remember exactly what he said, but
that moment in time has definitely stuck with me. Another is seeing
Riot Ten's success. We went to school together, and he showed me that
someone from our little border town could make it in this industry.
Its really motivating, to this day he's a big inspiration to me,
despite me not really making his type of music. The dude works hard, I
love it.

How was your stay at Icon Collective?

My stay was great, I learned so much, and met so many good people. I
even made a couple of great friends who I keep in touch with daily to
this day. Its wild. It kind of sucked that corona virus hit halfway
through my time there, but the school managed to keep the program
going remotely which was a blessing. That really helped me get through
the pandemic. I had been wanting to attend since 2014 when I first
discovered it, and made it happen in 2019. Probably one of the best
decisions I've ever made to be honest. I wish I could have continued
in-person, on campus 100% of the time but it is what it is. Would
recommend 10/10.

What feelings come up when you make the house music that you do?

It really depends, a lot of the music I'm releasing now was created on
pure emotion which I think you can hear, and feel in the tracks. Its
palpable, which I love. I sat down at my computer feeling some type of
way, and channeled that, musically. As far as the stuff I'm working on
now, I'm definitely feeling more 'hype'. I've been inspired lately by
a lot of the club/ house tracks that I play out when I DJ. So with
that being said, I'm feeling a bit more energetic, rather than vibey. I
say this as I'm aiming for something that will get a reaction from the
dancefloor.

 Is your style of music more of a therapy or adrenaline?

A mixture of both. The stuff I've produced can easily be called
therapy. The stuff I'm DJing though is definitely more on the
'adrenaline' side, as you call it. I'm looking to find a happy medium
and bridge the two with my track selection, and productions tho.

 Do you have a favorite release from Mt. Sierra?

Well, since I only have one, it would have to be 'Mt. Joel.' Moving
forward though, my answer will most likely be 'my last one'. One of
the tunes I'm releasing soon is easily my favorite off this upcoming
EP though. It's called 'When You Hold It Down'. Stay tuned!

 Do you have a favorite venue to play?

Not yet. I've been playing a few underground shows these past few
months which are fun, but I'm really looking forward to playing inside
a legit commercial venue. That should hopefully be happening within
the next few months haha.

 How much music do you plan to release this year?

Between now and December, I would say 5, to include 'Mt. Joel.' The
release of these 5 tracks would conclude my Mt. Joel EP, which is
exciting, because I already have a slew of songs to release, next.  My
next track is called 'When It Rains', and was the last song I made
prior to moving to Los Angeles, and starting at Icon. I'm excited for
you all to hear it!

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